As I've blogged about many times, I've been going through a major squares obsession - dealing out tiny colorful squares like cards from a deck, then arranging them in ways that give them movement. It's soooo therapeutic. Although I machine quilted most of the resulting pieces, I also hand embroidered some. Here's one - a modified hashtag/tic-tac-toe board. The squares are 1" (finished). This is how it looked before finishing:
A closeup of the rice stitches. (Learn more about it here.)
For the next piece, I did the embroidery through just the top layer and the batting. I don't necessarily recommend this approach.
Just for comparison's sake, here's a machine quilted piece from this series.
I won't say the machine quilting is worse than the hand quilting (it's okay if you say it), but it is a very different mood. (The glass eyeball bead in the middle also helps set a different mood.)