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, October 28, 2016

Table runner complete

I started this table runner at Krista Hennebury's "Structured Improv" quilting workshop at the Creative Threads Conspiracy last weekend.

This morning I added the facings.  All finished!

On the dining room table. It is almost five feet long. 
Detail of the centre, showing the walking foot machine quilting.

Detail of the back, showing the faced edges.

The back of the quilted table runner.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Quilted pieces ready for edge finishes

I finished the machine quilting on this table runner. I think that I will give it a faced edge.

I have finished the detailed hand quilting/embroidery on this art piece. Now I need to finish the edges, but I do not want a machine sewn on binding. Maybe a crocheted edge in gold yarn?

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Creative Threads Conspiracy 2016

Krista's Structural Improv workshop over Friday and Saturday was great!

My in progress pieced top.

Six happy students and Krista (second from left).

Next step in the self-portrait assignment

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Proceeding with self-portrait art class exercise

I am working on my shades of grey self-portrait for my NIC art class.

The instructor told us not to worry about a likeness, but to think about facial proportions. I know that the right side eye is smaller and crooked, but I kind of like it, so am not going to change it. I need to do the hair, that will be for tomorrow.

Art class tertiary colour assignment

Last colour mixing assignment was to mix the six tertiary colours: yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, yellow-green.

The painting exercise was to use all 6 tertiary colours, and possibly white, no black - no shades or tints, and create a piece that expressed movement.

I made a painting of verticals in cool colours, and collaged painted circles of warm colours on top. I like this the best of my colour exercises.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Painting class homework

My acrylic painting class at North Island College is a challenge! Mostly it is learning to use acrylic paint, which is a totally new medium for me.

Our mid-term assignment is to paint a huge self-portrait, in shades of grey, from life by looking in a mirror, and using non-traditional implements. Agh!

The assignment.
My initial very rough sketch, to make sure I would understand facial proportions.
Starting to work on the huge piece of paper (4 pieces of gessoed painting paper, taped together on the back) which I have covered thickly first with pale grey paint. The paper really bubbled up along the vertical join for some reason after I put on the layer of grey paint. Oh well, all in the learning process.
I am using an old brush which was using for varnishing some time and is hard as a rock. This according to my instructor, is just the thing for this project. It certainly does not allow one to be too finicky.
Note how I have messed up all the proportions, and the eyes are too close together, the forehead is too shallow, and in general I look like an ape.
Very hard to dance around the paper on the floor, try to look in the mirror, and try to keep from constantly stepping on the paper! I will work on it some more tomorrow.

Rust dyed fabric update

Last month a group of us did some rust dyeing. See my previous posts on the subject:

I stamped some motifs onto the fabric with ink, then overlaid with gold acrylic paint, and have been slowly adding stitching. I did some more stitching today while waiting for the background of my large acrylic painting homework to dry.

I am using silk threads in a variety of weights. I love the way the stitching is making this design come alive.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Knitting purple mohair cardigan "Emmeline"

An elderly friend of a friend decided to de-stash her knitting yarn. I offered to take it. Much of it is not to my taste, so I will pass it on to the quilters group next week and to the free store at the recycling centre.

I did keep for myself a lovely stash of purple mohair, Super Kid, from a discontinued yarn line Chat Botté.

This yarn is now discontinued.
The donation from the friend also included a bag of old knitting patterns. I kept this year 2000 issue of Rowan Knitting Magazine as it features mohair yarns, and has the pattern that I will use for a cardigan.
The illustration from the magazine of the pattern, called "Emmeline". 
This pattern is available on the Ravelry store if the photo above is illegible. See http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/emmeline

Purple Emmeline cardigan underway! I cast on 226 stitches to knit the back and fronts together to the armhole. I just don't understand seaming anymore that you have to when knitting.
I decided not to do the bell ruffle bottom edging, so I just did a simple K2P2 ribbing for 10 rows, then moved into the 4 rows purl, and am using this subtle purple glitter thread for the fair isle pattern band.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Liberty fabric shopping at Shaukut in London

Our whirlwind trip to London for our goddaughter's wedding (3 nights in London, 1 night in Vancouver at each end of the trip, and 1 night on an airplane - we left on home on Tuesday October 4 and got home to Denman Island on Monday the 10th in time to cook a Thanksgiving dinner) did not include many other activities other than the wedding.

We did manage one lovely pub dinner at the Duke of Clarence pub on Old Brompton Road around the corner from our friends' house in Brechin Place where we were gratefully staying.

Also on the Old Brompton Road very nearby is Shaukat Fabrics. Here is nutshell description of Shaukut Fabrics, "Not known for their customer friendliness or innovative web design, but a good source of relatively affordable Liberty fabrics." That quote is from the Did You Make That blog, https://didyoumakethat.com/2015/01/31/fabric-focus-liberty-tana-lawn/ . This particular posting has an excellent description of the characteristics of Liberty lawn fabric.

My purchases at Shaukat. I have to comment here that when I visited the shop four years ago on our last visit to London, the staff were downright surly. But last week they were actually quite helpful and friendly, so it just goes to show that we can all improve :-)

I bought five fabrics, all in pre-cut three metre lengths.

First up is my favourite - the classic Strawberry Thief from the original William Morris design.  I bought the blue version. Wikipedia:  "Strawberry Thief is one of William Morris's most popular repeating designs for textiles. It takes as its subject the thrushes that Morris found stealing fruit in his kitchen garden of his countryside home."
I paid £54 for the 3 metres, thus £18 per metre. On the Liberty website the price is £22.50 so Shaukut is definitely offering reduced prices.
Here is the fabric description from the Liberty website:

"Strawberry Thief Tana Lawn from the Classic Tana Lawn collection by Liberty Art Fabrics.Strawberry Thief was designed by William Morris in 1883. It was part of a group of designs incorporating animals with flowers. Liberty first produced it as a furnishing fabric in 1979 and it has since been redrawn for Tana Lawn on a smaller scale. Strawberry Thief has been on classic Tana since 1955."
This lovely Japanese style fabric is Hiro Liberty lawn. It is no longer on the Liberty website, so I think that it is a seasonal offering. I paid £54 for 3 metres, so £18 a metre, the same as for Strawberry Thief. 
Shaukut prints their own Liberty style cotton lawns. This piece of fabricfeels the same as the super fine tightly woven Liberty lawns, but it differs in that it has a white selvedge along one edge. The true Liberty lawns are printed right to the edges. The price reflects the fact that this is not a copyright Liberty print. I paid £24 for 3 metres, thus £8 s metre - wow! At the time of purchase, a Canadian $ was $1.62 to the £. So this fabric cost me $13 a metre - amazing value. 
Another Shaukut design I presume, as the price is less than Liberty, but I cannot find this particular design on either website. Cost £35 for 3 metres, thus £11.66 a metre.
This design is on the Shaukut website in the list of seasonal tana lawn. It is printed right to the edges of the selvedges, and cost £51 for 3 metres, so I think that it is real Liberty. 
Thus, my purchase of 5 pieces of fabric, 3 metres each, with taxes cost me £218. Thus £14.43 per metre, in Canadian $23 per metre. Fantastic, as the only online Canadian site that I could find selling Liberty lawns is charging about $42 per metre.
My plans for all this wonderful fabric? First up, a couple of shirts.

For hints on sewing with Liberty lawn, the best that I have found is http://sewaholic.net/my-liberty-print-granville-shirt/ on the Sewaholic blog.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Denman Craft Shop featured artists

Pelka Wiltshire and I are the featured artists at the Denman Craft Shop during October and the first half of November.

Our display at the front entrance of the craft shop.