May 2005

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The Ami Simms Newsletter
April 2005
Copyright by Ami Simms

See end of newsletter for links.

It is a pleasure once again to be in your in-box. Lot’s of “news” in this newsletter so I’m going to get right to it.

I owe a special debt of gratitude to the kind students who nominated me for The Professional Quilter’s “Teacher of the Year” award. Thank you! This was the second year I was nominated and it is a huge honor. My fellow honorees this year are Marci Baker, Karen Combs, Carol Doak, Jane Dunnewold, Margie Engel, Maxine Farkas, Linda Franz, Diane Gaudynski, Irma Gail Hatcher, Marian Hayes, Dianne Hire, Pam Holland, Nellie Holmes, Patti Hyder, Fran Kordek, Jan Krentz, Mary Lowe, Carol Miller, Kimberly Baxter Packwood, Linda Poole, Janet Ozard Root, Sonja Shogren, Pataricia Shreiner, Lois Smith, Jill Therriault, Jane Townswick, and Janet Jones Worley. Congratulations one and all!

Astute readers are now realizing that I have begun a second paragraph under this same heading. If you could please imagine me hesitatingly, tentatively, tip-toeing to the front of the stage with a huge grin on my face, as well as a somewhat perplexed expression, that would help, for I have been selected Teacher of the Year for 2005!!! I received the news on day #8 of a ten day bout with the flu. When Morna McEver Golletz, editor/publisher of The Professional Quilter, called it took me a rather long time to process what she was saying. She probably hung up and started making notes on how to revamp the selection process. After I hung up, I checked the amount of medicine still left in the bottle, flopped back to my horizontal position under the covers, and tried to decide if I had just been dreaming. Subsequent communication with Morna and independent confirmation through congratulatory emails leads me to believe that my dream has indeed come true. Amazing!

So, thank you, AGAIN. And, should you happen to be cruising eBay and see a small, tasteful tiara that I can wear to future teaching engagements, let me know.

For a copy of Issue #91 that includes an interview with yours truly, send $8.25 (check or money order) to The Professional Quilter, 22412 Rolling Hills Lane/Laytonsville, MD 20882. The amount includes US postage. Please request the issue by number and include your email address and/or phone number. Visit The Professional Quilter at:

APRIL 24th
It’s always interesting to live in Michigan, especially in the spring. Check it out:

Jody wrote: “When I was a young girl the neighbor boy living next door name was Tor. His last name was Nadeau.” Put ‘em together folks and it sounds like TORNADO!

Sue R. shares a not-so-good gifting experience. She writes: “My grandmother made a quilt for each of her children after they were married. When she gave the one she made for my uncle and his wife to them, his wife (who clearly had no appreciation for anything handmade) immediately cut it up and made it into an ironing board cover! How sad is that? (Pretty sad. I hope she scorched everything she ironed on it and burned everything she cooked.—Ami)

QNN (Quilters News Network) a 24-hour a day quilting network on the Internet featuring quilting how-to shows on streaming video is LIVE. Right now! You can see my PIZZA PARTY segment at these convenient times: 12:11am, 4:16am, 12:26pm, 4:31pm, and 8:36pm.

Pizza Party was shot here in my home/studio. In addition to seeing host Jodie Davis and I make two of my pizza patterns, you’ll see Madison running into the sewing room carrying a pizza in his mouth, and finding me in my stash closet. Good dog! You’ll also get to see me toss pizza dough on my head as we make real pizza at a local Flint eatery. If you look carefully behind the scenes in my studio you’ll see the Hong Kong quilt (over my ironing board) and my Ocean Waves quilt (behind my sewing machine.)

You may have to download a little program to run QNN on your system. I had to download Multicastmedia MiniBrowser, and it didn’t hurt a bit. Once you connect, it can run while you work on other things. (I can hear it now as I type over here in another program.)

Check out QNN at
See my Pizza Party Quilt at:
See my Electric Pizza heating pad cover pattern at:
See my Piazza Party fabric line at:

For the past 39 years I’ve wanted to ride a mule into the Grand Canyon. Check out my adventure at:

Thanks to Kathi D for the rotary cutters and mats! Way to go!! Have any old sewing machines, rotary cutters, rulers, fabric…..that you don’t need? We can use them at St. Luke’s, a new program for at risk women in Flint. Please contact me for more details.

Or melts, stretches, and otherwise distorts. Thanks to my brother-in-law, Larry, for these very cool clocks. Clock #1:

Clock #2:

Clock #3 (Move your mouse!)

Clock #4:

“Walk This Way” by Barb Ratliff:

Melissa K. Austin made a photo quilt:

Kelly Ross made a photo quilt:

JoAnne Sheppard made a Rag Fur Jacket: br>
Donata was watching her step:

No teaching trip for me this month. Jennie and I are going to Italy! We’re going to hit five cities (Milan, Venice, Orvieto, Sorrento, and Rome) in 10 days and we’re packing light because we are two women on the move. The rule is ONE carry-on rollerbag and a small day pack, per person. And, while wearing the day pack you have to be able to lift the rollerbag over your head and hold it there for a count of three. OK, so I count fast. But let me tell you what a challenge it is to whittle down three suitcases weighing in at about 175 pounds (what I normally take for a 3-day teaching trip) to a “tad over” 20-pounder for 10 days. Not to worry, I did wedge in 9 applique blocks to work on and a spare needle. I’m hoping I can lighten the load when I trim out from behind the appliqué.

I also plan on coming back lighter in the underwear department. Yes, I’ve been threatening this for years and I’m finally going to do it. I’m taking the rattiest underwear I have (don’t tell my mother) and after I wear them I’m going to throw them away. My husband did this on one trip years ago, but I shall be much more clever than he, having learned that it is not wise to dispose of one’s underwear in the hotel room waste receptacle lest you find the maid running after you waving your “forgotten” unmentionables as you exit the establishment through the lobby. No sir. I’m going to stuff mine in the top of my purse to discourage pickpockets during the day, and then find a new home for them in a trash can off premises.

Having lived in Italy for a short time while I was growing up, I’m really going back for the food. We may visit some sights, but I’m there just to soak up ambiance, walk enough to work up an appetite, and eat like a pig. Aside from my own increased girth, I won’t have room for souvenirs anyway!

Joan F. shares this cute website:

Pati Shambaugh wonders about the location of a door:

Sherrie Groman found an interesting “special.”

Bonnie Lyn McCaffery has a new book hot off the press and it is impressive! She shows you step by step how to paint faces onto fabric to take your quilts to another level. The trick is a guideline drawing that you make from a photograph and then lay under the fabric. Bonnie’s instructions are detailed, the photography is excellent, and even if you don’t want to paint a face now, you’ll enjoy looking at the color photographs of both process and product for future inspiration. For your autographed copy visit:

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

The Professional Quilter
Spring in Michigan
Quilters News Network
Pizza Party Quilt
Electric Pizza
Pizza Party Fabric
Grand Canyon
Clock #1
Clock #2
Clock #3
Clock #4
Walk This Way
Melissa K. Austin’s Photo-Quilt
Kelly Ross’ Photo-Quilt
JoAnne Sheppard’s Rag Fur Jacket
Donata’s Watching Her Step
What Kind of Dog Are YOU?
Check out that DOOR!
Some special!
Portrait Quilts

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