INMO, it is a little too "chaos-y" (love that word!) as well. I wondered about a single fabric sashing, but putting those black squares in the center of it to carry the black design across to the next block. Still thinking about it.
Carole, when you put yours together, did the blocks for the outer border fit? I'm thinking they won't, and another friend who got that far say they didn't as well.
I'm with you. The finished quilt looks a bit too chaos-y for me. (A new word I just made up!) So I will make the center blocks and figure out a different sashing. I'm still making the step 2 pieces as my leaders enders project while I make other stuff!
I have to say, Carole, since I saved the instructions but did not do this year's mystery quilt, when I looked at the great reveal, I was left indifferent, but looking at your version of it, it is beautiful! I think the colors you chose really made the difference in my mind. Congratulations on a job well done!