I kept looking at this block and it just didn't feel right to me. At last, I realized that what was bothering me was that central pale yellow block. It just looked too square and even in a series of blocks that had nothing square and even about them. As you can see on the right, I made some minor changes.
This is a composite of all the blocks before I made any changes to the July Block. That pale yellow square (even though it's really a hexagon, it reads square to me because of that right angle of the embroidered stems) just jumps out, demanding attention. That would have been fine if I wanted it to be the commanding center of attention, but I didn't.
To make the block come in line with the rest of the blocks, I added more of the little vines and french knots to bring the block out of square and more into a random shape like the other blocks. It was a very simple change, but it makes the block SO much better!!!
Now when you look at it, that pale yellow block doesn't demand nearly as much attention and provides a much better balance with the rest of the blocks! I'm much happier with it now! Now I just need to address the "bullseye" affect of the mandalla motif. The rest of the blocks flow very well, but this one still has a few issues. And I also see a bare sport that needs dealt with on the May block as well.
Looking at the composite, I see that with the remaining blocks, I need to vary the orientation a little bit more to help the entire piece flow better. I don't want the underlying pattern of the blocks to be quite so noticeable, but rather to have a slightly more random appearance.
I've also been looking at possible fabrics to use as sashing between the blocks. The more I look though, the more I think that there won't be sashing between them, but maybe a narrow two or three toned border. Five more blocks to finish though, before I can truly focus on that part of this project!