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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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hexing along

I have made an enormous number of hexagons, in all sorts of sizes. It is addictive to sit on the sofa of an evening, listening to audiobooks (The Diamond Age, The Caine Mutiny, The Life of Elizabeth, The Mists of Avalon) while basting interesting fabrics to shaped papers.
However, then one has a pile of lovely hexagons, and what to do with them all?
I took my collection of 1 and 1/2 inch hexies and using my design board, arranged them into a carpet of flowers. Whipstitching them all together was a challenge, as I needed to work from the design board in order to keep the arrangement. It took a number of sessions, which I interspersed with machine quilting on my Midsummer Garden quilt. The two projects were good ones to alternate to keep my back from aching and my hands from cramping.
With the hexagon joining project completed, I had a piece about 30 inches square that I want to incorporate as a centre piece in a full size quilt.
After much cogitation, I decided to applique the centre piece of joined hexagons, still with papers intact, onto a lovely big square piece of silk and cotton in a neutral tawny colour. I left the background square intact for stability, and used 100 weight YLI silk thread - so fine!- for the appliquéing. It all went more quickly and easily than I thought. In two evenings of work (and many chapters of The Caine Mutiny) I was done.
The next step will be to cut away the background fabric from behind, and remove the papers. I plan to use the removed fabric in more of the quilt.

Here the hexies are on the design board and I am in the process of joining them together. 
Here is the centre panel appliqued onto the silk/cotton background fabric. This pic was taken at our end of the season potluck lunch.

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