Placement of Scrappy Patriotic Quilt Blocks

I had most of the quilt blocks made for this pattern, except a few of the skinnier ones, when I decided to put it on my design board and play around. I wanted to make sure there wasn't too much of one fabric in one place, and I also wasn't sure how to finish the last skinny block. Once it was on the board, it was easier for me to see what I wanted to change.

My board is very simple, a piece of plywood covered with batting and flannel. In fact, I think the flannel was from a crib sheet from our children - I can't remember! I have since recovered it in plain grey so it is not as distracting. If you don't have one, laying things out on the ground works also.

What also helps me the most, is using a door viewer - you know those peep holes in doors so you can see who is on the other side? By looking through it, you can see your quilt from a distance and kind of get a feel for how it looks as a whole.

I played around with the block placement and then made the following changes. The large block in the second row had a red square center, but I really needed to add more light tan, so I partially ripped up that block and changed the center. 

The skinny block next to it was an unknown. If you look closely, I actually have folded fabric pinned under (and the center isn't straight as it is just sitting there) as I auditioned different fabrics before settling on this combination.

Finally, I didn't like how the skinny block on the bottom row turned out - with the center more horizontal than vertical. So again, I ripped out the center seams and redid them so the red center was more vertical. After making the final block, I will piece them all together.

While auditioning and ripping things out takes longer, I'm hoping the end result will be better for it.

Postscript: Here is the final table runner. I realized I didn't post the whole picture and wanted to do that. I'm very happy with how it turned out!