This has to be quick since I have a half hour of naptime left and I need to use it!
I did however finish a lot these last few days and 'In Your Face Fuchsia' colored perle cotton is growing on me!
I basted alot and I am not regretting that. It really holds the layers together. If I had used pins I would have more shifting than I have now. I do not like having to stab stitch where the rings meet. That is the most difficult part of the process. Pushing the needle through 6 layers is not too fun. The negative space is the most relaxing part of the quilting.
I have been using a nifty tip to avoid lots of knotting and beginning threads. Double the thread length and bring the thread halfway through the fabric. I come back to the loose threads and continue in the opposite direction. It cuts down on the wear and tear on the perle cotton and saves time for quilting, not knotting.
Here's a link to a tutorial that describes how to hand quilt. I use the same method.
Anyway I though you might know what I was up to. Thanks for the encouraging words! Catch up with you later.