June 2009

The Ami Simms Newsletter
June 2009
Copyright by Ami Simms

Thanks for clicking!

Summer is almost here (marked by the last day of school for Steve) and I'm super excited for some family vacations and explorations. We won't go too far a field, and I'll have patchwork on my lap, but the change of scenery and excellent companionship will be wonderful.

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative just awarded its first grant: $10,000 to study how proteins may regulate levels of cholesterol in the brain and play a role in the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease. The grant was given to the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health in honor of my mother, and I couldn't be more pleased. This was our dream more than a year and a half ago, to become our own nonprofit and fund research directly. And I got to sign the check! YES! It feels good! For all those who struggle with Alzheimer's and their families: Godspeed, little check!

Read the news release, copy it to your blog and web site, tell the world!

That's what I call my blog and that's where Madison took himself for a walk, where I learned about a great home-made pin caddy, we all experienced fried Twinkies (and other strange fried "food," and I got caught in my dying duds. There was also a special opportunity to get first dibs on some of my hand dyed fabric. (There's just one piece left.)

If none of this sounds familiar, time to sign up for my blog. If you can type in your own email address, you can probably get my blog emailed to you every time I post.

The June Small Quilt Auction to benefit the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is in full swing with SEVEN autograph quilts: National Public Radio personalities, national quilting teachers, and a First Lady of the United States are all represented. We also have 19 quilts that aren't autographed.

Please help start the bids rolling in. There are so many wonderful quilts and all the profits fund Alzheimer's research. The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, totally run by volunteers, trying to raise awareness and fund research. Your bid will help so much!

Here's an online research opportunity to help the AAQI. If you have a family member with Alzheimer's and you're willing to spend from 5 to 20 minutes of your time completing online market research surveys, the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative will receive a $25 donation for EACH survey you complete from Find A Cure Panel. Find A Cure Panel helps companies that have drugs, products and Alzheimer's related treatments reach their audience. Since you are their target audience (people currently caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's) they want your feedback which will be used to develop and market those products and treatments in the future. Most importantly, they are willing to donate $25 per completed survey to us!

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative will use that money to raise awareness and fund Alzheimer's disease research.

Take two minutes to register (no donation to us for that) and see if you qualify for the surveys. If you do, let me thank you in advance for completing them which helps us earn more money for our mission.

Please register to participate!

Here's a quilting tool that has no point. Literally. It's a compass but it's not the kind with "legs." It makes great circles from 1/4" all the way up to 10" in diameter and it's so much fun to doodle with.

What better gadget than the world's only magical pencil. The Sensmatic is the most amazing pencil I've ever seen. It is a refillable mechanical pencil, but you don't have to twist, shake, or push anything to get the lead to come out. It just appears. You write…..the lead advances. Magically! I have no idea how it works. I've yanked off the top (where the new leads go in) and bottom (that you're not supposed to yank off) hoping to see the little man that must surely live inside, but haven't found him yet. Amazing. Not for quilting because it's just pencil lead, but perfect for love notes, shopping lists, "to-do" lists, and balancing the checkbook. Kids love them. Might be a nice summer incentive to practice math. Or Suduko. Crosswords puzzles?

If you teach quilting, put your face (and information about your workshop and lecture offerings) where people who are looking for quilt teachers can find it! FindAQuiltTeacher.com is the one-stop place to get the job done.

Information is presented for guilds, shops, and event planners in a standardized format to make comparisons easier. Downloadable Teacher Fact Sheets make gathering all the information you need to make an intelligent decision a snap. Plus you'll have more time to quilt. Remember quilting?

Please pass this information along to your favorite teacher, shop, and quilt guild. They'll thank you for it. Network better. Work smarter. FindAQuiltTeacher.com

I also write a blog for FindAQuiltTeacher.com. Most of those entries are private for those who subscribe to the service like teaching tips, travel tips, technology tips and other topics that don't start with the letter T. When I review a book, tool, or fabric line, that information is public. You can read about Susan Cleveland's new book and Prairie Point tool, Karen Combs' new line of quilting fabric, and Nancy Eha's new beading book by clicking here.

Sister's Choice by quilter Emilie Richards will be released in paperback this month in case you want to enjoy a quilt-inspired saga this summer. For those of you who like to keep your hands busy with quilting and your ears with occupied with audiobooks, Sister's Choice now available for download from audible.com, and iTunes, and from BBC Audio in a Library CD edition. You can visit Emilie and her quilts online at EmilieRichards.com.

In case your casual summer wardrobe needs some sprucing up, a dog-themed T-shirt might be just the ticket. Even if you think you have all the T-shirts you need, my kid is modeling them on the "It's A Dog Thang" home page, so humor me, OK? Jen's the one in the pink T-shirt. You can also send in a photo of your dog and win a free T-shirt. (For you, not the dog.)

Betty Marchon finished another Hugs & Kisses quilt.

Debbie Voigt finished a ZigZag Zoom quilt.

Roberta Renville got her Twisted Sister quilt finished:

Great job, gals!

I'm off teaching in Delaware and Pennsylvania this month, visiting the Ladybug Quilt Guild, the Colonial Quilters Guild, the Stitch In Time Quilt Guild, and the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild. I can't wait to hit the road!

See exactly where I'll be and email the program chairs to see if you can join in the fun.

Donata Gervasi shares a photo with some puculiar Italian translations.

Own a little bit of quilt history and help a great cause. Thirty-seven vintage quilts will be auctioned to benefit the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. The vintage quilt auction will start June 15 and run until the 25th. You'll find some wonderful treasures. You can preview the quilts now.

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.

Have a great day today and a wonderful June,
Ami Simms