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The Ami Simms Newsletter
October 2001

WELCOME
Glad you’re here again this month, along with all your friends. What? They’re no all getting this doofus newsletter?! No problem. Forward them a copy— just tell them they can sign up and get their very own by e-mailing me at amisimms@aol.com. They can put SUBSCRIBE in the subject line, or SUBSCRIBE in the body, or they can write me a newsy little note. (It’s not like it’s automated or anything; I’m going to read every e-mail!)

AS for CHANGING E-MAIL ADDRESSES, I can do that manually too, but it’s just not as much fun. To make it as painless as possible, and to give me some extra quilting time, please send me a 2-line e-mail exactly like this:
NEW Address: SweetQuilter@pieces.com
OLD address: SweetQuilter3456@zigzag.com

Should you ever need to UN-subscribe, you can do so through www.Groups.Yahoo.com or send me an email. Be kind; I have thin skin.

“HELPING” UPDATE
It truly is heartening to see all the wonderful projects people have come up with to help our nation in this time of crisis. In addition to the ones I mentioned last time, you may want to check out the following.

eNeedle.com— shows you how you can contribute a 3' x 6' panel in honor of a loved one or any personal memory of the tragedy, similar to the AIDS QUILTS project. (Thanks to Paula Nadelstern.)

The Memorial Quilt Project— (Click on “WTC Memorial Quilt”) seeks to create a 12-inch finished star block in memory of each individual who lost their life in the 9-11-01 disaster. Supplies and money will be accepted to help defray shipping costs, etc. with any leftover funds donated to the Twin Towers Orphan Fund. The collection of blocks and funds are under the auspices of the Prescott Valley of Progress Foundation, a non-profit group in Arizona.

Lutheran World Relief— has a world-wide reputation for almost instant response to disasters stateside and around the globe. For many years they have been collecting and distributing thousands of quilts made by quilters of all faiths. We're not talking prize-winning quilts, here. These are "quick and dirty." The people who receive them use them as tents, rugs, blankets, and slings. They are used, and used hard. These quilts are given to people of all ages, race, and gender who have lost almost everything they have owned; they are not only appreciated, they are often essential to survival. See how these quilts are used. (Thanks to Marlene Clausen for sharing news about this site.)

And finally Kris Driessen’s web page lists just about everything out there from free patterns to businesses donating a portion of sales to disaster relief. Visit her “Yellow Ribbon” page.

SCREENSAVERS
From the sublime to the ridiculous: there are four more guild screensavers up on my web page. If you attended my String Quilting or Picture Play Quilts workshops at either the Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza in September or the Greater Hartford Quilt Guild Annual Meeting in Enfield, Connecticut in October, you can download pictures of your smiling faces in one of my “home-made” musical screensavers at .

It will take a while to download, but you will see you and your fellow classmates slicing, dicing and mugging for the camera as you stitch. Folks who never attended those workshops can also download the screensavers and will see pictures of people they don’t know slicing, dicing, and mugging for the camera.

WIN COOL STUFF
Yes, it’s FUN to sign up and dream of winning, but it’s even MORE fun to actually win. Three of you out there should be experiencing the thrill of victory, but you need to go look and see who you are!

I’ve just drawn this month’s prize of a Trimline DisplayAway and Free Spirit fat quarters. The winner’s name is there for all to see. Plus, the two previous prizes (45 fat quarters from Clothworks and a Fairfield quilt batt drawn in September, and the 64 fat quarters from Springs and the Warm & Natural quilt batt drawn in August) have not yet been claimed either. Go take a look at WIN COOL STUFF. It might be YOU! (If it is, PLEASE contact me!)

The NEW prize up for grabs is a collection of 18 one-yard cuts of Spectrix fabric. You won’t want to miss these, so enter!

DAISY WRITES AGAIN
Dear Mom,
I flunked again. NERTS! (Sorry.)

It’s just that I tried so hard and the darn traffic thing did me in again. Instead of getting better, I was getting worse. Apparently my “lucky traffic dance” that I do so I don’t think about the potential danger of getting a foot or other body part accidentally smooshed under a tire or something looks a lot like tucking tail and heading for the cafeteria. (Everybody’s a critic.)

They were real nice at PAWS when they told me. They called Miss Ami at home but she was out in Pennsylvania at the quilt show teaching and they were kind of afraid to tell her that I got “career-changed” AGAIN ‘cause they thought she’d dissolve into a puddle of mush. But they did anyway and she took it real good.

Miss Ami got first dibs on me…. ( Continued…)

MORE QUILTS
I’ve put up photographs of another six of my quilts on the web page, plus there are several more Twisted Sisters quilts, a few Picture Play Quilts, and the first Puppus Doggus Quilt to be completed that I know of.

Have YOU made a quilt in one of my workshops or from one of my books or patterns? Please send me a picture so I can share it with everyone on the web page.

Keep an eye out for the Leader Dog quilts that are finishing up this month. They’re wonderful.

WATCH YOUR STEP
There is also a new section to the web page devoted to pictures of floors. I’m sure I’m not alone in taking pictures of floors whenever I see something “quilty,” so take a look at what’s up there and send in your pictures. I challenge you to become inspired.

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?
We were driving around recently on our way to check out one of the colleges Jennie is interested in attending next fall. There on a 2-lane country road near Albion, Michigan was a sign that read: INDOOR YARD SALE. Of course I didn’t have a camera handy but I laughed for the rest of the day.

See any unusual signs? Grab your camera and send them to me. I want the real deal. YOU have got to see them in person, no recycled Internet lists of wacky signs or goofy typos. I’m looking for “quilter-collected” signage and bloopers.

INTERESTING WEB SITE
Thanks to Suewiener for this interesting web site. It’s a composite photograph of earth taken at night from the Space Station. You can scroll around up and down and side to side. Even if geography isn’t your thing, it’s amazing how many things you can see.

DISCOUNTS EXTENDED
….PLUS A BUTTON SALE
I’ve extended the deadline from the end of September to the end of the year on the sale of selected Ami’s Mommy’s fabric and How NOT To Make A Prize-Winning Quilt so that I can increase my donation to the American Red Cross. It’s a win-win for you. Discounted prices AND donation.

Picture Play Quilts Novelty Buttons are also on sale. Call 1-800-278=4824 to see if we have any left. Hurry quantities are limited and when they’re sold out, well, we won’t have any more to sell you. (Duh!)

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE?
Have you visited rated your favorite quilt site yet? It’s a little hard to type but loads of fun. You can RANK and RATE various quilting websites, so that makes it a fun place to visit. The “crème de la crème” of quilting web sites pops up when you scroll down the navigation bar to the bottom and click on “Top 100 Pages.” Guess what web page is #40? ME! Yeah, I couldn’t believe it! Go take a look. Vote like crazy. Submit another page. Go have fun!

Better yet, while you’re surfing around, tell me your favorite page on MY website. Maybe I can have it pop up TWICE or something!

SIMPLY QUILTS PROGRAM GUIDE
Thanks to Steve Patch (great name for a quilter, isn’t it?) for suggesting I check out Alex Andersons’s page for a listing of the Simply Quilts show times for a whole month worth of episodes.

EATING WHILE QUILTING UPDATE
I don’t know when an item in the newsletter has generated such helpful responses. (To refresh your memory take a look at the August 2001 newsletter and scroll down near the bottom then check out the following reader suggestions:

From Sandy: An adjustable table set near the hoop for liquids (such as margaritas) slurped with a long straw. (Sorry, even moderate intake of liquids would eventually necessitate a trip to the Little Quilter’s Room. Can’t afford to waste the time. I’d have to “hold it” and find I dislike quilting with my legs crossed.)

From Morna: A patchwork box filled with snacks that could balance upon one of those magnifying lenses quilters hang around their necks—the kind that rests on one’s chest. (Yes, but when one’s chest resembles an ironing board, the angle is too acute, resulting in neck strain. Good try.)

From Brenda: Actually picking up a bowl of snacks and holding it to my mouth instead of leaning over and flicking whatever it is into my mouth. (I think removing one hand from the task at hand, so to speak, would slow me down too much.)

From Monique: M&Ms in a glass. (It’s that hand thing again. Both are too busy quilting. But I do like the potential for fast delivery of great amounts of chocolate. I would have to be careful not to have to tilt my head back too far, otherwise I’d have to learn how to give myself a Heimlich Maneuver.)

From Gloria: Remove my task light from its flexible stand and insert a cup holder positioned at mouth level. Simply lean over and indulge whenever the urge hits. (Very good idea.)

From Sharon: An extra long and very wide straw that would suck up Sugar Pops placed on a nearby table; veggies moved from plate to mouth with toothpicks; and my favorite, a surgical mask filled with pop corn. (The ultimate feed bag. Very creative. I like it.)

From Donna: A multi-tiered fern stand positioned close to my head to keep from having to lean over quite so far. (Not bad, plus I enjoyed her other comment: “Oh my goodness.....I just finished reading your current newsletter.....I thought I would wet myself, I laughed so hard at your explanation on how you ate while you were quilting.....I never considered doing that.....I now have a new way to shock my husband.” Glad I could help out.)

From Nina: Small Tupperware snack containers to pour edibles directly into the mouth. (Takes that hand away from the needle, but I do like plastic.)

From Cindy: A candy necklace so I could “gnaw off a chunk now and then.” Cindy is a bubble gum girl herself. (Not bad. I wonder if flipping my head back with sufficient force could elevate the candy necklace to my lips. Certainly the first time. After that the drool saturated remains would no doubt stick to my shirt. I suppose I could forget positioning them around my neck and simply wear them in my mouth. Good idea!)

From Cclothier: A necklace made of Cheerios. Or, hard candy. (Great minds must think alike. And I’m getting hungry!)

From Patti: A quilted, bucket-shaped little tote bag strapped to my face. A photo-transfer of myself could be placed on the bottom so that family members could still “see” me while I ate. (Nice touch. I await the prototype. Start stitching!)

SEW LONG
Thanks again for staying with me all the way to the end, especially since I was rather long-winded this time.

Have a great quilting day,
Ami Simms :)
amisimms@aol.com