When I got home from holiday, with my African Tribal piece from the Embroiderers' Guild Summer School embroidered, I set about blocking it. As it was a 100F day in Adelaide, I pinned it out on the carpet and sprayed it with water until saturated. Even with the aircon on, it dried completely in 2 hours and came out beautifully flat.
I trimmed the edges - realising as I did it, what a poor job I had done of getting the outer edges of the octagon even. This is because, although I measured and drew an initial template for the Maltese Cross, I did not measure the lines extending from the Cross to the outer edges, but simply extended them as I went. I don't mind the somewhat haphazard folk-art look, but it's a lesson for future work of this kind.
I added some cotton interfacing on the back, to strengthen those exposed sections of the bottom layer of fabric before turning under a hem all around.
I had designed this piece to be added to clothing, but it had more than doubled in size from my original concept. I tried it unsuccessfully on various pieces of clothing before hitting on an black linen shirt that I usually wear open over tops. I decided the piece can serve as a pocket. I stitched it on by machine, reinforcing the opening, but using a long stitch elsewhere so I can remove it easily if I change my mind. The downside is that being linen, this shirt requires constant ironing!