I figured it out. I don't have to sew around each square, I can sew rows together and then have zig-zag seams to sew to add the row to the rest of the top. Note to self: sew the square to the upper left point, starting with the second block from the left.
This made my life so much easier. I sew the squares onto each block, then the blocks together, then the row to the top. If I ever decide to do another top anything like this, I'll have a clue (I hope) about how to piece it more efficiently.
The colors aren't true, but the blues do get darker as they move down. (What's interesting is the plain green octagon in the middle there is the same green elsewhere around the edges. It's amazing how colors change depending on what they are near.)
Only two more rows after this on is attached, then all the green that goes around the edges.