Embroideries that Record History – San Diego continued.

We noted that the hillsides around San Diego were arid.  Trees and grass were only in the city as they are dependent on irrigation.  I am sure that the residential areas now spread up the hillsides and that they are no longer as arid as when we saw them.  In November, the weather was lovely.  It was perfect for strolling and I remember that the blouse I wore was suitable both inside and out.  Now, in July 2018, the weather in California is sizzling hot with wildfires burning out of control.  Hopefully, not near San Diego.

The harbor area.

The sun always shines in San Diego.  It is stitched in a sorta Shishka technique with couched yellow sun rays.  The stitches used to add detail to the fabric applique are mostly the basic ones of stem, chain, satin and couching.

The Star of India, built in 1863, is permanently moored in the harbor.  Her hull is electrical tape applied to felt with added red ribbon. The portholes are french knots and the sails are white felt.  I replaced the original white felt sails a few years ago as they had become discolored and detached for their moorings.

On the left side you will see the lighthouse which is north of the city.  Next to it is the Hotel Coronado.  It is a hotel enjoyed by celebrities and many films have been shot on this location.  The central dining hall is octagonal and all wood.  I think that we were able to afford a cup of coffee there.

San Diego boasts a large and sheltered harbor which is the base of the Pacific fleet of the American Navy.  San Diego and Norfolk, Virginia are both naval bases which means to me, that the sun never sets on the American Navy. The grey object in the harbor is either a whale or a submarine and includes the setting sun.

The water in the harbor is stitched in parallel lines of stem stitch in the style of Hokusai, the Japanese artist.  Sailboats enjoy these sheltered waters.  Their sails are made out of morsels of ribbon.  That ribbon was springy and really hard to attach.  The shores of the harbor have great sandy beaches and it is all warm enough for palm trees.  Yes, it is a city I would love to live in, or at least, visit again, especially during the Canadian winter months.

The fabric pieces all came from drapery samples.  In those long ago days, interior decorators would give you their out of date sample books.  I have made good use of those small pieces of fabric and continue to do so.

In 1984, I entered this piece into the competition at the Embroiderer’s Association of Canada’s annual Seminar.  It won the Enny Award – that is a piece of stitching in any technique, any color etc voted for by the members.  Even that is 34 years ago!  Where did all this years disappear to?

I hope that you have enjoyed this historical tour of San Diego.  Please share this with friends and family especially those who live in or have been to San Diego.  Corrections of the information included are also welcome.

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  1. Reply

    What a lovely piece Ann! Especially using the tape on felt for the hull of the ship. Must remember that trick :).

    1. Reply

      Hello Jessica,
      San Diego was a pleasure to visit and I was delighted find the black and white poster which gave me the design for this piece. Yes, black electrical tape stck to felt was exactly right for the Star of India hull. Always read your newsletter with great interest. You have some exciting things coming up and a lot of preparation to do.
      Thanks Ann

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