June 2005

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The Ami Simms Newsletter
June 2005
Copyright by Ami Simms

AOL Users, please see end of newsletter for hyper-links.

Welcome to spring. Or summer, as the case may be. After our April dumping of snow, I’m pleased to be in the 60s with a little rain here in the last few days of May.

I’m sorry. The links to the clocks in the last newsletter worked for most, but not all. I don’t know why. Apologies all around, and let’s move on. I have an even better web page for you this month.

Harvard University has done it again. In addition to bringing us the Hasty Pudding Club, they also bring us the Ig Nobel Awards, presented each October (mark your calendar) by honest-to-goodness Nobel Laureates, to researchers who study things that seem quite absurd at first, but upon further reflection, make us think. Mostly, they make us think about how absurd the research is, but who am I to argue with Harvard. We’re probably all the better for it.

Ig Nobel winners of 2004 included two biologists who discovered that herrings communicate through passing wind, a father and son team who actually patented the “Comb-Over,” and a high school student whose groundbreaking research on the “Five Second Rule” scientifically answered the question: “Is it safe to eat food that has dropped on the floor?” See all winners with links to their research at:

It’s a very interesting web site. In case you get bogged down with the physics of hula-hooping, how country music influences suicide rates (not good), or the outsourcing of prayers to India, let me summarize the research done on the Five Second Rule by Chicago area high school student Jillian Clarke. This should be of interest to those of us who put straight pins in our mouths. (If one hits the floor, what do you do, wash it off? You may want to.)

Ms. Clarke discovered that women are more familiar with the “rule” than men, and that the rule is invoked more for sweets (like cookies) than vegetables. If the floor contains microbes, contamination can occur in less than five seconds. Eeeew! But it if doesn’t, you don’t have much to worry about. Problem is: microbes are really small. You can’t see them. (Not so good news.) Get the whole sad story at:

This should cheer you up: It’s time to clear out the old stuff to make room for the new stuff. While supplies last, pick up Ami’s Mommy’s “Something Wonderful” and “Safari Park” prints and mottled solids at rock bottom prices. $1.99 a yard. Hurry to:

We also have a new section called FABULOUS FAT QUARTERS. Everything goes for $1.50 each. Check it out at: < http://www.amisimms.com/fafatqu.html>

There are numerous patterns marked way down too. Don’t wait too long. When they’re gone, that’s it. See

It’s summer. You need a fast finish-it-in-one-day projects that are a blast to make. Have you tried Photo-Coasters? Buy a Super Value Pack of Photos-To-Fabric transfer paper and get a pack of coasters FREE! (Offer good through June 30, 2005.) It’s fun and FAST! All you need are your photos, the transfer paper, access to a color copy machine, and your home iron. See:

An anonymous quilter shares these two “gifting” stories.

She writes: “I made a tedious cross-stitched wall hanging for my mother. It had the names of all of her grandchildren (at the time) and their birth dates stitched on. I had it matted and framed. If I must say so myself, I do great needlework and it was a beauty. My mother hung it on the wall. Some time later, when I went to visit, I saw that she had added a new name, as my sister had another child. My mother added the name with a BALL POINT PEN! She made an error in the date, tried to erase it, smeared it all over, and wrote over it. It was a mess. I told her not to ever tell anyone that I made it, and she couldn't understand why.”

She continues: “A friend in my bee made a beautiful wall hanging for her sister-in-law. It is delicate, made with hankies, and lace, and tiny beads and crystals. As you can imagine, it took a long time to make. My friend was pleased that her brother and sister-in-law hung it up in their home. Then she saw how it was hung...... they had used industrial type staples, and stapled it to the wall!”

If these stories should make it into your next newsletter (I'll bet you'll hear tons of similar stories) please don't put my name. The stories are true, but the guilty parties aren't aware enough to even be embarrassed by their actions.

Jen and I had a great time in Italy. We took over 1100 photographs and I kept a journal which turned into a small novel. (Took me nearly two days to transcribe over 12,000 words I chicken-scratched into my notebook as we traveled.) Highlights, in the form of Travel Awards, are at:

So far there are about 30 awards, including Best View, Worst Train, Largest Lemons, Smallest Elevator, and Oddest Color Dog. I’ll add more as time permits. Some are short; others are my long-winded variety. Personal favorites in that last category include:

Best True Shaggy Dog Story Toilets Good & Bad And, Best ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’

Things seem to be updating every day on this amazing site. Tune in when you turn on your computer in the morning and listen to quilt shows running in the background all day long. When you hear something you just have to see, click over to your web browser and watch “television” on your computer. Programs include “Friends In the Bee” (where you can watch my Pizza Party segment at 1:50am, 6:48am, 1:33pm, and 6:31pm) and “Quilter’s Toolbox” (where you can watch my segment on Rag Fur Jackets at 8:05am and 7:49pm), plus Kaye’s Quilting Friends and Quilter’s Tea and current news throughout the day. Schedules are changing all the time, so I may not be in the line-up at these times when you tune in. Check it out:

See my Pizza Party Fabric at:

See my Rag Fur Jacket pattern at:

Sandy K. suggests that if you’re feeling a little too tightly wound head over to this website and click on the pig. (Turn down the volume a little first.) Repeat when necessary at whatever decibel level you prefer.

Mary Parks made a Picture Play Quilt:

Anthony Jones shares his stash:

Mary Orzech finished her Dog-Yeared quilt:

Mary Kirwin finished her Dog-Yeared quilt:

I’ll be teaching for the New Braunfels Area Quilt Guild in Canyon Lake, TX in mid-June. Please come by and say hello. For more information on my 2005 schedule, please see:

Here’s a fad that is just so intriguing. When you run out of fabric, start sewing juice pouches together. Yeah, right! No kidding. There are patterns for totes, purses, wallets, probably prom dresses, if you look hard enough. There is quite a cottage industry producing “ready-made” accessories, too. I’d try, but I’d have to drink the stuff in the pouches first….

Thanks to Tomi R. for sharing this source for just about everything you’d ever want to know about sewing juice pouches:

If gardening is making your hands look like something the cat dragged in, there is a “spa treatment for your hands” that is just terrific. Made by Jamark Laboratories and used with Surgeon’s Skin Secret “One Step Manicure” actually has three steps but it only takes about two minutes a day. (But hey, the name is catchy.)

Step #1: Massage a small amount onto your hands. (A little goes a long way.) It’s made with lemon oil and has little chunks of sea salt in it, so you get a slippery/crunchy feeling. Step #2: Rinse your hands and pat them dry. Step #3: Apply Surgeon’s Skin Secret, and then keep your fingers away from your nose. That’s the hard part. They feel incredibly soft and smell even better. Lemony, not salty. Ok, when nobody’s looking, smell your fingers. I won’t tell. I’ve got a great introductory offer set up for a short time:

Please do. Forward the ENTIRE thing to all your friends and even some of your enemies. Everybody enjoys a laugh or two. Please do NOT forward just part of it. Somehow my name gets dropped off when these things float through cyberspace and since I’m writing them for free, I should at least get credit for writing them. If you write a guild newsletter (real paper or online) and would like to “reprint” a particular part of the newsletter you must ask first. Here’s how:

Be good to each other and have a great quilting day! (Or several!) Ami Simms www.AmiSimms.com AmiSimms@aol.com

Ig Nobel Awards
Five Second Rule
Fabric Blowout Sale
Fabulous Fat Quarters
Free Coasters With SVP
Travel Awards
Best True Shaggy Dog Story
Toilets Good & Bad
Best ‘All’s Well That Ends Well
Quilters News Network
Pizza Fabric
Rag Fur Jacket
Stress Pig
Mary’s PPQ
Anthony’s Stash
Mary Orzech’s Dog-Yeared Quilt
Mary Kirwin’s Dog-Yeared Quilt
Ami’s Teaching Schedule
Sewing Juice Pouches
One Step Manicure
Newsletter Reprints
Ami’s Web Page

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