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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.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Hand embroidery on linen, another wildflower

In my continuing exploration of hand embroidery materials I am coming to the conclusion that traditional materials are used traditionally for a reason - what a revelation :-).

Hence, I am moving on to embroidery on linen.

I purchased some lovely linen fabric, a natural coloured linen fabric from Japan from A Threaded Needle, online. Here is the description of the fabric:
A rich natural color with plenty of the sheen and the bounce you expect in 100% linen.  This fabric is medium weight with nice drape. The ruler in the photograph is in centimeters (25cm=1"), you can see that the texture is smooth and the weave is quite open so it will be easy to hand stitch.  Prewash, expect some shrink. Order by the half meter: 1 unit = 19.5" x 46", 2 units = 1 meter (39" x 46" wide).

I did not prewash the fabric, as I wanted to keep the crispness of the finish. I cut a piece about 8"x10" and serged the edges.

I sketched a loose image on paper of bittersweet vine, from Lewis Clark's Field Guide to Wild Flowers of Field and Slope in the Pacific Northwest:

I transferred the image to my linen fabric, not be tracing but by drawing again, referring both to my pencil sketch and to the original photograph. I used a permanent fine line fabric marking pen.

Pencil sketch.

Sketch on linen.

I'm just getting started doing the embroidery. I am using a hoop, which I don't usually do because it usually makes my hands fatigued, but I'll try this time in tune with the use of the linen fabric. Also, I am embroidering with just one strand of either sewing thread or cotton DMC floss, and a small hand sewing needle, a sharp.

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