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, September 30, 2014

Doll making

I am becoming intrigued by doll making. Here is an attempt at embroidering a face. I think it is not too bad for a first attempt. It lets me know how I need to proceed.

My trial embroidered face.

I am working on a scrap of felt to try out creating a face before I work on my actual doll.

The book recommends painting the face, but that does not appeal to me. I am using the template from the book as the basis for my embroidery.

This is the book that I am using. Excellent!

Heres is the pattern for the wool felt doll.

Watercolour in progress

I have been trying to draw every day, inspired by Laura Kemshall, see the Daily Drawing page on the right side bar. It is giving me confidence to draw. I have always felt disappointed by my lack of drawing ability, and actually felt that my brain hurt when I tried to draw. But I am learning to relax and let it happen.

Today I returned to my watercolour painting group after our summer break. I drew a Big Leaf Maple leaf, and Lina helped me to paint it. It is still in progress, and awaits more advice from Linda next Tuesday.

The real leaf and my drawing and partial painting. So pretty!!

Dragonfly wearable art at the Comox Valley Art Gallery

Members' show, "By a Thread", at the CVAG.

My wearable art piece, "Dragonfly", is hanging in the front window. The window glass is a problem, very reflective, so hard to see what is on display.

Dragonfly as photographed through the CVAG window. It is only visible through the window, not inside the gallery.

Hare to read my name label!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sewing for myself

I am intrigued with the "me made" posts on the blogosphere. I bought a few patterns and some fabric at Fabricland, washed the fabrics, took my measurements for the first time since I stopped sewing clothing about 10 years ago (eek, time is not kind) and had a go. 
This Burda pattern is well drafted with nice European design details. I made it in a firm linen/cotton mix.  I made my usual pattern adjustments of tracing up two sizes from bust line to hip line, and lowering and shortening the bust dart an inch each way. The fit is quite good.  With the wider hip and the stiff fabric, the hip godet detail stands away from the body. Kind of cute but I may omit it on a remake. 
I omitted the front neck opening and the top slips easily over my head. I may take 1/2 inch off the shoulder seams as the armscye is too large so the sleeves bind and the neck fit is sloppy, for my next make of this pattern. But then I have to make sure the sleeves will fit, lower the bust dart - it will be a project. 
See the interesting back dart in the photos below. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Hexagon Quilt

A quilt that I made for the Vancouver Hospice, with appliquéd hexagons.

New cover for my serger

I used scraps to make a piece of fabric, then cut it up to make a dust cover for my serger.

For a friend

A simple table runner. Hand quilting with #12 perle cotton around the motifs on this printed linen. Backed and bound with linen.

Detail of the hand quilting.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Grape Arbour Wall Quilt

My "Grape Arbour" wall quilt is on display for the month of September, above the potato bin at the Denman Island General Store. I am thrilled!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Linen apron

I have been wanting a linen apron for years and this weekend I decided to make one. I had made up the Simplicity pattern before in size medium, and it was huge. After trolling the internet looking up Japanese wrap over linen aprons, I decided this was still the best pattern.
So, I cut it out in size small and carried on. Construction modifications: french seams on the sides and shoulder, and the bias binding is double fold of a 2" strip. On the pockets, the binding was seamed on the wrong side, folded to right side and top stitched. The outer edge of the apron is one marvellous long mobius strip, quite the most wonderful thing. I seamed the binding to the wrong side, then folded it over on the seam line (which I sewed at 1/4") to the right side and top stitched. This made the shoulder seams slightly narrower, which I wanted, and made a lovely clean finish.
I love this lovely apron and highly recommend this pattern.

Dear Jane quilt variation

In January 2014 I suggested a challenge to our local quilt group, to do a Dear Jane quilt of their own interpretation
No one but me ended up doing it, and even I lost interest after doing a few block variations. I finished the project by appliquéing hexagons to my 4.5" white squares in order to make up enough blocks. So every block is not a different design, and there a few fabric repetitions in the hexagons as well. But the final result is still pretty.
I am going to donate this quilt to the Vancouver Hospice, a wonderful hospice where a dear friend died earlier this year.

The completed quilt.
I decided to make it lap quilt size (yes, I really was running out of interest in this project). I used a cheerful fabric for the backing and machine quilted it. I used a free motion pattern of a flower in each square and curlicues in the sashing. After washing and machine drying, the quilting does not really show up, so that is a lesson not to be too detailed with machine quilting in this kind of project.

Detail of a block made when I was still full of enthusiasm for this project. I appliquéd and embroidered these leaves. I did a variation on my usual free motion flower, and added a cobweb which I like to include in every one of my quilts.

The quilt backing.