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Ami Simms Newsletter
August 2001

Did you miss me?

I bet you were wondering where I was since the newsletter rarely gets out so late in the month. It's been a wild summer, folks! Forgive me.

It the July newsletter I wrote that I was on my way to tape a segment of Simply Quilts. Well, it was a blast, as usual. This was my third visit with Alex and in answer to The Most Asked Question regarding Simply Quilts----YES, she is really that nice in real life!

What you don't see on television however is what a pro she is and how hard she works. She tapes four shows a day, plus “promos.” Not only does she need to prepare for each guest, learning their techniques and methods so she can guide them flawlessly through the on-camera presentation, but throughout the entire thing she's listening to what the people in the control booth are telling her (she wears a tiny little earpiece in her left ear), she's making decisions with the director and producers on the set, and she's making the guest feel comfortable. And, she makes it all look easy! It isn't, believe me.

Shorlty after I came back from Los Angeles, I discovered show #626 "Contest Ready Quilts aired again. I was "re-runned" on August 6th. And of course, I missed it!

This new segment (#743 "Eye of the Beholder") should be on some time this fall. Weekly schedules can be found at www.hgtv.com. If you find out when I’ll be on let me know, will ya?

ON THE ROAD AGAIN (Sing it with me!)
I'll be at the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza in Ft. Washington, PA in September. Quilts from my newest book, Picture Play Quilts, will be one of the featured exhibits. I'll also be presenting a workshop and lecture on PPQs as well as teaching String Quilting, How To Improve Your Quilting Stitch, and Invisible Applique. For more information see my Teaching Schedule. If anybody wants to go out for ice cream (or something else) after my lecture, let me know. Maybe we can have a Newsletter Reunion!

In October I'll be the featured speaker at the Greater Hartford Guild's Annual Meeting, presenting Humorous Quilts & Their Makers, String Quilting, and Picture Play Quilts. Contact information is on my Teaching Schedule. Information is listed by date, so scroll down.

In November I'll be with the West Alabama Quilters Guild and the Birmingham Quilters Guild presenting Invisible Applique, Feathers That Fit, Photo-Quilting, A New Way To Piece: Applique, and Picture Play Quilts. You can sign up for workshops or lecture by contacting the individuals listed by each guild. Go to my Teaching Schedule.

Finally, in December I'll be with the Ozark Piecemakers in Springfield, MO with "Don't Make The Same Mistakes I Did" and "The World's Worst Quilts." In addition to these lectures (in one, audience members receive barf bags......can you guess which one?) I will also be presenting a Photo-Quilting seminar.

In case you won't be in a workshop of mine any time soon, you can still ask me quilting questions.

Almost $500 has been raised for Leader Dogs For The Blind and we haven't auctioned off a single quilt yet! Five finished quilts have been donated and 16 more are in the works made with blocks YOU donated. Thank you so very much for helping this great cause.

Wondering how you're going to get everything done? You know, there are quilters who will turn your quilt tops into quilts. Honest. Click on Quilters for Hire and check them out!

Dear Mom
Well, I have some good news and I have some bad news.

First the bad news: I'm not going to be a Leader Dog. Despite my wonderful genes, Miss Jennie and Miss Ami's diligent socializing skills, and the hard work of the skilled people at Leader Dogs for the Blind, it looks like it's just not meant to be. I was "career changed" at the end of last month.

My web page has received a Yahoo "Top Service" Award. When you purchase on-line from us you can elect to complete a survey rating your experience. Of those that have rated us, we got 29 "Excellent" ratings and 6 "Good" ratings. Nothing lower. I'm not sure how anybody who is shopping can see our ratings, but they appear when we check statistics on “our side” of the web page. If you've ever seen where they are, let me know.

I've been quilting in a floor frame ever since I learned with the Amish back in the 70s. I'm really used to it and can even quilt in several different directions fairly comfortably. I've gotten the "green monster" (otherwise known as the Lilly Quilt) bordered, basted, and wadded up in my chair in the living room and I’ve been quilting 2 to 4 hours every night.

This time I thought I would try quilting in a hoop so I could hang out with my family. The hoop makes things much more portable and I can turn the hoop so that I'm always quilting in my favorite direction. Southeast-I'm a "lefty,” remember? But there is one drawback. I can't eat.

When I work on my quilt frame, I just set a bowl of small, lightweight foods near where I'm stitching. I mean the frame is huge and it LOOKS and acts just like a table! So as not to soil my fingers or the quilt, I just lean over, stick out my tongue, and pop whatever it is into my mouth. (Hey! I'm no fool, it keeps my strength up and it keeps the rest of the family from wanting to share!)

Don't laugh. I can snarf up most dry cereals (Sugar Pops are my favorite) and popcorn (no butter) and small crackers. On a good day I have even been known to Hoover up M&Ms! But with a hoop, there's no extra room, my lap is full with the quilt, and leaning over to reach the end table is too dangerous. Going for a snack last night I nearly fell out of my recliner! Besides the occupant of the sofa on the other side of the end table recoiled in terror as I came at her, tongue hanging out, eyes still focused on my needle. It was a little embarrassing.

So, as you curl up in front of the TV with YOUR quilting tonight, see if you can figure out another system. And I don't want to hear, "Eat a good dinner."

Thanks again for tuning in. Please forward this newsletter to all your friends (or enemies) and have a great quilting day!

Thanks again for all your help with the Leader Dog quilts.

Ami Simms :)