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The Ami Simms Newsletter
July 2000

Hello to all the new subscribers and welcome back to the ones who have been on the list for a bit. Remember, you can always see back issues (in case you accidentally delete this one) at Ami-Simms-Newsletter at eGroups.com. We also have our own chat room there, so do stop in and say hi!

This month in the AOL chatroom, we'll be speaking about.......whatever! Some hot topics I'm sure will include the new book, the new web page, the new puppy. All your questions are welcome. Come on over. Keyword: QUILTERS, then enter the Professional Chat room. It's Thursday, July 27, 2000 from 9 to 10pm EST. Immediately following, we shall all adjourn to the eGroups.com chat room for those who aren't able to come to AOL. (www.eGroups.com/ami-simms-newsletter, then click CHAT.)

Thank you for taking a look at Mom's fabric (www.MalleryPress.com select: Ami's Mommy's Fabric) and for all the orders. My goodness! As soon as we got the fabric in, we sold out! More is on the way and we're extending the special FREE notecard offer until the end of July. Please tell your friends. (And we've got the fabric in stock now!)

Marcus Brothers is featuring Mom's line for the entire month of July on their website. Lucy Fazely's quilt is on there plus the FREE pattern to make it. Check it out at www.MarcusBrothers.com. Or, cut right to the free pattern at: http://www.marcusbrothers.com/pat/0600_circle.html

Not only THAT! If you live in the United States, you can get FREE samples of the "Something Wonderful" line by sending a self addressed stamped envelope with $.66 cents postage to:

Marcus Brothers Textiles
Free Swatch Offer/Ami's Newsletter
Att: Beverly Reid
980 Ave of the Americas
New York, New York 10018.

Act quickly; all envelopes must be received by August 1, 2000.

(If you live OUTSIDE THE US, and can figure out how to do it, send an international postal reply coupon with enough postage for a 2 ounce package to get back to you.) What a deal! You know, of course, how to make this even a BETTER deal? Include multiple SASE's with your request. I bet you've got a quilting buddy who is worth $.66 in postage and who would appreciate a couple free swatches. Write her a little note on the back of the envelop: "Thinking of you....."

I have a most wonderful friend whom I met in New Mexico several years back. She and her friends routinely send each other strange and delightful things in the mail. Like beach balls, squirt guns, plastic Christmas wreaths and many other goodies too peculiar to remember. I got to see an entire box of oddball things that had survived the US mail system. The kicker is that all the items are sent "au natural" as in not wrapped. Not in a box. Just as is. The address is in permanent ink somewhere on the item along with the postage. Since I expressed interest, she has honored me with plastic peppers, a 4 foot long inflatable tube of toothpaste (fully inflated) and her most recent mailing: a fly swatter. The woman is truly ingenious and I get such a kick out of my little presents.

I have tried to get her back, I mean "reciprocate," but it is so terribly hard to be that creative. Obviously only light-weight objects that don't care if they get totally trashed in the mail are suitable. And, since you can't just drop a fully inflated beach ball in the mailbox, you have to actually go into the post office in person. Once at the post office, you must explain to the postal person behind the window, face-to-face, what you want to do. And they are never amused. You must convince them that the item WANTS to go through the system without a wrapper. You have to pretend that you really don't care what happens to it along they way, even though you really do because just the thought of the person receiving it at the other end brings a smile to your face that stays there for a very long time. Together you must find a suitable place to affix the stamp. All this must be done as the postal clerk insists on thumbing through the 80-pound manual trying to find the one clause that will prove your small attempt at humor is against postal regulations. It isn't.

It might be irregular, it is not against the rules. Apparently they haven't had enough complaints to write a new rule. Interestingly enough there is a regulation already on the books regarding the mailing of unwrapped computer mouses. Mice? The clerk forced me to remove the tail. She said that was in the manual.

Interestingly enough, I have found several other friends who enjoy this sort of thing and so I took a pointer from the master and sent out several fly swatters and a couple flip-flops to mark the beginning of summer. To my amazement, somewhere along the way, one of the fly swatters encountered a postal employee with a sense of humor. I am told the fly swatter arrived with a large bug taped to it! I feel like I have made a difference in the world.

THANKS FOR VOTING Speaking of making a difference, it was an overwhelming victory for the more plain "less distracting" version of the back cover for Picture Play Quilts---the one with the solid blue background. The winner got 804 votes, and the second runner up (trying to be politically correct here) got 170 for a total of 974 votes cast.

Thank you so much for taking the time to express your opinion and vote, some of you more than once. (Really, I appreciate the enthusiasm!) And, of course, there is nothing quite like misspelling your own web page. Don't worry; I paid for it.....at least half of you emailed me to let me know! So, in case you haven't voted yet, it's too late, BUT, you can go visit the page anyway at www.PicturePlayQuilts.com and just say hi. Next month there will be a HUGE addition. Just wait and see!

How about a sale? (trumpet fanfare, drum roll.................)

The First Ever Christmas In July & Part Of August Sale! Act fast and you can get a copy of Invisible Applique (regularly $9.95) plus a copy of How NOT To Make A Prize-Winning Quilt (regularly $8.95) for a measly $9.99. Yup, under $10 for both books and that includes shipping too! (Foreign orders, as always, will have to actually pay shipping. Sorry.) I'll even autograph both books with the recipient's first name, just write the name in the comments section when you order or tell Debbie or Teresa when you call. This amazing deal is on the web. Go to www.Mallery Press.com. You can't miss it! Hurry, this incredibly stupid offer of mine ends August 15, 2000.

If your guild is sponsoring a quilt show in the next couple of years and might be interested in having several of my quilts on exhibit, please email me with the details of your show: dates, location, attendance, etc. The show must be after November 15, 2000. There are some guidelines that you'll have to follow, but I'll try to make it as painless as possible.

If so, let me hear from you. I'll be writing class outlines for my new book and need some feedback and suggestions. Please email me.

I mean, do you OWN a quilt shop. I'm going to put a list of shops that would be willing to sell conversational fabrics via email. Have I got a deal for YOU....

Suzanne Kistler wrote an article called "Patching Your Patchwork" in issue #60 ( page 44) of Quilting Today. She patched a skimpy seam allowance that had opened up with a fabric patch made to look like a band aid. I'm looking for her because I want to ask her for a slide of her funny quilt for my lecture. I'm also looking for Susan H. Garman of Houston , TX. Her Trick Or Treat Quilt was featured in April 1997 issue of QNM looked like fun, and so did "Dust In The Wind: Ode to Ed" in the same issue. It was made by Ruth Bergen Braun of Rosemary, Alberta, Canada. If you can put me in touch with any of these gals, please let me know. Thank you!

Here's a nifty product to try next time you mark your quilt. It's called Stick-n-Stitch(TM). They've got 100's of designs and you just peel off the sticky backing, plop it on your quilt, and stitch around. You don't have to mark or trace, just sew. For those of us who just can't bare to loosen up and HAVE GOT TO MARK, think of this stuff as a tracing template that won't move as you push the chalk around it. Many possibilities here, folks. I was very impressed. Each design can be re-used several times. For a FREE SAMPLE & catalog head over to http://www.PiecesofthePast.com or call toll free: 1-877-QUILTED (1-877-784-5833). They even have blank sheets so that you can create your own designs. Right now on the web it's a two-for-one deal until July 31, 2000 on the blank sheets. Interesting, huh?

Here's a quilting site that has just about everything! Take a peek at www.sew-whats-new.com and if you're a beginning quilter, try www.beinnersquilts.com.

Apparently my web site, www.MalleryPress.com has received the prestigious "Key Resource Award" from Links2Go. I have no idea who these people are, but they didn't want money, so I guess that's a good thing! They didn't call me on the phone to offer me a "free" trip to Florida either. They give out these awards every quarter, selecting web sites by somehow figuring out which ones are the most "heavily cited." I have personally never been cited in my life, unless you count the time I made a right turn on red in front of a sign that said not to, but I didn't get a citation then either, even though the cop was right behind me at the time and he had to tail me for 6 blocks because I didn't notice the flashing lights. Continuing from the email I received... "The most popular pages are downloaded and automatically categorized by topic. At most 50 of the pages related to a topic are selected as Key Resources. Out of 50 pages selected as Key Resources for the Quilts topic, your page ranked 32nd.....When Links2Go says your page is a Key Resource, we mean that your page is one of the most relevant pages related to a particular topic on the web today, using an objective statistical measure applied to an extremely large data set." Out of over 7,000 quitling pages I guess they picked us. They continued to say that all of this is done on the up and up. Their exact words were, "We do not accept fees, offers of link exchanges, free advertising, or bartered livestock as inducements to add new sites to our lists. Fewer than one page in one thousand will ever be selected as a Key Resource." I am certainly glad they specified the part about the livestock. Just yesterday at our thrice-yearly staff meeting and Dorito Eating Contest we were wracking our brains trying to come up with a stunt where we could mail someone a pig and have it do some good. We actually came up with half a dozen establishments around town that deserved a small porker. Good thing these guys weren't on our list! Well, there you have it. We are little miffed about the livestock part, but thrilled to have been given this great honor. I checked out their website, and they do indeed exist. And, I think that the web sites that come up when you type in "quilting" are actually the 50 they selected. While we didn't get a little red 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 in front of ours, we are FIRST on the list, mostly because my name begins with the letter "A." For that I am ever grateful. If you'd like to see what one company reveres as the best quilting sites on the web, take a look at www.links2go.com and do a search for "quilting." In order to cinch the next round of awards I have already begun work on our new website, wwww.DoritosAnnonymous/NachoFlavo.com. I am SURE we will be one of the top 50 pages in both the Dorito AND Nacho flavor website categories.

I wish you would! Print it off and send it to someone without email. Forward a copy to your mother. Drop one off at your local quilt shop. Take a handful to your next guild meeting. In fact, while you're there, send a sign-up sheet around the room. Put this at the top: "Yes, I want to receive Ami's FREE emailed Newsletter once a month. It costs nothing and is guaranteed to make me laugh or my money back. Here's my email address." (Add anything else you want. Get creative!) If they already receive it, please don't let them sign up again. The person who sends me the most email addresses from their guild will win three copies of Picture Play Quilts. (One for you, one for your guild, and one for a lucky person on the list of emails from your group, selected at random.) Plus, a special little present for anyone who sends me more than 25 newsletter sign-ups. Email addresses must be hand written by the person who belongs to the email address. (Please have them PRINT!) Don't email me the list. Mail it to me. Don't forget your name and address so I can send goodies your way. Mail your list to me at: Mallery Press/4206 Sheraton Drive/Flint MI 48532. DEADLINE: September 1, 2000.

Thanks to Aczompo for this funny....


Pythagorean theorem: 24 words.
The Lord's prayer: 66 words.
Archimedes' Principle: 67 words.
The 10 Commandments: 179 words.
The Gettysburg Address: 286 words.
The Declaration of Independence: 1,300 words.
The US Government regulations on the sale of cabbage: 26,911 words

Thanks for opening my email! Have a great quilting day!
Ami Simms

If some kind soul forwarded this newsletter to you and you're tired of getting hand-me-downs, sign up for your very own FREE copy of the infamous and quirky Ami-Simms-Newsletter at www.eGroups.com/subscribe/Ami-Simms-Newsletter or just email me directly and I'll put you on the list: AmiSimms@aol.com. then you can forward it to all of YOUR friends!