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The Ami Simms Newsletter
Hello again! I'm glad you're here---all 8,207of you according to the
last count. (Thank you for reading this every month and recommending
it to your friends. That must be how this number keeps getting
bigger!) For any new folks, back issues are available at
www.eGroups.com. Just click on MY GROUPS, select the Ami-Simms-Newsletter, and go to MESSAGES. There you'll find past issues all the
way back to September of 1999. Prior to that you'll have to visit the
web page at www.MalleryPress.com and select Free Newsletter.
eGroups.com (the vehicle by which these newsletters are sent) has
recently been swallowed up by Yahoo.com. I mention this only because
I don't want you to panic if you happen to get some strange email
announcing this or see Yahoo.com pop up when you expected
eGroups.com. We may see some changes in the near future, but I don't
think any will impact this group tremendously. It doesn't matter WHO
is sending the emails out for me, just as long as you get them. And,
don't forget, you can keep passing them around to whomever you like.
Just be sure to tell folks how to sign up. (www.MalleryPress.com or
email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you ever need to change your email address, please don't ask me to
do it for you. You can do this yourself by signing on to eGroups.com
under your OLD email address and unsubscribing. Then go to Ami-Simms-
Newsletter group and subscribe under your NEW address. If a password
is requested and you don't have one (forgot it, never thought to save
it, dog ate it) then follow the prompts on the page for "I forgot my
password" and they will email you one in about 30 seconds to 15
minutes. If for some reason you just can't figure it all out, then I
will help you, but next months' newsletter will be one paragraph
shorter. Send me your OLD address and your NEW address. Label each
one and ask me to make the change. If you don't tell me you've
already tried and failed miserably, I'll just send you directions on
how to do it.
My chats this year in the AOL Chat Room have been set, so I thought
I'd give you all the dates for this year. Look for me in the
Professional Chat Room from 9 to 10 pm EST on these days: January 18,
(that's TOMORROW!) March 15, May 3, July 19, September 20, and
November 15. (Only members of AOL can attend. Keyword: quilters. Then
follow the prompts to the CHAT area.) We do have our own chat area on
eGroups.com but nobody ever wants to come, so I'm at a loss of what
to do. Is there a day and time you'd like to meet and chat? Let me
FREE SSI PATTERNS
Thanks again to the kind folks at South Seas Imports for letting me
pass out all their free patterns to you. Their initial shipment was
gone after the first day; I had to make 450 more copies! (It's OK; I
got their permission first.) About half of you missed the part where
it said you had to postmark your request by December 24, but I was in
a generous mood, so you got patterns too. BUT---I don't have any more
left, so PLEASE stop sending requests!
ON-LINE PPQ WORKSHOP
We're deep into the Sweet Dreams on-line Picture Play Quilts workshop
that I told you about in the last newsletter. With 61 students we're
plum full, so I'm not accepting any more registrations. We started on
January 8 with the first of seven lessons to construct the Sweet
Dreams quilt on page 24 of my new book, Picture Play Quilts. Lessons
are posted at a secret website on specific days for students to read
at their leisure. In addition, the entire class belongs to a special
group at eGroups.com and can talk to one another anytime they wish
via emails. They can also email me for clarification and questions
any time they like. We have two live chats during the class where I
can answer questions in "real time." They are also encouraged to
participate in some of the on-line conversational fabric swaps at my
other web page, www.PicturePlayQuilts.com. (So can you---at any time,
by the way.) They even have a homework assignment due later this
Since so many of you expressed interest after the class filled or
just couldn't get everything together in time because of the
holidays, I will probably do it again some time. The best place to
get information about future classes is right here. So, as they say,
LETTER FROM DAISY
Before I share her monthly letter home, I want to thank you for the
participating in Dimes For Daisy. You raised over $300 for Leader
Dogs For The Blind---one dime at a time! Actually several of you
noticed that Dollars for Daisy is just as alliterative and that
helped a bunch. So did those kind souls who sent checks made out
directly to Leader Dogs For The Blind. That doesn't rhyme or begin
with the same letter, but it sure is appreciated. Thank you all for
thinking of this wonderful organization. This group is so very
generous. And, if you want to send MORE dimes or dollars in Daisy's
name, you can certainly do so any time you feel the urge. From now
until May we will be visiting Leader Dogs for our Puppy Classes and
will happily turn in any money you send for the program. The address
to send your donations is on the PUPPY page at www.MalleryPress.com
which is where you'll want to head to read the rest of her letter and
see the pictures that go with it. Now, here's Daisy.
Well, let me tell you the big excitement around here: we had snow!
And we got lots of it. It's up to my....what am I saying, it's way
OVER all of me! Miss Ami said we got more than 3 feet and it's still
here. In fact every day, there's more. I don't sink down all the way,
thank goodness, otherwise my people would never find me again. But I
go down pretty deep. Here I am with...
DO A GOOD DEED---IN ABOUT A MINUTE
If you'd like to do a good deed, give somebody a free mammogram. I
know that sounds about as exciting as a lube job for your car, but
hey it's gotta be done and not everybody has the wherewithal to do
it. You can help save lives while you're sitting here at the
computer. Go to http://www.thebreastcancersite.com. Click on the big
pink buttons that says "Donate Free Mammograms: Click Here." That's
it. You're done. You can only donate once, so pass this information
on to someone else. Ah, if the real thing were that easy. And,
speaking of the real thing (you know what's coming...) when was the
last time YOU had a mammogram done?
FUN QUILTY STUFF
Several years ago I bought a pair of scissors in Holland at the Hema
store, the Dutch version of K-Mart. The scissors weren't expensive
and it was one of those impulse buys that turned out to be a VST.
(Very Smart Thing). Trust me, they don't all turn out that way. That
wasn't the case with the lace hat I purchased on the same trip. I
looked so "cultural" when I tried it on, and so infinitely stupid
when I got it home. There I was in the mirror looking as if someone
had dumped a basket of bread on my head, taken away the basket,
picked up the bread, and walked away leaving me standing there with
the lace doily on my head. So attractive.
No, the scissors were quite nice. In fact, as I recall, I used them
to chop up the lace hat so I could attach various pieces of it to my
Dutch Treats quilt in Creating Scrapbook Quilts. (Check out page 34
and you can see the HEMA bag in the lower right hand corner and the
rosette from the hat about an inch and a half above it.)
The scissors were serrated. Not huge waves in the blade like a steak
knife, but little bitty grooves that held the fabric beautifully as I
cut along. It never slipped. I used them for everything (paper, too)
and I think I lost them before they even started to get dull.
Surprisingly, I hadn't seen serrated scissors since. (Actually I
have, but I just wanted to put 5 "S-words" in the same sentence.) To
my delight I have found serrated scissors again. Olfa makes them and
I now have two pair. The bright yellow handles help me find them in
the mess on the table and they cut like a dream. What a lovely
Even more clever than serrated scissors (I just love saying that) are
two other products now making their home in my studio, also by Olfa.
Did you know that they actually make something to keep dead rotary
cutter blades in? I didn't. I've been storing them in a cardboard
envelope marked with a skull & crossbones until, I don't know, I
could figure out how to dispose of them safely. Even though I was the
last quilter on the planet to give up ratty cardboard templates, dull
chalk and scissors for a new-fangled rotary cutter, I've been slicing
and dicing since 1990. Do you know how many used blades that is?!
(About a pound and half!) They all fit quite nicely (and safely)
inside my brand new Safety Blade Disposal Case, otherwise known as
a "caja de seguridad para cuchillas" or so it says on the multi-
lingual packaging. How swift! It, too, is bright yellow and works for
all size blades. I'm even going to put in my dull and broken sewing
needles inside. When I die my family is gonna strike it rich on scrap
metal. (Then THEY can figure out how to get rid of it)
The other addition to the studio is a gargantuan 35" x 70" Olfa
cutting mat. It's an ugly dull green, but I can't have everything. It
came in three pieces with sturdy little clips to secure the pieces
together. And, somebody was thinking, the lines on the mats are all
numbered consecutively so you can go from "1" all the way up to "70"
without repeats or skips. Not only that, the splices where the three
individual mats join together occur BETWEEN lines, not ON them so I
don't have to avoid certain measurements when I'm using
it. "Grunt," "squeal" I am in Hog Heaven! Pass the slop!
WHO WON THE DOOR PRIZE?!
Maybe it's YOU! I'm not telling. You'll have to head over to
www.PicturePlayQuilts.com and click on WIN. Click MOOSE ON THE LOOSE
and see if your name is listed at the bottom as the winner. If it is,
email me with the same email address under which you entered and tell
me where to ship the fabric! While you're there, it would probably be
a great time to sign up for the next door prize. Hmmm....I wonder
what it could be. Just one hint: they're YELLOW!
JUST CALL ME HOLLYWOOD
When the phone started ringing off the hook last Wednesday I
discovered that the Simply Quilts segment on entering quilt shows I
taped back in the spring with Alex Anderson finally aired. That was
kind of a shock. I didn't get a chance to watch myself on TV (always
a treat---NOT) since I didn't know I'd be on, so unless any of you
happened to tape it, I guess I'll have to wait until I'm a re-run.
Some kind souls wrote and told me that my hair looked BIG (you know
just how to make me feel good) and that they liked my dress (I don't
even remember what I wore) and that seeing the "lampshade" quilt was
a big thrill (for me too). What can I say, I cling to every nice
thing you write.
As luck would have it, the very next day I was on TV again, this time
with Kaye Wood and the Picture Play Quilts. I guess the PBS people
air the shows market by market and unless you check your local
listing for it you won't know when it's going to be on in your area.
Kaye was kind enough to send me a tape of the show which I have had
sitting on top of the TV for at least a month. I just can't get up
the nerve to watch it. (I guess if I don't see it, I can't be that
awful.) Even the thought that the editors might have included the one
OUT TAKE in my copy (I begged) didn't do it and it should have,
believe me. After my segment was finished and Kaye was doing her next
segment, the staff set off a whoopee cushion on the set. Kaye's
reaction was priceless. Talk about a woman who can take a joke! I may
never see that one on tape again, but I will be replaying it in my
mind's eye for years. (Thanks Kaye, you're one classy lady!)
IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR FABRIC...
Marsha McCloskey's new line of "Staples" is out and if you're ever in
need of some good old-fashioned "lights" that work with just about
everything, check it out. I love 'em. To get a taste of her new line,
Marsha has put together two sampler packets you might be interested
in. There's one with 22 Fat Quarters for $45 and another with 22 Fat
Eighths for $25. You can order on-line or print off an order form for
snail mail at http://www.quilt.com/FSP/FeatheredStar.html.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
I'll be with the Southern Comforters of Bowie, Maryland for one day
(January 20) this coming week-end. Jennie, my daughter, and Daisy
will be joining me for the trip. I'm not sure if the lecture or
workshop is open to the public, but if you'd be interested in
attending either, please contact Arleen at email@example.com and
ask. She can give you the scoop. If you live in Detroit, you can
watch us race off the first plane and find a place for Daisy
to "park" before we get on the second plane. That should be amusing.
Wish us luck!
SEE YOU NEXT TIME
I hope you have a great month filled with inspiration and creativity.
I'll see you again in about four weeks.