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The Ami-Simms-Newsletter
February 2002

Welcome to everyone getting this newsletter for the first time, and "Welcome AGAIN" to those who are experiencing the re-ordering of my life. (You'll have to read last month's newsletter to know what I'm talking about. When you get there, do a CONTROL + F for "Time Warp.")

Either way, I'm glad you're here ("plain" or "again") and I'm glad to be here with you. Hugs for EVERYBODY!

I must say that I'm in a wonderful mood because I get to spill the beans about my latest project: TWISTED SISTERS! I've designed a twisting, windmill, pinwheel type pattern for a block that looks impossible, but really isn't. I call it Twisted Sisters because it's made with two strips of fabric "sistered" (stitched) together and then chopped apart with a "cock-eyed" template. It goes together quite easily, and the pieces are nice and big. There are enough variations in fabric, settings, and twists to make a bunch of quilts, some with fun secondary designs. Plus, you can use the leftovers from cutting to make borders and a whole other quilt!

I've been playing with the pattern for several years and got a great response when I listed the Twisted Sisters workshop in my repertoire. Trouble was, I hadn't developed the pattern, nor had I planned how I wanted to structure the workshop prior to listing it. (In advertising they refer to that kind of idiotic move as "hoisting it up the flagpole to see if anyone will salute.")

And salute they did. I got lots of requests for the workshop and (drat!) had to demurely decline each one. Finally, Pam Larson from the Common Threads Quilt Guild of Lafayette, Indiana just wouldn't take "NO" for an answer and forced me (thank you!) to come up with the workshop.

I taught it for the first time back in April of last year and it was a great success. You can see the quilts the students made at . When you have that many finished quilts from one class, you know it's a winner. The Common Threads Guinea Pigs convinced me to develop a rotary cutting template to go with the pattern. That would be better, they said, than the class handout cut apart and taped to the underside of the rotary ruler. (Really?)

Well, the prototype has just come back and it IS much better. Not only that, but they spelled my name right and everything! I am now working on the pattern illustrations and need to come up with a price. Hopefully most of that will be done in time for the touring exhibit of TWISTED SISTERS at the Quilt & Sewing Fest at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina April 25-27, 2002. Visit for more information about the show and this "special exhibit."

After Myrtle Beach, the TWISTED SISTERS will move on to the World Quilt & Textile: On Tour in Lansing, MI and Greensboro, NC. See for more details.

Those of you signed up for the next TWISTED SISTERS WORKSHOP on February 22, 2002 at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Williamsburg, don't panic. I'll have the gorgeous templates, and several quilts to show you, but the pattern will be written in red crayon on the back of an old envelope.

Actually, I'm an only child, so it's a big stretch to even imagine what having a sister might be like, twisted or otherwise, so I have to pretend. Luckily I have a good imagination and I always have wanted a sibling. (Mom, you listening?) So far I've come up with the following names for some of my TS quilts: "Mom Always Liked You Best," "Hand Me Downs," "Truly Twisted," and one that looks like it has little doors to a shared bedroom all along the border: "And STAY OUT!" There's also "Twist & Shout" and "There's A Twist."

Several days ago I put a blurb on the web page asking for other creative names. Sharon Tharp wrote and suggested several, including "Peppermint Twist!" I told her that was such a great name I had to make a quilt to go with it.

You can help. I need red and white striped 100% cotton fabric-as many different red and white striped fabrics as you can get your hands on. Thin stripes, thick stripes, straight stripes, wobbly stripes. I'm up for anything. If you send me a red and white striped fat quarter by February 15, 2002 I'll give you a 20% discount on the TWISTED SISTER Rotary Template as soon as they're available on my web site. That's 20% off a price that has not even been thought of yet! (Talk about "cutting edge.") If I use your fabric, your name will go on the label, and yes, YOU can be part of history. (OK, I'm getting a little carried away, but I sure could use your help!) Check your stash or plan a special shopping trip for the author of your favorite newsletter (I have NO shame) and send the FQs to:

Mallery Press, LLC
4206 Sheraton Drive
Flint, MI 48532-3557

Before you close the package, grab your copy of How NOT To Make A Prize-Winning Quilt and turn to page 45. Right at the top. Ever wonder if we still give out those free little somethings? Well, we DO! And you can save outgoing postage if you include it in with your FQ. So, before sealing up your package include your LONG....well, you'll just have to read page 45. Need a copy of How NOT To Make A Prizewinning Quilt? Visit to order.

Before you order tell a friend about www.MalleryPress.com and get a 10% discount on...let's see....anything you want from my web page! You get your discount just about immediately and your friends get one in a day or so. Visit for details.

Marcie Lane shares a beautiful photo-transfer quilt. Be sure to click on the pictures to see the details of her fine workmanship at .

Yes, they're back in full force. We swap "rough" cuts so you do the final trimming to your exact measurements. There are 11 swaps in all, ranging from 2-inch to 4-inch to Fat Quarters of conversational fabric. We swap "regular" conversationals plus dog, cat, and bug fabrics. All swaps are "coded" to the 15 quilts in Picture Play Quilts so you're assured that the fabric you get will be the right size. All you need to participate are the plastic templates from the back of the book and you're ready to roll. If you're into conversational fabrics see to learn how to swap and how to sign up. Deadlines vary: 10th, 20th and 30th of every month, depending on the swap you want to join. Hostesses are standing by NOW.

If you weren't the high bidder in the auction for the beautiful quilt mentioned in the last newsletter don't despair. You can bid on an awesome Doggy Quilt this time around. Nine different dog blocks with neutral backgrounds are sashed in patriotic red and blue with brown set stars. It is machine quilted in a beautiful meander stitch with variegated thread. About 63 inches square, this quilt is absolutely charming. One look and you can't keep from smiling.

Please visit and bid generously. All proceeds from this auction will be given to Leader Dogs For The Blind. Help a great charity and get a great quilt.

if you open this email in time (presuming that I can send it on time) tune into whatever station in your area is broadcasting things Olympic to see an 87-year-old Leader Dog graduate carrying the Olympic Torch somewhere in Colorado. Jim and Leader Dog Ben will be carrying the torch on February 2. Gives me goose bumps just to think about it!

Wait until you see this month's prize from Classic Rugs Collection, Inc. It is a gorgeous rug from Barbara Barran's "Quilt Collection." This indigo and white BASKET design is made of plush, durable nylon carpet. The pieces are cut by laser and then assembled BY HAND. Just like a quilt! The pile is 1/2" high and the nylon is of such a superior quality that you'd swear it was wool. This rug measures 36" x 54" and will look fantastic in any setting. (You could even hang it on the wall!) And best of all it's so "QUILTY!"

Because of weight and size this prize can only be shipped to an address in the United States.
Good luck! Enter NOW: .

Classic Rug Collection, Inc is offering readers of this newsletter discounts on runners and rugs. There are THREE different collections quilters will go gaga over: The Quilt Collection is made of nylon, like the Basket Rug you can enter to win. The Quilters Choice Collection also has quilty patterns and is made of New Zealand wool. The Custom Collection give you the choice of custom sizes, colors, and patterns. They will even design a rug exclusively for YOU!

Visit Classic Rug Collections at or call them toll free at 888-334-0063. If you say "Ami Sent Me" when you order (online or by phone) you'll get $25 off a runner, $35 off on a 4' x 6' rug, or $50 on a 6' x 6' rug. What are you waiting for? Special thanks to Barbara Barran for making these discounts available!

They're popping up everywhere! And, before this newsletter becomes the Official Critter Letter, this is it, the last links: Moose: Wolves: LA Angels: (Thanks to Lynn, Jeanne, and Jeannine, respectively.)

Ask at your local quilt shop, check the library, or take the EASY WAY OUT and head over to Kris Drissen's to click on your state and see the most comprehensive list of quilt guilds around. (Scroll down below the map.) Join up!

Kris wears MANY hats: web page designer, quilt shop owner, and creator of the ultimate shopping experience: a QUILT BUS! What's THAT, you ask? Head over to sister site and take a look. Billed as the "quilt store that comes to your door this has got to be the "funnest" job ever. Kris says, "Everyone smiles when they climb on the bus! It's so funny to see people pass you on the highway, then slow down to read the side of the bus and write down our phone number. We give a lot of impromptu tours at Thruway stops.

The very talented artist from the last newsletter will be exhibiting this year at Paducah! YES! Be sure to check out his extraordinary work, and please remember that my birthday is coming up in several months.

My entire family gets my newsletter, but alas, my Uncle Bud is the only one who ever reads it. (You may remember some of his stories in newsletter from several years ago. You can re-read his Garden Hose Adventure at or the story of his first car at .)

Uncle Bud characteristically responded to the last newsletter: "When you think about it, it seems amazing that we don't bite ourselves more often than we do. There is an amazing bit of coordination going on with every chew. The tongue positions food for the chew, and then deftly moves out of harms way in a microsecond, most of the time. The flab of the inner cheek isn't always as lucky. With all its faults, science could not develop a better chewing machine with anything close to the precision of a human mouth.

So after almost a half a century the precision looses a little. It can be expected. Still, it's embarrassing sometimes when I scream or jump while eating, especially in a restaurant. I always cover it up neatly however by shouting 'STOP that!' to Aunt Elaine."

Words to live by.

So, if you ever bite your cheek in public, make sure you are dining with someone named Elaine!

Have a great quilting day!
Ami Simms

Last Month's Newsletter
Twisted Sisters Quilts
How NOT To Make A Prize-Winning Quilt
Marcie's Photo-Quilt
Picture Play Quilts
Swap Conversational Fabric
Quilt Auction
Win Cool Stuff
Classic Rugs
Angels in LA
Find A Local Quilt Guild
The Quilt Bus
Uncle Bud's Garden Hose Story
Uncle Bud's First Car

Send me a 2-line e-mail exactly like this:

NEW Address: SweetQuilter@pieces.com
OLD address: SweetQuilter3456@zigzag.com