It happens to me each and every time. I find a sewing project I want to try, I carefully select the appropriate fabric, and then I hop on the emotional roller coaster of executing said project.
No matter how careful I am with the fabric selection, there inevitably comes a point where I absolutely detest my choices in pattern and color and am convinced my project will be the ugliest one ever created. Usually, the next step of the project brings about the phase of me coming to love the project again as it takes more shape, sometimes not.
With almost everything I do, I go through those two phases back and forth a couple times before the project is finished. The self-doubt and criticism is awful but somehow unavoidable! I have not been blessed with the foresight needed to look at a pile of material and perfectly envision how it will look cut up and dispersed on a quilt top. Every project is a complete gamble for me and I never know how the final result will compare to the image in my head.
The step that causes the most anxiety in fabric selection for me is choosing the borders. They can truly make or break a quilt top's design. For example, take this photo of my final whirligig top with borders:
I love the floral yellow but the jury is still out on the striped border. When I first selected it, I loved that it combined the pink, red, and orange I was trying to highlight in the top itself. I also thought the stripe would look nice with the floral.
Now that it is actually on the quilt, I think it is too bold and busy. But I know once I stipple quilt this top, the whole look will change again after washing. The crinkly goodness I love about the finished quilt will likely tone down the bright stripe, the question is just how much??
For another example, check out the completed Pint-Sized Jelly Filled top before borders:
This is a LOT of color and pattern going on. I wish you could truly sense just how electric this feels in person. I love how it turned out, but am also a little nervous about how bold and bright the entire thing is.
Add in the border, and "bam" a whole new look:
The creamy border really tones down the top even with those big and bright polka dots. I know from working with Wonderland before that the quilting and washing will help tone things done a touch, too.
Since my plan for these two quilts is to give them to my two little ladies, being bright and bold is not necessarily a bad thing. As Handyman Tim pointed out, infants like bold colors for focal stimulation.
I guess Little Pea will be the most visually stimulated little infant on the planet!