October 2006

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The Ami Simms Newsletter
October 2006
Copyright by Ami Simms

Would the following individuals please me. K.Siebel, A. Dehgan, M. Skeen, K. Leeland, B. Price, J. Nuell, S. Danielson, T. Painter, L. Cain, and M. Hockman. That is all.

Can you tell I'm typing from a clean office? Is the type in your email cleaner and easier to read? I thought it would be. I'm learning that I'm much less stressed when I can actually see parts of my desk. I wouldn't ever want to see the whole thing, but a little bit on top seems to be calming. So, last week Tuesday I cleaned off the top, the part above the little cupboards way on top that I really can't reach easily, the part that I haven't dusted in three years. That part. I thought that would be enough.

You see, the tippy top of my desk has been inhabited by my ever-increasing stuffed animal collection. One would have thought that I had outgrown this, but apparently not. I am drawn to the really "good" kind. They must be totally adorable, soft as silk, and (most importantly) have those little plastic pellets in their butts. I love the way they cuddle. Dogs, bears, pigs, apes, lions, I love them all. Sadly, I loved way too many and it was really time to thin the herd. Several boxes of animals were relegated to the basement. I could only do this by telling myself that they weren't being thrown away, just waiting to rotate back into the display.

I kept my favorite 12. I lied: 13. OK, 14 if you count the mouse that sits on my printer and the two bears that cover bald spots in the carpet in the corners. Wait, that's 16. Rats! (Top left, next to the rhino.) And here I thought I was doing so well.

When I began the de-cluttering project I was hoping that all I had to do was rearrange the dust to cover the bare spots now visible after the removal of the former members of the herd. Not exactly. The remaining animals required dusting as did just about everything else in the room. It turned into an all day project which also resulted in cleaning off the part of my desk I was trying to avoid (the part with all the folders and papers scattered around) the part that really does make me crazy.

So, long story short. I still have the same amount of work to feel guilty about, but it is all arranged very nicely on my somewhat dust-free desk. The cleaner looking email was just a bonus.

There are 18 Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts up for your spending pleasure RIGHT NOW. They are also dust free, and made by the generous and talented supporters of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI). This month the makers are: Audrey Arno, Betty Donahue, Deborah Dorman, Jean Burk, Michele Cook, Lisa Fiorini-Ahmad, Angie Hodapp, Lynn Kraus, Carol Kolf, Ann Louise Mullard-Pugh, Esther C. Norbut, Vivian Ritter, Julie Sefton, Katy Sirovatka, and Kathryn Wagar Wright. (I want you to know that it took me 18 minutes to put those names in alphabetical order, so if I missed one or two, just keep it to yourself.) All winning bids go to the Alzheimer's Association earmarked for research. Your generous bid will help others.

Forget it. I'm bragging. Big time. As of Friday, the AAQI has raised $16,794.31 for Alzheimer's research. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of the readers of this newsletter. Not only do you laugh at my jokes (most of them anyway) but you are among the most generous, caring individuals on the planet. We've come this far because of YOU, one quilt at a time.

I know many of you are making Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts for the International Quilt Festival at Houston. The deadlines are looming. Finish your quilts. Then register them by October 7th. Finally, get them TO ME no later than October 15th. After that date my head will explode if I try to get them ready for Houston in time.

Doesn't matter. Online auctions will continue until we raise enough money to cure Alzheimer's or I live to see July 2009, whichever comes first.

You're in for a treat. Not only will you get a chance to purchase Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts, but you just might get a chance to meet one of your favorite celebrity quilters. Joining me in the booth to help you with your selections will be Darlene Christopherson, Laura Cater-Woods, Hollis Chatelain, Diane Gaudynski, Jenny Raymond, Janet Jones Worley, and more. I'll be posting the schedule later this week.

There is a new section of the web page to brag about the shops and guilds helping the AAQI. I've also made it easier for people to register quilts made by friends who have no computers or those acting as chairpersons for guilds and shops who are making Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts.

If you have larger quilts you'd like to buy or sell and have the money go to Alzheimer's research, check out the NEW Little Treasures section of the web page.

Someone had sent me a link to a very funny Pepsi commercial. I lost it and thought it was gone forever. But wait! I found it again! Enjoy!

Here's equal time for cats from Sara Nephew.

Cheryl, my hostess with the Annapolis Quilt Guild last month pointed out the interesting array of lights in the airport parking garage at BWI as we walked to her car. Indeed, there were little lights above each space so you could see all the way down the aisle and easily locate an empty space for your car. Furthermore, the number of free spaces was indicated at the entrance to each row. What a fabulous system!

Sadly, inside the airport, in the women's bathroom there was no similar system. To find a vacant stall I still had to bend over and check for shoes.

Joanne Reider was in my String Quilting class in Reading, Pennsylvania a few months back. As many readers who are former students know, I usually iron everybody's strips in the String class, at least until my arm falls off. Well, I commented that Joanne's fabric smelled delightful. I found myself actually looking forward to ironing her strips. Here's why: she fills her iron with Vodka! No kidding.

Her recipe: for every gallon of distilled water add 4 ounces of cheap vodka and 25 drops of pure lavender oil. I have since forgotten if the vodka keeps the lavender suspended in the solution or it's the other way around. If you find that too perplexing, have a sip of the vodka and you won't care as much. Ditto if you're worrying about the solution harming your iron. I can testify that the fumes are delightful, even ironing the same fabric a second time.

Speaking of vodka, Jack and Amy have another letter from Kazakhstan waiting for you, titled Doing Laundry in the Refrigerator. You'll have to read this one

The Pacific International Quilt Festival will be hosting Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece exhibit October 12-15th. As I will not be able to attend, I am asking if you and your friends would please help me by White Gloving the Alzheimer's quilts. This is independent of the quilt show itself. You get no discounts, perks, or presents, but you would earn my undying gratitude. This, as you know, is a very emotional exhibit. If you don't mind sobbing slightly up in public, offering hugs to complete strangers, and really making a difference for an hour, please contact Angel Duncan at the Alzheimer's Association in Mountain View, CA by phone at (650) 962-8111, extension 1326 or by email at Angel to pick your time slot.

Your job will be to give comfort, thwart touching, discourage photography, and hype the CD. I'll have stickers identifying you as an AAQI volunteer (turn in stickers when you're done), but it would be a good idea to bring tissue to share. Bring white gloves if you have them. If not, don't worry about it. There is on-the-job training available. No experience necessary.

I hope so. I'll be at the Greater Chicago Quilt Exposition November 9-12 with the Alzheimer's quilts. You are invited to White Glove there as well. Please coordinate with me if you'd like to donate an hour of your time to join me and stand with the quilts. (See above.)

Marty Hyne finished her Dog-Yeared Calendar Quilt. Yahoo!

Jan Soules finished her Twisted Sisters Quilt and actually put those itty bitty scraps to good use around the border. Great job!

Lisa Nikkel made a great Amazing Graze Quilt from my Picture Play Quilts book. Way to go, Lisa!

Joyce Brace made TWO Buttons & Bows quilts from Picture Play Quilts. You go, girl!

Donna Donna Galoit made a Rag Fur Jacket and a Twisted Sisters quilt. Excellent!

Tumie Moreno has a really great picture of her rag fur jacket, plus another idea for the leftovers! Talk about creative!

Kim Daihnke actually made a quilt from a photo she sent in for the Watch Your Step section. Well done, Kim!

Skipping Stones is the new free pattern offered to anyone who orders from www.AmiSimms.com for the month of October. It is sweet little quilt designed by Susan Fuquay, editor of the American Quilt Retailer. Pick three fabrics (light, medium, and dark) and you're off and running. Er, piecing.

Cathy Miller has just come out with another awesome CD. This one just might be my favorite. Among the songs are "Done Is Better Than Perfect," "Why Don't You Have Plain White?" and "No Such Thing As An Ugly Quilt!" Kathy has outdone herself this time.

Please do. Forward the ENTIRE thing to all your friends and even some of your enemies. Everybody enjoys a laugh or two. Please do NOT forward just part of it. Somehow my name gets dropped off when these things float through cyberspace and since I’m writing them for free, I should at least get credit for writing them. If you write a guild newsletter (real paper or online) and would like to “reprint” a particular part of the newsletter you must ask first.

Special thanks to Phyllis J. for the lovely "crown!" Be good to each other and have a great quilting day! (Or several!)
Ami Simms