In any case, I got to work again and figured out a few things that worked better for me than others. A good marking pencil that showed up on all the different colors was the first thing that helped (yellow worked on this project). Small adhesive leather pads worked much better than a traditional thimble for me. Finally, I ditched the hoop and just worked with the quilt loose in my hands. It was so much easier to load several stitches at once on the needle. I'm not sure that would work for a larger piece, but then again, there's no way in hell that I'm hand quilting a larger piece. -But I just might give another one in this size a shot.
The pattern is from Fat Quarters, Small Quilts by Darlene Zimmerman. I find the subtitle amusing - "25 projects you can make in a day". If I'd stuck with my trusty machine that would have been true. By hand, it was a project that I could complete in 11 months.
Finished, it's about 18"X22". The fabrics are both old and new from a variety of sources. (Grandma Bev, do you recognize some of those scraps?)The backing fabric is the same as the borders, sashing and binding. Had I known the time that would go into this, I'd have chosen a nicer fabric. The book talks about young girls honing their skills on baby or doll quilts. I'll say this much for my authenticity. It definitely looks like a child did the stitching.
I'm considering this one a lucky charm. Right after I finished the handquilting I checked my gmail account and had a lovely quilting surprise waiting for me. I'll fill you in as I learn more.