I picked one of the 5 backgrounds that I have prepared and now I'm quilting it, covering the entire surface with background stitching. When that's finished, I'll start adding focus interest and stuff. I like using this grid pattern and worked out a method to get straight lines with the free motion foot and a ruler held along the side of the foot that guides it. Worked pretty well as long as I didn't try to make any grids larger than about 6" x 6". I varied the grid spacing: 1 inch and 1/2 inch, and used different weights of thread. After doing about a dozen of these grids, it just looked too rigid. With all the lines nearly perfectly straight, it just seemed that there was no soul to the stitching. So I went back to free motion stitching and letting the line wander a bit. I'm using different thread weights and different sized grids, with different sized spacing in the grids.
Shortly after I started this I decided that my thread box needed a greater variety of one particular type thread: Superior Threads King Tut machine quilting thread. They describe it as a Low-lint #40/3 extra-long staple Egyptian cotton. It's heavier than the 40wt rayon thread I often use, so the line is a little more obvious. Anyhow, I'm waiting for the approximately 20 spools that I ordered last week. It's getting to the point where I'm going to need more thread drawers.
Goals: Been keeping track of the hours spent on art time. For the past 4 weeks I've spent a total of 32, 25, 40, and 39 hours each week. The amount of art (vs business) has been 21, 10.5, 25, and 23, so 54% of my time has been on art. That's discouraging that business is taking up so much time. Thinking back, what I've done that I've counted as business includes several meetings, hanging a show, giving a lecture, drive to deliver art, prepare show entries, visit a venue, photograph work, and bookkeeping. There don't seem to be many days that are devoted solely to art work. And I didn't spend much time on surface design, only about 4.5 hours total. Gotta work on that.