January 2013

January 2013
The Ami Simms Newsletter
January 2012

It's January the first, and I couldn't help but feel that the ending of 2012 was as important as the beginning of 2013. As the year wound down I had a few things I desperately wanted to do.

First, I wanted to deal with all the emails in my in-box. I must get more than 100 emails a day. I zap out the junk mail pretty fast, and I can take care of the easy ones on the spot. It's the emails that I leave in the queue as reminders, or the emails that require longer more thoughtful action that seem to linger. The real stinkers are the ones that outline really great ideas I should implement if I just had some extra time. I had several from 2011 on that list. Time to take action or hit the delete key.

Well, I am delighted to announce that after several weeks of working very diligently, and using the delete key (I just can't do everything I want to do), at 4:47pm on December 31, 2012 I had no emails in my inbox! It had been at least a year since I felt that euphoria. That lasted for an entire 8 minutes. Never-the-less, I claim victory!

My second goal was to find all my mismatched socks. I found a lot of old friends that are now reunited, but there are about half a dozen lonesome socks. I'd pitch them right now if I didn't know better. The day after I send them to the great sock drawer in the sky is the day their mate shows up. I'm not playing THAT game. I've bagged the strays, labeled them, and if I don't find their other halves by next year at this time, they're outta here! Tough love.

I hope your end-of-year list of to-do's is now to-done too.

I didn't know if this was a real word or not, but my fiend Marsha McCloskey uses it all the time and I stole it from her. Thankfully, it has nothing to do with washing machines. I personally define it as "doing stuff ahead of time so you're not rushing around like an idiot at the very last minute." It may be defined differently elsewhere. I love to frontload because it is so satisfying.

Here's what I frontloaded for 2013 in the last week of 2012:
1. Not only did I decide on 2013 Christmas gifts for my sisters-in-law and my besties, I BOUGHT THE FABRIC! (On sale!)

2. Wait it gets better. I'm going to make Jennie and Craig something really cool next year for Christmas. I spent a few hours with a ruler and some graph paper, and I think I figured out how to do quilt-as-you-go TRIANGLES! I can't wait to try it out in fabric. New pattern!

3. Scooter wants to have his own little business making dog leashes for all his pals. On Saturday Steve and I drove down to Amish country in northern Indiana and found the best material ever! It's what the Amish are using for buggy reins. I got instructions from an Amish harness maker.

4. I think I figured out how to convert an "all-hand" sewing project into a "mostly machine" project so I can turn the pattern into a workshop that won't last 12 days. Woo-HOO!

Now that I've got a head start on four fun projects, 2013 is going to be a blast! And who knows, perhaps I'll have enough energy to clean the house without being driven to it by impending company.

Debra Voight has made several quilts from my Picture Play Quilts book. She sent a photograph that was just so adorable I had to blog about it:

Be sure to read all the way down to the bottom because there is an extra special deal where you can buy TWO copies of Picture Play Quilts for just $20.13. Read the blog.
Order here.

I'll be easing into what promises to be a very full and very exciting teaching schedule for 2013 starting with a local lecture in Davison, Michigan on January 30th. If you're "local" too, I hope you'll be able to come. I've been adding to my collection of cheesy door prizes and have some real doozies picked out to "award." (Yes, you have to take them if you're "lucky" enough to win one.)

In February I'll be in Boca Raton, FL and in March I'll be in Pigeon Forge, TN. See the rest of my 2013 teaching schedule You can add to it here.

Usually guilds ask their members for recommendations and it's the Program Chairperson's job to hunt down the teachers. This can be a daunting task. There's a new website that makes things a lot easier. It's called the Quilters-Calendar. The site was designed to connect quilt guilds and traveling quilt teachers.

Quilters-Calendar.com is a huge online calendar of confirmed bookings. You can search by state, by teacher, by date, or by type of lesson. When a guild finds a teacher who is booked nearby they can approach the sponsoring guild or the teacher to see if the teacher can come to them too. Sharing expenses makes hiring a traveling teacher less expensive.

Quilters visiting family or friends throughout the country can find classes going on in the area and time their visits so they can attend lectures and workshops as part of their vacation.

"Why Quilts Matter: Politics, Art & History" is a nine-part documentary produced by The Kentucky Quilt Project (). The series has aired on 200+ PBS stations, and is now available on DVD. You can get 40% off orders of four or more DVDs with a special guild discount. Click here.

Check out the "Why Quilts Matter" blog too! They post every Monday.

Visit MY blog and leave a comment about why quilts matter to YOU. I'll pick one comment and award that lucky quilter a copy of Why Quilts Matter: Politics, Art & History.

The online auction is up and there's a very good chance that some time in 2013 the AAQI will reach the $1,000,000 mark in funds raised by quilters for Alzheimer's research. If you haven't participated in the work we do yet, please join us. It's as easy as making or buying a 9" x 12" quilt. It's fun, do-able, and oh so gratifying.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy new year filled with joy, purpose, and abundant blessings. I am grateful that you allow me in your in-box every month and that we share the wonderful creativity of quilting together.

Happy New Year!!!
Ami Simms
Mallery Press, Inc.
4206 Sheraton Drive
Flint, MI 48532

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