I had a wonderful time in Olympia, Washington, which is about an hour and a half, south of Seattle.
Last week, I had the extreme pleasure to visit, lecture and teach the Washington Stars Quilt Guild in Olympia, Washington. The area, the city, the citizens, and the quilters there were absolutely amazing.
First, let me introduce you to my class . . .
There were 50 amazingly wonderful quilters in my class! Boy, were they fun (and muy creative)!
Meet quilter, Linda Rech. Linda brought me this hysterical thread-themed t-shirt! I’ve been wearing it all weekend! Thanks, Linda! xoxo
The spool is holding the end of the thread and saying to the needle: “Hey baby! You KNOW you want THIS!”
Then, quilter Susan Drummond, made me a pickle-themed Dialysis “belt” that holds all of the twisting, annoying tubes while a person is on dialysis (which, at this point, I am not).
Of course, this particular belt does so much to accentuate my D-cup, MAN boobs. Schweet!
It’s a brilliant idea, and a charity the Washington Stars Quilt Guild has embraced. I am thinking that it may also be the perfect idea that I will choose as my personal charity/cause. I’ll give you some history about it, the pattern, and where to send your charity dialysis belts in an upcoming blog! Get your small pieces of fabric ready.
‘HAD to visit a quilt shop . . .
Like Lindsay Lohan to a bottle of anything, I am drawn to the local quilt shops whenever I travel.
My Washington Stars host, Cory Platenburgh, was kind enough to escort me to two very impressive shops!
First stop, was Olympia’s, Ruby Street Quiltworks.
In 3 words, FAB-U-LOUS!
When I entered this shop, it was the first time I saw my new line, winter’s grace! Might have been nice if Northcott sent me some — or let me know it was going out to shops rather than being both surprised and caught off guard — but I’d rather the shops got it before me, anyway — but I’m just sayin’ . . .
I love this line. It’s really lush and . . . well, just beautiful. I’m pleased.
I spotted my line, oakdale, along the fabric walls, too!
Here are some random shots of the shop . . .
The black, white and red sample quilt below is from my califon line!
Here’s a close up. It’s made from the Walk About pattern by Ann Lauer. It’s a great pattern if you want something easy or if you’re a beginner!
Here’s me playing with the staff and customers! We’re holding bolts of winter’s grace. Am I a marketing whore, or what?
Now there was something else going on at this shop. It was a small quilt challenge! I asked if I could share the pics with you and got the A-OK!
Here are some of the results (Don’t forget that these are tiny quilts, I’d say about 16 x16 max):
I just loved the little buttons in the middle of each square-in-a-square. I’m right partial to button embellishment.
Here’s another . . .
I really liked the 3-D beadwork coming out of the “cones” in the applique.
This quilt makes me wish I had more of a knack for modern design. I don’t. I like this particular quilt a lot. However, like so many other “art” quilts I’ve seen, my attempt at art quilting always looks like a bunch of shit thrown at a backing to see if it would stick. Just because it’s not squares and half-square triangles doesn’t make it art, in my very humble opinion — I don’t care how much sewing, quilting or embellishment you use.
This one is really pretty, too . . . Nothing like classic applique to catch my eye. I wish I were better at that, too! LOL
Isn’t this next one interesting? I’ve seen this technique done in cross stitch — My friend, Deb who owns a fabulous online cross stitch shop, Stitches n Things (anything and everything you’ll ever want or need in xstitch – it’s worth looking at the designers showcase even for some quiltspiration) stitched me a “Mark” ornament done this way. This one says “Brenda.” Do you see it? I’m guessing someone named “Brenda” made it!
And another . . .
And another . . . (at least it’s not fattening)
Wasn’t that fun?
Then another quilt shop . . .
Corey took me to a shop in downtown Olympia, called Bayside Quilting. It’s another huge and wonderful quilt shop!
This is painted on the outside wall of the shop — and it’s GIANT. Hysterical!
Here’s the sign in the window as we walked in. They were having a sale on my fabric because I was in town (so nice) and already, some of my new line was sold out!
The owner, Pam, put together a cocktail party at the shop for her customers and those quilters in my class, which was really, very thoughtful!
There was so much to buy that I just would run in, pop some cocktail food into my mouth and run back out to the buying floor! Here’s Pam with my guild host, Liza Minnelli Corey Platenbugh, all saddled up to the bar for some mid-day, quilt shopping vino!
Meet Pam, the owner of Bayside Quilting. I took this portrait of us because I have very long, hairy arms (think Sarah Palin chimp)
Here are some pics of Bayside Quilting. A very different style from the first shop I saw, but another fabric and stash goldmine!
This is Pam’s “Construction Zone” complete with every color from my elements line!
Yup. winter’s grace!
Customer’s carrying bolts of my fabrics (and this wasn’t a staged picture, either)!
Bayside Quilting is enormous and very high-tech in its loft-like atmosphere. Giant quilts hanging from the ceiling and hung on the walls — everywhere!
What I loved about Bayside Quilting is that it had a gazillion notions! I was in heaven because I cannot pass up buying new gadgets and notions!
I even walked out with an ab fab Bayside Quilting sweatshirt! It is super funky and I must say, I look like Daddy Hot when I wear it!
That evening I went out for dinner . . .
The locals suggested a Thai placed called The Lemon Grass, and that’s where I went!
It’s a pretty little place with prices that seemed totally dirt-cheap compared to New Jersey Thai!
I ate so much that I was as full as a tick!
But of course I ordered up my favorite — Pad Thai.
Next, I went for a walk along the Percival Landing Park around sunset and it was gorgeous!
This is a zoomed up view (from my camera) of the state capitol building.
It was so peaceful and quiet along the docks, well . . . except for the woman whose two dogs, Karma and Pandora were trapped under the boardwalk along with her “cat.”
I loved this old boat.
The boat’s stack had 1910 painted on it. Now that’s the year my grandmother was born.
So, I imagine that’s the year this boat was built — either that or they painted my weight on the boat as a tribute to my visiting the waterway! Humph!
I just love this next photo. It looks like a painting. Olympia was stealing my heart — I just wish that damn woman under the walkway would find her damn cat!
It was low tide. Look how low the tide was!
Here’s kinda a closeup of the barnacles and such. Blech!
Now, here’s an interesting sculpture on the boardwalk. It’s called “Motherhood” by sculptor, Simon Kogan, as a gift to the city of Olympia!
Remember that damn cat who was caught under the walkway with dogs, Karma and Pandora?
Well, this guy (whom I just happened to get in the above “Motherhood” photo) and I helped pull her, her dogs, and her “cat” up and over this railing.
Well, here’s the fricking cat!
It was a WILD BOBCAT —- on a LEASH! Only in Olympia (or maybe San Francisco).
Olympia’s Art Walk
How lucky was I to be in Olympia during their Art Walk celebration? The whole town gets involved! Local artists display their art in local shops. It’s pretty phenom!
Browser’s Books hosted quilts in their window (minis) and all around their shop. It paid off — I walked out with 6 used books! I’m a used book-aholic. I love me a used, vintage quilting book. I wonder how many others bought books as a result of the quilt display?
Here is the inside of Browser’s Books.
Oh, yeah. One of the books I bought is the blue one in the front.
But I kept on shopping . . .
I found an addition to my collection of glass doorknobs.
Totally LOVED the way this shop owner used type to add whimsy to his front door (he’s a painter and this storefront was his studio).
Speaking of type — I had never seen an old fashioned, hand type, printer’s press . . . .
I’ve always been so intrigued by type like this, the kind you set by hand.
New from Old
You know I’ve been on a mad hunt to find something old to use in my Alliance for American Quilts, NEW FROM OLD, fund raising quilt auction. And I found it in Olympia at this (very over priced) antique shop, The Rusty Rooster.
What caught my eye were these pieced discs — $69. What?!? Are you kidding?!? Too much cashola for that.
But I found two vintage blocks that will be PERFECT-O for my project — 2/$6.95
I can’t wait to get started! Have you started on your NEW FROM OLD square for the Alliance? The due date is May 31! Hurry!
This is only day one! I have another full day in Olympia and then Calgary, Canada (with video)! Maybe I’ll post that by Tuesday!
Mark’s KIDNEY UPDATE
Thank you for all of your good wishes! I finish my testing this week, then I’ll have more of an idea of what kind of match I might need!
Guess what’s coming up on Wednesday?
A colonoscopy! YIKES!
The transplant team wants to be sure that I’m healthy. I just finished several stress tests. On Monday I get an Echocardiogram. Once you go on anti-rejection drugs, your immune system is compromised. If you have “pre-cancer” anywhere, well, it won’t be “pre” much longer. So they check for everything before seeking out a donor kidney.
Keep the faith, cupcakes (and help find me a kidney! LOLOL)