I'm finally working on the thread painting of the image. I'm using 7 shades of gold and brown, they are not exactly the same as the image, but I can change them a little with ink.
Quilting a project like this, I generally start one side and move to the other, changing the threads as I go.
I do it this way to prevent puckering... there's a small amount, but I've pressed the quilt once during the process. It seems to stabilize the stitching and ease out any puckering. It's tempting to stitch like colors at once and then go on to the next color, experience says that you get a smoother effect doing it color progressively.
Once all the colors are down I will add highlights with either a lighter or darker thread, just as I would as if I was drawing.
I'm changing the direction of the stitching to follow the contours of the facial image.
I'm using 50 weight masterpiece superior thread and 50 weight Aurifil thread... the Aurifil is thicker than the Superior 50 weight thread... both are 2 ply so it's interesting.
I generally change the bobbin at the same time as I change the top thread. (but not always) so you don't see as much definition on the back of the quilt.
I've chosen not to use a hoop, it is cumbersome and to be honest I think it stretches the quilt. I may b wrong, but I just like hands on....