December 2009

The Ami Simms Newsletter
December 2009
Copyright by Ami Simms

Read this newsletter online:

I am rested, relaxed, and ready to tackle the world. Stay tuned to my blog where you'll learn what I've been up to! Just give me a few days to report!

I love getting organized; I just can't STAY organized. It's probably the containers. Give me a box of manila file folders and a label maker and I'm in heaven. Little plastic drawers that stack, boxes with lids, bags, cases, zippy things with compartments…just about anything that holds other things, and I can barely contain my joy.

One of my students came to class in Des Moines a few weeks ago with an incredibly cool tool holder for her scissors and marking pencils, and other stuff. With the help of one of AQS' editors (who went shopping for me while I was in class) I became the proud owner of a larger (even cooler) tote made by the same company.

It's called a Krafter's Purse. There are pockets for everything. It's made out of sturdy canvas, in great colors, (mine's lime green) and it holds a bunch. There are pockets all the way around the outside with little strips of elastic to keep tall items upright. The inside is large enough for pin cushion, 8" scissors (cloth and paper) plus anything you don't want to put in the outside pockets. There are two zippered pockets inside for small things that might otherwise be hard to find, like my thimble, and two handles to pick up the whole thing and go! I tried mine out when I taught at World Quilt in Florida and it worked like a charm! Everything I needed to demo with, and then some, fit inside.

You can get one here!

If you order by midnight Thursday, December 3 (or before I run out of Krafter's Purses) I'll give you two of my all time favorite quilting tools with every Krafter's Purse you purchase:

1.) You'll get one free .5mm Sensmatic mechanical pencil. It's great for drafting quilt patterns and quilting designs, balancing your check book, solving crossword puzzles, and writing love notes. Best of all, it's the smartest pencil in the world. You don't have to do anything to advance the lead. It knows! There's nothing to push, click, or twist. It somehow advances the lead automatically as you write. I don't know how it knows, but it does. It's refillable too! I haven't used a "normal" pencil in years! This is the best pencil I've ever seen. Period.

2.) You'll also get a free Pointless Compass. It draws circles from 1/4" diameter all the way up to 10" diameter all without poking holes in your paper because there is no point! Just hold the center, stick your pencil point (your Sensmatic pencil point) in the appropriate hole for the circle you want to draw, and rotate the arm of the compass. Make smaller circles by holding the arm and rotating the compass center. It's such a fun gadget.

Order here!

The first 100 Krafter's Purses purchased will receive a chunk of fabric selected by Madison who will be helping pack orders. Just a warning: he is partial to dog prints.

ONE Krafter's Purse, plus the freebies, fit in a flat priority mailer which makes this gift (to you or to someone else) plus shipping all under $20. That's a great price considering that the Krafter's Purse all by itself normally sells for $23.99. There might also be room for other flat tools in the same package so you save on shipping. (I've listed some on the web page where you can purchase the Krafter's Purse.)

Three new scissors I just started carrying fit into this category. They have serrated edges. They grab the fabric like no other! (Scroll down to the bottom of the web page to the scissors and other things that can fit inside the flat rate mailer with your Krafter's Purse.) We'll do our best to safely ship as much as we can in the same flat rate mailer so you pay the least amount possible for shipping.

If you order more than one Krafter's Purse they have to go in a priority box and shipping ranges from $5.50 to $10.35, depending on how far away from Flint, Michigan the package has to travel.

If you were going to mail a Krafter's Purse to a friend anyway, we can do that for you. Just place a separate order with your shipping address as the "Bill To" and your lucky friend's shipping address in the "Ship To." Be sure to tell me that's what you're doing in the comment section of the order so I don't freak out when I see that the ship to and the bill to addresses are different.

Please understand that supplies are limited. When we run out, that's it. First come, first served. Online orders only. Pick an alternate color selection (write it in the comment section) so you won't be disappointed if we run out.

Order here. You've got until Thursday midnight:

There are 26 fabulous quilts on the auction block to benefit the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative this month. All profits fund Alzheimer's research. Please bid generously:

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative also has quilts for sale ! So if you need a gift and don't like auctions, you can still support the fight against Alzheimer's by purchasing a little quilt. They are priced $20 and up and support Alzheimer's research as well.

Congratulations to Ricky Tims for a beautiful Christmas CD. Watch the "Christmas in a Small Town" video, leave a memory on the web site, and then give a listen to the other songs on the album.

If you know any woman currently undergoing breast cancer treatment, please pass the word to her that there is a cleaning service that provides FREE housecleaning - 1 time per month for 4 months while she is in treatment. All she has to do is sign up and have her doctor fax a note confirming the treatment. Cleaning for a Reason will have a participating maid service in her zip code area arrange for the service. This organization serves the entire USA and currently has 547 partners to help these women.
(Thanks, Debi C.)

There is a new entry on the Watch Your Step page.

Barbara Skladoni shares her first Twisted Sisters quilt.

Ila Migut shared a picture of her String Quilt.

This amazing, toe-tapping, mind boggling guitar duo is not to be missed.

Listen to 1,000 cell phones programmed to play the 1812 Overture!

Learn what a virus does inside your body. Educational AND entertaining.

Turn up the sound and be amazed. I'd love to try this myself!

You've probably seen some of these before, but there were some new ones for me. Hint: don't do this if you have a headache.

Ed Bing Lee is a knitter. See the yummy things he's created:


Sternutation. Look at the very bottom of the newsletter to see what it means.

I'm home for the month of December, but come January I'll be teaching classes and presenting lectures with the Quilter's Guild of Arlington (Texas); Trinity Valley Quilt Guild in Fort Worth; the Quilters Guild of Parker County (Weatherford, TX); and Town & Country Quilt Guild (Stephenville, TX).

In February I'll be in Lansing, Michigan; Waban, Massachusetts; and Clifton Park, New York.

For more information, please see my entire teaching schedule.

Feel free to have your program chair contact me if I'll be near you and you'd like to add on.

You can find me and other quilting teachers at

I was so thrilled and honored to be named "Teacher of the Year" back in 2005. For the 24th year the International Association of Professional Quilters (publisher of Professional Quilter magazine) will honor an outstanding quilt teacher with its Teacher of the Year award.

The recipient is selected based on his or her commitment to development of fine workmanship and personal expression of students; involvement in and contributions to the field of quiltmaking; and professionalism, including personal code of ethics and serving as a role model.

So, if you want to recognize a quilt teacher who has made a difference in your life, nominate her or him for this award. Hurry, deadline is December 4, 2009.

Please do. Forward the ENTIRE thing to all your friends and even some of your enemies. Please do NOT forward just part of it. 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.

Here's the definition of sternutation—the act of sneezing.

Enjoy your family and friends this holiday season! Thank you for reading my newsletter every month!

Ami Simms