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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.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fabric painting and dyeing

Yesterday and today I worked in the studio painting and dyeing fabric.

I used a speedy cut block that I carved from my own drawing, an image that I have used in previous textile work, to stamp 6 squares of washed white cotton. I used Speedball fabric screen printing ink, which is my favourite for working with fabric. I painted the images with Jacquard textile paint with aloe vera gel as a medium, let them dry overnight, and then heat set them today.
I squared the 12 inch blocks, then framed them with 2 1/2 inch sashing of hand dyed green fabrics, and sandwiched with natural cotton wadding and pre-washed osnaburg cotton backing. I am still deciding if I will hand quilt or machine quilt them. Probably the latter, to set off the printed and painted leaf images.
The printed and painted images. 
The fabric squares with their hand dyed borders, sandwiched and ready for quilting.
Yesterday I also put 6 pieces of prewashed cotton into large plastic cups for some easy dyeing. This process is so painless that I must do more of it. Today I rinsed the fabric, washed it with synthrapol, dried and ironed it. Now I am thinking of a project to highlight the fabric. I don't want to cut it up into little pieces, but I am interested in making more mats. I think that I will work on curved piecing, which I really enjoy.
The fabric pieces, roughly fat quarters, sitting in their dye bath cups in the sink after an initial rinse.

The completed dyed fabrics. The colours are not true in this picture, left to right: green, brown, orange, purple, pink red, blue.

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