The background has taken longer than I had hoped. But now it is done.
I used acrylic felt as the quilting wadding. I wanted a bit of substance but I did not want the bouncy, 3 dimensional effect you get from some wadding materials.
The freehand quilting is just to provide some texture to the background. It is acting as a frame only. I could have used a 'square' shaped doodle, but chose the circles for simple contrast.
Then I stapled the fabric to the canvas (a commercially bought 60x80 canvas - I bought it via Great Art which does do some fantastic deals on art materials) using a staple gun - a bit of kit every quilt artist should possess.
Actually, this was quite tricky and I had to pull it tight and the quilting had distorted the fabric slightly. At the corners it was very tricky to get a neat finish - so don't look too hard. (If you recall, this background used hand dyed shirts courtesy the charity shop)
This is the first piece I have finished in this way (thanks to Hilary Beattie for the idea) and I like the result. I will probably use the idea again - certainly not as expensive as getting pieces professionally framed.