Friday, May 06, 2011

Back from the Ranch


So remember I told you that I had to use that cowboy fabric in a challenge quilt for my ranch retreat?  Well, here's what I did.  

I started thinking about how, at the Bishop's Ranch site of our retreat, our group is known as the "Ranch Hands."  And that led me to think about what a cowboy would expect if he heard that the female ranch hands were putting on a show, which led me to suspect that he would NOT show up for a quilt show.  So I settled on the idea of putting a confused (and disappointed!) cowboy in the middle of one our show-and-tell shows.

Over the years at ranch retreats, I've taken tons of pictures during our show and tell.  I started working with photos in Photoshop, to scale my friends up to a size that would work in proportion to that rather large cowboy.  Once I had the images scaled, I printed them onto fabric with my inkjet printer.  I still find my inkjet printing results to be pretty muted in color no matter how I boost the saturation before I print, so I took Tsukineko inks to paint fresher, brighter colors onto everyone.  That cowboy is pretty garish (not to mention, ORANGE) so I was trying to make the colors a bit more compatible with his tones.

Then I fused everyone into position -- arranging the quilt show was the most fun part, I think -- and then stitched it all down with monofilament thread.  And yes, I put myself in it:


That's me, holding up the black and white quilt.

I even fired up the embroidery part of my machine and figured out how to add the caption, which reads "Tex heard that the ladies at the ranch were putting on a show... but this wasn't what he imagined."

The quilt was a big hit when we revealed our challenge quilts -- but I'm most pleased that I've created a wonderful souvenir of my great friends and fun times at the retreat.

10 comments:

Gerrie said...

What fun to see some faces I recognize!!

Kristin L said...

That is hysterical! What a fun idea! I can't imagine it NOT being a huge hit. Well done.

Gari said...

What a great way to use that fabric. I made a quilt with the cowboys, and appliqued them, too, but mine isn't as unique as yours.

Terri Stegmiller said...

I really thought I was looking at a photograph when I first saw this quilt. I didn't even notice the cowboy until you mentioned him. LOL! FAbulous!

Sleen said...

Pure genius! I love it--bravo!!!

mskathk said...

I am sooo impressed!

Terry said...

Oh, that is so funny. This will make you smile every time you look at it!

QuiltingFitzy said...

Absolutely fabulous! What a great memory piece that you will enjoy for years to come.

Angie said...

You and "Tex" did good Diane! This is such a memorable piece. I hope you bring it in the Fall so we can look at it again. It's truly wonderful. Pictures don't do it justice. So unique! I ordered my Twelve by Twelve. Can't wait to read it from cover to cover. Helen via Skype was so much fun too. And the Jelly Roll race was so much awesome! Thank you for making our retreat even more special!

Vicki said...

Now that is thinking outside the square, diane