February 2005

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The Ami Simms Newsletter
Copyright February 2005

Thanks for double-clicking. I was getting lonely. Actually I was half-frozen. The weather here in Michigan has been down right nippy with temperatures below zero. I shouldn't complain. It's not going to do any good. Madison finds it invigorating. If he were human he'd be one of those imbeciles who strip down to their skivvies and jump in a lake in the middle of a snow storm to swim. The dog has very little fur on his underside, yet adores lounging in the snow. He finds a sunny spot, plops down, and happily watches the fresh-frozen squirrels skittering around. (He only chases them during the first 30 seconds of freedom and never has caught one. OK, he caught PART of one once and I don't know who was more surprised, the squirrel or the dog.)

This is also the time of year he enjoys impersonating rhinos. He follows his own footprints around the yard, sticking his head down each hole to sniff. ("Yeah, that was me. And this one, too. Here's another.") When he comes up for air his whole head is white and he usually has a large snow horn on the end of his nose. I find this very amusing until I have to wipe him down when he gets in the house. I'm just glad we no longer have a swing set in the back yard. He'd probably lick it and get stuck out there.

Madison wanted me to tell you that he's been supervising the creation of the "Dog-Yeared" Calendar Quilt CD. Remember the Block of the Month starring Puppus Doggus? Well some time this spring/summer it will be available in disk form. I've actually made some progress designing a similar quilt featuring cats. That is still a long way off, but Madison thinks if I share that now, I may actually get a move on it. So many quilts; so little time. Such a silly dog.

I know this is just a tad past the Christmas season, but I'm just at a loss. Who brought me home-baked doggie biscuits in a little plastic container with a gold bow? I wasn't home. Somebody (who shall remain nameless) accepted the lovely gift on my behalf from a man and a woman who came to the door, and promptly forgot who they said they were. If this is you, you have not been properly thanked. You haven't been improperly thanked either. Madison enjoyed them immensely. And I would like to tell you that in person, so fess up, OK?

Thank goodness nobody had their thinking cap on when they decorated the display window of this card shop in Bellaire, TX. Otherwise we wouldn't have such a lovely treat in time for Valentine's Day. Visit the little quilter's room, then see:

Here's the ultimate Valentine gift if you're guy is good with duct tape. Or maybe not. Yes, there are instructions for making long stem roses out of colored duct tape. You've seen everything now:

If your honey is too inept, don't worry. He can BUY a dozen ready-made Duct Tape Roses at:

Mary W. writes: I enjoyed reading all the strange names of people and places and thought I would add my granddaughter's chiropractor is named Dr. Bonebreak. For real!

Someone else wrote: "In response to your Dr. Slaughter, I had a c-section performed by a Dr. Safely! It was so-o-o-o-o reassuring!"

Edye B. writes that in Southern California someone with a sense of humor named a couple of streets in Spring Valley. One is Kurdson Way and the other is Phire Place.

Yes that's kind of a strange one, but as with just about everything else, you can find all sorts of fun things on the Internet. Christine Thresh suggested a visit to the about.com quilting forum to see a very unusual wedding cake. Scroll down and click on the little yellow post it notes about half way down the page. Have a look:

Getting hungry? We've just made up another batch of delicious Fruit Tart Pincushion Kits. Order one today and you'll have it finished in time for your favorite Valentine, which could be you. This would be a good thing if the alternative is a dozen long stem duct tape roses. See

Chase away those winter time aches and pains with an Electric Pizza. Yes, it's an electric heating pad cover that looks just like a pizza! Low fat and it won't leave a grease stain on the furniture either. It's guaranteed to make you feel better just by looking at it. What are you waiting for? See

If you're not in the cooking mood, we just got in some different colored Zipper-D-Do Dah bags. The cheap jewelry is still the same color, but the bags are different. In case you have to buy your own Valentine gift. It happens. See

While you're shopping, visit www.RealWomenQuilt.com. This has got to be the best slogan anywhere. I've been wearing my "Real Women Quilt" T-shirt all over the place and it's my total favorite. Need one? See

Pam Stahl has all sorts of interesting features on her page besides the cool T-shirts, mugs, quilting books, research projects, and whatnot. (What's a "whatnot?") She also features one quilter every month. Turns out I'm Miss February! How about THAT?! Anybody want to make me a sash. How about a small tiara? Just checking. Check it out at:

How about in your underwear drawer? Thanks to Carol for sending me to Block Party Studios where I can purchase very special panties. You've got to see this to believe it. Go ahead. I double dog dare you.

This year, all of my lectures are going digital so I can present them with an LCD projector instead of slides. Using digital photographs allows me to improve the quality of the images. In digital form they're far easier to crop. I can highlight or enlarge parts of images, add text, put multiple images on one "slide" and move them around effortlessly (well, almost) in the presentation. I'm also using a digital camcorder in workshops to photograph demonstrations and project them live on a large screen so students can see what I'm doing from their seats, often seeing more than they would if they were close enough to sit on my lap!

As many of you know, I present a lecture called Humorous Quilts & Their Makers. Since this is a lecture I've been doing for a long time, I'd like to update the images. If your quilt is already in my lecture (you know who you are) please send me a new digital image if you have one. If you've made a funny or quirky quilt and would like to submit it for inclusion in my lecture, send it to me in an email. (AmiSimms@aol.com)

I haven't decided if this will be a book or a lecture, but I'm collecting material on this topic also. Here's what I need:

1. Do you remember the signs they used to sell at quilt shops in the 1980's (maybe more recent then that…) that said QUILT POX. They were black and white, about 8" x 10" and I think they said something about being "quarantined" too. If you've got one, contact me.

2. If you have a quilted shower curtain I'd like a picture. I can't be the only one. I want to see how you hung yours. Matching toilet seat and tank ensemble? I want to hear from you.

3. Do you display quilts in any other way besides on the bed, on the wall, draped over furniture/railings, as a shower curtain, as a clothes chute? (Yes, I have one of those too.) I remember a Michigan quilter who had a quilt on the ceiling, but I can't remember who. Do you?

4. I'm looking for pictures of "quilty" home accessories: dishes with patchwork motifs, picture frames, floor tiles, carpet, any thing goes.

5. Carol in Saginaw, I need you to send me another picture of your refrigerator stash. This time for the lecture. Anyone else store their fabric in unusual locations?

Sooner is much better than later, but I have a feeling this presentation will be "in development" for a while. Thanks for your help.

As many of you may already know, Pat Campbell suffered a ruptured aneurism in her brain on January 1st. She remains hospitalized at this time and faces a long recovery. If you have a moment, please send a card to Pat at this address.
Pat, Campbell
908 Audelia Rd. Suite #200
PMB #141
Richardson, TX 75081-5150

Please do not send flowers at this time.

John, her fiancé, is posting updates on Pat's condition on her web page at:

While you're on her site, check out Pat's white chalk marking pencils. They're wonderful. A purchase from Pat's website would be most welcome, especially now, as she will be unable to work for some time. Her staff is ready and waiting right now to fill your order. To see if there is anything you might need, please visit:

Over 20 quilts and other quilt related items belonging to Debby Kratovil were stolen from a locked car in a parking garage in Sacramento, California on January 17, 2005. They were in a black wheeled suitcase. Please visit Debby's website so you can familiarize yourself with the lost quilts. It's possible you might see them someplace. If you do, you'll be able to help return them to her. Email Debby at kratovil@his.com. See

Check out Kaye Wood's free weekly email newsletter. It's much better than this one. Kaye actually includes free quilting tips, quilting techniques, questions and answers, monthly and weekly sales, free projects and more! Look for featured products available from Kaye Wood along with the products from the guests who appeared on Kaye's Quilting friends. (I just babble on about silly things.) You'll receive Kay's newsletter once a week filled with tons of quilting information. Don't miss out on this offer! Email: Terrye@KayWood.com to sign up.

I'm a huge fan of Hollis' work. If you are too, you'll be glad to know that 15 of her quilts, will be shown at the Museum of the American Quilter Society (MAQS) from March 5th to 8th, 2005 in an exhibit titled "Living Messages." To see Hollis' quilts, visit:

Carol Ballard made a Rag Fur Jacket: Sandi Fisher made two Twisted Sisters: Anna Palmer made a photo quilt:

I've been volunteering at the St. Luke's Women's Center here in Flint teaching a class of beginning quilters, many of whom just learned how to work a sewing machine. Their enthusiasm is awesome. And boy, are they getting good. Mom, Madison, and I are there Thursday afternoons (when I'm not teaching out of town) and we could use your help. Mountains of fabric have been donated, but what we could really use are spools of thread, rotary cutters, blades, rulers, mats, scissors, and some decent sewing machines. Donations are tax deductible. Please contact me if you've got supplies that need a good home. (AmiSimms@aol.com) They don't need to look pretty; they just need to work.

I'll be at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, VA in February, the Northwest Suburban Quilters Guild in Arlington Heights, IL in March, and the Quilt Guild of Metro Detroit in April. For more information please see:

We're still looking for a few brave souls to join us on Tuesday mornings from 11 to 12. No tap-dancing experience is required. Some sense of balance is helpful, but not mandatory. Leg-foot coordination is discouraged as we don't want to be shown up by some first-timer who can do the steps better than those of us who have been taking lessons for two months. There will be absolutely no recitals, and no costumes, although we are hoping to learn how to move our arms at the same time as our feet at some time in the future if for no other reason that we think it would be cool to work up a routine with yardsticks. On second thought, that’s not a good idea. We could poke somebody's eye out. If you don't want to join us for tap, at least come to lunch with us. If you can't come to lunch, can you help us design a T-shirt?

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

Ami Simms

What Were They Thinking?!
MakeDuct Tape Roses
BUY Duct Tape Roses
"Quilted" Wedding Cake
Fruit Tart Pincushion
Electric Pizza
Zipper-D-Do-Dah Necklace
Real Women Quilt
I'm Miss February
Thong In Your Heart?
How's Pat Doing?
Shop PatCampbell.com
Stolen Quilts
Hollis Chatelain's Quilts
Carol Ballard's Rag Fur Jacket
Sandi Fisher's Twisted Sisters Quilts
On The Road To WHERE?

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