Olympia, Washington. Part I of my trip

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!


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)


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34 Comments on “Olympia, Washington. Part I of my trip”

  1. Suzanne
    May 3, 2010 at 12:41 AM #

    They should hire you at the Olympia Tourist Board… your photos and descriptions make me want to go there! They’ve got some awesome shops, and places to go, as well as some friendly looking people there. Good luck on the upcoming tests… hope you hear “All clear”.


  2. Sara Volk
    May 3, 2010 at 12:50 AM #

    Mark, leave your camera home!!!! LOL! My dad refused sedation for his colonoscopy and watched it on the monitor. He said he wanted to see if he really was a perfect asshole!


    • May 3, 2010 at 12:55 AM #

      I am SO stealing that line! It’s MINE! LOLOLOL xoxom


      • deb
        May 3, 2010 at 1:24 AM #

        next time you go on a trip, i want to go too. pack me up with your things or come and get me and i will go. you seem to have so much fun on your adventures. as for your other adventure on monday, good luck! i have to take my father this summer to get his done and i say it will be proof postitive to my mother that #1 his head is not up his ass and #2 neither is the tv remote!!!


      • Sara Volk
        May 3, 2010 at 1:40 AM #

        It’s all yours sweet pea!


      • Sara Volk
        May 3, 2010 at 1:42 AM #

        See below. How the hell did I screw that up!


      • Sara Volk
        May 3, 2010 at 2:00 AM #

        S**T!!!! I give up!


      • Carolyn
        May 3, 2010 at 2:29 AM #

        After my husband’s second, and completely successful, rectal cancer surgery last year his brother used that line – he said he always knew my husband was a perfect asshole, now he had proof! LOL


      • LAUREL bUSH
        May 15, 2010 at 8:26 PM #

        Will you except a kidney from a quitzilla, and how will your thought change if she/he is the one who saves you. You know that would just be fate:) I would give you one of mine, but they ain’t all that great. My thoughts are with you. Laughter is the best medicine. We love you and have no plans of getting a new leader.lol


  3. karin
    May 3, 2010 at 12:55 AM #

    i know the colonoscopy freaks you out but, really-it’s not that big a deal(demerol & versed are a good combo-ask me how i know)
    you’re in my thoughts & prayers, sweetie-and i’m tryin’ to find out my blood type.
    love & stitches,


  4. sue
    May 3, 2010 at 1:10 AM #

    I love that thread t-shirt! Where can I get one?

    Good luck with your tests. 🙂

    Sue in NJ


  5. Tama
    May 3, 2010 at 1:13 AM #

    Your trip looks like a blast – it has been so long since I was in an actual quilt shop I got kind of nostalgic (Black Cat closed and now I have to travel, but it’s also making me use my stash).

    I think the cat is an Ocelot or Ocicat – Bobcats have no tails, hence the “bob”. Gorgeous animal!

    You are lucky to be getting a colonoscopy, which they give you drugs for. I had a sigmoid, which you are awake and fully aware for. Ow. I am not a perfect asshole, but pretty close!


    • May 3, 2010 at 1:35 AM #

      She told us that it was a Bobcat. I just Google Images a bobcat and this looks like a baby bobcat. They have tails! Its paws were HUGE! xoxom


      • Carolyn
        May 3, 2010 at 2:25 AM #

        Here in north Texas, we have wild bobcats in our back yard from time to time and they look exactly like that – they do have tails, just not as proportionately as long as house cats or wildcats.


      • Tama
        May 5, 2010 at 2:16 AM #

        I stand corrected!


  6. Cindie
    May 3, 2010 at 1:15 AM #

    Great photos of the quilt shops. I love a good quilt shop! It’s like heaven…
    The worst part about the colonoscopy is the fasting and having to get up wicked early. But then you go home and lay on the couch and order everyone around.
    Good luck and lots of hugs.
    Hope you’re all fixed up by 2012 because I’m the program chair for my guild then!


  7. Debbie
    May 3, 2010 at 2:13 AM #

    Ah, your pictures are beautiful and reminded me how much I miss Olympia! Bayside Quilts is my favorite shop and Lemon Grass is the best place to dine.
    Good luck with your medical tests and search for a kidney donor.


  8. Randi Leach
    May 3, 2010 at 2:20 AM #

    Great photos of your Oly stay! Half expected that you would have some Procession photos also, but what you did have makes it look like a wonderful, adventurous place. So happy you had a good time. Perhaps you will come back soon, and if so, let us all know!!! Great to meet you and learn with you!


  9. Jenny B
    May 3, 2010 at 8:09 AM #

    I think you are “amazing!” xxxooo


  10. Debbie L
    May 3, 2010 at 10:52 AM #

    You Go Mark, I have colitus, see if they can give you the pill form, or the liquid that is less stressful. Other than that the people in the surgery room are really crazy, You will fit in!!!!!!!!!! Good Luck.


  11. Sue George
    May 3, 2010 at 11:56 AM #

    Mark, I’m so glad you’re having a GOOD time! Your trip to Olympia looks amazing! Great photos. Thank you so much for sharing this with us..thinking about you all the time…hope your colonoscopy is a breeze! Remember to stock up on Preparation H wipes for the prep. Yes, I know that’s a little gross, but believe me you’ll be glad you’ve got ’em for the prep…which is the worst part. The exam itself is a piece-o-cake…and afterwards you get to EAT to make up for all the deprivation from the day before! xxoos


  12. May 3, 2010 at 3:25 PM #

    Thanks for the tour of Olympia, Mark. I recognize a few folks in your photos. Good luck on the further testing. You’re in my prayers.


  13. Kana Davis
    May 3, 2010 at 4:17 PM #

    Thanks so much for your blog. It’s so informative and most of all FUN. Sorry to hear about your health challenge, but you are being lifted up daily. Your trip sounded awesome and I love your fabric line. Good luck with the colonoscopy. The prep was the worst part. I loved the comment earlier about the perfect asshole. Hilarious!!! Take care of yourself and keep blogging so we will know how and what you are doing.


  14. Maggie Magee
    May 3, 2010 at 8:16 PM #

    Hey Mark–Loved the photos, your comments, etc. Olympia was quite an adventure! I was totally envious of all of those people that got to spend time with you–they were having way too much fun! You certainly are a good-will ambassador for that town! Wishing you the best with the tests. Sending good wishes and love!


  15. Ruth Patterson
    May 3, 2010 at 10:40 PM #

    Loved all the photos, I’m jealous that you got to go to those quilt shops. Not likely I’ll get there, I live in Ohio. Love the fbric line, I need to find where it’s sold here. Prayers for your health, that every thing goes well,so you can continue to keep us quilters in stitiches with your quilting humor!


  16. Monica
    May 3, 2010 at 11:20 PM #

    I’ve been to Bayside with my MIL. I loved it! Of course, that was BEFORE the airlines charged for everything! I don’t think I could buy as much now if I wanted to……now about that colon-thing….when you come out of it. Ask the nurse to “Pull your finger”! That was my husband’s line and it got a lot of laughs from the nurse in recovery…..Classic. I’ll tell him about the perfect asshole since he gets to do this yearly. Lucky him! Can’t wait for you blog on this procedure! I’ll be sure to empty my bladder before I read it! 😉 Good Luck!


  17. Gail
    May 4, 2010 at 12:32 PM #

    And this was only day ONE??? My word, you must have been exhausted by the time you got home. Next time I visit my daughter in Seattle, I’ll have to take a drive to Olympia to visit quilt shops. We all know that every quilt shop is different!


  18. Brenda L
    May 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM #

    Mark the pictures are great. After living here in Oly all my life I can’t believe you came across a Bobcat on Pervivial Landing. What a hoot! This could only happen to you. Your lecture was just wonderful. The WSQG members are just full of new and unusual ideas. Oh my. As for the colonoscopy…. drugs are gooood. You won’t remember a thing. Jeff might though. You may just say something under the influence. Duct tape might be an option. This may be an entertaining part conversation at upcoming parties. Be fearless. We’re all keeping you in our thoughts and prayers out here in quiltland.


  19. momcat
    May 5, 2010 at 7:45 PM #

    Mark, we loved having you here–we were still laughing at guild meeting last night about the girdle and the lip gloss. Come back anytime. There’s lots more to see and do.


  20. Sue from Seattle
    May 8, 2010 at 2:14 AM #

    Thanks for sharing your photos from Olympia – it’s my hometown and I love shopping at both the quilt shops you showed. It was fun to see them and other places from your point of view. BTW – Lemon Grass is one of my family’s favorite restaurants and is often too busy to get into! Glad you got to enjoy it. (Love their phad thai and their honey walnut prawns … oh my.)
    Wishing you lots of quilting fun and better health ahead.


  21. Hollis E
    May 13, 2010 at 9:40 PM #

    Well, I have just caught up with your blog/news that you aren’t with quilter’s home anymore BUMMER. I wondered why it wasn’t as good. 🙂

    I do hope you have successful with finding a kidney/ You are on my list.

    Hugs and squeezes from Texas



  22. Colorful mariposa (Kate)
    May 16, 2010 at 4:50 PM #

    Maybe we can find “TWO” kidneys..One for you and one for my brother. I was tested to donate one 😦 wonder if I’m a match for you? Keep that sense of humor lovey..it helps.


  23. Judy Leonhardt
    May 19, 2010 at 10:49 PM #

    Hey Mark, your trip looks awesome….do you need a personal assistant….no REALLY..I am a retired Executive Secretary and would love to travel with you …for work, God Bless you and good luck with your kidney search….and do keep looking on the funny side….it makes everything so much easier. Quilted Hugs, Quilting Nanny Judy, from CT.


  24. La Annette Watts
    August 17, 2010 at 2:52 AM #

    What a way to introduce myself … in incomplete sentences. I just stumbled upon your blog looking for shops to visit on by buisness trip. I can’t wait to see these in person and now I know just where I should have dinner. By now you have recovered from you procedure and hopefully have some good news on a kidney. Thanks for your wonderful line , the blog, and a good laugh. Good health and creativity to Mark !!!
    La Annette


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