I also have a new hoop. It's a composite plastic 17" no-slip hoop. So far I really like it.
There is only one more new thing(s) that I need to really get going on this project - new calluses! I wore holes in my fingers the first time I worked on it. :0) I guess it's been too long since I last quilted by hand.
I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with the quilting - for now I am going to start with outlining the applique. I just LOVE this kind of quilting - it is SO much more relaxing than free motion quilting!