September 2006

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The Ami Simms Newsletter
September 2006
Copyright by Ami Simms

Please tell me where August disappeared to. Poof! Gone! I'm hoping September will stick around for all 30 days, but I don't have much hope of that either. It'll be over before I know it. August may have been "short" but it was jam-packed with some of the best days I've ever had.

Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece premiered at the AQS Show in Nashville last week. They threw an awesome party and over 20,000 people showed up. The space allotted the exhibit was grand, a 125-foot aisle of elegant black drape on both sides for the 52 quilts that describe Alzheimer's disease. Not everybody saw the exhibit, but I do believe everyone heard about it. Those that did see the quilts were very moved, and that's what raising awareness is all about. Over $1,000 in donations was raised for Alzheimer's research and we're still counting the money raised by selling CDs of the quilts. I'll be updating the "Show Me The Money" page mid-month so when you go see it now, mentally add another $1,000….at least!

Yes, there is a CD of the show and I gotta tell you, it's awesome. You'll see all 52 quilts on your computer monitor plus lots of detail shots, over 100 photos. Best of all, you'll hear the artist's voices telling you about their quilts. Click through at your own pace. I strongly recommend tissue and maybe a small box of chocolate. These are powerful quilts.

The $14.95 retail price includes a donation of $11.45 to the Alzheimer's Association which will go towards research. This is a good deal and a good deed. If you can't bear to hear the voices, watch with the sound off. Please consider this purchase.

The Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza held in Harrisburg, PA will be hosting Alzheimer's: Forgetting Piece by Piece next week: September 7-10. Several of the artists who created these poignant quilts will be in attendance. CDs will be sold at the show by the South Central Regional Office of the Alzheimer's Association. You'll save on shipping if you purchase at the show.

This is a very special assignment. I can't be at the Harrisburg show, but if you'll be there and can donate an hour of your time, I need you to represent the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. It was very clear to me at the Nashville show that people viewing these quilts should not be alone. They need hugs and tissues.

You get absolutely nothing for volunteering to white glove for me. No lapel pin, no discount, no nothing. You even have to bring your own white gloves if you have them. It will be the most emotionally exhausting hour you'll ever spend at a quilt show, but you will feel so good knowing you made a difference.

Show hours are:
Thursday, September 7: 10 am - 7 pm
Friday, September 8: 10 am - 7 pm
Saturday, September 9: 10 am - 7 pm
Sunday, September 10: 10 am - 5 pm

Only empathetic people who don't feel ashamed to tear up in public or give hugs to complete strangers need apply. You will be identified by the box of tissue you will carry. (You'll be bringing that from home.) Please tape a sign on the tissue box that says something like: AAQI, One Quilt At A Time, I Know, Hugs Available, or something similar to identify you as a person affiliated with the exhibit.

Your specific duties are: to offer comfort and solace, remind quilters that no photographs are allowed in THIS exhibit, keep people from touching the quilts, and remind them that CDs of the show are available at the table where they can also share their comments. You will do this by walking/standing with the quilts.

Please sign up for one hour increments and if you can't make it for the time you signed up for, find a substitute.

To sign up, email Candy Yingling at the Harrisburg Alzheimer's Association and put WHITE GLOVES in the subject line.

Everybody stand really close together now. I want to give you all a BIG HUG. The 407th quilt is about to be registered. No kidding. This part of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative has raised almost $10,000 since January. This is unbelievable!

Thank you for opening your wallets and picking up your needles to make a difference, one quilt at a time. The September auctions are up. Bid now.

There are 18 auction quilts up on the web for September. We've already sold 141 quilts since January. That leaves approximately 250 quilts to sell at the Houston Quit Festival in November. My goal is to still take 500 quilts to Texas and September is the month to make that happen. October 15th will be the very last day to receive your quilts for inclusion in the Houston sale.

So, everybody reading this newsletter please stand in one long line, shoulder to shoulder, and count off! "One, two, three…" If every 72nd person makes just one quilt, we'll have it licked. Better yet, if every SINGLE person makes a quilt….we'd have over 18,000 quilts. At $50 a piece we'd have almost a million bucks for Alzheimer's research. (And you thought your effort wouldn't be worth much!) Ha! Let's get sewing!

To speed up the process your registration emails will be going directly to Peggy Mages who will assign you your number and give you the mailing instructions. She also formats the web page for me to upload. Since I am frequently out of town teaching and not always able to check (and forward registrations to Peggy in a timely manner) I am removing myself from the front end of the process. You should get a more timely response this way and Peggy has been doing a bang-up job with this. Her tireless efforts also keep my head from exploding. (Thank you, Peggy!) Go here to donate a quilt.

Don't forget, there might be a Bernina aurora 440 sewing machine with your name on it.

Hi. Mom said I could write the whole newsletter this month because she was too tired, but she must have been fibbing because here it is at the bottom of page two and I haven't written anything yet.

I want to tell you about the turkeys, which we had some of last week, in the yard. Dad was brushing his teeth and shouted, "Mbbswlsh urkey imam ack yard." We all ran to the window. The tall ones could actually see out. I tried to appear enthused, but it was difficult staring at the bath towel while Mom and Dad went on and on about the turkey in the back yard. I am not allowed to eat people food, so…big deal.

Then we all went to the deck and I got a chance to see the TURKEY. She was a mama turkey because she was really big, and she was ALIVE. It wasn't an eating turkey, like for Thanksgiving, in the plastic, it was a wild turkey. Everybody knows those are for chasing.

Extremely well-trained canine that I am, I resisted. But I did sit on the edge of my nails, if you know what I mean. My ears were so perked, my head hurt. While Mom and Dad were looking in the back yard, I was pointed more at the driveway and I was the one who saw the NINE baby turkeys. There was a whole herd of them!

It was early in the morning and I was very ready to have my turn in the yard since we had already been up for some time. When Dad left for work (Mom and I were still turkey watching) the baby turkeys got frightened by the garage door going up and they flew up into the trees. That was amazing. Mom is not the sharpest needle in the pack when it comes to wildlife. She didn't know they could fly. Helloooo! They're BIRDS.

Anyway, once the babies flew away, she let me off my leash and I got to chase the mamma turkey. I almost got her too. I was only 75 feet away when she swooped up and out of my reach. Missed her by "that" much. (Hold up your two paws really close together.)

I was such a Happy Dog. I ran as fast as I could all around the yard where the turkeys had been, and some places they hadn't been to yet. They left presents in the yard and I watered every one so maybe we can grow new turkeys for me to play with.

Back to Mom…

Award-winning quilter and teacher Karen Kay Buckley has just come out with one of the most delicious books I've seen. She's just plain brilliant. She's answered a question I've asked more than once and I know you have too: "What do I do for the border?!"

Karen gives great instructions for all sorts of border treatments — plain, pieced, appliquéd, you name it. Then, and this is the best part, she shows you glorious pictures of 43 quilts she's made, tells you all about each one, and shares why she chose that quilt's particular border. This book is part "how-to" and part "coffee table." I'll just warn you, once you pick it up you won't want to put it down.

Get an autographed copy from Karen.

One last installment in the PPQ saga that's been a part of the summer newsletters…

The ultimate goal for a Picture Play Quilt is not just to be finished, but played with. Because of my background in early elementary education (in a former life) I wanted to give you more than the old "I Spy" game to play. There are two dozen games in Picture Play Quilts. The games start on page 33 and are best played sitting on the floor or snuggled together on the sofa or laying on the bed. …..

We only have a few cases of Fun Photo Quilts & Crafts left, and we're not reprinting. When they're gone; they're gone.

If you should be so lucky to be in Italy this fall, do try to attend the International Show of Textile Art Inspired by the Guicciardini Quilt which will be held this October 14-29 in Florence. The exhibit will be in the Brunelleschi Room at the Spedale degli Innocenti, Piazza SS. Annunziata. (I'm sure you know right where that is!)

Textiles artists from all over the world answered the invitation of "Il Club del Punto in Croce" (the Italian association of needle & thread lovers) to create original works of art based on the design of one of the oldest quilts in existence, Coperta Guicciardini. The quilt was made in 1395 in Sicily, most likely for the wedding of Count Guicciardini, pronounced "goo-chee-are-DEE-knee." The Florence show will exhibit original handmade works coming from Japan, Switzerland, France, Spain, USA, Finland and, of course, Italy. Workshops will be held. For more information, click here.

Azcompo sent me to this page and now I'm sending it to you. Too funny! Click here and you will see a man. Put the cursor of your mouse on his nose and leave it there and see what happens...bizarre. How do they do it?

I'll be back in Maryland this month with the Annapolis Quilt Guild and the Baltimore Heritage Quilters. Come by and say hello! Then in October I'll be off to Nebraska. See if I'll be coming close to where you live.

Check out the new "stash" picture.

The "What Were They Thinking" page has been updated, although I didn't have my camera when I saw the sign for USED COWS in Kentucky.

Jack & Amy have written more about their experiences in the Peace Corps.

Judy Cloe made a Zig Zag Zoom quilt.

Camera buff or quilter, some basic principals of design can always help. Check out this web site for some great tips.

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. Here’s how.

Enjoy today!
Ami Simms