Your finished top looks great. If you hadn't told of your frustrations we wouldn't know by looking at it. I like the chinese lantern idea and the red in the binding adds to interest.Are you using oil pastels or oil paint sticks? There is a difference, the oil sticks being much more permanent and fabric-friendly with Shive oilsticks being the most available.
like Mary said 'Exquisite'
Good to hear from you!