October 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 Information may be outdated, irrelevant, misleading or incorrect.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
October 2002
(c) by Ami Simms (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Hello again! It's a pleasure to be in your mailbox again this month. A little cramped, but wonderful nonetheless. Thanks for double-clicking. You have my permission and encouragement to pass along this newsletter to anyone whom you might think would enjoy it. Just be sure to forward the entire thing.

I will be attempting to send next month's newsletter from Houston through the electronic magic of extension cords, disabled hotel phones, slow dial-up connections, and "Ethel" the new laptop I don't yet know how to work. I'll be teaching at the International Quilt Festival on November 1 and this will be my first attempt to send the newsletter "from the road." Wish me luck. If I am successful, there will be hardly a pucker in the seamy patchwork of my life. If you get half a newsletter duplicated three times and none of the links work, well, I'll be back home in a few days, and after I take a nice long nap, I'll fix everything.

Due to self-inflicted over-scheduling I will be presenting my lecture on the Old Order Amish on November 2 from 1pm to 2pm. Predictably, my afternoon workshop commences at 2pm. Math whizzes among you will note that this leaves me literally NO TIME to get from lecture to workshop, let alone change out of my Amish garb and into my more normal attire.

Quilt Festival staff have assured me that this will be OK. Students will understand that we will start (and thus end) a few minutes late and that I will be dressed strangely. (Or more oddly than usual.) I have been jogging three times a week to prepare for the mad dash and if the aisles are reasonably clear I believe I can make it in under five minutes, even though my hurdling still leaves something to be desired.

Therefore, if you find yourself on my route between lecture and workshop, and notice a racing Amish woman, prayer covering flapping in the wind, sturdy shoes pounding the carpeted hallways, pantyhose sliding from crotch to knees, I would appreciate some vocal encouragement. "Go Ami Go" would be appropriate, as would lots of clapping and perhaps a small water station set up on a straightaway so that I could grab a paper cup of water, take a few gulps, spit the rest, and throw the remaining water and crumpled cup to the floor as I take the next curve....you know just like they do for marathon runners.

For any students similarly scheduled and running with me, please extend the same courtesies, but under no circumstances allow them to pass me. I may look Amish, but I am far too competitive to make the cut.

To assure that all goes smoothly, I would like to enlist the help of four volunteers. Here are the job descriptions:

Volunteer #1 and #2: Must already have tickets to my Amish lecture, but not my Free Form Applique With Puppus Doggus workshop. When I take off running I will leave behind two quilts, a slide carousel, and a box of stuff that I may or may not remember to hold up and "show and tell." These two responsible individuals, working as a team, would gather up my quilts, and assorted paraphernalia, box them, wrench the carousel off the slide projector, and transport all items to the Teacher's Room on the third floor. I will tell the Powers That Be about our arrangements and provide a letter stating that you have my permission to rock 'n roll with my stuff.

Volunteers #3 and #4: Must already be enrolled in my Puppus Doggus workshop, but not my Amish lecture. They would need to meet with me about 12:15 in the Teacher's Room. I will give them a very large rolling suitcase filled with boulders and several boxes filled with lead weights. They would cart all this stuff to my classroom, in an as yet undisclosed location, by 1:30pm. No doubt my classroom will be located at the farthest reaches of the convention center, in a veritable Bermuda Triangle of identical and poorly labeled conference rooms, convenient to neither elevator nor escalator. It will probably be locked once you get there causing you to have to retrace your steps all the way back to the Teacher's Room where you will be forced to take turns pretending to be me in order to gain access. (There is a slight chance that I will be able to make arrangements with the Teacher Room people for volunteers #3 and #4 to pick it up later, otherwise they will have to take my workshop supplies with them to lunch.)

Once safely in my classroom, you will then un-pack, un-zip, de-box, and otherwise prepare the room for me by following my meticulously detailed instructions written that morning on the back of a wet napkin from the breakfast buffet. Please welcome any students who should arrive, and assure them that I will be there momentarily.

Prospective volunteers should apply for these coveted positions via e-mail, by the numbers. AmiSimms@aol.com

I'll be visiting the Quilters Unlimited in Fairfax, VA this month. If you'd like to join me for workshops and lectures on October 10, 11, and 12 please contact Carla at cbowers@csc.com.

Oh boy! There are TWO quilts to bid on this month! The first is a darling little quilt made from orphan blocks. It was pieced by Cathy Smith of Lakewood, CO and quilted by Nancy Paulsen from Omaha, NE. It measures 32" x 46" and would be so sweet as a small crib or lap quilt, especially for someone who likes dogs as the set squares feature the cutest little doggie paw prints. Proceeds will go to Leader Dogs For The Blind.

The second is a Lone Star quilt measuring a honking 90" x 103" that my Mom and I bought in Indiana back in 1984. It's in wonderful condition and very lovely. Proceeds from the sale of this quilt will be donated to Paws With A Cause.

Please bid generously on both of these babies.

Huh? Well, Kris and John's quilt is coming along nicely. Actually there will be more than one. Perhaps more than two, thanks to your generous efforts. So, you can stop sending heart blocks, unless you just want to send them anyway. I'll be happy to collect them and use them for other charity projects. They won't go to waste, I promise.

I'll let you know as soon as the Quilt Bus Heart Quilt is finished.

The name keeps changing, but the idea is still the same: make quilts that will be auctioned to benefit Leader Dogs For The Blind and Paws With A Cause.

Eleven projects have already come back from the recent mailings, and there is a small pile growing on my table here in the office of quilts that that need to be photographed and added to the display at: Many thanks to the generous volunteers among you who have completed my UFOs or used Mom's unusual one-of-a-kind hand dyed fabrics.

I will let you know when and where the quilts will be auctioned in this newsletter. Stay tuned.

If you want to get into the act, just email me. Let me know if you're a piecer, a quilter, or both. Remember the ONE MONTH deadline from the day you receive your package of fabric. Proceeds from the auction of your quilts will go to either Leader Dogs For The Blind or Paws With A Cause. The last person to work on the quilt gets to decide which one. If you can't make up you mind, then I pick. Anything goes, as long as it's QUILTED. Add your own fabric to it, slice and dice anything you want. Whatever size it wants to be is fine with me.

And, a gentle reminder to those whose deadline has passed: It's probably time to send it back, ready or not. Or just let me know how you're coming.

There is a wonderful Search and Rescue Dog slide show at: It's got terrific pictures and is at least a Three Hankie site, if you know what I mean.

For something that will tickle your funny bone, especially if you are the owner of a Lab, try Buster's Home Page. In both Dutch and English versions of the web page, you'll see great photos, cool graphics, and wild noises. (Yes! Made me jump right out of my chair the first time I visited.) The stories from the "Crime Files" will delight you. Just don't let them inspire your dog. See Buster's Home Page at:

Thanks to Katy Padon for telling me about the Ugly Couch Contest. She suggested it would be an excellent place to toss the worst quilt winners. I spent quite a while on this site, and let me tell you, these are some ugly sofas! If you don't believe me, take a look at: P.U.

Thanks to Cindy Brick for sharing the URL of the web cams at Loch Ness in Scotland. Yes, in between quilting stitches you can peer into the murky depths and see if you can spot the illusive Nessie. You can also look at views above the water level. Try your luck at

Del wrote to tell me how she photocopies the contents of her purse around her birthday. Good idea, that way you won't forget! Aren't we supposed to check for funny looking moles too? I mean, as long as we're in our birthday suit. Or maybe it was rotate the tires on the car. I get so confused.

There is a new addition to this popular page. Take a peek at:

Debbie Voigt just finished a Picture Play Quilt for her brand new grandniece. I'm sure her Zig Zag Zoom will be a huge hit.

Jennifer Rea has also made a lovely Picture Play Quilt for her daughter and this one-year-old has the right idea. She makes her mom put it on the floor so she can play with it. Take a look at

Liz Zapp made a Picture Play Quilt too. She says she's got enough fussy cut patches to upholster the state of New York. See her quilt at:

Kay Courtney made a terrific photo-quilt for her Mom.

Nancy Bekofske shares two quilts, one she made for her Dad and the other she made for her son using pictures of the family dog, Kili.

June Kinne has been pretty sneaky. She "borrowed" some of her husband's photographs and turned them into a quilt for him. Took her SEVEN years! You should see the pictures. What an awesome quilt.

There are two delightful Twisted Sisters quilts to look at, both in wonderfully wild colors. See the quilt Kimberly Smith made for her daughter at and see Heather Pachell's Twisted Sisters quilt at

Do take a close look at Heather's setting options and border treatment. Thanks for the two new Twisted Sisters variations. You guys are so clever!!

We have a Norwegian entry as a Worst Quilt Wannabe. Take a look at what this quilter was able to accomplish with no picture, no pattern, and no quilting experience!

I have a stack of images to download, so if your quilt isn't up on the web page yet, give me until next month.

Mark October 15, 2002 on your calendar. I'll be on Simply Quilts! Right there in your living room! I can hardly wait. Don't do anything special; come as you are. Perhaps just a few homemade cookies? Just a thought...

Mountain Mist has come up with new 100% cotton, needled batting made with a special fiber finish to make your needle glide. It's called WHITE ROSE or CREAM ROSE, depending on which "color" you pick. White Rose is bleached. Cream Rose is unbleached. Both are washed to leave no oily residue. They can be quilted up to 6" apart.

Mountain Mist says this stuff is soft as a rose petal, probably because they couldn't say it was soft as a baby's tushie. Take it from me; it's VERY SOFT. But see for yourself. For your very own little sample, send a long SASE to: Mountain Mist/100 Williams Street/Cincinnati OH 45215. The first 100 people to send their SASE and mention the Ami Simms Newsletter will get a free pattern. (Offer ends October 31, 2002)

Sort of. If you close your eyes and squint. All right, not really, but a DISCOUNT is still is a good thing. Did you know you can get 10% off any order you place on my web page? Yup, just tell a friend about my site. Go to the very bottom of just about any page you happen be on and you'll see a link to "Tell a friend about this page." (Your friend gets 10% off too.)

Your email address will not be collected, saved, sold, swapped or otherwise "harvested." Other than the e-mail telling you and your friend how to use the discount, nobody will pester you. Honest. Want to "double dip?" Read on...

Use that 10% discount on Ami's Mommy's Fabric. It's now on sale at 15% off the regular price. So, reaching for the calculator, that makes the discount (7, 12, carry the 5...) EVEN MORE THAN 15% OFF! Help me clear out the closet so I can...buy more fabric!

I've got very limited quantities on some fabrics, lots on others. If I can keep up with orders minute by minute (yeah, right) I'll remove the fabrics we're out of before you try and order them. I'll do my best, but it might be wise to pick an alternate in case we're out. Write that in the comments area when you order. Orders are filled "first come/first served" to be absolutely fair. And, your entire order is actually read by a human. (So, if anything looks too confusing, we'll e-mail you.) See the SALE FABRIC at: . See how people rank their shopping experience with Mallery Press (that's us) at:

This month is an amazing haul is brought to you courtesy of Troy Corporation. You're not going to believe this, folks: 62 different half-yard cuts from their extremely popular Riverwood Collection. It includes flannels, plaids, and conversationals in rich, vibrant colors. Not only that, but I get to pick TWO WINNERS. Each will get 62 chunks of fabric. Wow!! Visit to enter. Remember, you can enter as often as you like.

Nothing will get your attention faster than seeing a Hazardous Materials Clean-Up Truck parked at the end of your block. I held my breath as I drove by (couldn't help it) parked in the driveway and ambled over. As I made my way to the truck I checked for oil-slicked local critters, bubbling ooze from the ground, noxious odors, or anything else unusual. I gingerly approached the truck and peered behind it...

I would have thought T-shirts and shorts would be a little relaxed for a HazMat dress code, but what do I know. I was kind of expecting suits with hoods and face masks. Maybe rubber gloves and a Darth Vader breathing apparatus? A clothespin on the nose?

Turns out the township hired the Hazardous Materials Clean-up Truck to inspect the sewers. Now there's a fun job. These guys had a TV camera mounted on a midget pontoon boat that they lowered down into the sewer. An accomplice downstream held a guide rope and they sailed the TV camera on the murky waters from one sewer opening to the next, recording the inside of the sewer on VHS all the way down the street. I wonder who's going to watch THAT tape. Talk about no plot.

The most frightening part was leaning over and looking down into the sewer. (Yes, I felt compelled in some sick way to do that. Caption on that picture reads: SEWER SEES SEWER.) If the "water" whooshing by way down at the bottom didn't give you the creeps, the metal rungs on the side of the hole would. They put those there so that somebody could VOLUNTARILY CLIMB DOWN THERE. Yew! Major ICK!

And, I don't care how many times you wash your hands at the end of the day; no amount of antibacterial soap is going to be enough.

Gives a whole new meaning to my favorite bumper sticker: I'D RATHER BE QUILTING.

Keep those needles moving and have a great quilting day!
Ami Simms


Little Quilt on Ebay.com
Big Quilt on Ebay.com
Charity Quilts You've Made
Search & Rescue Dog Slide Show
Buster's Home Page
Ugly Couch Contest
Nessie Cam
What Were They Thinking?!
Debbie Voigt's PPQ
Jennifer Rea's PPQ
Liz Zapp's PPQ
Kay Courtney's Photo-Quilt
Nancy Bekofske's Dad's Photo-Quilt
Kili's Photo-Quilt by Nancy Bekofske
June Kinne's 7-year Photo-Quilt
Kimberly Smith's Twisted Sisters Quilt
Heather Pachell's Twisted Sisters Quilt
New Twisted Sisters Setting Option
New Twisted Sisters Border Option
Norwegian Worst Quilt Wannabe
Ami's Mommy's Fabric ON SALE
Customer Ratings