November 2004

Note: This newsletter was e-mailed on November 1, 2004. 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 Copyright November 1, 2004 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

WELCOME Let's get right to it. Tomorrow is Election Day and it's a big deal. Go out and VOTE! And to reward yourself for voting, take a 10% discount on everything on my website until midnight on November 7. Just type "ivoted" in the coupon area of the shopping cart when you check out. Internet orders only.

WINDEX UPDATE Two of you suggested Clorox Clean Up spray as the aroma of choice for "pretend" cleaning. I concur. Very nice scent.

WHO'D YOU LIKE TO GET STUCK WITH IN AN ELEVATOR? I enjoyed reading your responses. Oprah did quite well, as did Robin Williams and Johnny Depp. Your husbands will be happy to know that they placed extremely well, considering the competition. And, if you stick 12,000 quilters in an elevator at least TWO of their husbands will be able to get everybody out.

I added your responses to the original "What's Up With Ami" page. See:<>

COOLEST BUSINESS CARDS If you're looking for inexpensive 4-color business cards or post cards made with pictures of your quilts, head over to

I had some made for Quilt Market and they turned out GREAT. I especially liked their excellent customer service.

ATTENTION MICHIGAN QUILTERS Marty Lawrence is cleaning out her basement. Big deal, right? You BET! Marty is the owner, operator, and chief bucket-washer of KWILTS & KLOZE, a home-based hand-dyed fabrics operation. This weekend she's having a garage sale and she's getting rid of bunches of hand-dyed fabrics ($4/yard), marbled fabric quarters and eights ($1 and $2), hand-painted silk ribbon (7mm-$2/3.5mm-$1.60). She also has seasonal decorations, snowmen, Santas, silk planters, and rabbits. Hours are: Friday, Nov, 5 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to-5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7 from 1 to 5 p.m. Location: 1151 Heatherwood Road/Flint Twp., MI 48532. Marty is off Linden Rd across from Carman-Ainsworth High School. Go south on Heatherwood. (Follow the signs.) For more information call (810) 733-1519.

MORE KOREAN DINING I've written about my fascination with Korean food recently, so I'll only bore you if you care to visit the most recent addition to the "What's Up With Ami" page. Be advised that there are several pictures featuring SQUID. Don't worry, they're all G-rated. See:

APPLIQUE PINS I've decided to include appliqué pins with all future Invisible Applique kits. Things are just so much easier when you have the right equipment. Take my keyboard, for instance. For about the last 5 weeks the SHIFT key on the right hand side has been sticking. Do you know how annoying that is? I push is down with my pinky finger, like I'm supposed to, type the capital letter, and then it doesn't pop back up again until AFTER I've typed the SECOND letter. I'm AMi instead of Ami. I have to backspace and fix it. EVery BLasted TIme!

SO why am I putting up with this nonsense? PArtly because I'm lazy. I mean, I eat while I type which is why the key is probably sticking in the first place. SOmething gooey fell out of my mouth and got wedged under the stupid key. I bet it's partly out of habit too. I"ve had the same keyboard for several years and I really love everything about it….except the sticky SHIFT key. I"ve worn most of the keys so smooth I can see my own reflection in them, especially E, N, M, L, and C. Those hardly have any letters left on them.

It's the same with sewing tools. It's easy to get into a rut. NExt time you appliqué, try it with the right size pin. MEanwhile, I"m going out to buy a new keyboard or pry off the SHIFT key and lick off whatever is underneath there. It's driving me nuts.

SEe what a good appliqué pin looks like at:

THE COLLECTIBLES Quilt II For those of you interested in photo-transfer quilting, here's a terrific book with lots of ideas. The Collectibles Quilt II, was written by Wendy Etzel. She's the one who made the original "bookshelf" quilts. I'm sure as soon as you see one, you'll know exactly what I mean. Her 80-page book has 16 quilt projects, dozens of full size patterns, step-by-step instructions, and lots of ideas. See:

RAG FUR JACKET TIPS I made four more Rag Fur Jackets this month getting ready for Quilt Market. Thought I'd pass on some tips:

1. When you're topstitching the four rows down the neckband and cuff, there is a slightly more time consuming, yet slick way to finish off the threads. After you backstitch as the pattern calls for, take the thread tails, and weave them in between the layers of fabric with a "Magic (self-threading) Needle." That way the itsy-bitsy ends won't ravel after multiple washings.

See a magic needle at:

2. To get your jacket to poof up to maximum "poofiness," wash and dry it as the pattern calls for, THEN, stick it in the dryer on air fluff (no heat) with a wet towel and send it around for about 60 minutes. Works like a charm.

3. When packing your Rag Fur Jacket, turn it inside out so that the "fur" doesn't get caught in your suitcase zipper. Shake well after unpacking.

Ruth, Bethany, and Nanette sent pictures of their Rag Fur Jackets.

See Ruth's at: Bethany's at: Nanette's at:

Order the Rag Fur Jacket pattern at: I'll share pictures of my new Rag Fur Jackets next month.

CYBER SHARING Anne Pearce made a Picture Play quilt:

Wienczkowski, Char finished her string quilt:

Lois Pasternack wonders what they were thinking:

And so do I! See:

So does Deborah Higgens:

Sue Kaminski made a great photo-quilt:

Suzanne offers "Badly Stained Glass" as a Worst Quilt Wannabe:

SUPPORT BREAST CANCER RESEARCH More than 24,000 quilt blocks were received by American Patchwork & Quilting magazine to be sewn into quilts to benefit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. This organization raises funds for cancer research and community outreach. The auction of these quilts is underway now and will continue through December 31. Every Monday, a new group of approximately 40 quilts goes up on the auction block. Each group is up for 10 days, so they overlap slightly. It's a great cause and you'll find some wonderful quilts, especially if you like pink. Please bid generously when you visit:

VETERAN'S DAY Veteran's Day is November 11th. If you know a Vet, give them a copy of The Reluctant Sailor, written by my Uncle Bud. (If you ever wondered where I got my sense of humor, wonder no more.) The Reluctant Sailor is a collection of remembrances of his coming of age during WWII. You'd think that might be boring. It isn't. You will probably laugh out loud at least once. Maybe twice. Uncle Bud is a funny guy. He's also pretty amazing. Not only did he write the book, he wrote it while he was going blind, typing on the computer with a magnifying glass. Could I possibly be any prouder? Nah, I don't think so. See:

WHAT'S IN A NAME? I grew up in Oak Park, Michigan. It wasn't until I went away to school and was gaily recounting favorite winter activities to my new friends at college. I told them all about tobogganing at Oak Park Park. (Even the spellchecker didn't like that one.) Well, if you have a city park, and you live in Oak Park, it's called Oak Park Park.

We also had a podiatrist named Dr. Smelzy. No, I'm not making that up. The neighboring town also had a street named Lois Lane. I've always thought that was incredibly clever. And someone once ordered something from Mallery Press and she lived on Zigzag St. How cool is THAT for a quilter?!

One of the radio stations out of Detroit used to have "Hortense Waffle Day" each June. They'd play Pomp & Circumstance in the background and the radio personality would intone one strange name after the other for the whole show. Listeners could nominate strange names if they wanted to. All I can remember now is Hortense Waffle and another woman actually named Chanda Lear. Oh dear!

All I can say is, thank goodness I don't have a strange name! (And Ami's not even my given name.) In case you were wondering, Ami rhymes with sal-AMI, but I'll answer to any lunchmeat. I will hardly ever correct you if you call me Amy. In fact, my husband's family owns a Chevy dealership. Even after 27 years, the guys in the back still call me OMNI, like the car. Whatever. I know who they mean.

ZIPPER-D-DO-DAH NECKLACES We got more little bags in. Check out the new color assortment at:

UNTIL NEXT TIME, PASS IT ON Remember to vote early and often (just kidding!) I'm looking forward to telling you all about Quilt Market next month. Remember, if you enjoyed the newsletter that's terrific, pass it on. (All of it, including the copyright stuff at the top and the subscription information at the bottom.) And, it you didn't like it, remember it was free. And you get what you pay for.

Ami Simms

Korean Dining
Applique Pins
The Collectibles Quilt II
"Magic Needles"
Ruth's Rag Fur Jacket
Bethany Reynolds' Rag Fur Jacket
Nanette's Rag Fur Jacket
Rag Fur Jacket Pattern
Anne Pearce's PPQ
Char's String Quilt
Lois Wonders…
Ami Wonders…
Deborah Wonders…
Sue's Photo Quilt
Worst Quilt Wannabe
Bid on Quilts & Support Breast Cancer Research
Uncle Bud's Book
Zipper-D-Do-Dah Necklaces

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