Drafting Albert Hofmann’s Obit

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.

This is the cover of the issue that my article about MIcrofil is in. It is the December 2010 issue.

This is the cover of the issue that my article about Micro-texture is in. It is the December 2010 issue.

Here is what the article looked like. I had to make the sample over and over again completing the work to various stages so that the photographer could capture the quilt a different places int he design process.

Here is what the article looked like. I had to make the sample over and over again completing the work to various stages so that the photographer could capture the quilt at different places in the design process.

The article was more about how I designed the quilt than about how I stitched the quilt. The class Micro Texture Quilting is about how to stitch the quilt.

The article was more about how I designed the quilt than about how I stitched the quilt.That is a story for a future post.

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.

Drafting Albert Hofmann's ObitThen I used a bunch of different sized bowls and flexible dressmaker curves to draw my curvy lines.

Drafting the DesignOnce my lines were where I wanted them, I outlined them with a Sharpie.

Darkening the Design Lines with a SharpieThen 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.

The Tripp colored sketchI transferred this “map” onto tissue paper–any kind that doesn’t rip super easily will do.

Creating the tissue paper map for Albert Hofmann's ObitAt this point, I used my colored map to color code my tissue paper map.

Tissue paper mapI 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.

Tissue Paper map of Albert Hoffman's Obit after stitching.Once each shape was outlined with the right color, I then known what color to fill it with.

IMG_3025As 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.

This entry was published on February 12, 2013 at 1:07 PM. It’s filed under My Process-Quilts and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

14 thoughts on “Drafting Albert Hofmann’s Obit

  1. That’s an amazing quilting design, I don’t want to try & guess how many hours went into it though!

  2. I really enjoyed seeing your process for this gorgeous quilt. The stitching is a knock-out! Congratulations on the excellent article.

  3. marginmirror on said:

    And the thread! Miles of it! Long arm?

    • Yes, I did this on my quilt on my Gammill Classic Plus. For the thread work, I used Aurifil 28 wt cotton thread. Yes, miles and miles of thread. I hope to do another post about the thread and stitch work. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for sharing your process! It is gorgeous and I can’t even imagine the hours and hours of quilting you did to make it!

  5. WOW!! Your quilting is absolutely stunning, how beautiful. Very INSPIRING indeed.

  6. mariashell on said:

    Thank you Lisa for taking the time to comment and look. There is a zen aspect to all the hours spent quilting after a while you do get into the zone.

  7. Excellent ! thank you for sharing this quilt.

  8. Pingback: National Fiber Directions | Maria Shell

  9. Stunning! I just saw a picture of the quilt in a book and had to see if there were any more like it. I loved seeing your process and the way it came about as the back of another quilt. I’m not a good freemotion quilter but this has definitely inspired me to get better.

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