It's interesting to consider the different effects that the hand stitching has. The larger stitches, to me, are air; the smaller, tightly grouped stitches, the ground. To be honest, none of that occurred to me at the time; it wasn't until I found the flying angels, and the horse (elsewhere in the quilt), that I realised that this was a 'flying circus'; no reference to Monty Python at all...I'm not particularly fond of their humor.
I think it's really useful to look at parts of a piece of work, as well as the whole; it can inform you of what's really going on in the piece. I know I've found this particular exercise enlightening...I hope you do, too.