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The Ami Simms Newsletter
August 2000

WELCOME
Thanks to your efforts spreading the word about this newsletter, our readership has grown by over 1000 readers in the last month. That's terrific! Thank you! And by all means, keep it up. To all those who are joining our ranks for the first time, I'm delighted you're here. If you are interested in past issues, don't forget that EVERYONE can go to www.eGroups.com and read them at any time.

CHIT CHATS
August 22 is the date for another visit with the good folks at Planet Patchwork. I will be on their stage (www.quiltropolis.com/chatcenter.htm) from 9 to 10 pm EST. I'll most likely be talking about my new book, Picture Play Quilts. Please come and visit.

August 24 marks the 4th Thursday of the month and our regular chat in the AOL Chat room. You must be an AOL user to participate. Keyword: quilters. We're in the Professional Chat room and I will attempt to comport myself accordingly between 9 pm and 10 pm EST.

Immediately after the AOL Chat, I'll be in our very own chat room at www.eGroups.com. EVERYONE is invited. Go to our Ami-Simms-Newsletter page and click on CHAT. It's not hard. Look for me about 10:05 pm EST.

OPEN HOUSE
Everyone in the Flint area, or anyone who would like to come for a visit, is invited to join me as I kick off the publication of Picture Play Quilts at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre here in Flint on Friday, September 22. The quilts from the book will be on exhibit, I'll be autographing books, my Mom will have her hand painted silk scarves and note cards plus her "Something Wonderful" line from Marcus Brothers. AND, we'll have conversational fabrics and really cool novelty buttons to get you started on your very own PPQ. Plus I've cleaned out my studio and all sorts of fun stuff will be on Ami's Garage Sale table. Come early for the best selection.

At 7 pm I'll be giving a lecture on Picture Play Quilts. Since space is limited, advance tickets are required for the lecture. They are $5 each and can be ordered on-line or by phone. (Details are at www.PicturePlayQuilts.com.) The exhibit and vendor area are open to the public and admission is free.

While you're here, there are a bunch of other quilty things around town that same week-end, so come on over and enjoy the fun!

MEET ME IN NASHVILLE
If you can't come to Flint, meet me in Nashville at the AQS show. Picture Play Quilts won't be ready, but I'll have a mock-up of the book you can look at, plus I'll bring at least one of the quilts in the book. When I'm not lecturing, I'll be in the Meet The Teachers area in the convention area selling and autographing books. Please come on by and introduce yourself. If you tell me you get my newsletter, I have a free gift for you. (It's not very attractive and only marginally useful, buy hey, it's FREE. Don't worry, I'll probably run out of them before you get there anywhere!) Here's my schedule:

Wednesday August 30:
   8-10 pm Meet The Teachers

Thursday August 31
   9:00-10:00Ś Lecture: "Creating Photo-Quilts" #4351
   11:00-2:00ŚMeet The Teachers

Friday September 1, 2000
   9:00-12:00ŚMeet The Teachers
   5:00-6:00ŚLecture: "Don't Make The Same Mistakes I Did" #4361

Saturday September 2, 2000
   1:00-2:00 Lecture: "Humorous Quilts & Their Makers" #4365
   3:00-6:00ŚMeet The Teachers

Sunday September 3, 2000
   12:00-2:00ŚMeet The Teachers

QUILT CONTEST
Here's your chance to create something wonderful with the "Something Wonderful" fabric line. Contest rules are up on the Marcus Brothers web site this month. Cash prizes. Take a look! Mom and I get to be the judges. We've already removed our shoes so you can WOW OUR SOCKS OFF! Look here: www.marcusbrothers.com Click on QUILT CONTEST along the top of the page for all the details.

FREE PATTERN
My friend Lucy Fazely has a pattern for a delightful quilt called Under The Sea. Check it out at Traditional Quilter Magazine's web page: wwww.traditionalquilter.com. Click on FREE PROJECT. Hurry! I don't know how much longer it will be up there, so take a look.....NOW!

MAILING UPDATE
I got a lot of fun mail on this one, folks. Thanks for all your encouragement and suggestions. (I also got a rock in the mail! LOL) Here's a suggestion from Cathy that I'd like to share:

Cathy writes: I took either a 2 or 3 liter empty clear bottle and put a slit on the side. Take the black bottom off. I then put shredded paper, balloons, a birthday card, candles and whatever else you wanted in it. Then put an address label across the slit. The person does not know how you got everything in the bottle. It's an instant birthday party (or whatever) in the bottle.

And, from Ronna...Regarding your story about strange unwrapped things that can be sent through the mail. I don't know if this particular thing qualifies, since we actually ordered it, but it WAS unwrapped. It was a 24 lb. "CQR" boat anchor! Yes, a real boat anchor. They put the mailing label on the fluke of the anchor, taped the packing slip to the shank and sent it on its way. It was sitting happily on our doorstep, although the postal carrier seemed to be limping away. Do you suppose he dropped it on his foot during deliver? There was no problem with damage during transit.....to the anchor anyway.

More unusual things in the mail... my friend Carol once used an airline barf bag as a post card. She sent it to a friend who tossed her cookies on a flight from California to Michigan. On the back the wrote: "Thinking of You." I would think that barf bags would make WONDERFUL mailing containers. Expandable, well constructed, water proof, and with a handy closure. Think about it for your next fabric swap. "Squishies" take on a whole new meaning.

SPEAKING OF BARF BAGS
Thanks to Cindy for sending me this URL. Yes, a Web site totally dedicated to BARF BAGS! What can be better? Well over 400 of them are on display on this quirky site. You can search, swap, or just view fronts and backs. The site is very well done---take a peek. http://www.airsicknessbags.com.

NOW I'VE SEEN EVERYTHING
I happened to get some interesting SPAM the other day. Unlike the "HOT SEXY BABES" messages that pop up from time to time, I opened this one. Apparently, the Amish are on the Internet! Moses Smucker's Amish harness shop in Lancaster, PA has a web site with an on-line store, and e-mail! I'll be darned! Check it out at www.smuckers.com. (I wonder how the jelly people feel about his URL!)

CLASSIC QUILTS
I've been getting more and more requests for my book, Classic Quilts: Patchwork Designs From Ancient Rome. It has been out of print for some time now, and I don't have any copies left. The only copies I know of are available from Quilter's Rule International, LLC/817 Mohr Ave./ Waterford, WI 53185. Email them (quilter@setnet.net) for cost/availability if you are interested in a copy before they all disappear, or call them at 800 343-8671. Fax: (262) 514-2100.

CHECK OUT THIS NEWSLETTER/WEB SITE
Sharon Darling's "Quilter's Review" is a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that tests and reviews the products, books, classes, and other resources you need to become a better quilter and to enjoy quilting more. Sharon takes a very up-close and personal approach to all the product reviews. Her goal is to give you the feeling that you're actually sitting in her workroom with her, trying out the product.

One of the most popular features of Quilter's Review is the weekly quilting tip, with clever insights and handy shortcuts that will help everyone from novices to experts. Many of the tips are submitted by readers, so the diversity makes the tips really interesting. And there's even a weekly tip by Sharon's husband Charlie on how to get over all the little problems (and some of the big ones) that your computer may throw at you. Take a look at http://quiltersreview.com to see a great web page and to sign up for Sharon's "Quilter's Review."

PASEDENA GRATE CHALLENGE UPDATE
Remember back in April when I flew out to LA to do the Simply Quilts segment and I went bananas over the cast iron gratings surrounding the trees on some street in Pasedena? Well several folks were kind enough to take up the Pasedena Grate Challenge (see the April 2000 Newsletter) and return to the scene with their camera to photograph them for me. They are now up on the web for you all to admire, along with the story of how the photos came to be, courtesy of Deanne. You gotta see 'em.

MOLA TOUR
February 2-13, 2001 are the dates for the next Mola Tour with Louise Young. If you've always wanted to "go native" and experience a different culture while feeding the fabric bug, this is your golden opportunity. Learn about the Kuna people of Panama and their beautiful molas first hand. Conditions are a little rustic, but if I can do it, so can YOU! (Read about my trip with Louise last year at Ami's Adventures/Panama.) This is the chance of a lifetime. For more information, contact: Louise Young/RD 2, Box 72/Tioga PA 16946.

LEADER DOG PUP
Daisy, future leader dog, has arrived. She (and her 9 other littermates) were born on May 24, 2000. Take a look at the pictures from our first day together at www.MalleryPress.com (click on PUPPY). Daisy is adorable and we are having a great time learning all about her. She was has the most gorgeous green eyes. I've heard reports that she was the most aggressive female of the litter. She also has enormous feet, which leads most people familiar with labs to estimate her future size somewhere near elephant.

STORYTIME QUILTS
Here's a wonderful project for quilters who would like to help create an awareness of quilting among school age children. Volunteers make small quilts or blocks to illustrate children's books that feature quilts in their stories. They can also visit classes to read the book and share the quilt, make tape recordings of the books, or come up with hands-on learning activities. The group's goal is to have a Web site with quilt-related lessons for teachers everywhere. They're collecting ideas now and need your input. If you're interested, please contact Anne Wanicka/308 Probart Street/Brevard, NC 28712 or email her at: anne@sunletter.com. There are lots of ways you can help.

RED DIAMOND BRIGADE
Keep your eyes open for the October issue of McCalls' Quilting. My Amish Center Diamond quilt has been patterned by Craftco and they'll be having a full page color ad in the magazine. It's been re-named Red Diamond Brigade, which is fine with me. Wait until you see the picture! It's absolutely adorable. The pattern will be offered as a kit with most of the stencils needed to make the quilt, plus marking pencils, and as a Deluxe kit which will have ALL the stencils, the pencils, and a copy of my How To Improve Your Quilting Stitch book. These kits are only sold in quilt shops, so log onto www.craftco.com to see which shop near you has them.

REAL PRODUCT LABELS
(Thanks, Rubyjean!)

On a blanket from Taiwan -
NOT TO BE USED AS PROTECTION FROM A TORNADO.

On a helmet mounted mirror used by US cyclists -
REMEMBER, OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE ACTUALLY BEHIND YOU.

On a Taiwanese shampoo -
USE REPEATEDLY FOR SEVERE DAMAGE.

On the bottle-top of a (UK) flavoured milk drink
AFTER OPENING, KEEP UPRIGHT.

On a New Zealand insect spray -
THIS PRODUCT NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS.

In a US guide to setting up a new computer -
TO AVOID CONDENSATION FORMING, ALLOW THE BOXES TO WARM UP TO ROOM TEMPERATURE BEFORE OPENING. (Sensible, but the instruction was INSIDE the box.)

On a Sears hairdryer -
DO NOT USE WHILE SLEEPING.

On a bag of Fritos -
YOU COULD BE A WINNER! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. DETAILS INSIDE.

On a bar of Dial soap -
DIRECTIONS - USE LIKE REGULAR SOAP.

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert - (printed on bottom of the box)-
DO NOT TURN UPSIDE DOWN.

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding -
PRODUCT WILL BE HOT AFTER HEATING.

On a Korean kitchen knife -
WARNING KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN.

On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights -
FOR INDOOR OR OUTDOOR USE ONLY.

On a Japanese food processor -
NOT TO BE USED FOR THE OTHER USE.

On Sainsbury's peanuts -
WARNING - CONTAINS NUTS.

On an American Airlines packet of nuts -
INSTRUCTIONS - OPEN PACKET, EAT NUTS.

On a child's superman costume -
WEARING OF THIS GARMENT DOES NOT ENABLE YOU TO FLY.

On a hotel provided shower cap in a box -
FITS ONE HEAD.

On packaging for a Rowenta iron -
DO NOT IRON CLOTHES ON BODY. (Actually, I have been known to iron my own clothing while wearing it. Usually before class, if nobody else is in the room, full skirts only.)

On Boot's "Children's" cough medicine -
DO NOT DRIVE CAR OR OPERATE MACHINERY.

On Nytol sleep aid -
WARNING MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS.

Thanks for opening the mail. Have a great quilting day!
Ami Simms