Now that it has been gifted I can show you how it turned out:
The outer background fabric is a cream linen cotton blend which I matchstick quilted with slightly wavy lines in a variegated neutral thread. It is hard to photograph but it compliments the linen beautifully and lifts the plainness of the light colour to give it a bit of depth and structure.
Outside is calm and elegant (I hope) but inside is full of happy, smiley, floral prints and pretty pinks from various Bonnie & Camille lines. I like how they mix together and I think they make a really feminine combination for this birthday gift. Hope my friend does too!
Just in case you were wondering, yes, the Sew Together Bag was definitely easier to stitch second time around!