SEQUIM — Since she opened A Stitch in Time Quilt Shoppe earlier this year, Nicole Driggs knew what she wanted on its outside wall.
“Because it’s a quilt shop, I wanted a grandma sitting on a porch, showing her granddaughter how to quilt, and I wanted to reflect the history of Sequim being a dairy town,” she said.
Since its completion recently at 225 E. Washington St., the shop’s artwork has become a popular attraction in-person and online for countless posts and selfies.
“I was getting constant thumbs up and thanks,” Edmonds muralist Andy Eccleshall said.
“I never get tired of people saying it. It’s the owners who own it, but it’s always good when the public is happy. It’s everyone’s backyard.”
Eccleshall said he’s been in discussion with Driggs for months about her ideas, and that led him to connect with Judy Stipe, executive director of the Sequim Museum & Arts, and to schedule a tour of the area.
From that connection, Eccleshall said he was able to make a living history of Sequim’s dairy-farming days, showing some buildings that are still standing and some of the newer additions, such as a hot air balloon, along with the prehistoric, such as the mastodon.
“People were confused by the mastodon,” Eccleshall said. “If you’re from Sequim, you’ll understand it, but if not, then it’ll raise a few questions.”
Stipe said the mural features a number of local historical landmarks and figures: the Clark Family Farm; Kristofferson Creamery, which became Sequim Creamery; Cline Barn and Farmhouse, McAlmond Historic Home; 1892 Dungeness Schoolhouse; the Steamship Rosalie for passengers and freight; numerous local breeds of cows; grazing mastodon; quilter Shirley Govan Lehman sharing her quilting skills with Tali Stipe Brocato; John Dickenson’s 1937 AUTOCAR, and more livestock.
Stipe said this mural has helped rekindle interest in the Lehman Court murals with many still seen in and around downtown Sequim.
Port Townsend’s Kim Kopp was commissioned in 1995 to make murals of Sequim’s history and heritage. They were taken down in the early 2000s because of a construction project.
The remaining murals were stored in barns by the Olympic View Community Foundation, formerly known as Sequim 2000, for years until volunteers with the Sequim Museum & Arts led efforts to put up many of the murals.
Stipe said the remainder of the project is on hold for funding, but she sees this new mural as a continuation of that vision.
“We needed this right now, and its joy and blessings,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many calls we’ve gotten at the museum. What this does is it explodes and grows in 100 directions.”
Painting started on June 9 and wrapped up on June 25 with Eccleshall working early in the morning the last few days to avoid the heat.
As he worked, Driggs jokingly said she wanted to put out lawn chairs to watch him work because it was so fascinating.
“He’s done an amazing job,” she said. “I love that people love it and appreciate it.”
Eccleshall said he’s done murals for 27 years, but this was his first in Sequim.
The paint (Nova Color) is an acrylic made for murals, he said, and he added fading has never been an issue.
He said a mural he painted in Tonasket still looks good 10 years later.
Stipe said Eccleshall is a “renaissance man and such a delight to work with.”
“(The mural) is a beautiful thing for all of us who have seen this place grow,” she said.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].