Welcome to the Quilting Board!
I'm working on one right now and I have used about 50 different batiks in it. I used 15 or so surf and sand charm packs and
some additional yardage in coordinating batiks. I'll post a pic when finished.
Mine are normally 5 fabrics... love the look. Tried with 3 fabrics and it just didn't look right when finished.
I love to do scrappy blocks; so, my quilts end up looking sorta like a Sampler. I recently started adding this D9P block to my quilts. I've used 9 different fabrics -- too busy; 3 different fabrics -- not quite right; my fave is 4 fabrics. Good luck with what you decide!
The last two I have completed contained at least 15 different fabrics. They were "I Spy" quilts for children so I wanted a lot of variety. However, the next one I attempt could only have two or three different fabrics. It just depends on the effect I wish to achieve at the time. I don't think there are any hard and fast rules. Just enjoy.
I like to use three fabrics. I have used two but, in my opinion, it doesn't look as nice.
I saw a D9P that used various fabric in the 4 corners and the same fabric in the other 5 spots of the 9-patch. She used it as an I Spy, but could be used with other fabric. I thought it was really a neat idea. Hope it's ok to post the link: http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load...521294.html?13
I did the D9P entirely scrappy and used my dark tones for the middle and the four corners and the light tones for the other 4 squares. I used oversized squares starting with 7" finished size squares to end up with blocks that were 21 x 21 finished. It went really fast and was beautiful when completed. IMHO as long as you have contrast between the corners and the other four patches they look beautiful.
I like to use three fabrics with the center piece a solid or one that reads solid (perhaps some texture). I like the four corners to be the focus fabric with the other four in "cross position" to be a quieter blender or color pulled from the focus piece.
One step at a time, always forward.
I did a lot of different fabrics and it turned out great.