May 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 Information may be outdated, irrelevant, misleading or incorrect.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
May 1, 2003
(c) by Ami Simms

As promised, this is a short version of the newsletter this month. As you read this I'm at Quilt Market in Portland, OR with one finished quilt, and two tops. It's been intense.

My Pizza Party fabric arrived on my doorstep at 9:17 am on Friday the 18th. After several minutes of joyous jumping, yelping, and hooting I discovered I still can't do a cartwheel. Yet, even catching my left shoe on the table and careening into the wall as I attempted a wheel-like rotation, didn't dampen my spirits.

The fabric was washed, dried, and ironed in record time. I also broke my all-time record for staring at fabric without doing anything to it. I was terrified of cutting into it. Realizing that what lay before me on the cutting table was more precious than gold (in shipping costs alone---air freighted from Korea, over-nighted once it got to the States!) I was afraid to make a mistake.

I was afraid to make, well, ANYTHING! My assignment was to create a quilt that shows off the line, or as I saw it, the quilt that would single-handedly launch several thousand yards of fabric successfully off the shelves of the warehouse into quilts shops around the world and under the rotary blades of quilters everywhere---and in only one week, four days, and nineteen hours. And did I mention ONE quilt would be adequate, but I really wanted to make FOUR? It's hard to be inspired under pressure. So I sorted my pins. You can't work when the long ones are mixed in with the short ones. And the bent ones! Geeze, those can really drive you nuts.

When I caught myself pointing the pins all in the same direction I tried to recapture reality. I decided I would just make a quilt that I liked. If it moved a couple bolts closer to the edge of the shelf, so much the better. If it didn't, the sun would still come up in the morning. Cutting into the fabric seemed easier after that.

I measured twice and cut once and the pieces began to come together. And yes, I was working on three quilts at once. (Hey, that's better than four, right?) Aside from the pressure to stay on task and finish in time, I was having a great time, enjoying both the fabrics I had designed and the quilt patterns I was inventing. This was cool. I should do this more often.

Yeah right. I should work 16 to 18 hours a day all the time, skipping meals and ignoring my family. Madison, poor dog, was the only one who still loved me. My constant companion, shrouded in thread droppings, followed me from cutting table to machine, to iron, to computer and back again. If it weren't for him reminding me that he had to "park" I probably would have forgotten to visit the Little Quilter's Room myself!

Sleep deprivation started catching up to me about Day #11. The Stanley Cup play-offs were in full swing and I honestly contemplated growing a goatee. (That's a big Red Wing tradition, you know.) I tried to sleep, but the muses just wouldn't shut up. The ideas kept popping, the fabrics swirling, the fear of the finish line looming larger and larger. One morning after yet another restless night I remember trying to put toothpaste on my comb!

With five days to go a calm settled in. Things were really taking shape. I was going to make it. It also helped to scale back a little. I'd finish quilting on one and the other two would just be tops for a while.

You can see the first pizza quilt at I hope you like it!

If you're a subscriber to my Mystery Block of the Month Puppus Doggus Calendar Quilt you should already have received your MAY block. Those of you who aren't, well it's not too late. Join us! You can get a sneak peek at January-April at

Debbie V. has been naming the doggies, which I think is just adorable: January: "Snowflake"
February: "Valentine"
March: "Erin"
April: "Stormy"

These kind souls have sent "payment" for their "free" Puppus Doggus Test Patterns blocks in the form of blocks, cash donations or both: Susan Cleveland, Ann Paucke, Carol Price, and Jordana McVey. You guys are the cat's meow. Oops! Wait a minute....the dog's bark? You know what mean. Thank you!!

Kris Driessen of Quilt Bus fame () sent in this photo. Try as I might I can't imagine what's REALLY in the box. You're not going to believe this one, folks.

Yes, the plan was to auction off six more quilts on this month, but with making the Pizza Quilts, there's no way. I didn't have time to sneeze! So, look for them next month.

Anybody live in Korea and like to shop? I need an "importer." Please email me at

This month's prize is a six-yard packet of Marcus Brothers ( fabric. The winner gets to choose from any current available collection including SKIEZ by Jan Mullen, SCATTER GARDEN by Pam Mostek, or SPICE ROUTE by Karen Jarrar. Visit the Fabric Gallery at to indulge in your winning fantasy. What fun! All fabric must come from a single collection with minimum cuts of one yard. The winner will be given an e-mail address to claim her dream fabric. Good luck! Enter at:

Susan Cleveland finished her Hugs & Kisses quilt

Judi Kanipe made a great Twisted Sisters quilt

Stephanie sent me this page for dog lovers who want to help. Who knows, that might be you!

I'll be back to normal next month, which assumes that I once WAS NORMAL in some previous month. Let me rephrase that. The June newsletter will look more like it usually does next month.

Have a great quilting day, Ami Simms


Dog-Yeared BOM
What Were They Thinking?!
Win Cool Stuff
Susan Cleveland's Quilt
Judith Kanipe's Quilt
Dog Lover's Web Site
Ami's Web Page