I then quilted over the top, outlines in black, and the rest in colour matched thread. I actually approached the quilting more like I would a lino, thinking about the flow and the overall shape rather than focusing on filling up space.
As a design note, it can be really helpful to take pics of your quilt as you go and crop them to the final size - it's amazing how much difference it can make to get rid of the distracting and messy borders. For example, this was the non-cropped version of that photo (it's pinned to my ironing board):
I'm still not happy with him, I think he is much too dark and needs work but at least the colourway is correct and looks good against the background quilts.
In another note, the theme for the AQC Challenge for 2015 has been announced as 'True Blue'. If you've ever been thinking/dreaming about entering the challenge then this could be your year - the size has been reduced to 90cm square, which makes it much more achievable! The theme is also really flexible, you could fit so many things within that concept. So - if you are thinking about giving it a go and would like some support I would love to help with brainstorming ideas or going through plans etc.
Hopefully I will get another big sewing day tomorrow and have something more to share.