About Me

My photo
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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Finishing my second Soupçon quilt

Beginning the hand quilting and embroidery on my 2nd Soupçon small quilt. This time using #12 perle cotton and again a wool batting.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Comox Valley Arts Council exhibition entry

Phew, another art entry. I think that this is my favourite piece so far: "Sailboat at Anchor in Baynes Sound" for the Comox Valley Airport Exhibition.

"Sailboat at Anchor in Baynes Sound"

Detail of "Sailboat at Anchor in Baynes Sound"

Surface Design Association Canada entry

I have submitted my entry for the Surface Design Association Canada travelling exhibition Edge of the Forest.
We will see if it is accepted.

"Cedar Forest" detail

"Cedar Forest"

Entering art exhibitions

"Grape Arbour", on of the Soupçon quilts.

Border detail of "Grape Arbour".

Centre detail of "Grape Arbour". Rock those French knots!

Corner detail of "Grape Arbour"/
I have decided to enter a number of art exhibitions.
First up is the art display wall at the local General Store, above the potato bin. I finished "Grape Arbour" yesterday, which is one of my Soupçon quilts. I added lots of French knots because that is my favourite embroidery stitch, and some beads for shine.

I FINALLY figured out how to photograph my quilts outside - I moved my foam core design board outside to the deck out of direct sunlight. Wow, did that ever take me a long time to figure out! As will be shown by subsequent photos, the quality is so much better with natural light.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Denman Island Artists' Studio Tour

This is the weekend of the Denman Island Artists' Studio Tour, and the Denman Quilters have a display in the Arts Centre grounds at the top of the ferry hill.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hand quilting a Soupçon wallhanging

I have been invited to be the featured artist on the art display wall at our local General Store in September.
The art display space is small, but eye catchingly placed above the fruit bins and the newspaper shelves.
I have been trying to decide what to put up there, and have decided to finish one of my Soupçon quilts. I have only finished this one to the end of Part 5. Part 6 is to make a border of foundation paper pieced diamonds. Although I intend to do the Part 6 border on some of my Soupçon quilts, it would make this one too large for the display space. So I have drawn some freehand embroidery designs with a Frixion pen, and on this rainy day I plan to hand quilt it with #8 perle cotton.

Blurry photo of the sandwiched and basted quilt, marked for quilting.

The colours of #8 perle cotton that I have chosen for the quilting.

A detail of my free hand drawn quilting design.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Landscape, or rather, seascape, wall quilt: construction details

I have been intrigued by the landscape quilts of Katie Pasquini Masopust. I bought two of her books, "Fractured Landscapes" and "Ghost Layers and Color Washes".

Earlier this week I took a photo from our deck of a sailboat in Baynes Sound. I took the picture in the early morning, facing west so the bright sun from the east illuminated the scene wonderfully. In iphoto I saturated the colours in the photo and upped the definition and contrast. I printed the photo as size 8" by 11", on matte photo paper, and then printed a black and white version so I could evaluate the contrast in values.

Although I used Masopust's books as inspiration, I did not want to use her machine appliqué technique. I like to piece my quilts and really cannot imagine fusing or raw edges. I traced the black and white photo to establish the major design lines, and measured the proportions, with calculations along the right hand side of my sketch.

I then took a piece of 24" by 34" newsprint, and by eye, enlarged the photo design 3 times, that is 300%, by copying the main structural lines.  I did measure the photo and my drawing to keep the proportions correct.

I  pulled fabrics and had a great time creating the water from angled strips of solid and printed azure blue fabrics, the treed hills from diamond pieced greens, the sky from nine-patches of blue, and the foreground beach from golds and browns. I put it all together with curved seams following my newsprint pattern master pattern, constantly consulting my two photos for colours and values.  I cut the large pattern as I progressed so that I could use it to cut the edges of the colour changes.

My final detail was to hand appliqué the sailboat in the centre of the picture using needle turn appliqué. I photocopied the sailboat from the black and white photo at 300%, and traced it onto freezer paper using my light box. Then I used the freezer paper pattern to cut white and red fabric shapes, copying the exact shape again to the right side with a Frixion pen (the ink disappears when ironed) to follow the correct shape on the right side as I needle turned my tiny shapes. I am particularly proud of my appliqué of that skinny mast!

In placing this defining element into my composition, I recalled the remarkable Constable exhibition that I saw at the Tate gallery in London about 8 years ago. In each of his magnificent paintings Constable placed a flash of white and red at the centre, and often a small dog. See "The Hay Wain" http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/john-constable-the-hay-wain
which has been called one of the greatest British paintings .

I have copied Constable here, or been inspired by him, and if I had only managed a small dog in my picture, well ! I have also tried for a Constable sky. Of course his paintings are 6 feet high and wide so he has the advantage of scale :-)

I am very pleased with my composition and am looking forward to its completion. I am going to use pure cotton batting, probably Warm and Natural, and I have a piece of rough raw linen for the backing. I have wonderful plans for machine quilting of the sky and water, and will hand stitch around my lovely sailboat. Such fun!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Binding the Tree Island quilt

Binding the Tree Island quilt with the same turquoise fabric that was used in the wide borders at each end of the quilt.

Binding finished on this portion of the quilt. Free motion quilting all finished in ocean related motifs.

Binding about half finished. The quilt backing is voile which make the quilt soft and flexible.