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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.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Salmon River" quilted project

I had a wonderful weekend at the Creative Threads Conspiracy. I took Wild at Heart Quilt Making with Barb Mortell.

Barb is a great teacher who gives her students permission to try all sorts of new techniques. I worked on improvisational curved piecing and insets. I was very pleased with my results and received lots of positive responses from my fellow class participants and colleagues in my quilting guild. The question from everyone was "what are you going to do with those 10 pieced with curved seams and insets?" My answer was "I have no idea as right now this is all about process".

Over the last few days, as I finished the inset piecing in the last blocks, I came to an answer. The curves in the blocks looked like water and the orange fabrics were the colour of salmon. I put them all together into one long construction with a dark centre to accentuate the curves. I am calling it Salmon River, or Salmon River Run.

Pieced and pin basted to the batting and backing.
Yesterday I finished putting it all together, curved the ends (not a single straight line in this piece), and pin basted it to cotton wadding and a backing fabric. As I fell asleep last night, I thought about stamping salmon images onto the central river.

I have a wonderful stylized Indian teak fish stamp that I purchased at Maiwa last year, and a sample pack of Jacquard fabric paints.

I auditioned a few colours and also some gold acrylic paint that I have used successfully in the past, but interestingly, only the orange fabric paint showed up on the dark shot cotton fabric of the "river".

As there are 5 blocks on each side, I stamped 5 orange salmon jumping up the river. The effect is subtle, but I think it works very well.

Now I am excited to begin machine quilting. I plan rocks and pebbles in the river, and rivulets in the inset pieces. First, though, I have to let the paint set overnight and heat set it tomorrow morning. Then I can begin the quilting.

More tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. I have two old Liberty wooden blocks that I would like to use. Love your fish.