May 2002

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 Information may be outdated, irrelevant, misleading or incorrect.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?

In the last newsletter I wrote: "There are over 21,254 pairs of eyes reading this newsletter. If you divide by half, that's a lot of people!" Lynn informed me that either my math was wrong or maybe my readers are one-eyed. Judith and Susie suspect that my math was wrong or all my readers have FOUR EYES.

In either case, I'm staying away from the any cute ways to let you know how many people read this newsletter, especially those ways that involve math. I'm sticking with the bare facts: There are now 10,827 subscribers! I'm delighted. Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think might like to read it. Just tell them who writes it and where they can get their own next month. To sign up go to:

I love spring and I think we finally have some. In Michigan we seem to get about 35 minutes between winter and summer, so I'm enjoying the pleasant temperatures and sunshine while I can. The crocuses have come up, frozen, fallen over, and started up again. The deer have eaten most of the tulip tops. The stems look so lovely waving in the warm breeze. We should get dandelions soon.

Spring really is my favorite week out of the whole year. It's such a transformation. Just when I think winter will never end and I will never be warm again, the new leaves pop out, the ground gets mushy, the grass greens up, and the sun stays on longer. I've even been known to open a window. Ah, the great outdoors!

Thanks to all those who wrote after seeing the Twisted Sisters exhibit in Myrtle Beach. It's nice to know the quilts really got there and people saw them.

We are just now caught up with orders placed on April 11th and beyond! The response was a little overwhelming! (Thank you!) For those of you who haven't ordered a Twisted Sisters pattern and template (there may be one or two of you) join the fun at .

Those who sent fabric for the Peppermint Twist quilt, please mention this when you order so we'll know to "check the list." And, since good things don't always last forever, please take advantage of your super dooper discount by the end of June.

The online tutorial is up and I'm hoping in the next little bit to get some photographs up on the Exploring The Options page. Right now I'm working on a secret project that I should be able to reveal to you in a month or two.

This is total idiocy on my part, but I'm going to do it anyway. I've fallen in love with a fabric no longer being made. Story of my life. It's a Patrick Lose fabric with wild funky stars on a white background. Anyway, if you have any, you can turn it into legal tender at from now until I get enough.

Go to and follow the directions. And, no, I don't know what I want to use it for, I just know I NEED it! (You sound just like my mother!)

There's a temporary glitch in the server that administers the Win Cool Prize stuff, so rather than delay the newsletter I'm sending it out BEFORE I get to draw the prize.

Therefore, you won't see the new door prize described below until it is repaired. (Sadly I have no control over that part.) Could be tonight, tomorrow, or in a few days. Keep your fingers crossed.

At that time check and see if you won the skin care products from JaMark Labs. Go to . While you're there enter the drawing for the current prize: three Cathy Miller CDs. Name sound familiar? She's the singing quilter. You'll get "Two Thousand Years of Christmas," "Living For the Stars", and her quilting hit, "One Stitch at a Time." You'll also get a fourth CD, as yet untitled. If you're the winner she'll send it directly to you as soon as it is available some time in late summer.

Cathy shares this about her transition to quilt-related music: "I wrote all but one of the songs (for "One Stitch At A Time") from research, and personal experiences. The idea started in 1991, when I was hired as a songwriter to provide music for a theatre show about quilting in Ottawa, Canada. The playwright and I researched the topic together (I wasn't a quilter at that time). Thanks to my fascination with what I read, I took a quilting class, and so began my own passion of quilting!

I released the CD in September of 2000, and my husband John and I have been touring almost nonstop ever since, singing at quilting guilds and shows. The music has been very warmly received by quilters everywhere, especially the songs about historic quilts and the current HIT: "100 Ways to Hide Your Stash."

You can visit Cathy at to learn more about her music and to find out when she's going to be in your area.

(Remember, the "new" door prize isn't up there yet, but hopefully will be soon. Meanwhile, you can still enter the "current" one.)

We're adding fabric all the time to the Conversational Fabric Database. . Among the new additions are: Portraits, Way Out West, Artists Signature, Whiskers & Tails, Bayshore, and Snow Friends by Robert Kaufman; Rocket Science by P & B; Anything Goes, Spring Collage, and Spring Fever by VIP; Brave Spirit, Field of Dreams, Coca Cola, Bag Cloth, and Oriental Miniatures by Spectrix; and Animal Crackers by VIP.

Remember, we don't stock the fabric listed on the database. It's a resource to let you know the very newest prints available at your local quilt shop. If you can't find it there, each fabric has an identification number so you can ask your local quilt shop to order it for you. And, in the REALLY USEFUL LINKS <> section quilt shops are standing by to check their shelves for you.

There is another quilt on the auction block with proceeds going to Leader Dog For The Blind. Please have a look and bid generously.

Yes, this section is alive and well. There are two new questions posed this month, AND answered, I might add. Visit

We finally have a soul brave enough to send photos. And they are wonderful, as is the description. Take a deep breath and grab a peek at our first cyber-entrant. Amazing.<>

Yes, there are several new ones that are definitely worth a look.

Donalyn Wall has finished her Hugs & Kisses quilt. Elizabeth Nijkamp has a great idea for saving thread.

I'll be coming to a quilt guild near you in November. That is if you live in or around Tallahassee. Why am I mentioning that NOW? Well, Northwest Airlines, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that I need to spend 5 hours in Memphis on the way home form Tallahassee. (They also decided that I need to get up at in time to be at the airport two hours before a flight that leaves at 5:45 a.m. in the morning on my way TO Tallahassee, but that's another story.)

Always eager to make lemonade out of lemons, I've decided to offer a workshop in Memphis on Sunday, November 17, 2002 from 1 to 4. I think we should have it somewhere near the airport. I have actually taught a workshop on a layover one time before, but in the "good old days" we were able to do it IN THE TERMINAL. We simply took over a gate that wasn't being used, moved some chairs, a small podium, borrowed a spare wheelchair or two, and we appliquéd. It worked out pretty well except for the loudspeakers announcing the flights. Can't they do that more quietly?!

Anyway, I'm game if you are. All we need is a room and some students. If you're interested, e-mail me. Put MEMPHIS in the subject line. We can figure out the details if there is enough interest. Realize that you need to be flexible. Airline schedules DO change. (

I think I found it. Talk about fun. It sharpens great, catches it's own drippings, feels good, great colors, and get this: if a lead breaks off inside, it has a button to push it out. Have a look at

My friend Len just told me AOL offers a 20% discount for AARP members. Have your membership card in hand and go to Keyword: AARP. Follow the "destructions."

Do you have a teenager? A pre-teen? Babe in arms? Know any teenagers? Seen teenagers at the mall? Were you at any time a teenager yourself? One of my favorite humorists, W. Bruce Cameron, has just come out with his first book: 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter. The title is a bit too specific for the huge range of hilarity inside, but you'll love this guy's take on the teenage species. From boyfriends to telephones, clothing to learning to drive, it's 300+ pages of funny.

Visit Bruce's web page at and purchase his book there, sign up for his funny newsletter, and offer suggestions for his NEXT book. You'll be glad you did.

It seems like everyone wants to send you junk mail these days. (Except me. Honest. The only "junk" you get from me is this newsletter and you ASKED for it!)

Yahoo (and you are a member if you get this newsletter via e-mail) is giving you an opportunity to opt out of their junk e-mail. Here's how: GO TO Sign in with your password. (Help is there in case you forgot what it is.) You'll see information Yahoo has on file, if any. (This is not revealed to anyone) Scroll down at bit and you'll see three pale yellow bars. Below each of the bars are places to select "no" or to select options like "Do not contact me by mail." Click NO for everything and you should be all set.

Or, since you get junk mail by the ton from just about everywhere you click (except me, remember?) get second e-mail address and surf with THAT address. Keep a "clean" address for important correspondence, like the Ami-Simms-Newsletter.

Please send me a 2-line e-mail exactly like this:

NEW Address:
OLD address:
(Obviously you would insert YOUR e-mail address in there.)

I got one of those cute little flip phones last month. Very cool. It does everything: text messaging, e-mail, web surfing, a million telephone number storage, alarm clock, calculator, scheduler, and oh yeah, it's a phone too. (That's the only part I know how to work yet.) The most impressive, and yet annoying feature, is the voice activation. (You train it to recognize your voice speaking the name of the person you want to call. Ten minutes, two dog treats, a small threat later and it's a done deal.)

The only problem is using the "voice-dialing" feature. A female voice comes on and says, "Name, please." She sounds pleasant enough. Then, and this is what really gripes me, after I speak the name of the person I want to call, she says, "Calling..." in the most annoying tone of voice I've ever heard. It's like she couldn't be bothered. Or she thinks I'm too lazy to dial the number myself. I'm sure she's rolling her eyes and then adding something under her breath that, try as I might, I just can't hear. (And it rhymes with "itch.") I've already complained to the company that made the phone. They said I was the only one who objected. Pa-LEEZE!

Get the ladder. I'm tired of that stupid sign on the outside of my local major brand name chain drug store: ONE HOUR PHOTO. Uh-huh. What it really means is: "When we finally get around to it, the 10 minutes it takes to do your film will probably take us an hour." As soon as they see you coming toward the counter the excuses begin. The machine is down, the "girl" is out to lunch, they have too many rolls ahead of mine, daylight savings, their pen's out of ink. And will they give you a discount when they take four hours instead of one? Don't hold your breath.

Now when I go in there I ask, "How long is your one-hour photo-developing today?" They're in a time warp and I sound like an idiot! It's time to change the sign. Who's with me? (Meet me in the parking lot at midnight.)

And, until then, have a great quilting day!
Ami Simms

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