Sadly, Harriet's advice (see comments previous post) about not using the square to cut the blocks, but measure the 1/4" seam came a bit too late. I had to do some creative sewing, but managed to not lose any points.
I auditioned a couple of background fabrics, one was too busy and another too pale. This one, which reads black from a distance, is actually covered with tiny brown and grey dots.
Not all the fabrics worked well when cut up into 1" squares - particularly those with animals or pictures - it's a bit disconcerting to find a kangaroo with a lizard leg stuck to it's nose! The fabrics with all over prints or large repeats looked great though.
I'll baste the sandwich tonight and get started on the quilting tomorrow. I'm going to use the book as a guide here and do all straight stitching as in the example. It looks great on Harriet's quilt and will be faster to do I think