Here is the back.
It took me a couple weeks to find and assemble the fabrics. It took me about a week to cut and sew the front. Then, it turned out that I didn't have enough of the back fabric, an unanticipated glitch, as per usual. (I thought I couldn't really calculate how big the quilt was going to be before I started. I guessed. I guessed wrong.) I searched and found a big enough swatch of the fabric on Etsy. It came. It didn't match somehow. The design was smaller, the colors faded. And it was all vaguely smelly. I realized they'd washed it (after probably digging it out of someone's basement stash). No good. I searched again and found a better source and ordered plenty. When it finally arrived, at least another week had gone by since I'd finished the front. But I pieced the back together, matching the print, and then it was time to figure out how to quilt it.
It did not go smoothly.
I started by watching a lot of videos: quilting on a regular/standard sewing machine, straight-line quilting, quilting with a ruler, free-motion quilting, top tips when quilting for yourself, top things to avoid when quilting, etc.
I decided the quilt would actually look good with straight lines. For sure, the learning curve should be lower and the results more predictable. I set my machine up on our big dining room table--a counter-height slab of granite about 3.5 feet by 5.5 feet.
I quilted a test using a table runner I'd pieced in a class. It looked great! It was easy to do.
I went looking for other longarmer options. There are some around, but I was embarrassed to call them in early December asking for a job done by Christmas. I started to seriously consider the possibility of giving it after Christmas. My husband came to the rescue and built me this amazing topper that is flush with the bed of my machine. I thought I took pictures, but I can't find them. Here is one with Hobbes on top; he's sitting on the table topper. You can see how it's flush with my machine near the scissors and yarn.
In the end, it wasn't perfect, but it was pretty good.