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 28, 2014

And now for something completely different . . .

Town day - Tai Chi, groceries, liquor store. When I got home in the afternoon, I cut fabric for my nephew's upcoming wedding gift quilt. Then I made crab cakes for dinner, and poured a libation.

"Brewed in Tofino, British Columbia from locally harvested kelp seaweed." Amazingly delicious!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Last pieced border of block #9 done for Soupçon QAL Part 4

Hurrah, I finished the last pieced border today! Just in time for Part 5 to be released tomorrow.

My last block with a pieced border, for Part 4. Yowza!
This year I have decided that I do not want a scrap box filling up, nor can I bear to throw away useable pieces of fabric. Hence my hexagons that I keep making. As a result of all the strips for frames and inset squares that were cut for Part 4 of the Soupçon project, I had a pile of scraps that were too small for hexagons but easy to put together and were more or less of a colour palette. I spent the rest of the day sewing scraps together, just going for it, with my only decision to try not to put the same fabric next to itself in a major way.

The scrap top made from strips from various recent projects. I will make it bigger still, so that it can be a lap quilt. Of course there will be more scraps coming on, there always are.

Detail. Recognize some fabrics from recent blog posts?

Using the scraps from1 inch strips makes for great effects.
I should have taken a before picture. This is the after pic of my scrap pile, showing there are still big scraps to cut up for hexies. Note that the garbage consists only of bitty bits.

Remaining scraps.

Garbage pail at the end of the day.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Soupçon QAL Part 4 - 2 more borders done - one to go!

Okay - I finished two more borders today and am well into the last one, which I will do tomorrow in time for Part 5 on Friday. Whew - I took on a lot doing nine blocks! But just two more parts to complete. I am learning so much.


The sewing counter in my studio. See how bright the light is reflected off the snow outside?


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Soupçon QAL Part 4 continued - three more borders completed

Three more squares completed for Part 4 - and three more to get done before Part 5 is released on Friday.

Batik squares in the border.

An unpieced border.

An unpieced border.

Hexagon pincushion and snow

A day of critical intersections yesterday: a snowy day with no power so I could not use the sewing machine but all the snow meant that the natural light was bright and very good for intricate handwork.

And I have ALL these hexagons that I have made that need projects, and a nice collection of beads. Also, although I have several pincushions and magnet holders already, somehow I needed another pincushion. Thus, yesterday I made and beaded this project. I love it, and it is already proving to be very useful.

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” 
― William Morris


Looking straight out from my studio window. I lifted my head from my sewing work counter and pointed my Iphone camera and this is the picture. Note the low tide beach in the background covered with snow and ice. Too bad that I could not catch all the happy ducks and gulls that were not the least disturbed by the weather.The view is much improved now that all the bushes are pulled low with the weight of snow.
Pincushion from the top, with pins - already in use!

The bottom of the pincushion. I made feet with double yo-yos, to stabilize the wee thing. I am quite delighted with my engineering and design decisions. 

My attempt at a side view photo do give a sense of how this works.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Soupçon QAL Part 4 - three squares done

Soupçon QAL Part 4 instructions are to make a border of small squares on point. This is challenging, but I am getting better as I repeat. My first block has imperfections, but the second and third are better. I have six more to go to finish all my nine before Part 5 instructions are posted on Friday.

Blue Pansies Star. My second try at the squares border.

Red Roses Star. My first try at the border. Wavy! 

Purple and Gold. Third border. This one is quite good. Practice, practice.

Snow day!

I don't plan on going any further today than over the bridge and into the studio. Fun to be snowed in when you have lots of food in the fridge and many, many artsy crafty projects to work on (and income tax - eek, let's put that off a little longer:-)


Friday, February 21, 2014

Colouring book

I love to colour. I have all sorts of coloured pencils and markers and pens. I just bought this new colouring book Secret Garden by Scottish artist Johanna Basford. Her ink pen work is amazing. By colouring you get to really see and appreciate all the amazing details in her work.

I coloured the title page using Staedtler Karat Aquarell watercolour pencils and also Col-Erase Prismacolor pencils.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Playing with hexagons

I have fallen down the rabbit hole of hexagons. I cannot stop making them, and now I need to think what to be making out of them. This is the start of an improvisational work in progress, partly inspired by my new book Hexa-Go-Go .



Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Soupçon show off

I showed off my Soupçon QAL squares at quilting group yesterday. These are completed to step three. I am starting step 4, the borders today.

The Flikr photos are at http://www.flickr.com/groups/soupconqal/




Monday, February 17, 2014

Watercolour painting - sort of ...

I am trying to get back into watercolour painting. Just at the exercises stage right now, but I do love it.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

New fabric!

Ooooh, just received an order from Pink Chalk Fabrics. Lovely modern designs and Kaufman solids. Destined for a wedding quilt for my nephew for June this year. I can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Continuing to work on my embellishment piece

No name for this piece yet. I work on it whenever I need a break from other projects. For some reason, it feels like a guilty indulgence, like eating sweets. Maybe because I am not showing any restraint in beading, embroidery, quilting, etc. Just having fun!






Monday, February 10, 2014

Collaborative quilt #2

My friend D., a member of our local quilting group, and I have worked on two collaborative quilts together over the past year. The first was a total work of improvisation, starting with a scrap square and building on that medallion fashion. Here is a picture of Collaborative Quilt #1.
D. did the backing, quilting and binding of #1.

Collaborative Quilt #1, finished December 2013.

Collaborative Quilt #2 is totally different. It is a series of blocks with nature themes - some appliquéd, some paper pieced, embroidered, etc. We decided to frame each like a painting, and then put in random sashing so that the quilt will look like paintings in exhibition on a wall papered wall.
It was a challenge mitreing all the frames, then doing the complicated puzzle of the sashing to simulate an exhibition. Yesterday and today I free motion quilted all the blocks. Next will be the sashing, then the binding.

Blocks all quilted.

Detail of a block.

Detail of a block.

Soupçon Hexagon QAL blocks in progress

In Part 3 of the Soupçon Hexagon Quilt Along we learned a wonderful technique for appliquéing a ring of fabric. I loved working with this technique.

More photos on Flikr at http://www.flickr.com/groups/soupconqal/ .





Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Beading, hexagons, embroidery . . . Very much a work in progress.

I am taking a break from my various quilt along projects and am self-indulgently experimenting with all sorts of embellishments on this art piece.