September 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 Information may be outdated, irrelevant, misleading or incorrect.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
Delivered fresh to your mailbox the first day of every month including...

September 1, 2002
Copyright 2002 by Ami Simms

Yes, I try to send the newsletter on the first day of every month. Keep an eye out for it. Wait. That sounds disgusting. Keep both eyes in your head where they belong and just check your e-mail.

Do share this newsletter with anyone who might get a kick out of it. The only stipulation is that you share the ENTIRE newsletter, including how the "sharee" can sign up to get their own copy every month. (That would be by visiting )

Here's an offer you don't see every day! I've got just a few of Grete Moe's beautiful hardcover books. We taught together in Greensboro, NC and she had a few left. I volunteered to sell them for her so she wouldn't have to take them home. When they're gone, they're gone, so don't wait. See them now at

Speaking of Simply Quilts, (was I?) yours truly was re-runned. This always comes as a complete surprise to me. Had I only known I would have changed into the same outfit I wore on the show, driven straight over to Circuit City where they have the entire wall of TVs and stood there to see if anyone recognized me.

I did hear from several of you who saw me in "The Eye Of The Beholder" segment. You reported that I said exactly the same stuff I did the first time they aired it. Imagine!

For more information about the Picture Play Quilt I showed on the show, please see .

New fabric has just been scanned and uploaded to the Conversational Fabric Database at .

Free Spirit is showing Farmers' Market, Scene of the Hunt, and Bovine Moo Chic. (Love that name!) Clothworks has three great new lines: Fantastic Felines, Winter Frost, and Autumn View. Fabri-Quilt has their Neon Ocean line up and running, and make sure to look for P & B's new Hopscotch line too.

No, I don't sell this fabric. I just make it available so you'll know about the hottest new patterns from the top fabric manufacturers for your Picture Play Quilts. When you find something that rings your bell, print off the picture of the fabric and the ID number and hit your local fabric store to see if they have it. No fabric stores nearby? Like shopping in your jammies instead? Visit the REALLY USEFUL LINK tab on the navigation bar at and ASK A QUILT SHOP to check their stock for you. (Or, go there directly:

It's time to win more cool stuff. How about 16 yards of yummy fabric from Fabri-Quilt? OK, you got it. Actually, THREE of yous gots it. Thanks to this generous sponsor there will be THREE lucky winners at the end of September! Take a look at the scrumptious "Neon Ocean" line and enter like crazy. Good luck! Enter now at .)

To all those who sent heart blocks for Kris and John's quilt-thank you! As of today I've received scores of them and they're all waiting patiently in a beautiful big pile.

Your hearts came in all sizes, shapes, and colors. They arrived in plain envelopes, decorated "squooshies," cardboard mailers, and little boxes. I found hearts wrapped in tissue, bagged, zip-locked, flattened, folded, and each and every package was a joy to open.

Your hearts are as individual as you are and that's what makes them so special. So many techniques and colors and styles and fabrics! And from so many places-all over the United States, and Canada. There are even hearts from Australia and Israel. I feel so honored that you took the time to help.

I've heard from Kris and she's really touched that we would do this for her. Know that every stitch will be appreciated. If you haven't had time to send a heart, please do so now. We're still a ways away from a full-sized bed quilt, so if you feel so inclined, head over to my home page and click on the picture of the Quilt Bus for instructions. Or visit Any technique except Super Glue and Puff Paint are welcome. Please sign your block.

United We Quilt is a group of volunteer quilters who are creating memorial quilts at the request of bereaved 9/11 families. They have already matched more than 270 families who lost a loved one on 9/11 with quilters across America. As the one-year anniversary of the attack approaches, the number of grieving families who have requested personal memory quilts (most made from their loved one's clothing) has grown rapidly. They currently don't have enough quilters to meet all requests.

This project is spiritually rewarding, but emotionally and technically challenging. Each quilt requires a close collaboration between a quiltmaker and a family. Most families give the quilters clothing from the victim, to include in the quilt. Depending on the family's wishes, the quilt may also include photographs transferred to fabric. All UWQ quilts are gifts to the families at no cost, with the expenses paid by the volunteer quilters, or, in a few special cases, by UWQ.

Quilts are made only at the request of bereaved families. These quilts are not intended for public display. They are for the personal use of the husbands, wives, parents, siblings, children, and friends left behind.

Lear more at . To volunteer to make a quilt by yourself, with a friend, with your guild, e-mail the project coordinators: Jane Jackson, at or Pamela Wells at

Want to help financially? Send your tax-deductible donation to: United We Stand/512 Broadway, #4-A/Bayonne, NJ 07002.

Hugs all around to those brave souls who helped me clean out my basement. (Remember last month's newsletter?) About a dozen of you have taken up your needle to help individuals benefiting from the services of two fine organizations: Leader Dogs For The Blind and Paws With A Cause. These quilts will be auctioned off within the next year or so on or at the "Lead In The Holiday's" Auction in November in Rochester, Michigan.

This would also serve as a gentle reminder for those who volunteered last month that the "one month" deadline is looming. Of course you may have a short extension, just tell me how things are coming. And, as always, if you find the challenge not your cup of tea, now would be the time to bail and send it back. No hard feelings.

Anybody feeling badly that they missed out on this fun challenge? I've got good news: I have a few more #7 packets. Theses are stuffed with fabric my mom has dye-stamped and painted. No two pieces are identical and any way you want to put these babies together will be fine with me.

And, I'm in need of someone to finish #2. (Two rather large hand appliquéd blocks I used to demonstrate something or other on Simply Quilts. You get all the pieces. It even has the needle still stuck in it. Left-handedly. You can take it out and stick it in right-handedly. Some hand appliqué, some hand quilting, and some fast and dirty machine sewing and you could turn these babies into two big, wonderful pillows. Heck, I'd even bid on them. I just don't want to FINISH them.

I also have a small quilt that needs a border and quilting. I've got the fabric; the rest is up to you. Let me know if you're interested. To volunteer to finish the "pillows," border and quilt the small quilt, or take on a #7, hit REPLY and change the subject line to: GOING TO THE DOGS.

The first of the "Basement Cleaners" has actually completed her task in record time. Diane Keull picked up the pieces (literally) from Team #12 and finished it. This was a lovely old top, now a real quilt and ready for your twin bed thanks to Diane.

Please take a look at and bid generously. All proceeds go to Leader Dogs For The Blind. LOST QUILTS
I'm very sad to report the theft of several quilts: Seven original applique quilts made by Mary Sorensen were stolen on July 29 in Nashville, TN. Mary was there for the AQS show. On the chance that these quilts will surface, please take a moment to acquaint yourself with them at

"Birds of Color" by Anne Morrell Robinson was stolen on Saturday, August 24, 2002 at about 9:45 pm from the New York State Fair Arts Building. The show was still open! Anne's quilt had taken second place in the applique and pieced division. While a police report has been filed, Anne's best chance of seeing her masterpiece returned to her is you. Please visit and see a picture of her quilt so that if you should by chance come across it you will recognize it as stolen and contact the authorities.

It goes without saying (but I'm going to say it anyway)... photograph each quilt you make so that you can help recover it should it ever be stolen. Documentation that also includes a detailed description, measurements, fabric swatches, and appraisal will also help with recovery.

And should we be SIGNING our quilts? All together now.....YES!!!

And what about the Quilter's Curse should some low-life walk with one of our quilts? Let's work on an official version.

I have a history of becoming distracted. Deep in thought I habitually drive past my own freeway exit, forget to take my house keys out of the front door, and loose my purse several times a day.

Because I carry around Very Important Things in my purse this is a cause of great concern and annoyance to me. Since those with whom I live are pressed into Purse Hunting Duty with me, I spread the annoyance around. (Thanks, honey!)

Since I am so predictably unable to return my shoulder bag to its designated hook, I at least take some precautions. Since I'm so very clever, I thought I'd share these with you should you be similarly afflicted:

Basically, my approach is two-pronged. First, I try to spend any money that might find its way into my wallet as soon as possible. That way if my purse is ever stolen, I will not have lost any cash. There's logic in there somewhere. (I thought of this myself.)

Second, I periodically photocopy everything in my wallet of any importance, front and back. That way if I really, really lose my wallet, I have backup. (I also jot down the emergency contact numbers by each card.) Since Steve thought of that strategy, he gets to keep the photocopy. He never loses anything.

You would think this system is foolproof. It was, until I photocopied the family's travelers checks several years ago. When we got to Mexico I remembered I left them on the copy machine at home. Big deal. Life's an adventure, right? And those American Express people hardly snickered when I told them my checks weren't lost, I knew EXACTLY where they were. Of course they were speaking Spanish and gesticulating wildly, bending at the waist, laughing and pointing at me. Such happy people.

Should you ever loose your credit cards here's what you should do:

1. Find that photocopy and call the issuer of each credit card.

2. File a police report.

3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and social security number. The numbers are:

Equifax 1-800-525-6285
Experian (formerly TRW) 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union 1-800-680-7289

You can place "fraud alerts" on credit reports so that you will be called before any credit card application can be processed.

4. Call the Social Security Administration fraud line 1-800-269-0271

Here are other tips to play it safe:
1. Don't print your social security number on your checks.
2. Shread all mail with sensitive information.
3. Reconcile your bank statement and credit card statements as soon as you get them so you can spot anything fishy.
4. Order copies of your credit report (about $10) through one of the national credit card organizations mentioned above. This will help you make sure nothing is fishy there either.
5. Should you be a victim of identity theft, which seems to be on the rise, or to learn more about it, the federal government has set up a hot line (877-IDTHEFT) and web page

Gee whiz, that was sure depressing! How about lifting your spirits with a romp through some virtual Show & Tell?

Darlene Oliver made a lovely quilt for her grandson and put photos of his family on the back so he'll always remember them. What a great idea.

Kathy Bradbury made an awesome star photo-quilt! It'll blow your socks off.

Anne Norman and her Mom, Lois Carey, have made a photo-quilt for Anne's 92-year-old grandmother. It's so cool.

Marilyn Agin shares the Picture Play Quilt she made for her "Ohio Stars." Take a look at what she did for the back.

You've GOT to take a look at Peggy Sue's new kitchen floor for the ultimate Watch Your Step.

Patti in Vancouver shares her stash.

Finally, there are a number of new additions to the What Were They Thinking Pages.

Thanks to students taking my Twisted Sisters workshop in Greensboro, NC I have two new options for block centers and a new setting to share with you.

Jen left for college last week. It was slightly reminiscent of Daisy (my "other daughter") going back to Leader Dog for formal training. We wanted to engage in a meaningful heart-felt "good-by" and Daisy only wanted to smell the chair. She pranced off to the kennel with some strange trainer she had never met before, tail wagging, and didn't look back once. While I didn't miss her presents in the back yard, I sure did miss her licks and tail wags.

Taking Jen to college was, as I said, only slightly reminiscent. We DID get the heartfelt good-by, and I think I caught a wave as we pulled out of the parking lot, but it was hard to tell through the tears. Dropping her off, if you can call 6 hours "dropping," was the easy part. Having one's apron strings stretched that far sure does make your gut hurt. I may have gained 6-inches of counter space in the bathroom, but straining to hear the familiar Jennie noises is brutal. Thank goodness both she and the dog e-mailed!

Jennie came home for the weekend last night. I survived my first week of separation, although I may have hugged her hard enough to snap several vertebrae. (She doesn't know I sat waiting, Daisy-like, at the end of the driveway for her car, or that I snuck into her room last night just to watch her sleep.)

I don't know how six days, two hours, and 39 minutes can make such a difference, but she looks older. Responsible. Confident. She made if through her Pre-Term course with flying colors: an oral presentation, a quiz, a test, and a 3-page paper-all As. Her roommate's great, the other women on her floor are fantastic, the food is terrific, she covers the quilt on her bed during the day so the sunlight won't fade it. What more could I ask?!

I just have to get used to the quiet.

Have a good month. Tell the people you love that you love them. Enjoy your quilting.

I'll see you on October 1st,
Ami Simms

AOL Hyperlinks
Ami's Home Page
Ami's Free Newsletter
Norwegian Quilting Books
Picture Play Quilts
Search Conversational Fabric Database
Win Cool Stuff
Make A Heart Block For The Quilt Bus
United We Stand
Volunteer To Make A Quilt
e-Bay Quilt Auction
Mary Sorenson's Lost Quilts
Anne Morrell Robinson's Lost Quilt
Learn About or Report Identity Theft
Darlene Oliver's Photo-Quilt
Kathy Bradbury's Photo-Quilt
Anne Norman's Photo-Quilt Marilyn Agin's Picture Play Quilt
Watch Peggy Sue's Step Patti's Stash
What Were They Thinking?!
More Twisted Sisters Options