About Me

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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, June 30, 2012

Rose Garden Quilt

Ta da! Finished! Hurrah! I have been working on this quilt, off and on, for more than 5 years.

My Rose Garden Quilt airing on the deck railing.
I started this quilt when I knew less about quilting than I do now, and at that time I was committed to making quilts entirely by hand. The nine-patch square-in-a-square pattern that I found somewhere and photocopied is called Canadian Flower Garden. I made it in colours that I love, intense cool pinks and glaucous greens, without naturally, enough fabric at the start to make all the squares. I kept looking for more fabrics that would work, and sewed all those small squares and larger triangles by hand.
Then I unpicked a whole lot of squares that did not work, resewed them, and finally put the whole thing together, again by hand. It took a while before I pieced the backing and basted the quilt sandwich together with an all cotton batting. I hand quilted in the ditch along all the diagonal lines where the larger squares joined, then I bound the quilt, as I find it much easier to do hand quilting when a quilt is bound.
By this time I understood where hand sewing made a difference and where it did not, so I seamed the binding on by machine, but hemmed it to the back by hand. Then I began the process of quilting the 3 flower shaped motifs in each block.  I used a template cut out of sturdy sandpaper and traced around it with a variety of markers. I started out with a 5mm mechanical pencil, but it dragged on the fabric and did not show on the darker fabrics. I read about using Crayola washable markers in a quilting magazine, so I tried them. They are much cheaper than the washable blue marking pens that quilters use, and they made a nice definite line. But the lines were so definite, that I became timid that given my slow work rate, they would not after all wash out. So I switched finally to quilting blue pen as by that time I was working on the lighter coloured end of the quilt.
This afternoon I put in the last hand stitches, then put the quilt into the washing machine with normal detergent and a delicate warm wash/cold rinse cycle. Wow - all those markings washed out perfectly. I will watch over the next year to see if any shadows appear, but right now I would say that Crayola washable markers are a great product for marking quilts.
The quilt back.

The quilt back again.

Hand quilting detail.

The binding was cut on the bias to made a nice effect with the striped fabric. The same fabric is the main part of the backing.

Hand quilting detail.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Knitting Backlog - Ten Projects

Usually I don't want to know how many knitting projects that I have on the go at any one time. Yesterday morning I decided to sort out all my knitting bags and organize my projects, only to discover that, gulp, I have ten (10) in the works, on the the needles, or however you want to phrase it. I definitely am not starting another project until I finish at least a couple of these!
 Malabrigo lace weight yarn, Corkscrew scarf pattern from Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop.
Eidos yarn, toe-up socks for J., my own pattern.

Adriafil Genziana yarn, Marion Foale's Tennis cardigan.

Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester yarn, colour Mermaid. Pattern is Hannah Fettig's Featherweight cardigan.

Handmaiden fine Yarn Casbah Sock, pattern Mona by Cookie A.

Cascade 220 yarn, Round Trip cardigan.

Chat Botte mohair, another Corkscrew scarf.

Gusset experiment socks (not very successful).

Confetti sock yarn, toe-up pattern of my own devising.

Five part socks, thick and dense for slippers.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Quilting Group Potluck Lunch

Each June our quilting group ends the season with a potluck lunch. We do some "show and tell"  and then we eat and visit.

Our quilting group - many members missing, but these are the folks who made it to the June 2012 lunch.

My "quilt in a box" from 2010/2011. Eleven quilters made 12 1/2 inch squares using my provided grey and white fabrics, and adding their own fabrics as desired. The red fabrics really made it all work! Then I did a twelfth square and put it all together with sashing and borders. I had a lot of fun with this, and loved making the mini-squares in the sashing and the border, where I used up little scraps. I call it my Newspaper Quilt, because it is 'black and white and red (read) all over".
The back of the Newspaper Quilt was pieced from black, red and grey fabrics. A fellow quilter says that she likes it enough to have it be the front of a quilt.

My Marble Mosaic Quilt will be a birthday gift for a very special friend.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fabric Fruit

I love Japanese craft books. I bought Patchwork Quilt for Interior a few years ago in San Francisco at Kinokuniya Book Stores

1581 Webster Street, San Francisco, CA, United States
+1 415-567-7625 ‎ · kinokuniya.com.

Book cover.

Fabric apples.
I made fabric pears and apples from the book's instructions, which are easy to follow although I do not read Japanese, as there are clear schematics, templates and measurements in metric.

A fabric fruit basket.


I try to make bread from time to time, and do not always have success. Yesterday it all worked out just fine.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

More June Flowers

Sunshine is rare these days and the birds pecked out the seeds and shoots of my snap peas, but the garden is lovely all the same.
Sugar Ann snap peas uprooted by birds (the wire was to protect from the deer, but they were not the culprits).

Rosa glauca, R. rubrifolia, Redleaf Rose.

Pseudacorus, Yellow Flag Iris.

Lavandula stoechas, French or Spanish Lavender.

Nectaroscordum bulgaricum

Allium schubertii
Echeveria glauca, Blue Hens and Chicks

Rosa nutkana, Nootka Rose, Wild rose

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Eidos Sock

I spent the weekend in Vancouver at a wonderful friend's wonderful 80th birthday celebrations with all of her wonderful family and friends - all wonderful! When I wasn't doing wonderful things, I would slip off for some quiet time listening to Neal Stephenson's Cryptomonicon, an Audible downloaded audio book, on my iPhone and knitting with my wonderful Eidos sock yarn that is part of my Sock Summit stash. I decided to make a pair of straight forward toe-up, 4x4 ribbed, short-row heel socks for J. I would do one sock completely and keep the other half completed as an example for my Knitting Toe-Up Socks workshop at the October Creative Threads Conspiracy.
Well I just kept on knitting on the foot forgetting about the gusset. I started turning the heel and realized, whoops, I need to do the gusset. But, but, but - I did not frog back to where I should have started the gusset - too distracted by the wonderful imaginative world of Cryptomonicon I suppose. So I carried on regardless until last evening when I said to J., "Please slip these socks on your feet so I can check the length - they look rather long ...." - and indeed, I had knitted a flipper. See below. It will be frogged back and re-knit to the proper length. Lovely yarn to knit with, so no worries. And J. has ordered (well, I ordered with his charge card) a Signature circular needle for my upcoming birthday, so nothing is too much trouble for such a thoughtful man!

Grandchildren, great grandchildren, and friends of my wonderful friend at her 80th birthday party.

The flipper sock before being frogged and reduced in length to the reality of J.'s foot.