About Me

My photo
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.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Deer at the end of summer

Another end of summer image. Deer are seen more commonly along the edges of the roads, and in this case, a doe in our front herb garden in mid-morning.



Crochet covered rocks

After a long hiatus, I have been making some more crochet covered rocks.



I use strong smooth cotton crochet thread, and a small rigid steel crochet hook. I start with a ring of single crochet, then work out in a flat circle, using regular increases to achieve this, until the top of the rock can be covered with the crocheted fabric.



I keep the rock next to me to measure my work.



At this point, I switch to working rounds without increases so that the crochet makes a tubular shape. A combination of double crochet and scallop stitches give the fabric flexibility.
When the rock fits nicely inside the fabric, I insert it and close up the bottom. This is done with a regular series of single crochet, smaller on each round. This make a firm and durable base for the covered rock. When the bottom is covered, I break the thread and close up with needle and the thread end.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Half square triangles

It doesn't look like much yet . . .


. . . but it will. I am using up lots of scraps cut into 4 1/2 inch squares to make half square triangle blocks. I like taking a basic shape and seeing how it works when repeated. Lots of ideas on Pinterest for arranging the blocks. Trimming takes awhile and is boring work, but necessary so the blocks will all fit nicely together. The quilt is planned as a donation to the Vancouver Hospice and I plan to have it done and donated by November.

Another lovely end of summer image of our weekend guests taking our canoe out for an evening paddle.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

More sewing for me

Having a lovely time these days doing some selfish sewing. I made a Sorbetto out of some interesting two faced Japanese cotton.  I omitted the decorative pleat on the front as indicated in the pattern. I made a back seam in order to fit the pattern pieces onto my 1 metre of narrow fabric, and added a 1/2 inch pleat at the back at the same time to give me a bit more hip room. French seams throughout.
It came together very nicely. I am really getting the hang of bias tape facing and using the edge stitch foot on my Bernina.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More signs of autumn

More signs of autumn coming: blackberry pie and a big spider spinning its web. And I sewed two more versions of the Scout Tee, with pics on the Clothes Sewing page, see the left hand side bar.


Cross Orbweaver (Araneus diadematus)



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fall is coming

This has been such a hot and dry summer that most of the leaves have already come down from the big leaf maple next to the beach. Last evening was a stunning sunset, but sadly, that was because of the forest fires elsewhere in the province.

Fall Aster, "Aster amellus", the European Michaelmas Daisy.
Autumn Crocus, " Colchicum autumnale", began blooming two days ago.
Spectacular sunset last evening. Sun is setting about 8:30 pm these days.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Flowing Arts Studio visit

Beautiful day today. Spent the morning walking through Denman Island Provincial Park around Chickadee Lake, had lunch at the chuck wagon at Westisle Farm and then visited the Flowing Arts Studio in the afternoon.


Saturday, August 15, 2015

Walking With Our Sisters

Attended the Walking With Our Sisters art exhibition today at the K'omoks Band Hall in Courtenay. Very moving memorial to missing and murdered aboriginal women. A privilege to experience.

This image is copied from the web page as no pictures were allowed in the exhibit.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hand quilted placemats

Part of the swag bag at QuiltCon was sets of charm squares. Clearly the object was to promote several fabric lines. The colours and patterns were not really to may taste, but too good to discard. I decided to combine this pattern/colour set with Osnaburg and natural linen to make a set of placemats and a table runner. I hand quilted with #8 perle cotton. I enjoy the contrast between the patterned and plain fabrics, and between the fabric textures.

The set of 6 placemats and the long narrow table runner.
Detail of the hand quilting.

A back view shows the hand quilting on the Osnaburg fabric backing, the hand stitched linen binding, and my stamp.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Denman Island Artists' Studio Tour weekend

My medallion wall hangings hanging in dappled light from a pear tree.

The grass is so brown because of the drought.






My wall hanging" Bird on the Wire" on the fence next to Megan's swimming pool quilt.
This past Saturday and Sunday, August 8 and 9, 2015 were the weekend of the 2015 Denman Island Artists' Studio Tour. It poured rain on Saturday, hurrah as it has been stage 4 drought conditions here all summer, and Sunday was sunny but cool enough to be very pleasant.

The Denman Island Quilters had a joint quilt show in the grounds of the Denman Island Arts Centre, as we have done in previous years. Because of the rain we set up our displays under a couple of tents on Saturday, and then on Sunday we hung all the slightly damp quilts on the fences or from the trees to dry out. Both forms of display seemed to work to advantage. I had particularly successful sales and sold three pieces. Very gratifying to know that others value my work. I sold a full size art quilt from my joint art show in 2013, "Midsummer Garden", a linen throw that had been on display at the Craft Shop in July, "Windblown Blossoms", (whoops, can't find a picture of it - it was hexagons appliqued and hand quilted onto pale linen, then the surrounding linen machine quilted, backed with natural linen - sold on August 8, 2015 for $250),  and the wall hanging that I just completed this past week, "Suzanne".

Art quilt 64" by 64". Very intricate free motion machine quilting, done medallion style, on each block. Created for my 2013 art show. Originally priced at $400, sold on August 9, 2015 to friends for $300 CA$.

Quilted wall hanging: "Suzanne". Hand pieced hexagons, machine quilted, osnaburg sashing and backing, linen binding. Sold on August 8, 2015 for $150.00 CA$.


Monday, August 3, 2015

Homage to Leonard Cohen


These two wall hangings are art for art's sake. I did not measure, or plan. I just made what pleased me the way that I would do a sketch and paint it. I did the blue piece first, and I just knew as it progressed that it would be "Bird on the Wire" after the Leonard Cohen song. Once of his earliest songs, that I remember from the year 1970 that I was 17, a first year student at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Where do the years go???
Then I finished the second piece and it had to be "Suzanne". I don't know how many more will be in the series. Just going with my inspiration.

"Bird on the Wire" wall hanging. Love the Japanese Echino Atori blue bird fabric

Hand quilted with #8 perle cotton. Spider web at the bottom with DMC gold embroidery thread.
I hand stamped a bird image on the taupe fabric, and outlined it with a single ply of gold embroidery thread.

"Suzanne" quilted wall hanging. English paper pieced hexagons. Machine free motion quilted. Side borders and backed with Osnaburg fabric. Bound with natural linen.