The top is pieced together! As I sewed the blocks together, I was pleasantly surprised that the corners matched up as well as they did. I'm stopping while I am ahead, meaning that I am not adding the 3 layers of strips around the edges that the pattern calls for. I am more than okay with my decision and so looking forward to the next steps of finding material for the back and beginning to quilt.
If winter decides to return, I'll be ready with my inside project to help pass the time.