It worked! This is the quilt I just finished, called "Coral Reef". I had the center portion finished for last Christmas, and I gave it to my husband to let him decide if he wanted it as a wall-hanging or as a lap quilt. He decided on lap quilt, so I expanded it in length and finally got it turned into a quilt.
Machine quilting is probably my least favorite part of quilting, but it has to be done in order to finsh a quilt, so I've had to find a way to make it work. I quilted a diagonal line of straight stitching across all the squares and into the borders, but I skipped over the fish scenes. Later, I went back with some variegated thread and did a wavy stitch across the fish to try and suggest some motion of the water. Hopefully you can see the curved stitching in the photo below.