Apirl 2004

Warning: this is an OLD newsletter. Time marches on; things change. Information may be outdated, irrelevant, misleading or incorrect. (That means links, which are down at the bottom, may not work either. Unless it sends you to a porno site I won't fix it so don't tell me.) To get on the list to receive the next current newsletter, hit the BACK arrow on your browser and enter your e-mail address in the box on the previous page. You'll get the next issue. If you absolutely can't figure it out then e-mail me. It's free! What are you waiting for?

The Ami Simms Newsletter
Copyright April 2004

Hello again. It's great to be in your mailbox this month. I hope spring has made it to your backyard. We've got green things beginning to sprout in the flowerbeds, and it actually SMELLS like spring, so that must mean Mother Nature is gearing up for at least one more dumping of snow: the final indignity of winter.

Kaye Wood's PBS show (with yours truly) aired for the first time in January, but it seems to air whenever it wants, depending on where you might be living. So, in case you missed it, I showed my newest Twisted Sisters quilt called Fruity Twist, made with my new "Pie a la Mode" fabric line. See it at

I finished two new quilts this month, but I won't be able to show them to you until next month, as I have to sew down the binding. And when am I going to do that? On the plane to Hawaii, of course. That will be my entertainment for the flight. Plus, there's the added thrill of knowing that within 24 hours of landing, the two quilts will be hanging at the show, with or without their bindings flapping. I must find some kind of perverse thrill knowing that one scissor-happy TSA agent at the security check, or a lost spool of thread between the seats, will foil my whole agenda. I live on the edge.

Seriously, this is my modus operandi. That's Latin for "really stupid behavior." It's not that I don't budget my time, it's that I just run out of it. No matter how much time I leave for a particular project, whether it's finishing a quilt or getting dressed in the morning, my activity always extends to the last minute. So, if you see any basting thread hanging on the quilt (I have that to remove that on the plane too, and without a seam ripper that could be difficult) just ask one of the White Glove ladies to take it out.

Actually, by time you read this, I will already be in lovely downtown Hawaii teaching my Twisted Sisters workshop at the Pan Pacific Quilt Show & Conference. I might just point out that in order to finish this newsletter by midnight on the 31st of March I had to actually trick my subconscious into having April 1 come 2 two days ahead of time. No easy trick. Plus, I had to figure out a way to send the newsletter on the right day while my laptop and I would be 6 hours ahead getting hungry for breakfast when, it was halfway between lunch and dinner. Please don't attempt to follow the logic here— it will just slow you down. Suffice to say, that your lovely comments each month are more than enough to spur me on and meet my deadline the first day of every month.

And how long have I been writing these silly newsletters, you ask? Since 1997, I think. (Readers with a better memory, please correct me.) Most of the past editions are continually displayed for your reading pleasure on my website. In fact, newsletters almost always appear on AmiSimms.com before they are sent to you. (Bet you didn't know that!) And, as always, if you enjoy reading them, or printing them out to line the bottom of your birdcage, please forward them (in their entirety---that means the whole issue, not bits, and pieces) to all your friends. Maybe they have birds too. My goal is to have 1,000 new subscribers by the end of the year. My husband thinks my goal should be to have every reader send a penny each time they get a newsletter. He wants to go to Hawaii with me next time. If YOU want to visit with me in Honolulu this time, see .

See Esther's Twisted Sisters quilt:

See Carole Doyle's Dog-Yeared Quilt and Barb Brennan's Dog-Yeared Quilt at:

Anhata Szot watches where she steps at:

See the Licking Valley Quilters Worst Quilt Wannabe submission at:

If you need a little anti-intimidation for quilters, see the real contenders at:

Yes, there is such a thing. It's at JCPenney. No fooling. And you can join for free. You get a little tri-fold card with places for punches. If you buy 6 bras you get the 7th free. Buy 12 panties, and the 13th is on the house. You've got to buy a whopping 12 packages of "hosiery" to get lucky 13, but it's all there to entice you to increase your underwear stash. The card says you have 12 months to buy all this stuff, but I don't think anybody has ever filled in the date on any of the cards I've had. And if that oversight is something I should morally bring to the attention of the clerk, I would, except that they never OFFER you the card in the first place. You have to ask for it. So there's my tip for the month. And I hope you don't need to buy that much underwear in a year, but if you do, I hope this has in someway helped a little. If you already happen to BE a member of the Bra & Panty Club, I think we ought to work out a secret handshake, don't you?

This month's cool prize comes from P&B Textiles. Ten lucky winners will get 4 Fat Quarters of scrumptious fabrics. They each get their own pack of FQs. It's not like 10 people will have to split four FQs between them. Just wanted to make that clear. It you want to be one of them, a winner, that is, you have to enter. Go to:

For those of you who enter regularly, I've got several unclaimed prizes. If you entered to win the charm bracelet or the Block Butlers you need to go take a peek at who won. It could be YOU! Scroll down beyond the entry area and click on the prizes you might have won to see if you did! (Is that a strangled participle?)

And, as of right now, I am instituting a new rule. Only subscribers to this newsletter may enter electronically. If your email is not on the subscriber list when I do the drawing, another entrant will be selected.

Thanks to Carol Miskin, Geri Haga, Gayle Amato, and Sue Scarlett. They get two licks and a tail wag for sending either a block or a buck or both. (When sending me any kind of snail mail, please include your e-mail address so that I can send you a personal thank-you.) If you'd like to make a Puppus Doggus quilt block, go here:

No ebay quilt auctions for charity this month. I'll put some up again next month. If you took a project to complete at one of my lectures, now would be the time to return it to me so I've got something to auction. Hint, hint. (Or send it back, no hard feelings. I'll palm it off on somebody else.)

It's time to have a COW! Or maybe two! Yes, in addition to the Cow tape measures, you can now get the coolest cow magnetic note holder for your fridge. See them at:

We just got another large shipment of Scissor Fobs in. There are some onsies and twosies of styles that are not pictured. They're beautiful, but it's not worth it to photograph them. So, for the risk-takers among you, to get a different style fob that what is pictured, select the "REALLY Surprise Me" option in the drop down box. See: < http://www.amisimms.com/koscfo.html>

The Mega Magnetic Pin Catchers are in again. Sorry, but this items is such a fast seller we're having trouble keeping up with your orders. I think we have enough now. See them at:

This month's free pattern, courtesy of Susan Fuquay and the American Quilt Retailer, is the Nine-Month Nine-Patch. Susan says, "This simple little baby quilt, unlike a baby, will NOT take you nine months to complete. But, it is the perfect pattern to make up quickly for the baby quilt you should have started nine months ago when your friend told you she was pregnant." You'll get a free pattern with every order at AmiSimms.com. Patterns change around the 3rd week of each month, so if you want this one, don't wait.

If you've never ordered online from AmiSimms.com, look at our track record: < http://www.store.yahoo.com/mallerypressllc/topservice.html>

I am always leery of the "true stories" people e-mail to me. Before I ever send them on (and I usually don't) I check them out at snopes.com. Copy a key phrase from the email into the search space, and you'll know in short order if what has been sent to you is really true or not. Snopes does all the homework and their commentary is excellent as well as entertaining. In fact, it's a great place to browse if you've got some time to kill.

Also, when you do feel a need to share something with your entire address book, PLEASE just forward the thing you want to forward, not everybody else's Cyber-Slop at the top of their e-mail to you. (That, by the way is my clue to delete your e-mail. Sorry.) And PLEASE put parenthesis around the list of names in the TO box, or send the email to yourself and put your addresses in the BLIND COPY so that your friends don't have to read the e-mail addresses of all your other friends. (Seeing all those other addresses does NOT make one feel special and singled out for your special message.) It's annoying. In fact, when you do that to me, I feel compelled to see if your list is alphabetical (better) or if I am just 149th down in the list of people you care about (worse). Most importantly, including the unprotected addresses of everyone you know in your e-mails is how we all get SPAM. Yup, someone in your address book forwards all those addresses on to somebody else, who copies and pastes them to somebody else, and so on and so forth until your innocent list of addresses winds up in somebody's hands who has no scruples at all. That unscrupulous scumbag will, no doubt want to meet me in some chat room, mortgage my house, make me thinner, give me stock tips, or sell me drugs to increase the size of things I don't have.

Having said that, here's an interesting TRUE story that you might find amusing, thanks to Elizabeth. Read the details (complete with pictures) at:

Thanks for Cheryl TW for sharing this cool website with the most unusual pictures of the sun:

Three of my Pizza Party projects will be featured in the June issue of SEW NEWS. I'm so excited. I don't know what the layout will look like, but my Pizza Party, Flying Pizza, and Electric Pizza will be shown. The June issue should be coming out on April 27th, so if you get the issue jump up and down with me.

I'll be taping a segment for Quilters Toolbox on April 14th. I get to show how to make my Rag Fur Jacket. You know, the one that ISN'T a pattern yet? Ah, so you see my concern. Not to worry. I will have the pattern for the jacket by time the show airs. I think that's 13 weeks from the day we tape.

Meanwhile, I am making progress on the Bikini Quilt. So many of you asked for the pattern after the quilt was exhibited and then again after it appeared in Shoreline Quilts that I decided to pattern the quilt. It's just about time for the pattern testers. I'll need 2, in addition to my Chain-Yanker. (Madame Chain-Yanker, you know who you are, but I've forgotten, so please e-mail me again.)

If you are an intermediate or advanced quilter who already knows how to appliqué (hand or machine), is not frightened by rotary cutting angles, already has Omnigrid rulers (6" x 12" and 6" x 24"), routinely makes quilts from commercial patterns, likes working under deadline for no pay, who has the month of May free, and is willing to exchange their sweat for my un-ending gratitude and a few measly presents, you might just be the one of the two I'm looking for. Oh yes, you'll have to be able to follow directions, make the quilt (top only) exactly as the pattern instructs, and ship it to me (for review only-you'll get it back) along with corrections of all typos, inconsistencies, bad math, missing numbers, and directions that are "clear as mud." If that might be you, send me an email convincing me of your qualifications for this kind of work and whatever else you think I should know that sets you head and shoulders above everyone else who might foolishly want this job. E-mail me at AmiSimms@aol.com.

These are the wonderful people who mistakenly think I have some talent and want to cheer me on with whatever endeavor they think I should be working on. You see I have way too many ideas than I do time. Left to my own devices, I just pick an idea that interests me the most at any particular time, and dive in. This does not always pay the bills. So, if somebody sweetly and politely suggests that they would like a particular pattern to come into being, and I foolishly imagine that 6 or more people might be interested in purchasing said pattern, then they help me divert my attention to the right direction. I ask them to "yank my chain," that is, to e-mail me about once a month, asking for a progress report. (Think of your favorite mutt, at the end of your leash, wandering off the path. Just a little tug to get my attention is what I need.) I seem to need this re-direction constantly, but chain-yankers only have to e-mail monthly. Without them I might never get anything done. Is there something YOU'D like me to do? We can discuss a chain-yanking position. Do bear in mind that you actually have to be invited to chain-yank. I do get some say in what I do with my life. Not a lot. Just some.

I've had fun. I hope you have, too. I need to go pack now, so I'll see you next month. Just look for me in your mailbox on May 1st.

Ami Simms

Ami's new Twisted Sisters quilt
Pan Pacific Quilt Show
Linda's Twisted Sister
New Dog-Yeared quilts
Watch Your Step
Worst Quilt Wannabe
Worst Quilts
Almost Free Puppus Doggus Pattern
Have A Cow
Scissor Fobs
Mega Magnetic Pin Catchers
Our Track Record True Story
Another Cool Website

SUBSCRIBE/REMOVE/CHANGE Send all requests for removal or subscribal (I know that's not a real word, I just made it up) to Debbie, a real person, at MalleryPress@aol.com. If you need to change your email address, give Debbie your OLD e-mail address and your NEW e-mail address. Do NOT forward this entire newsletter back to me for any reason. I've already read it. DO forward it to all your friends; they might like it.