Handcrafted Art Quilt in Honor Hotel Del Coronado and San Diego
Artists: Mary West and Kim McKee -- “San Diego Dream’n at the Del”
Machine Quilted by machine quilt artist Robin Ruiz
San Diego, CA local artists Mary West and Kim McKee have joined forces to create an original contemporary art quilt that pays homage to the culture and beauty of San Diego and the Hotel Del Coronado. Where else in San Diego captures the excitement and charm or our amazing city more than the Hotel Del? Inspiration came from the theme “Under the Sea.” Kim in particular has a passion for deep blues and the idea of incorporating the majesty of the Del with the beauty of the San Diego water and wildlife.
EVENT: Auction -- September 29th – Saturday 5:30pm
“San Diego Dream’n at the Del” –An original hand-crafted contemporary art quilt to honor San Diego and the Hotel Del Coronado.
The Good Samaritan Episcopal Church of La Jolla, CA hosts a yearly auction - all proceeds going towards support of youth activities, building renovations, and missions. The 2012 auction theme will be “Under the Sea.”
ARTISTS: Kim McKee specializes in intricate cross stitch, quilting, sewing, hand crafts and painting. As a young child Kim was in a tragic car accident with her family which left her with only partial mobility on her right side and various neurological and physical challenges that she has dealt with from that point forward. Despite life’s challenges, Kim has gone on to be an extremely accomplished and independent woman. Mary West originally from Los Angeles, has lived in San Diego for over 25 years with her husband. Mary is an extremely accomplished in painting, quilting, hand crafts, and ballroom dancing. The two originally met volunteering at Momma’s Kitchen in Downtown San Diego, where they became fast friends. The two have collaborated on a multitude of projects over the years.
METHOD: The pair have developed a successful way of working together that enables Kim to have great interaction and creative design in spite of limited mobility; Mary does all the cutting, Kim the drawing, both take turns ironing and giving creative input. The majority of the fabrics are batiks; cloth that is traditionally made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. The quilt design is NOT from a kit but rather hand drawn. The image of the Hotel Del was created by projecting an image up onto a large wall and then hand tracing the pattern onto the fabric. Texture and depth were created by both layering fabrics of different design and hand painting pieces until the desired effect was captured.
The piece features sea creatures from off the coast of southern California; harbor seal, dolphins, crab, garibaldi, and a lobster. The piece also incorporates the famous kelp beds that played a great part of San Diego history and industry.
The project has been in the works for over twelve months. The total amount for supplies alone has cost above $500. The total of man- hours is well over 144 hours. If you one were making minimum wage that would equal $1,152 in labor costs alone.
The machine quilting was created by Robin Gammel by using a long handle quilting machine. She changed the thread color to either match or contrast the area that she is working on. For example, the stitching on the water will be in the pattern of the movement of the sea. The stitch length is regulated by the speed at which she moves and manipulates the machine (this is extremely uncommon these days.)
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