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.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Linen placemats in progress

I love linen for table things, well,  I guess they are "table linens" . . .

I am appliquéing octagons of printed fabric to some beautiful natural linen for a set of placemats. I am looking forward to doing some really interesting free motion machine quilting on all the negative space. I was inspired by Angela Walters' lecture at QuiltCon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Work in progress Wednesday: EPP

Funny thing - I came home from the very exciting and inspirational QuiltCon, that is the Modern Quilting Guild Conference, which is all about improvisational quilt design - and when I got back to my lovely studio, what did I pick up to work on but my several in progress English Paper Piecing projects. Go figure.

I am still in love with improvisational quilting, and I know that I will do lots more of it, but somehow the precision of EPP really appeals to me right now. And I think that I actually use EPP in an improvisational manner, so there you go :-)

This collection of rosettes made from 1/2 inch hexagons is mostly left over from my "Garden Anticipation" collection of medallion wall quilts. I am just putting them together randomly with no plan in mind. Now THAT is improvisation!
The swag bag from the QuiltCon registration desk included a number of 2 inch sample fabric squares. Perfect to use with the 1 inch hexagon papers that I bought in the exhibit hall at the Stitch Lab booth. I made these last evening while listening to the last of my audiobook, "The Magician King" by Lev Grossman. Again, I have not plan in mind for them. Right now, they just are there, waiting for inspiration.
This part of the Grandmother's Garden quilt that I am making for Katie. The top is almost finished. I worked on it today. Just a few more rosettes and pathways to add, then some kind of border to make it larger.

These are octagons. They are mostly made from the interesting fabric samples that I ordered from Fingerprint. The solid green is stamped by me. I am appliquéing them to this lovely natural linen for a set of placemats for myself.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Houses quilt project

The Denman Community Land Trust Association is working for affordable housing on Denman Island.
I helped with fundraising for them in 2014 by making two stuffed roosters, as "early birds" for ticket sales for the Phantom Ball.

I offered to make the organization a quilt that can be used for fundraising. It seems natural to make a houses quilt. Here are my first set of blocks. They will be divided with sashing, etc. - this is only the start. I completed these blocks before I left for QuiltCon. Now I am looking forward to more of this project.

My initial set of house blocks. I see that there is a lot of blue!

Home from QuiltCon

I got home today from QuiltCon. Air travel is discombobulating! In the morning on Sunday I was in Austin, Texas with warm cloudy weather with rain drops falling on the palm trees. By mid afternoon I was in Minneapolis where it was -19 C - brrrrr, but the sun coming in through the huge panes of glass in the airport was so bright and cheerful. At 7:30 at night I was trundling my suitcase along the sidewalk in downtown Vancouver to catch the city bus to my friend's house. And then this morning in brilliant sunshine, with crocuses and daffodils in bloom, I caught the ferry home.

For three mornings I walked across the bridge over the Colorado River to the Austin Convention Center.

Another view of the Colorado River in the morning.

The Lions Gate Bridge and Vancouver harbour, at 7:30 this morning as I left my friend's house to catch the ferry home.

On Saturday I was the volunteer assistant for Sherri Lynn Wood's workshop on improvisational piecing.

On Saturday night, which was the end of the conference for me, I painted this journal entry.

Friday, February 13, 2015

More journal paintings for LaFazio online course

I love Lesson 1 of Jane LaFazio's online course, so I did 3 more paintings this week.

Sketching and Watercolor in a Mixed Media Journal ~ February 2015.

This one is my personal favourite.

Friday, February 6, 2015

New online art course begins today! Pink Spotted Hellebore painting.

Hurrah, today is lesson 1 of Jane LaFazio's intermediate class Sketching and Watercolor in a Mixed Media Journal.
Assignment: Select something from nature that is relatively complex and interesting to you. You are going to draw different parts of it, and from different views, then if you’d like, play with creating some stylized images based on the realistic ones. There’s no right or wrong, make this lesson your own and take some time for creative play.

I chose an early blooming hellebore from the front garden. I love doing these assignments because I have to really, truly LOOK at what I am drawing. I saw so much in this blossom that I had not realized was there. Then I looked it up online, and found these fabulous web sites
where I found much of the information that I noted on my drawing.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

"Garden Anticipation" quilted art show at the local Community Activity Centre

I finally finished the series of nine medallion art quilts that I made as part of Karen H.'s Soupçon quilt along on her blog Faeries and Fibres.

I did not make the final foundation paper pieced borders as I thought that it would make the quilts too large, and frankly, I have a hard time with foundation paper piecing. In the spirit of the quilt along, that means that I should have done it, to raise my comfort level. However, not. Instead I did a lot of embroidery and hand quilting, and in one case beading, that I really enjoyed. It was hard to stop embellishing. Each quilt has an embroidered cobweb motif as a signature.

The local Community Activity Centre has a nice lounge area where local artists may hang art. Annie Siegel has had her art hanging for a few months, so it was time for a change and I am lucky to have my quilts hanging in the lounge while Jenny is running the Kaffee Klatsch there three days a week.

I am calling the show "Garden Anticipation".

"Pansy Garden"


"Blue Leaves"




"Night Garden"

"Grape Arbour"

"Rose Campion"

Quilts on display in the lounge.

A quilt on each side of the serving window.

Quilts near the coffee and water dispensers.