I have completely fallen in love with hand quilting. Thanks to many of your suggestions on this post, I made myself use a thimble. It's getting easier with practice, and my finger feels so much better. I love the look of hand quiting, and the process is so soothing. I'm happy to say that I am over half done with this quilt. Yahoo!
(A slightly hilarious side note...my thimble is turning my finger green...just like a cheap ring would. So much for what I thought was my heirloom thimble!)
I have also completely fallen in love with machine binding....on both sides. This is the 4th machine bound quilt that I've done, and I think it looks pretty darn good! I love how the top stitching is visible on the front. I love how QUICK it is. This afternoon I was able to start making dinner, wrote out a class outline AND finished the binding on this quilt completely. Sweeet! That is good, no, great, news for my WIP pile!