About the "bay problem".... after sleeping a few nights on it, I sort of solved it. In a future post I'll show what I did.
While appliqueing I was doubting if the hills had to be sewed on top of the sea or the other way around. Now I'm pretty sure the sea has to be on top of the hills.
Anyway, the sea splashes against the hills. I tried to create a coastline with buttonhole stitches,
A second row of irregular buttonhole stitches on top with white thread.
More buttonhole rows on the waves.
All about the "Message in a bottle challenge" can be found here.