An Open Book

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So I am a fan of the band Blue October and have been for years.  It started as a bit of an accident.  I had gone to a show with a friend to see another band I like and Blue October was the co-headliner. I was drawn to the music and the lyrics and have continued to follow them over the last 10-11 years seeing them in concert every time they either play in NYC or in London and on a few occasions in San Francisco while we were on vacation.

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This year the lead singer, Justin Furstenfeld released an acoustic album of his songs and was touring the UK and Germany. “Open Book” is a mix of Justin singing and talking about his life.  The good, the bad and the ugly.

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As I follow them on Twitter and Facebook I noticed this cool image that Justin posted before the album was released. I thought it would make a cool quilt.  As some of you know I have been making these pixelated portraits as of late.  I plotted out my image and began to figure out what to use for the black and greys.

Then it hit me, I have some older tour t-shirts that I don’t wear as much as I used to and placed them out to see if I had enough to do what I needed.

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After pressing the shirts flat I started to cut them up.  As they are not quilting cotton I had to interface the back side of the shirts to keep the edges from rolling and fraying.

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Once all the shirts were prepped I figured out the size I was going to cut them up into. After some quick calculations I thought my best best would be 2″ squares ending up with a 1.5″ finished square.

Let the cutting begin!!

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I carefully chopped up the fronts and backs of the shirts into tiny little squares and separated them into color. Most of the squares were black but on some of the shirts I used the printed silkscreen image as varying shades of grey.

Now on some of the other quilts I just gridded up the entire project into 5×5 or 6×6 sections and pieced them together normally.  They were bigger squares and quilting cotton.  Since we were using smaller squares and t-shirts I opted for the fuse and sew method I have seen demonstrated by Oh Frannson! Off we went.

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After a few days of careful planning while Haydn was sleeping I had a finished portrait of Justin.

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Will get to the actual quilting soon.  When I saw Justin in October I mentioned I had made this and offered it to him.  The full band will be back in February so I will plan on getting it to him then.

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