The reason they call it a clown quilt is pretty obvious. The yellow stripes, the carnival/clown yellow with dots paired with the red dots - over the top. When it was finished and I was trying to convince myself it wasn't too bad. I had the quilt laid out looking at it with squinty eyes and my daughter said "Mom! It looks like you killed a clown and then made a quilt from him."
Ugh. Sad but true. I have a hard time even looking at the quilt. It stays upstairs in a spare bedroom in the closet tucked away from sight. I think this is a good example of too much of a good thing in fabric. The centers of the stars should have remained red and that red dot probably should have been just a plain white, or something less busy like a very pale yellow. Some fabrics together do not work out. And a yellow striped border does NOT work. It just screams circus or bumblebee.
So I put away my red and yellow fabric and moved on. Soon after we had a fabric exchange at our Alpine quilt group (several years ago). We exchanged polka dot fabrics and I used the exchange fabrics to make a polka dot quilt using fabric from my friends.
I cut out white squares and hand appliqued circles the size of a cereal bowl onto the blocks and then sewed them together. There are pastels, brights, and jewel tones. And you might think that all those wouldn't work together. But in this case I think it does.
I used the scraps left from the fabrics, along with some of my own dot fabric, to make the patchwork border. All the fabrics in the border are dots too. So even though there are tons and tons of fabrics, colors and scale of dots in this quilt it works because of the balance of white to color and open space to circle. Even the border in squares balances out the shape of all the circles.
I really like how this quilt turned out in contrast to the other dot quilt. In fact, my daughter Chelsey picked this quilt to be her HS graduation quilt 3 years ago. And I can tell it has been well loved and used. The dots just bring you into the quilt and make the pattern pleasing to the eye.
So to contrast and compare the fabric/quilts, the clown quilt really has less going on than the circle quilt. But paired together the clown quilt fabrics do not work.
Sigh. I do love fabric. Don't you?