My starter palette, to which I'll add friends.
I made test blocks (using scraps) to help me decide which layout to use. The blocks would finish at 8 inches.
My test block with 3 blades, each blade 3-1/4" across at the widest.
4 blades, 2-1/2" wide
5 blades, 2" wide
Usually we think of Dresden Plates as having 20 blades, 5 per quadrant, as made by the Easy Dresden tool, so the five blade fan is the most familiar. When I made the blocks, to my disappointment I saw the 5 blade option as the most pleasing. Maybe because it's familiar?
But the fabrics I want to use are a little larger scale and I want more of each to show. I also want to fussy cut some of the prints. That's why I created the 3 and 4 blade options.
The 4 blade option does allow a little more of each print to show. They say it's more artistic and visually pleasing to use an odd number of something rather than an even number. But I'm not sure how important the number of blades in each block is to the overall layout, because the layout itself is an odd number of something, 3 curves per side. Here are the layout options using grey to illustrate the overall shape.
3 blades per block
4 blades per block
5 blades per block
The overall snaky shape is similar, just more or less angular. Note the negative space and the interesting shapes formed.
Originally I was leaning to 3 or maybe 4 blades per block. My friends at coffee last week mostly preferred the five blade option. One of the comments on Monday's post really resonated with me. Julie, whose design sense I respect and appreciate, said "Without an enormous amount of thought (or reading the previous comments), I prefer the three-blade layout. Why? It involves a custom template (up your alley), it allows more of the fabric to show (again, letting you feature those prints you said you preferred), and it is an atypical layout (again, making it special to you and not just like someone else's design)."
I said I was disappointed when I didn't immediately love the 3 blade block the most. But as I contemplate the design, I'm drawn to the 3 blade option for all the reasons Julie articulated, plus the interesting negative space shape in the overall layout.
Here's the EQ rendering of the 3 blade option in color using prints of similar scale to mine:
I'm going with the 3 blade option. Maybe it'll tun out to be something good. Or maybe it'll turn out to be a big disappointment. It's more of a risk. But it's more individual, more unique. I'd rather take the risk than make something expected and ho-hum.
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts
Love Laugh Quilt