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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hand quilted linen table mats

I appliquéd and hand quilted these 10 inch linen table mats as gifts for my sister-in-law and two quilting friends in Vernon, all of whom I will be seeing on Thursday evening on our road trip to Alberta.

Painting en plein air

The Group of Several met this afternoon and painted at Flettville beach on the east side of Denman Island.
The painting group occupying a convenient log in the sunshine.

A beautiful low tide beach scene with a tide pool.

Looking at Hornby Island across Lambert Channel.

My paintings of the scenes.

My painting gear.

Quilting workshop with Barb Mortell: Half square triangles and colour values

Yesterday we had a great workshop with Barb Mortell. We learned how to make accurate half square triangles more than one at a time, and about the importance of value versus actual colour. And about glowing versus dull when working with the same values. Really interesting stuff!

This is what I produced. I know, I know - it does not look that impressive. That is because the grays are numbers 1 to 3 above, so that I was using neutrals of different values.  The purples are two mediums of which one is dull and one bright - number 4. I need to do the rest as "homework".

So it may not look like much, but I really learned a lot about making accurate half square triangles - add 1 1/4 inches to the finished size (thus for 2 inch finished, use 3 1/4 inch size), mark onto the lighter fabric in an oblong (not a square, tried it, does not work), draw a fish with diagonal lines, press together with second fabric right sides together, sew seams starting at tail of the fish - two continuous seams will do it. Cut apart, press, and then trim carefully. Lots of trimming is rather tedious, but it results in fabulous results.

List of links that Barb emailed to us after the class:

Hi,For those of you interested… here are some links to quilters making triangle quilts.
Cheers, Barb

Diamonds, lone star block



Bias strip method

another bias strip method

PDF, printable. Bias strip method, a little different than above.

Half Rectangles

Quarter Square triangles

Long leg triangles

Grandchildren visit coming up!

 Ooooo I have so much fun making things for the grandchildren. We are heading out tomorrow for a visit, and I made animal costumes, that is a cape and a mask for each of them, of a zebra and a leopard. I used these patterns:
For the capes   http://threadridinghood.com/wordpress/made-by-me-monday-super-hero-cape-pattern-tutorial/
And for the masks  http://slowmama.com/arts-crafts/diy-kids-felt-superhero-masks/

Then I decided that they each needed a stuffie of the animal in question, so I made those. I used these patterns:
For the leopard  http://dollmaker.nunodoll.com/plushie/leopard.html
And for the zebra  . . . eek, no matter how I search I cannot find the link. Luckily I printed out the pattern.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A FART in Comox, and some painting

I went on a  FART, aka Fabric Acquisition Road Trip, to Courtenay and Comox yesterday with a couple of quilting group friends. We had a really delicious lunch at the Locals restaurant at The Old House. Then on to the Needleloft to buy embroidery threads, Fabricland for soft figure stuffing, and Huckleberry fabrics.
And earlier in the week I did some watercolour painting. This red-flowering currant is rather pretty. I will add a background wash finish the painting.

Fabrics, embroidery thread, a Frixion pen and some needles.

A sprig of red-flowering currant from the front yard of the Arts Centre.

My painting. I mainly used a stippling brush. Needs a background wash. This one is a keeper!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Finally some knitting

I have almost completely stopped knitting as my left shoulder does not like it. But I have a few projects on the go that I would like to complete.
Ta da, I finished these socks today. Yarn is Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock yarn, and the pattern is the basic gusset sock pattern from Wendy Johnson's Socks From the Toes Up. I used the figure eight cast-on and the sewn bind-off. Knit on 64 stitches on a 2.25 Addi circular lace needle. I am wearing the socks now - sweet.

I started adding the white path to my hexagon quilt. Oh, oh - is the white just, I don't know, too white? Maybe I should have gone with light grey, which I was contemplating, or cream - or even a small pale pattern? However, I will do more and see what the total effect is. Most of the "modern" quilts use lots of white as a background and I like that look, so will persevere.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Using up scraps for sewing studio accessories and a really, really ugly quilt

I finished machine quilting and binding the quilt that I made from Christmas scraps that were hanging around the studio after the Christmas Craft Faire activity. Is it the ugliest quilt that I have ever made? Possibly! Because of the bird patterned fabrics, which are more obvious on the back of the quilt (and that photo was a disaster, thus not shown here) I have named it Christmas Birds.
I think that I had the better creative experience making the label. I used a bird stamp that I got from Maiwa last month - it is a metal stamp designed to be used with wax but I used it with a Versafine ink pad. Then I coloured it with Sharpie markers. The markers bled into the muslin fabric, so then I outlined it again with a Dritz fabric marking pen. Kind of fun :-)

The ugly quilt. 

Label for the ugly quilt.
And I keep making hexagons for a quilt - that is just sooo much fun. I bought some white fabric today for the path between the hxagon flowers. I know that making white hexies is going to be extremely boring, but although I tried to convince myself that some patterned grey fabrics in my stash would work, putting them up on my design wall showed very clearly that that a light neutral is needed to highlight the hexagon flowers.
Hexagon flowers awaiting their path.
And, following on the success of my scrap sewing machine cover, I made a pad for my sewing chair. Extras from my hexagon projects to make the fabric, and a double layer of scraps of batting to give it some oomph. Comfortable and pretty!

My sewing chair pad.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hexagons and rabbit dolls

I made two rabbit dolls for some little friends who will be moving away from the island soon.
And I have been making lots of hexagons, and spring is here.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

OMG, I finished the last Soupçon Part 5 border - block number 9!

Hurray, I finished my last Part 5 block. And I figured that I had better pony up and learn the technique for foundation paper piecing those wee little 1/2 inch hexagon stars. Here is Karen's post on how to make the hexagon stars.

My last block done to Part 5! Note my hexagon stars in the corners and the centre of each side. Once I learned the technique I had to run with it.

Soupçon part 5, second to last block done

Wow, I am getting there. This is my second to last Soupçon block part 5.

Blue and gold, with mostly appliquéd fussy cut diamonds in the part 5 border.

Corner detail.

Border detail.