I used a computer program to draft the pattern.
Colour selection was done by cutting samples of my fabrics (I bought over 250 0.2m samples) and scanning them into my computer. I saved each swatch as a .jpg photo, and then used my rendering program and the folder full of fabric swatches to create the pattern based on the original photo.
This is the original photo I used as my source:
Once the pattern was generated, I used photoshop to draw a simple grid. I chose blocks of 12 x 16 squares sort of arbitrarily because that was what fit my table space and was in easy reach.
When I completely arranged a block, I folded them over in columns, right over left, and then stacked them and tucked the stacks into envelopes.
I finished creating all of my envolopes labelled (C1R1, C1R2 Column1Row3, etc) before I started sewing.
I sewed my blocks by chaining them vertically, and then pressing them open individually. I actually completely burnt out my craft iron doing this. I guess it wasn't supposed to cover a year of near constant use.
Once they were chained vertically, I sewed them horizontally.
When all the blocks were made, I sewed them into pillars, which is why you can see vertical stripes in the picture.
I sewed the two sides together before I switched to the middle face and did the hand-stamping.
To do the hand stamping, I did all the wording in photoshop. I wanted to make this quilt special, so the quotes when read forward, are from the complete works of William Shakespeare. However, if you follow the green and blue colours, when read backwards, the quilt also has a secret message for those patient enough to read it. (Hint: It's not 'I love you Tom')
Once the wording was finalized, I bought several packages of sticker-paper for my printer. I printed off sections of my wording onto the sticker paper and cut + stuck them on teh appropriate squares. I used my pre-existing colour grid to help me with accuracy.
Stamping the quilt, just like every other part, was not so much difficult as just tedious. By stamping along one letter at a time, I didn't have to worry about spelling or grammar. I could just lift up the sticker and go A, A, A, A, B. B, B, B, C, C, C, etc until I had used all of my alphabet stamps.
(This was also helpful because it meant I didn't have to put my stamp down. The biggest waste of time was a stamp getting too full of fabric pigment to keep working, and I had to de-gum it with soap and water before I could continue)
Thank you all for all of your leads so far! I will do more research, and I have contacted a few museums to hear what they have to say about finishing the quilt.