I put in three more hours of stitching on the tree trunks and think I am done with the thread painting. I seemed to be "in the zone" today, and finishing up the moss had a hypnotic quality to it, just circled away without much thought. I felt I was finally getting the hang of it, having learned not to keep such a straight "line" and leaving some holes. I don't think it shows well in the picture, but I used three values of green, working the middle value in to soften the starkness of the very darkest. The very light minty green is the threadlace lichen - I've just placed them on here as they probably will be attached after the quilting.
Kimberly wanted to see a larger view of this piece, so here it is - first before the thread stitching:
And after as it looks today, the jpg cropped to way I think I will trim it in real life, although I have to admit, I really like that tight shot up top. Still haven't quite decided how I will shape and place that overlay of willow leaves on sheer:
Annabelle praised me for my patience, but I think it was more my stubbornness that kept me going. My feelings about this have been up and down throughout the process and I've had to take major breaks from it, both to reassess where I was headed and to gather up my resolve to tackle it again. Looking at the before and after pictures, it's easy to see that the threadpainting transformed a flat plain piece of fabric into tree trunks. But during the process, the progress was slow to come and not easy to see. Couple that with the fact that what was happening on the cloth was not what I'd envisioned in my mind, and you can see why I despaired along the way, wondering if the effect I was going for was really happening.
Once I accepted the fact that it wasn't going to look like my original concept, but still looked like tree trunks, I could better judge my results. All of you who commented with thumbs up at how it was developing certainly helped me reach that point. Once again, I learned that I must see and judge my work for what it is and not for what I hoped or envisioned it would be.