April 2006

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The Ami Simms Newsletter
April 2006
Copyright by Ami Simms

AOL Users, please see end of newsletter for hyper-links.

Spring has visited several times in the last few weeks, and I'm so happy for the extra sunshine. I could use temperatures that flirted with the 70's, but hey, we had those in February so I'm not complaining.

I do know that Spring will be here to stay because Madison's nose is turning from pink to black. Lest new readers be alarmed that I have a child whose nose is changing colors, let me explain that Madison is a Golden Retriever with special talents, at least to us. His nose has always changed with the seasons. I have heard that this is not uncommon with the breed; however we like to think he's special. Note: it just goes from pink to black and back again. He doesn't do any other colors.

Madison also likes to have the top of his head scratched, which isn't big news for a dog. What is odd, even to our Vet, is that this particular tactile stimulation raises the temperature of his scalp. Significantly. Some days I think you could fry an egg on his head! At first I was hesitant to scratch his head because I thought it would cook his little brain, but he seems to enjoy it so much and I haven't noticed any adverse effects.

It's all in the details. If you don't believe me, check out the two restaurant signs now living on the What Were They Thinking page. Proof-reader anyone? (And no, please never point out my typos, OK?)

The 100th quilt was donated to the Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts project this past month. I am delighted to say that we're only 74 away from quilt #200. Our March auction of Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts has bumped up total donations for Alzheimer's research to $3434.08. Thank you quilters and bidders, bidding quilters, quilting bidders, and budding quilters. There are 27 quilts up for auction right now. ALL profit goes to Alzheimer's research. Please bid generously at:

Keep those quilts coming! Karey Bresenhan has invited us to sell Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. This is so incredibly generous. This will be HUGE! She is donating booth space and helping us display the quilts. Did I mention we need more quilts? This is a FABULOUS opportunity for the Initiative and for quilters who have always wanted to have one of their quilts hang in Houston. I'd like to try for 500 quilts!!!

There is a new comment page. If Alzheimer's has touched your life, please share a few words:

Faith Reynolds, a Bernina educator, has digitized the AAQI logo and posted it on the Bernina website. You can download it and use it to label your "Priority" quilts, pop it on the pocket of your denim shirt, incorporate it into a quilt, or make your underwear really special. Download it at:

There is now a free newsletter specifically for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative supporters. If you just want to get the news of what's going on before anyone else, or if you're ready to roll up your sleeves and play a more active part in the AAQI, here's your chance. The AAQI Newsletter will be emailed as often as there is something to share or when I need your help. Everyone is welcome. Please sign up here:

Just so that nobody panics, it's retroactive. EVERYONE who has made a Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt, starting way back at #1 gets a crack at the new Bernina aurora 440QE, provided they're not affiliated with me or Bernina. A few other restrictions apply. See details at:

I need Diane Rice and Liz Hinze to email me. I'm missing vital information in case they win (address and phone).

Cindy Brick, author of Hanky Panky Crazy Quilts, has donated a copy of her book plus a starter kit of hankies, trim, beads, and embellishments to get you going on the road to Hanky Panky Nirvana. Yes indeed. How do you get a crack at this luscious prize? Easy. Register a Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt between April 1st and midnight EST April 15th. You can do your taxes later! Go here to register:

Here's the fine print:
1.) Your registration must appear in my e-mailbox by midnight EST April 15, 2006.
2.) I'm not eligible to win, nor are any persons affiliated with Mallery Press. Cindy Brick can't win either.
3.) Each quilt earns its maker a chance to win this great prize (and you still get a shot at the Bernina if your quilt sells. See the Bernina rules).
4.) If you're the lucky winner your prize will ship after I get your quilt in my hot little hands.
5.) Not responsible for emails lost in cyberspace or quilts shipped to Outer Slobovia by mistake.

Carmen C. shared this incredible website with me. You will be amazed. And you might want to take up juggling. Visit:

Amy and Jack have sent in another installment from the frozen tundra. Or rocks. Or whatever they have there. Put on a scarf, some mittens, and scroll down to the last entry.

Somebody called and left a message on our answering machine stating that my husband was a "free agent." After almost 29 years of wedded bliss, I begged to differ. Steve explained that he had requested information about playing in a local ice hockey league, and that's what they call the new "recruits." He confided that this was something he's always wanted to do. I, on the other hand, have always liked his teeth the way they are. All present and accounted for. Not to worry, the man with the pearly whites explained, this was just the Tin League. Local ice hockey has tiers of competition named for Olympic medals: Gold, Silver, Bronze, and, yes, Tin. Who knew?!

As I eavesdropped on the telephone conversation between my "free agent" and his future General Manager/Coach/Teammate/Zamboni-Driver, I wondered if there were any other tiers, possibly for those less accomplished than Tin: Aluminum? Paper? Dryer lint? My husband was, as always, being completely honest and straightforward so that there would be no surprises between player and management. He doesn't skate that well. Or that fast. Or for long periods of time. He can only skate backwards for very short distances, say 3 feet, tops. He doesn't want to play in a league that where players try and decapitate each other with their hockey sticks. No fighting or foul language. He's only willing to put out 80% effort because chasing around after a puck might be good exercise but it's not worth having a heart attack over. If he gets too tired, he's just going to sit down, in the middle of the ice if it comes to that, as his health comes first.

Management assured him this was the league for him. Everybody wears pads and helmets. The only broken bones they've had are those that disintegrated of their own accord due to age-related calcium loss. Players swig more Maalox than Gatorade.

Maybe I should join the Tin League. Nah, I get more exercise standing up to press my seams.

There are a few spaces left in my April 12th Twisted Sisters workshop in Milwaukee. Email Michelle Sweetser at Michelle.L.Sweetser.99@Alum.Dartmouth.org if you're interested. Join me for the evening lecture that same day!

April 21st is the last day to register for my workshops at the Denver National Quilt Festival. You can pre-register at

If you missed the SuperChat in March, you can read the entire transcript at:

I have a number of things on my web page. They're mine, but they could be yours. And, if you purchase something from the web page, Susan Fuquay's "Fiesta" quilt pattern will be yours, too. We'll stick it right in the package. You don't even have to ask for it. Fiesta is a super speedy, scrappy little quilt that you can whip up in a day. Great for charity projects or just to thin your stash. (Not that you need to, of course.)

Never ordered from me before? I'm harmless. See what other customers have said:

Check out the snazzy hotel carpeting…

Check out the new photo-quilts by Enchie Naini and Kelly Ross:

Barbara Van Diggelen made a Hugs & Kisses quilt:

JoAnne Sheppard finished her Twisted Sisters:

Donna Johnson made a String Quilt:

Phyllis Coriell and a friend made Rag Jackets, and so did Charlotte Prouty:

Paula Nadelstern has a new book out. I found it absolutely fascinating. It's not often I read directions unless I'm actually making the project, but her Puzzle Block Workbook section (six blocks each recreated six ways) had me sitting there with my mouth hanging open following every step. Mysteries revealed. Now I know how to use fabric to visually "melt" seam lines and create secondary (and tertiary) design schemes. I gotta try this in real life.

You will drool over the glorious color, the cool patterns, and the easy-to-understand instructions. You can also have Paula autograph a copy just for you at

Kaye’s Quilting Friends website has a free email newsletter with free tips and techniques, questions and answers from Kaye, monthly and weekly sales, free projects and more! Look for featured products available from Kaye Wood along with products from the guests who appeared on Kaye's Quilting friends. Sign up via email to receive this e-newsletter once a week filled with tons of quilting information. Email Terrye at Terrye@kayewood.com and she'll sign you up.

Nancy Eha's new book could have been titled Painting With Beads. This is beading with a capital B. Wow! We're not talking mere embellishments, we're talking Bead Art. Master basic bead embroidery and then explore hundreds of innovative ways to use beading in your quilts. Instructions for lefties are included. Get an autographed copy at:

Please do. Forward the ENTIRE thing to all your friends and even some of your enemies. Everybody enjoys a laugh or two. Please do NOT forward just part of it. Somehow my name gets dropped off when these things float through cyberspace and since I’m writing them for free, I should at least get credit for writing them. If you write a guild newsletter (real paper or online) and would like to “reprint” a particular part of the newsletter you must ask first. Here’s how:

Be good to each other and have a great quilting day! (Or several!) Ami Simms

AOL HYPERLINKS What Were They Thinking?!

Auction Quilts

AAQI Comment Page

Download Digitized AAQI Logo

AAQI Newsletter

Win A Bernina

Make A Priority: Alzheimer's Quilt

Amazing Juggling

Letter From Kazahkstan

Denver National Quilt Festival

Ami's SuperChat

What People Say

Watch Your Step


New Hugs & Kisses Quilt

Twisted Sisters Quilts

String Quilts

Rag Fur Jackets

Puzzle Quilts

Bead Creative Art Quilts

Requesting Reprints

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