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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quilting Colour Class #5 Finale: Red Birds Quilt

Quilt detail illustrating the three dimensional effect of hand quilting the wool batting. You see it best on the central maroon red square.

The last project in our quilting group's series of colour classes, based on Gai Perry's book, was to create a nine patch variation quilt with the colours inspired by a border fabric. I loved this project as I did all the previous ones, and am pleased with my quilt.

I have experimented with technique in addition to colour theory when making these projects. In this case, I used a wool batting instead of my usual natural cotton. The wool batting has lots of natural volume which gives the hand quilting a three dimensional, almost trapunto effect. I did not think that machine quilting would work because of all the movement associated with the high loft, so I hand quilted using perle cotton #12. Wool batting is lovely, light and warm, and is a dream to hand quilt - much easier than cotton batting which creates friction around the needle and becomes tiring to push through.

I love the trapunto effect, and decided to quilt around the birds in the border fabric as an experiment - which may not be entirely successful, but it is a chance to try these things out on a small piece of work. Here is my Red Birds Quilt.
 The complete quilt hanging on my design wall.

 Bottom left corner detail.

 Detail of nine patch squares.

 Detail of hand quilting around the birds and nests in the border, using perle cotton #12.

1 comment:

  1. I just wrote a long comment about my delight in reading your observations about wool batting and now I've lost it somehow. But thank you -- I'm about to put a blue and yellow star quilt together for a son who has just moved to Edmonton and the idea of wool batting makes sense. I love how hand-quilting emphasizes texture -- both for the look of the finished quilt and also (more important, maybe) for the feel of it in my hands as I work.
    With good wishes, and thanks for all the lovely descriptions of your projects,
    Theresa Kishkan