Lara, your idea sounds delightful - another pretty option and I will look forward to seeing it grow. What are you planning, sizewise? I am envisioning three blocks by four in the centre, to narrow it down?
Carsey, yes, I hand stitched the embroidery, just as per the book. I haven't ever combined hand stitching and applique before, but when the app. is done, I am finding it really nice to bring it to life with the embroidery