A. Highlighting the octagon shape. Making the background sit back and being mindful of the color/value pops create the shimmer factor. Using my new Shimmer Fabric in all it's pearlescent glory is key- quilt shimmers in every way. Your first commitment is to cut the kites. I wanted them mostly low volumes with a few mids and darks.
SECRET #1 Any good artist/designer will tell you, it's very important to throw depth into a light piece- just as refracted light does when splashing on water. Intense areas of value change in a few areas are necessary, hence the darker kites. Look above at quilt again and study the different kites. See how the mids and darks give definition?
SECRET #2 What is CRUCIAL in making this quilt is to define the octagons by putting a very light strip next to the neutral kite with almost every block. See below. And study above picture again. Lights are setting the stage for the octagon reveal.
B. Minimal stripping of the triangles. Don't go nuts strip piecing 1" pieces. For at least half of your triangles, make big swaths of lights to fill tips. Add some skinny strips in areas. VARY your cuts and don't take an even approach. See sample below.
SECRET #3 Audition different color "centers" once you put the triangles together. Keep open options to go stronger or softer in your centers. You will notice that I took both approaches. Sew in end tips only after you have decided on color and pop factor. Also notice how I didn't finish all my triangles before putting up in rotation, allowing for IMPROVISATION!!
Decide on final set of your blocks and then add pop KONA colored home made bias tape. More detail in pattern.
SECRET #4- When in doubt take it out! Restraint is important during this step. I had originally overdone the color pops but the good thing is that they were pinned, not sewn on. Step back. Walk out of the room. Sleep on it....What I learned is that taking about 40% of the color OFF the block gave me the final look I was striving for. Loving the old adage, Less is More.
Create and Shimmer on!!