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.