First Quilt It! Challenge project

Quilt It! Challenge is so fun! Finally, I'm trying all the quilt designs I've been dreaming of, without making myself crazy on a full scale project.  Wait, I mean "practicing in full size." You know.

Regardless, it took me ages to begin.[ I am nearly a fortnight behind Challenge schedule.] Where should I start? How? The basket weave Pinterest design I dreamed of learning didn't link back to anything. So I panicked for most of a week on how to draft it. Here is what I decided:

The weave "bars" are 1:3. I believed I couldn't do the stippled "holes" if they were smaller than 1" square. Which makes my bars 1"x2.5".  But the tiny stippling was really fun! The secret I learned: stitch even faster than you would for normal sized stippling. And use a smaller stitch length.

I decided it would save thread (and be plenty of OCD fun) to quilt the holes first. Alternating the side of connecting stitches between holes would create most of the bars. When I finished stitching the holes, there were only two missing bar lines. It worked! But it was wrong. My hopscotch holes are way wonky.  I learned to spend the thread and quilt the straight lines first, skips and all, just for accuracy.  By the way, it's Aurifil 50, pink on top and traditional beige in bobbin.

The half sunflower corners I found in this old book, one of my Commemorative Quilting all time favorites. I've been dreaming of stitching them since Summertime:) They fit my 12" block corners exactly! But nothing can really be that simple, right? I tried 3 methods to transfer the design. Here is what finally worked:

Yes, by the time you read this, I will already be on my way to LQS for one of those keyrings of feather templates in various sizes. Luv the feathered sunflower!!!! I plan to quilt this everywhere for ever and ever. And you can actually see how I improved between the first corner set and last:
First - yikes!
Last - better! [Tell me you see a difference.]

This is the back. Which illustrates the last thing I learned in my first Quilt It! Challenge project: a lesson in scale. Leaving the empty center 2" diamond for negative space would have been a good idea, if the weave had smaller bars. The diamond is too close in size to the bars, so it looks more like an error than a design choice. Maybe adding an 1/8" inner frame would help define it?
What do you see? Please, tell me! I'm doing this to learn, so feel free to speak up if you see something I need to know.  For example, there must be a better way to layout the weave design....
Thanks in advance for your help! Happy Quilting --A's Mom

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