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 Information may be outdated, irrelevant, misleading or incorrect.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

The Ami Simms Newsletter
(c) 2002 by Ami Simms

You're here, but I'm not. Well, I AM here, but just not home. I'm in Houston, apparently successful in sending out this newsletter from my palatial suite at the Hyatt. Yes, form the mental image of a broom closet with three bodies, 16 pieces of luggage, 47 cardboard boxes, and 2 square feet in which to stand and you'll get the idea.

As always, please share this newsletter with anyone you like, just hint that they can open their own e-mail box on the first day of every month and they won't have to wait for you to finish reading yours before forwarding it to them. Think of how much faster THAT will be! (They can sign up at )

I'm here at the International Quilt Festival in Houston and I think all my workshops are already full so there's no point in even mentioning that. Sorry. BUT, you can attend one of my two, FREE, hand quilting demonstrations (Friday 6:30-7:00 pm and Sunday noon to 12:30 pm.) See me on closed circuit television with a 50-foot screen, a live orchestra, two dancing tigers and a metal folding chair. (I'm pretty sure about the metal folding chair, as for the rest, well...)

I'll be presenting workshops and a lecture for the Quilters Unlimited of Tallahassee, FL on November 14-16. (That would be in Tallahassee, Florida.) If you're in the neighborhood, do come and say hi. For more information e-mail

December 10-11 I'll be visiting Ankeny Iowa Area Quilt Guild in Ankeny, IA. (I always try to help the geographically challenged.) If you're driving from my workshops in Florida, please be careful, it's a long haul. E-mail for the details on the Iowa workshops and lecture.

Other trips coming up include South Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan, California, Texas, and a bunch of other states. You can see the full list as well as the most recent supply lists for all my workshops (in case you're signed up for any and have misplaced the information the program chair already gave you---it happens) at .

I was on Simply Quilts on October 15. This time I had some advance warning but I missed it again anyway. I'm hopeless.

Sheila Dixon wrote: "I just watched ya on Simply Quilts. Thanks for the encouraging words. I prefer to think of my screw-ups as "Golden Learning Opportunities." Unfortunately, I seem to have a lot of opportunities...." Don't we all.

In case you were wondering, my segment was about entering quilt shows with confessions of how NOT to make a prize-winning quilt. If you'd like the full lesson, it appears in print with vivid color photographs in the form of a little green book called How NOT To Make A Prize-Winning Quilt. Chapters include:

Don't Worry, It'll Quilt Out
If Nothing Falls Off You're Doing OK
If It Doesn't Fit, Pull On It Or Cut It Off
Don't Mark Quilting Lines With Food
When Bad Binding Happens To Good People
If You Can't Applique, Paint
People With Big Chests Shouldn't Quilt In Small Cars
If You Want Warmth, Buy An Electric Blanket
Don't Add Seam Allowance More Than Once
Only Sissies Machine Quilt
After 53 Quilts You Can Still Make A Dog

If you've borrowed a copy from your friend, now is the time to return it and get your own copy. Order on the web page and you can even get a free copy. If you buy two. What are you going to do with THREE copies? C'mon, you've got friends! Besides, all three of you can get the little present mentioned on page 45. I'll be back in the office to autograph them on November 5th. Check it out at:

And, speaking of shameless promotion, if you think I need to get back on Simply Quilts for some new material (like Twisted Sisters or Puppus Doggus or things I haven't even thought of yet) let them know. E-mail the producers at

Remember the last newsletter when I discovered the Hazardous Materials Truck on my block video-taping the sewers? Well, much to my delight (and I hope yours too) I found the pictures I had taken and lost last month. Check out the little pontoon boat with the camera on top at in case you ever want to apply for a job in waste management.

Also in the What's Up With Ami Department: I'm going to be an Aunt! So, naturally, I made a quilt! Check it out at

We just bought a car. Great rebate, great financing; we went for it. And, for the first time in 25 years, Steve got the new vehicle. You see, when we were first married I cleverly pointed out that insurance rates were far cheaper for women than for men of the same age group. Therefore the female should always drive the newer vehicle. He fell for it immediately and he's been driving my hand-me-downs ever since.

Now, before you go start feeling sorry for him, you need to realize that Steve is a Simms. As in Simms CHEVROLET. (Two friendly locations in Clio and Ortonville where they treat you just like family.) They got new cars as soon as the ashtrays were dirty! (Boy, am I going to get in trouble for THAT!)

My family, on the other hand, replaced a vehicle only when it had been driven to death. It was replaced with the cheapest thing on four wheels. No frills for us. No automatic door locks or power windows. That's why all the drivers came with arms. And we used those upper extremities plenty. Dad never trusted "automatics." It was a stick shift or nothing. Power steering? That's for sissies. Air conditioning? Are you CRAZY?! We had "460 Air." Roll down all four windows, find a highway, and go 60.

I remember when we finally got a car with a radio. Dad propped his old transistor up on the dashboard and VIOLA we had a radio. When he drove me to school it was my job to catch the radio whenever we rounded a corner before it slid off the dash and onto the floor.

As I was saying, we just got a new car. It is a mechanical marvel. Sadly, within 35 seconds of backing it into the garage on its maiden voyage, I broke it.

I was just finishing my inspection the "cargo area" and I slammed the hatch. Right on... .

If you appliqué with fusible webbing, you know all about silicone and Teflon pressing sheets to keep melted fusible webbing off both your iron and your ironing board. There's nothing worse than pressing your appliqué project and having leftover amisimms.comgoo transfer to the middle of your Rose of Sharon. Once it's on there, forget it!

I've been hunting for the perfect pressing sheet: sturdy, slightly see-through to put OVER appliqué if needed, but mostly large enough to cover a large enough chunk of my ironing board so that I can do all my fusing on it. It also had to be reasonably priced and hard to catch on fire. Well, I've found it: Teflon coated fiberglass. The Mother Of All Pressing Sheets. I call it the Applique Goo Grabber. Catchy, huh? Check it out at .

Thanks to Sandy Kavenaugh for sending the URL to this amazing site. I spent 40 minutes here just playing. Very calming. You'll love it. Select a color, move your cursor to the black area of the screen and hold down the left mouse button. Dribble to your heart's content.

Remember those great quilt display systems I've told you about before? Order before November 5th and get 15% off the purchase of a DisplayAway when you mention my name. You'll have it in time for Christmas. See the amazing DisplayAway at or call Hal and Kathi Zeller at Zellerwood Originals toll free at 1-888-487-7233 for more information.

Order your autographed copy directly from Cindy's web page at She's got custom kits too and a cute little new book called The Stitcher's Language of Flowers to go along with her flower fabric from Marcus Brothers. Mention this newsletter and get a free Treasured Memories fabric transfer of your choice ($3.50-$5.50 value) with any purchase over $20. (Choose the transfer you want from the product pages, then add it to the order form as "Ami's Special.")

Yes indeed, there's cool stuff to win this month. You'll want to head right over to to try your luck on a Quilters' Starter Package from Sulky. This includes 30 of the most popular Sulky 30 weight rayon colors plus clear and smoke polyester invisible thread. They'll come to you in Sulky's brand-new Slimline Storage Box that can hold up to 104 spools of thread. The suggested retail of this prize is $124.90. Good luck.

Don't forget to check to see if you won last month's prize from Troy Fabrics.

Call it what you will, but more quilts have been finished and are ready for the auction block. You guys are amazing!

Many thanks to Vici Wilson and Beth Burke for #32 Pigs & Pears

and to Marilyn Goodwin for #42 Lucky Elephants

and to Susan Opalka for #43 Brown Beauty

and to Donna Thompson for #44 Chicks 'N Dandelions

and to Jeanette Matteer for finishing up Team #13 from last year. Once she took over, a real live finished quilt was birthed in no time!

and to Judy K. Wells for #45 Foliage Fantasy #1 and #49 Piggies Piggies and #51 Dinos & Gators

and to Robin Briggs, currently the world record holder for charity quilts made with Ami's Mommy's fabrics: #46 Playing In The Leaves #47 Foliage Fantasy #2 #48 Wild Woman #52 Bugs Bunnies"

and to Louise Mueller for #50 Hummingbirds & Moths

and to Mary Ann Karpinski for #53 Autumn Pinwheel

and to Amy Pasciak for #54 I Dreamed Of Africa

and to Vici and friends for #55 Three-D Pinwheel

and to Ragna Rogero for #56 Luscious Leaves

and to Jackie Borszich for #57 DNA Gone Astray

I have projects galore if you are interested in helping. Please visit

I popped these up before I left for Houston, so you won't have as much time as you usually do, but they are definitely worth the visit. Because of your generous efforts finishing my "hand-me-downs" and creating new projects with my Mom's hand-dyed fabrics I will also be putting up two more auction quilts on November 8th. They're listed below:

Right NOW bid on Nancy Paulsen's "Butterflies With Giraffe Border" (#30) at AND, Nancy's "Pigs & Seeds" quilt (#31) at

On November 8 bid on Jody Crail's Tied Twin Quilt (#35)at and Kimberly Layton's "Purple Pigs Down On The Farm" Quilt (#36) at

Please be generous in your bidding. All proceeds go to either Leader Dogs For The Blind or Paws With A Cause.

I met a very nice woman in Virginia last month who has very good taste in outerwear (and I'm sure other things) and was kind enough to wear a raincoat that I didn't know I needed until I saw her in it. Resisting all urges to knock her down tear it right off of her, I inquired where she ever found such a wonderful "quilty" mid-calf, slightly iridescent blue on one side lovely shade of purple on the other side, very reversible rain coat with a hood that doesn't make you look like a dork and Seminole patches in very nice places. She shared her inside pocket with me, where the label was, and now I know who made it. Trouble is, the information is useless, or I'm useless, because I couldn't find a single such raincoat, though I looked high and low from one end of the internet to the other.

So, I'm asking for your help. Maybe you've seen one. Maybe you HAVE one. (Be still my heart.) Find me a size small, new or used, and my kingdom will be yours. (It was a size small, wasn't it?) Or at least a Quilter's CARE Package and my never-ending gratitude! Here's what to look for: The label said: Phyllis Wells
Wellspring Design
Bozeman, MT

You're looking for a mid-calf, reversible, hooded, women's raincoat. It has patchwork pockets, with Seminole strip piecing on the back yoke. Seams are "normal" on one side, bound like a quilt on the other. I think there was a belt too.

I'm also looking for a good credit card. Something with a lot of kickbacks that'll let me charge college tuition on it. Got any suggestions? (Other than changing my name and moving before the bill comes!) E-mail me:

Karen Moore made a terrific quilt for her Mom's 75th birthday. Take a look at

If you've run out of fabric and need to find more ASAP, you already know about . Think of it as a "Quilter-to-Quilter" search. You post there and we all look through our stashes.

Another option is to send an email to If you include contact information and as many details as possible your request will be forwarded to 750 quilt shops and they will search their shelves for you. Such a deal. For more information visit .

These and other important links every quilter should have at their fingertips are listed on my REALLY USEFUL LINKS PAGE at

Thanks to for the web cam address for Mt. St. Helens. Ami's tip: don't look at 8:30 am Eastern Standard Time. Wait until the sun comes up out west first.

FRENCH QUILTER I lost my internet connection last month in the middle of a wonderful e-mail from a French quilter who sent me a link about the Amish. I muddled through the French website, then translated it the page on (have you tried that? it's so cooL!) and then lost the connection. As my ISP went blank, sadly, so did my mind. Sadly, I was reading old mail, couldn't remember the subject, the email address, NOTHING! So, whoever you are, would you please write back?

Gotta get to class. Thanks for tuning in this month. I'll see you December 1st. Until then, have a great quilting day!

Ami Simms

FREE Newsletter
Tallahassee, FL Workshops/Lecture
Ankeny, IA Workshops/Lecture
Ami's Teaching Schedule
Buy Two/Get Third FREE
E-mail Simply Quilts
Sewer Pictures
Niece/Nephew Quilt
I Broke The New Car
Applique Goo Grabber Cool Web Page
DisplayAways Discounted
Win Cool Stuff

New Charity Quilts
Lucky Elephants
Brown Beauty
Chicks 'N Dandelions
Team #13
Foliage Fantasy #1
Piggies Piggies
Dinos & Gators
Playing In The Leaves
Foliage Fantasy #2
Wild Woman
Bugs Bunnies
Hummingbirds & Moths
Autumn Pinwheel
I Dreamed Of Africa
Luscious Leaves
DNA Gone Astray

Can YOU Help?
Make an Ami-Mommy Quilt
Bid on "Butterflies With Giraffe Border
Bid on "Pigs & Seeds"
Bookmark "Tied Twin Quilt Auction 11-8-02
Bookmark "Purple Pids Down On The Farm Auction 11-8-02

Still More Stuff To Click On
Karen Moore's Photo-Quilt
Search For Missing Fabric
Ask Quilt Shops For Missing Fabric
Ami's Really Useful Links
Mt. St. Helen's Web Cam