The other day, I wrote about Family Plaid and my experiment with the back of that quilt.
Well, I liked what happened and decided that YES. I would make a whole cloth quilt (aka Albert Hofmann’s Obit) based on the back of Family Plaid. How to do that was the big question.
I had taken a couple of whole cloth design classes at the International Machine Quilters Association, Inc conference called Machine Quilters Showcase when it was held in Overland Park, Kansas. At that time (circa 2007), most classes focused on transferring the quilting design by marking on the quilt. I really don’t like doing that. I have found that any time I have to make all of my design decisions up front, I get bored and don’t finish the project. I like to make decisions as I go. Plus, I find marking a quilt top to be a very tedious job.
I am not sure my method is any faster or any more fun than marking a quilt top, but it worked for me. In full disclosure, I should say these photos are all from the making of a mini-version of Albert Hofmann’s Obit called the The Trip. The Trip was made to illustrate an article I wrote about this technique for The Quilt Life Magazine.
First, I created a life size drawing of my quilt. I used butcher paper, but any large sheets of paper will do. If you want your coloring to be pretty, use actual sketch paper instead of butcher paper. I made the paper larger by using drafting tape. Drafting tape is very cool for taping pattern pieces together because you can iron it, and it won’t melt.
Then I used a bunch of different sized bowls and flexible dressmaker curves to draw my curvy lines.
Once my lines were where I wanted them, I outlined them with a Sharpie.
Then I colored the spaces in. Just like with Family Plaid, I used my favorite eight colors- pink, red, orange, yellow, green,turquoise, and blue. Yes, this took awhile.
I transferred this “map” onto tissue paper–any kind that doesn’t rip super easily will do.
At this point, I used my colored map to color code my tissue paper map.
I then loaded the quilt onto my longarm. When I made Family Plaid, I wanted to see what all this stitch work would look like on plain black fabric. This time, I wanted to see what a pieced back made out of several different shades of blue might look like. For the top, I used black again.
I used a spray adhesive to attach my tissue paper pattern to the top of my quilt.
I then stitched around each marked shape using the color of thread indicated by the map. As I stitched the tissue paper ripped–this is okay, we want it to detach from the surface of the quilt.
Once each shape was outlined with the right color, I then known what color to fill it with.
As you can probably imagine, Albert Hofmann’s obit took who knows how many hours to stitch. It is probably my most award winning quilt. You can see the complete list of awards on my website. I’ve always wanted to work more with this method of drafting a whole cloth design, but I have been on a piecing tangent for several years now. Soon though, you will see more of this.
So, that is the story of how to draft a whole cloth quilt using tissue paper as your pattern. Someday soon, I will share how to create each of the micro-textures used in the piece.
I shared this post on Nina Marie’s blog as part of Off the Wall Fridays. It’s a great place to check out what other fiber artists from around the world have been doing this week.