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Ami Simms Newsletter
June 2000

Hello to all the new people who have joined the list and to those who have seen a couple of these silly things before. Hope you've had a great month. It's been a busy spring around here and I'm looking forward to summer.

If you're new to the newsletter let me remind you that you can get caught up on past issues any time you like at one of two places? Older issues of the Newsletter are at www.MalleryPress.com, and more recent newsletters are at the Ami-Simms-Newsletter site at www.egroups.com. (Typed with hyphens, or Egroups.com doesn't have a clue!)

Don't forget our on-line chats in the Professional Chat Room on AOL. Anyone with America On-line can come and join the fun on the 4th Thursday of each month from 9 to 10pm EST. Keyword: quilters. I'll be there a week from today, on June 22, 2000.

Those not with AOL, can meet me in the Ami-Simms-Newsletter Chat room at www.egroups.com right after the AOL chat. Go to www.egroups.com, enter the area reserved for our newsletter, and click on CHAT. (I keep saying that, but nobody ever shows up. I get so lonely.....)

There's a yellow lab puppy dog reserved in our name just waiting for her 7th week birthday! We should get the call around July 7 to go down to Rochester, MI and pick her up from Leader Dogs For The Blind. We're so excited! The first pictures will be up on the website as soon as we get her, so be sure to take a look that first week in July. We're still having a hard time coming up with a name, and a harder time puppy-proofing the house! So much fabric; so many little teeth, so little time! (www.MalleryPress.com click on Puppy)

Many thanks to everyone who volunteered to test patterns. I got almost 450 emails when all was said and done and picked a lucky (or unlucky) dozen to proof the patterns.

If you're bummed out that you didn't get to help, I've got another job for you and there's no picking your name out of a hat on this one. EVERYONE can help. I just picked up the layout for the front cover of the new book. It's awesome! Wait until you see it. I just can't make up my mind about the back cover. I was given TWO versions and now I have to pick the best one. Trouble is, I really like them both. Here's your chance to effect history! Point your browser over to www.picitureplayquilts.com and take a look at the cover of the new book. Cast your vote and help me pick the best back cover.

My Mom's new line of fabric ("Something Wonderful" by Beebe Moss for Marcus Brothers) made it's debut at Quilt Market in Minneapolis on her 77th birthday. It was so cool! She did a great job and the fabric looks terrific. I'm so proud! Check it out on the web site: www.MalleryPress.com. Click Ami's Mommy's Fabric. If you scroll down to the bottom of the fabric page you'll see a rather special offer..... :)

While I was at Quilt Market I saw some really cool things. Here's a super new idea from Mountain Mist. I've never seen anything like it, but I can't wait to try it. Kind of hard to describe: it has the texture of heavy paper and kind of looks like an absorbent paper towel. It's as strong as plastic, but flexible as fabric. Comes in sheets 8.5 x 14 and 14 x 20. What is it? It's template and stencil material that you can pin through, sew through, iron over, print on (ink-jet only) cut through with rotary cutter or regular scissors. What do you do with I? Draw or print your quilting pattern by hand or design it on computer and print it on, then cut out a channel and get marking! I suppose you could also transfer applique patterns to it because you can trace around it if you hold your pencil/chalk the right way. Anyway, see what you can do with it. For a FREE SAMPLE, send a long SASE to:

Linda Pumphrey
Department: AMI
Mountain Mist
Stearns Technical Textiles Company
100 Williams Street
Cincinnati, OH 45215

Obviously, when you get your free sample, it will be folded to fit it into your SASE. Don't worry. Just iron it flat again using the wool setting on your iron. Let me know what you think of it!

I remember phones when they were all black and you stuck your finger in a hole on a dial and cranked it around until your knuckle rammed into the little metal thing. I also remember when the first Princess phones came out, as I was one, after all. (A PRINCESS, not a phone!) And, I remember the first push button phones, the new click in jacks, and finally the first cordless telephones. (I sometimes have to remind my daughter that I do NOT remember phones that had to be cranked!)

I also remember the first car phones. They cost an arm and a leg, and then another half an arm. When they got a little less expensive Steve and I finally got some. By that time, they were making the kind that didn't even need to be attached to the car. Pretty cool, huh? You can go grocery shopping, or to the mall and take your phone with you. I'm still getting used to them. I must be tone deaf. I'm not yet able to distinguish my ring from someone else's and have been known to answer my purse when it was some other shopper's handbag going off.

I also worry too much about brain tumors growing on the phone side of my head after watching that 60 minutes episode, even though I'm on the phone less than 12 minutes a month. I tend to talk really fast and shout because I like to hold the phone as far from my brain as possible. I don't mind. Only 4 people know my telephone number and none of them want to talk to me. Anymore.

Keeping my phone ready to receive those calls, should they ever come, is a major challenge, however. When my phone is not beeping like a dying smoke detector warning me of yet another battery meltdown, the thing's totally dead. And when the phone's not dead, the car battery is because I've left the phone plugged into the cigarette lighter long after I turned off the ignition. The AAA man knows me by name.

Today we entered a new era. Digital. Our 16-year-old just got her driver's license last week and as of this afternoon, we are now a three-person, three-phone family. We went in to add one cheap, but dependable, little phone for the new driver, and came out with THREE brand new, iddy-bitty state-of-the-art phones. I'm still wondering how that happened.

Unfortunately all this new technology is wasted on us. The one person who actually understands how to work the phones is the one forbidden to use it in anything but an emergency. Each phone, for example, has 10 distinctive rings so my phone can play Beethoven, Steve's can ring in Brahms, and Jennie can listen to a three-tune medley from Third Eye Blind until she can safely pull off the road, put the car in park, turn on the emergency flashers, check the security of all doors and windows, find her purse, and answer the phone. We also have 3 way calling so I can dial up Steve and 911 at the same time as I am listening to Jen not picking up her phone.

The new phones also have voicemail, call forwarding, storage of up to 99 names and telephone numbers, and a small bread-making machine. They will stay charged for 5 whole entire days. And, according to the 58 page instruction booklet, I could inadvertently bring down a 747 should I accidentally turn on my phone during flight. This was very comforting.

This evening Jennie and I spent over an hour programming the new phones and playing with the ringers. While I read the manual out load to myself and programmed my phone with the numbers of family, friends, and 94 take-out restaurants, Jennie entered the numbers and names of the entire sophomore class in to her phone and the contents of our family telephone book into her father's phone. Simultaneously. As in one phone in each hand---and without reading ANY of the directions! She's even figured out a way to make the phone ring with a different tune for each of 10 different callers and how to make it answer automatically. I learned how to switch the display on my phone to Japanese. Audiovox didn't know their phones did that. They'll be getting back to me. Isn't technology great?

I'll be teaching at the Vermont Quilt Festival in July. For more information check out www.vqf.org. Then, I'll be in Nashville for the American Quilters Society at the end of August/beginning of September. For more information, email: showchm@aqsquilt.com. I sure would look forward to meeting any newsletter readers. C'mon by and say HI! Maybe we should do breakfast?

I'm also looking for somebody who lives in Nashville who wouldn't mind accepting some boxes from UPS for me and dragging them over to wherever I'll be.

Are email newsletters your cup of tea? Want to get on another list? Kaye Wood, of television fame, has a weekly newsletter filled with interesting musings, updates, quilting tips, show listings, and special sites written by the delightful Terrye Kinch, Kaye's Web Mistress. To sign up, email Terrye at: kinch3@n2mustangs.com

This one is rated as a Three Hanky site. Bring tissues. http://members.aol.com/essenceofsummr/dress.html (Thanks to Judy.)

Thanks to Marsha McCloskey for sending this one my way... A woman was sitting at a bar enjoying an after-work cocktail with her girlfriends when an exceptionally tall, handsome, extremely sexy, young man entered. He was so striking that the woman could not take her eyes away from him. The young man noticed her overly attentive stare and walked directly toward them. Before she could offer her apologies for being so rude for staring, the young man said to her, "I'll do anything, absolutely anything, that you want me to do, no matter how kinky, for $100, on one condition."

Flabbergasted, the woman asked what the condition was. The young man replied, "You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words."

The woman considered his proposition for a moment, withdrew from her purse and slowly counted out five $20 bills, which she gladly pressed into the young man's hand. She looked deeply into his eyes and slowly and meaningfully said... "Clean my house."

Here's hoping someone invents a riding vacuum cleaner....hope you have a great quilting day!
Ami Simms