I have made several more practice lines on my hand quilting sample. When I went into the living room to take a photo of my work so far, Kaesea had the answer for what I could do with the hoop if I decide to give up:
(I think he's voting for "kitty bed.")
Meanwhile, my hand quilting is getting better, although my finger smarts a bit. Why, you ask? Well, I'll tell ya: When hand quilting, you have to use a finger on the hand under the quilt to feel the needle as it comes through (that is, as the pointy end comes through) and guide it back to the top of the quilt.
In class, someone asked, "Which finger do you use to feel the needle come through?"
My reply [after hearing what that finger was going to have to deal with]: "The finger you like the least."
Apparently, I like my middle finger the least, because that's the one that's all beat up right now.
Some people have suggested that I can use a thimble on that finger, but I tried that and disaster ensued. I guess I'm still in the Punish-the-Finger phase of my quilt learnin'. And you know, if any finger deserves punishment, it's probably my middle finger. Poor middle finger.