Wow! Thank you all so much.
I just did a count of your "votes" and option #2 is the clear front runner. I have to admit I'm a little relieved. A quilt like #1 is still in my future, but not on this go-round. I felt like too much of the blocks was lost in the motion of that quilt. What I love about option #2 was mentioned in the comments - it has a bit of a Gee's Bend feel to it and since those quilts were part of my inspiration - it just feels right to go that direction. I'm going to add an extra amount of black fabric to the bottom of each column to see if I can still put more weight at the bottom of the quilt with a larger border there. If it looks funny, I can always cut it off. My challenge this week is to start moving those blocks around until I'm happy with the balance in the design.
It also occurs to me that I never explicity said in that post how much I absolutely LOVE how all those blocks look together - and how amazed I am by the work and creativity that went into them. So to my Common Threads friends - I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Now, on to a little thifty goodness:
Does anyone believe that a 2 piece pattern would be flattering on a woman with curves?
I love 5699. I just don't love the undergarments it would require.
Any career gals out there looking for a wardrobe update?