Well, thank you for all the comments about the quilt top.
I considered the various options suggested here, and in the end have decided on something very simple which I was inspired to cut out last night after re-reading Rebecca's comment. I also very much like the idea of a binding made from Liberty Tana lawn, but probably won't do that because I don't own any, and I'm trying to use up the fabrics I have. In addition, I have chosen the fabrics for the back after many trips up and down the stairs (my fabrics are in a chest of drawers upstairs); I hadn't quite realised how few pale/white background fabrics I have (about four). Now all I have to do is finish the border, make the back, tie the layers, and bind it all, and the crinoline ladies will be well and truly ensconced in pastures new.
And I shall also move onto pastures new in the form of posies and vases stitched on viscose (aka rayon).
Now I would never knowingly part with money for something made from viscose. I simply don't like it; I know this from working for Courtaulds plc in the 1980s, and being part of a small team that went to Moscow every month to sell the trio of Courtaulds' man-made fibres - acrylic (Courtelle), acetate, and viscose - to the Soviet Union. (If I digressed into vodka, snow, and Communism at this point, I'd be here a long time.)
I know that viscose is the most natural of the three as it's made from wood pulp, but it has terrible thermal properties, creases as soon as you touch it, and has what I find to be an unpleasant handle that sets my teeth on edge.
Yet I have some really lovely, cheerful, colourful, confident stitching done on viscose which I have bought believing the sellers who described the background as cotton. It's funny how this fabric attracted such exuberant colours and dense stitching, and a particular kind of cotton crewel-work.
Amongst its various failings, viscose also frays and develops holes very easily, so many embroidered old pieces are very much worse for wear. But I think the stitching is of a kind that is worth keeping in the form of a big, show-off-and-admire quilt top. So this is my next project, even though I'm already gearing up to getting very cross with machine-piecing the slippery, slidy, viscosey posies and vases.