November 2003

Note: This newsletter was e-mailed on November 1 and 11, 2003. (Two parts.) Please scroll down to the bottom for the active links. If you would like to receive this newsletter in your very own mailbox, instead of reading it here, hit the BACK arrow on your browser and enter your e-mail address in the box on the previous page. You'll get the December issue.

The Ami Simms Newsletter
November 1, 2003
Copyright 2003 by Ami Simms

I'm just back from Houston Quilt Market and Quilt Festival, so this will be Part One of the newsletter. As soon as I take a long nap and unpack, I will send Part Two. Give me about a week.

Houston, as always, was fabulous. Our booth at Market didn't win any official awards, but the accolades from those who saw it was enough to make all the hard work worthwhile. I think my "Pie a la Mode" line was very well received, and the Pizza Party quilts and patterns some more exposure. We got to meet hundreds of quilters and of course, that was the most fun of all.

To see pictures of our booth at Market, please visit:

Pictures of my "Pie a la Mode" fabric is now on my web page for you to see. You can order fabric now, but the fabric won't be here for me to ship to you until early December. I'll keep you posted. Please see:

Right before we left for Market I came up with one of my favorite patterns so far: The Electric Pizza. Yes, not only does it look realistic, it's actually HOT. It's a heating pad cover that looks for all the world like a Chicago style, deep-dish pizza! Get the kit or just the pattern at

Many of you replied to Madison's most unfortunate encounter with a skunk in the last issue. There were many suggestions to use tomato juice, one suggestion for Woolite (line dry?) and several of you suggested a rather strange, but apparently effective remedy. Since Cindy wrote a most entertaining email on the subject, I'll let her explain:

When my dumb puppy discovered a baby skunk (he was tossing it up in the air and getting squirted every time it came down) he had an adventure too! It turns out young skunks don't have as much juice as adults do but it smells different, and has more oil in the mixture. We (Emmy our mom-dog, Hoppe the puppy, and )I were out walking, several miles from home, when the puppy found the skunk. I had to PUT HIM IN MY CAR and drive home. Emmy hung her head out the window, but I had to drive holding my breath as best I could.

Get the dumb puppy home and tied him up outside, where even his mother wouldn't keep him company. Tried the bath with tomato stuff and it didn't work. Bath #1 down. Call a dog-groomer in town who told me about their wonder shampoo, so I drive in my stinky car to get a $10.00 bottle of it. I lather it on the poor dog,and scrub him twice. Bath #2 down. Still stinky (that different chemistry in the young skunks.) Desperate, I called the vet who tells me to get douche. By this time several brain cells have died from the smell and I reply, "Dog douche? What the heck is that?" He says, no not dog douche...WOMAN douche, the vinegar based kind, and I need a gallon of it for about every 10 lbs. of dog. This is a 70 lb. puppy. I need SEVEN GALLONS OF DOUCHE!

So I go to Walmart where I notice the other shoppers are giving me a wide berth. I have to read all the labels to get the right kind (Frangipani scent!) and I have to ask a clerk to go into the back to get me some more of the desired brand. Proceed to the checkout with MANY boxes of this product. The female behind the counter looks at all the boxes, looks at me, silently counts the boxes again....and I, like a nervous dummy, blurt out, "It's not for me! It's for my dog!" I can tell she's immediately thinking of calling the humane society on me. I escape with the loot, go home, mix up gallons of the stuff and the poor dog gets his third bath of the day.

Amazingly, it worked. Hoppe smelled like Frangipani (and the other dogs gave him a wide berth for about a week) but no more skunk. And I didn't shop at Walmart for a few weeks.

My last teaching adventure for the year will be to southern California. I'll be presenting three lectures and two workshops for the Glendale Quilt Guild (; Valley Quilters ( ); and the Santa Clarita Guild ( I understand there are openings in my String Quilting workshop on November 14 with the Valley Quilters. Please contact for more details.

I'll be taking December off, but will hit the road again in January for a lecture and a bunch of workshops for the Hands All Around quilters in Erie, PA. Contact My schedule beyond that is at .

Joan G. has joined with other mothers of sons serving in the US Marines, to make comfort quilts for the families of those servicemen who have perished in Iraq since the war began. Quilts are made of thirty 12 and 1/2 inch blocks signed by the maker with name, city/state, and a message that their loved ones will not be forgotten. If you would like to participate, visit their website: or email Joan at

I'll have the new web prize up early this week, so do take a look. I'll also remind you to enter with a full description of the prize in "part two."

I'll also share a really slick idea for holiday presents you can make in about 20 minutes. Fabric: yes. Sewing: no. Fun? Of course! I'm hoping to get that together for you in about a week.

I should also know more about Uncle Bud's book by then. It's in production now and I should have a ship date soon. That means this is your last chance to order at a discount. See

I'm also hoping to put the auctions up on with proceeds going to the dogs.

I'll see you after my nap!
Thanks for double-clicking,
Ami Simms

Quilt Market Booth
Ami's New Fabric
Electric Pizza
Ami's Teaching Schedule
Service Quilts
Uncle Bud's book

The Ami Simms Newsletter
November 11, 2003
Copyright 2003 by Ami Simms

To part TWO. Thanks for the nap. Feels good. I really needed it. I promise to get back to normal next month. (I guess normal is relative, right?)

Looks like this is a hot seller! My goodness, you've ordered up a storm! Thank you! I'm tickled pink---and green, purple, and, quick---name another color!

The first pattern for the "Pie a la Mode" is "Pie a la Mode Placemats" and it's a freebie! I just finished it! You can download it at: . Something to salivate over until the fabric arrives. We're expecting it in early December.

Wait until you see what else I'm cooking up with this fabric!

This month there are two prizes coming to you courtesy of Superior Threads and Fiskars.

The first name drawn will win the thread. And what an assortment it is!

NiteLite Extra Glow. This is an extra strength 30 wt. thread that glows strong for up to 8 hours, night after night. It's iron safe and available in white and pastel shades of yellow, green, blue, and pink.

Rainbows . You'll get one of the fifty lustrous variegated color patterns it comes in. The color-change interval is an amazing one inch (compared to 8 inches in other brands)

Highlights. It has luster similar to rayon and silk, yet has the strength and colorfastness of polyester.

Superior Machine Quilting Thread. Soft and lint free, this #50/3 polyester thread is made for quilting on long arm and short arm quilting machines. Available in 50 solid colors. Spool size? A whopping 3,280 yards!

The Bottom Line. This bobbin and applique thread was designed by Libby Lehman. It has a beautiful silk-like finish.

Superior Metallic. Here's a metallic thread that works! Its strong core and genuine silver metallic base enhance both its sew-ability and appearance.

The second name drawn will get a wonderful gift from Fiskars: a 3-piece quilting set that includes a 18" x 24" cutting mat, 6" x 24" ruler, and 45mm rotary cutter!

Thank you, generous sponsors, and good luck! Enter at

New Use For Credit Card
Take a look at

Uncle Bud's book is HERE! And it looks wonderful. I'm so excited, and so is he! If you're in the Palm Beach, Florida area, he'll be doing a book signing and day cruise on the Palm Beach Princess on Friday, November 28th at 11am. Complete with monarch butterfly release. Call 800-841-7447 or e-mail me for details.

Cathy got a tip from one of the cooks at a Michigan K-Mart on how to get skunk stink out of dogs: MOUTHWASH. She said her dog had a fresh minty aroma. Not bad. Thanks for the tip, Cathy!

I'm having a birthday this month. (I do it every year about this time.) I mention it only because I need to start thinking about NEXT year, which will be a HUGE and FRIGHTENING milestone that shall remain numberless.

I'd like to do something momentous. Meaningful. Noteworthy. And ON THE DAY. It has to be official, but nothing dangerous. And fun. Did I mention fun? Quirky is OK, too. I need some ideas. Nix on the sky diving, and bungee jumping. And don't suggest a colonoscopy either. That might be age-appropriate, but definitely not what I had in mind for THE DAY. I'm counting on you.

There is another pattern in development just in time for quick little gifts. I'll also put up more auction quilts and share the pictures of fun and funny things you've been sending me.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with the ones you love, and I'll see you again with a fatter newsletter on December 1st.

Ami Simms

Free Pie a la Mode Pattern
Win Cool Stuff
New Use For Credit Card