I was using a 14 inch hoop and found it quite difficult to maneuver/transport/carry. Well, lo and behold, I saw this beautiful book, written by Suzanne Marshall and she does not use a hoop when hand-quilting her quilts. I couldn't believe it--she has this huge quilt on her lap and she manipulates the quilt and needle w/o a bulky hoop.
Could this be possible?
Well... I decided to drop the hoop and set this small quilt on my lap and found the stitching to be so much easier. My stitches were even smaller and more consistent. And Suzanne is right--you rock the fabric up and down to meet the needle and it is quicker and not so strenuous on the hands.
Previously I planned to add a busy, flowered border but it seemed to take away from the simplicity of this small quilt. So I just added a plain matching fabric binding.