I stuck with the pillow top idea. As the flower panel hung against my orange curtains I saw that framing it with bright colors would help to accentuate the flower by allowing the pot to recede. All of the borders and the pot still 'pop' out, but now the flower itself is where the eye (mine, anyway) comes to rest.
I improvised my way through the border sections by shifting around scraps of fabric at the card table. After looking at my pinterest boards and favorites on flickr I decided I would like a colorful, scrappy look. I came up with a riot of colors complete with teeny pink pom pom trim,
and this great purple gardening print. The shears and shovels fit in perfectly with a potted plant, no?
This picture was so pretty with the sunshine I had to include it. Those blue linen borders are destined for some decorative stitching.
I tried it on for size against the pillow it is going to cover in the fading afternoon light.
Lucky me, I found a piece of scrap batting big enough to fit. I cut a piece of stash fabric for the back (not shown) and now we're all ready for some quilting.