January 2003

Warning: this is an OLD newsletter. Time marches on; things change. Information may be outdated, irrelevant, misleading or incorrect. (That means links, which are down at the bottom, may not work either. Unless it sends you to a porno site I won't fix it so don't tell me.) To get on the list to receive the next current newsletter, hit the BACK arrow on your browser and enter your e-mail address in the box on the previous page. You'll get the next issue. If you absolutely can't figure it out then e-mail me. It's free! What are you waiting for?

The Ami Simms Newsletter
Copyright 2003 by Ami Simms

Happy New Year! I'm glad you're here! As always, thanks for double-clicking. Please share this newsletter with everyone you can think of, just be sure to include ALL of it so they know how to get their own next time. (In case it's been a long time since you signed up, that's a quick visit to )

It's been a long month, starting with the fact that Thanksgiving was a week late, which made Christmas a week early. That's so inconvenient for those of us who need every last second to get it all done in time.

And somebody dropped her cell phone in the toilet. (No they don't work after that, as if you want to even put it up to your ear to make sure.)

If that wasn't enough, on December 13th the nice folks that registered my domain name (www.AmiSimms.com) pulled the plug. No warning; they just deleted it. Then they sent me an invoice on the 18th to renew it. Then they MAILED me an invoice on the 21st to renew by January or they'd delete it by October 2000. So because they're in a time warp, I'm up a creek. Needless-to-say, once they delete it, they can't get it back. It goes into limbo for several days and then onto the open market. No problem. Who would want MY name on THEIR page?

Apparently someone in Hong Kong. Go figure. www.AmiSimms.com now takes you (and everybody else) to a site linked to gambling, debt consolidation, and Viagra, among other things. (If you want to see for yourself please do NOT use MY domain name to get there, use .

Misery loves company. I guess I'm not the only one. The Poetry Society went overnight from verse to Viagra when Ultimate Search bought THEIR website. It's happened to several others as well. Some ended happily, others did not.

On the bright side, people looking for me could have been sent to a porn site.

Also in the Silver Lining Department, I've had multiple domain names for my site since it opened: www.MalleryPress.com, www.PicturePlayQuilts.com, etc. So, I wasn't out of business overnight. Still, most of my eggs were in the AmiSimms.com basket, including ALL the internal, behind-the-scenes links on the site. (Hey, it's easier for me to type!) So, for the last two weeks we've been fixing those. We've contacted as many people as we know who have linked to my site, but the majority of new traffic comes from links we can't change, like google, dogpile, altavista, yahoo, and other search engines.

So what to do? I've e-mailed Ultimate Search and explained what happened and, as sweetly as I could, begged for my domain name back. I am the eternal optimist. Like the kid who walks into his bedroom and finds it piled 3 feet high with horse manure. Somewhere in there, he thinks, there's got to be a pony!

Here's what YOU can do:
1. Tell everybody you can think of that www.AmiSimms.com is now www.AmiSimms.net. This would include your entire address book, your buddy lists, newsgroups, guild newsletter, the people at the grocery store, your accountant, and your mother-in-law. Want to go the extra mile? Give me the name of the person that writes about computers at your local newspaper.

2. Tell everybody you know NOT to use www.AmiSimms.com until further notice. (If Ultimate Search sees a lot of hits from MY domain name it will become more and more valuable in their eyes and they will NEVER give it back.) They did purchase it legitimately. If you really want to see what their site is all about, enter it through

3. VISIT www.AmiSimms.net or www.MalleryPress.com. Get to my site through either of these domain names and CLICK LIKE CRAZY. Doesn't matter where; just GO. The more traffic (hits) the site gets, the more likely the search engines are to list me with a domain name that actually goes to my site. It will probably take years to get where I was before this happened....so CLICK! Please.

4. Should you find any pages that are dead-ends or take you to the "other" site, please send me an email. The first person to tell me about a bad link (old newsletters don't count) will get a fat quarter, so be sure to include your address when you email me. Same goes for spelling errors and typos.

So, everybody sing with me, to the tune of "Climb Every Mountain" from the Sound of Music....

Click every link, please.
Browse high and low
Visit "Ami Simms Dot NET"
And to MY site they'll go!

I'll keep you posted. And THANK YOU for helping! (I feel better already. Think I'll go out and buy a saddle for that pony!)

The pattern for the January block of the "Dog-Yeared" Mystery Block of the Month Calendar Quilt is ready! Go to www.AmiSimms.net. Click on "Dog-Yeared. (Top button on the navigation bar.) Or, go directly to

I've also revamped the original Puppus Doggus block so that you can request it by e-mail in a PDF format, the same way you would get the "downloadable" version of Dog-Yeared. This way you can test your ability to download, your ISPs limits on file size (it's about 1 meg), and you get a "free" pattern. (If you use it you still owe me a free block or a donation for the doggies. That's all explained in the pattern.) Just so you know, you'll also be previewing my new NO FUSS FUSIBLE MACHINE APPLIQUE procedure in the new Puppus Doggus version. Another way to see if the Dog-Yeared Block of the Month Mystery Calendar Quilt is for you.

You should also know that yours truly is the one that will actually e-mail you the Puppus Doggus pattern to test. I'm not automated. Maybe some day. I'm really excited about this so for at least a while I'll be sitting on my computer waiting for your e-mails. Usually, it's a "first thing in the morning" deal. If you miss me then, it's the next morning.

When you order the "downloadable" Dog-Yeared patterns that's not automated either. I am NOT cutting edge. Anal, yes; cutting edge, no. The "Dog-Yeared patterns will be handled the same way as any other order. We pull them off-line around 9am Monday through Friday. (Except New Years Day, of course.) Then we check the orders to make sure you haven't ordered 47 of the same thing accidentally. We key in your credit card number by hand (please type in hyphens between each set of four numbers, it really helps) and your expiration date. (Actually, that would be the expiration date of your credit card. We're not psychic.) Then we enter your order into our computers, spit out your invoice, and bada-bing-bada-boom, grab the stuff off the shelves and pack it all up. That includes e-mailing you the downloadable version of the pattern. Then, we send a personal e-mail telling you we've processed your order. It's almost like the dry cleaners. In by 9 out by 3.

If you order the printable version of the pattern, we'll print those as needed. So, I'll be sitting on the color copy machine at OfficeMax come Thursday morning. Wait. Strike that. (And burn that image OUT of your mind.) I'll be at OfficeMax to print the needed patterns once I know how many orders we get. (Did I mention some of the pictures are in color? Oh boy!)

So, in answer to the question on everybody's mind: can you order a downloadable pattern along with other stuff? YES! (You probably weren't thinking that at all, were you? Sorry.)

We had a huge rush on Helen Marshall's Tiny Travel Tote pattern, lovingly called "My Third Boob." We had to order 3 times last month to keep them in stock! I've got more now, thanks to this dedicated quilter from New Zealand. She shipped one batch of patterns on her way to the hospital for knee surgery! Get yours at

Many of you have asked why Daisy hasn't written lately. (If you're new to the newsletter, you might want to read about her at ) As you may remember, she flunked out of Leader Dogs For The Blind. Then she flunked out of Paws With A Cause, and came home to live with us in September 2001. Sadly, things didn't work out. My mother came to live with us that fall. She and Daisy never did get along and we were fearful that one of Daisy's enthusiastic crotch sniffs would send Mother flying. Besides, in addition to supplementing her diet with TV remote controls, assorted dishtowels, and the occasional nightlight, Daisy also enjoyed fabric. And I don't mean just fondling it. Thankfully we found her a wonderful home with a quilter about an hour away who keeps a much tidier house than I do. To my absolute delight, Daisy now writes to ME, sharing her exploits with her "forever family." I get pictures, too! And, we've had a chance to visit in person. While it was the right thing to do, both for my mother's safety and my mental health, it hasn't always been easy. I still miss Daisy.

In July of this year I began walking the dog next door to get my Puppy Fix, and to help keep the dog from digging holes in their back yard out of boredom. We'd do a mile or two every morning, often with my mother in tow for the last lap. Some days he'd come to work with me and be the temporary Office Dog. Considering he was an outside dog, he did very well indoors and was exceptionally gentle with Mom. Not easy for an 80-pound dog with an almost 80-year-old woman.

Just before Christmas (you know where this is going, don't you?) his people decided he'd have a happier life over here with us then over there and asked if we'd like to buy him. Took me about four and a half seconds to make up my mind and the deed was done.

I've told him all about the web page fiasco and he has been very supportive. A terrific listener. He also doesn't write half bad.

Hi everybody! I'm MADISON. I'm a boy dog, but I have a girlie name. Obviously, I didn't name myself because I was a puppy at the time. They call me Mattie for short. Or Maddie. I come either way even though my nickname is more girlie than my real name.

I'm a Golden Retriever. And I'm very handsome. Mom (gosh, that sounds so good) tells me that all the time. And I'm a people magnet. I get an A+ in petting. I don't jump or anything. I just sit there for a second and then roll over and show my belly. This is the international sign for "Scratch me, please." I will do this on any surface, including snow, slush, and my favorite, mud.

I'm getting used to being an inside dog. Especially since when I was much younger I used to be a juvenile delinquent, running all over the neighborhood with the bad dogs. I'm a year and a half old now.

The day after I moved in we had to go to the Vet 'cause I was behind in my shots. (I got the shots in my back, not my behind, thank goodness.) And we had to get a dog license, so I guess I can drive now.

The way I see it, my job is to follow Mom around wherever she goes. If she's not moving, then I follow the other humans. I am especially good with old people who can't remember my name and call me a cat, like Nannie. I also have to be nice to the moving fur ball that lives upstairs with her. It's been explained to me that this is a cat, but I wasn't sure until it smacked me in the head a few times with its paws. I guess cats don't like to be sniffed, even though they smell so delicious. The radiator sound they make is annoying too, but I'm getting used to it. I was hoping to play fetch with the fur ball, but I guess that's out of the question.

Speaking of fetch, I have been genetically programmed to do this. Endlessly. I never tire of it. Not ever. The humans tell me what stuff I can pick up, and then I bring it to them. I drop it in their lap and back up and pose, cocking my head and trying to look as if I'll burst into tears if they don't throw it for me again. Please let me know if you need anything fetched. I'll come right over. I'll show you my belly, too. No extra charge.


This month's prize comes from my sewing room. It's a mystery box of fabric scraps, notions, and a few surprises. Ten pounds in all.

I'm also changing the rules. You can enter as often as you like, but you can only win once per lifetime. Once you've won, sit back and gloat, but don't enter again. I have a list, and I'll be checking it twice. Maybe three times.

What are you waiting for? Go ahead and ENTER!

Some of you may have wondered why I wanted to find a personal shopper last month. Well, a few years ago while visiting Chinatown in San Francisco we found these cute little silk boxes with metal crickets and birds inside. They were somehow light sensitive. You opened the box and they chirped, you closed the box and they didn't. Sort of. Very bright light set them off even if the lid of the box was closed. Even if they were in a backpack. Even if the backpack was sitting next to you in, say the last pew of the church next to the shop where we bought the "chirpers" during Mass when the light came in through the door.

Steve was smitten with them and purchased several dozen to award his middle school students as prizes. He casually mentioned that he'd like more. Hmmm....Thanks to Julie W., my personal shopper, he's got 48 to give away this year.

They're coming, but on the 15th of the month. One more reason to type in www.AmiSimms.net yet another time.

Last chance on the Phyllis Wells raincoats. I have three left of the original style and three more in a longer duster style, all in mediums. I'll only have them until January 15. Take a look! (Mattie is also modeling!)

Roni Gerhardt shares her Twisted Sisters quilt at

Trudy Hammell made an absolutely amazing 9/11 quilt with photo-transfers at

Take a look at Lynn Bluebaum's Kat's Dogs at

There are more quilts to share, I just haven't had time to get them on the web site. You'll have more to look at in February!

Shirley B. took up the challenge and wrote:

Ok Ami - run with me on this, although this will show you how long it's been since I kneeled down in the confessional at Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church. How about those little lights that would go on when you were on the kneeling pad? You could hear the switch click the light on as your knees touched. Hopefully your confession didn't last longer than a light bulb, and I think I remember the bulbs being red and green.

We could rig the toilets with this light system. Red for the toilet and green on the floor in front of it. Red would mean you're seated and busy - look for another stall. Green would mean you were "doing your paperwork" and are almost done. No light - come on in! Of course, these couldn't go in the men's room; they'd most certainly short out the GREEN lights.

Helen J. wrote to tell me about the Hickory Park Restaurant in Ames, Iowa. Enter the stall and a light goes on over your head. Well, you know, I was just teaching in Des Moines, right? Thanks to Sandy K. I got to try it out. Have a look at

Linda remembered my original tirade against toilets that flush themselves and ended her lovely email to me with these immortal words: "As long as there are self-flushing toilets I will always remember you." I am so honored. Aren't I?

Terry M. commented on the Sewer Story. Part of her job IS to review the sewer videos! She writes, "Believe it or not, I actually do enjoy my work, though sewage is certainly the worst part of it!"

Sandy told me about the Horse Chorus. It's a must see. (And HEAR.) Truly magical. Go to and wait for all the horses to load. Then click on each horse. Start with the one on the left. Re-click on any horse to make it turn off, or turn it back on. Should be a daily requirement.

Keep up to date with Kaye Wood and all of her quilting friends. Special industry editions, tips and techniques from Kaye and others, special Internet sale information, updates on the site, and of course important announcements. Send any email to subscribe to terrye@kayewood.com and we'll get you signed up. Hurry! Do It Now! See a sample here:

Meanwhile, I've got some great trips planned in the next several months.

January 16-18 I'll be in (on?) Hilton Head Island teaching for the Palmetto Quilt Guild. Contact Mmack321@aol.com for more information.

February 18-23 I'll be in Kirtland, OH at the 12th Annual Quilts 2003 at Lake Farmpark. Contact apasquale@lakemetroparks.com for more information.

March 12-16 is A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, TN. Contact jsmall@aol.com or events@cityofpigeonforge.com for more information.

April 10-12 will take me through Michigan to The Ice House in Grayling (icehouse@freeway.net) and The Fabric Fair in Bay City (fabricgirlz@chartermi.net).

Ordinarily, I'm a cautious person. I don't count my chickens until they're hatched. Heck, I don't even count them at all in case I would miss one and they'd have hurt feelings! But, I can no longer hold it in any longer. This spring there's going to be fabric with MY NAME on the selvage edge!

YES! I've designed a line of fabric for Troy's Riverwood Collection called PIZZA PARTY. We're talking fabric that looks like crust, sauce, cheese and a bunch of toppings! I'm so excited! I should be able to see the first drawings in a week or so, make any necessary corrections, and send it off to print.

Look for it at your local neighborhood quilt shop, or from my website. If you're a shop owner and want to learn more before Spring Market in Portland, call Troy at 1-800-888-2400.

Several different pizza patterns are already in production. (I've sharpened my pencil and grabbed an envelope out of the trash to doodle on.) I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again for all your kindness and support. One of my favorite things is writing this newsletter. It's always nice to know that there's somebody out there who wants to read it! I'm looking forward to another fun year and hope you are too.

Ami Simms
www.AmiSimms.NET .net .net .net .net .net

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