Thanks for all the kind words, everybody!
I've gotten only wonderful encouragement and help here. If it really is that good, you all have had a part in it. Not using a pattern is more desperation than anything else, I just have a heck of a hard time with patterns and get lost and confused way too often. I can understand the instructions, but somehow something just gets mixed up in the old noggin. Working with proportions and fitting from the top down makes sense to me somehow and I can understand it. Anyhow, it's done now, my SIL took a picture and I'll have to resize it before I post it here. I just got back from a week with my sister who had spinal fusion surgery and weird side effects from pain meds and muscle relaxers, then an evening with my DD who had a reaction to her medication, and I found out the photo is too large. I know there are links to help me but I think I'd better wait for tomorrow.
ETA -- BTW sister and daughter are both doing well now.