With 100% credit to Angela Walters and her Dot to Dot Quilting class, I've really made great progress on my quilting. Here you can see how I've used her designs to inspire the quilting pattern in my Teal Basketweave quilt's borders. I feel like I've had the light turned on with regards to quilting negative space and fitting designs into my limited quilting area on my frame. Even though there are tons of mistakes and less-than-perfect lines, I am really, really happy with how this quilt is looking. I think it will look even better once it's finished and washed!
I was a little worried about how I was going to quilt the borders on my frame set-up and I left that portion of the job until the end. Once my matching teal So Fine thread arrived it was time to dig in. The interior sections of the quilt were done and since I reached the bottom of the quilt, I no longer needed the lower bar of the frame where the quilt top is pinned. Rolling back the quilt to the top only requires the take-up bar and the backing bar.
Once I was at the start again I sectioned off the border with a starburst in the corner and then diamond designs along the length. I added some wavy lines in between the chevrons to make the half-diamonds really pop and then filled in around them with swirls. I'm still working on those darn concentric circles and getting them consistently spaced - I ran into trouble for 2 reasons: bad lighting making it difficult to see where I had already quilted, and bumping into the frame bars as I reached the limit of my quilting space. Still, I love the texture the quilting is creating and the way the designs look in the negative space. Continuing the quilting down the sides of the border is a bit more challenging (since I can only work on 5", and therefore one diamond, at a time and of course, I'm quilting the designs sideways) but so far, so good!
It looks like I'm finally getting the Angela Walters-esque quilting I've admired for so long. Now it's just a matter of practicing, perfecting, and learning new designs. Figuring out how to fit them into a quilt space is half the battle and I'm feeling enlightened in that respect. Now that I know how to quilt and where to quilt, and my machine is behaving like a dream (knock wood!), getting a quilt top pieced as soon as possible is my goal so that I can get to the best part...the quilting!