March 2013

March 2013
The Ami Simms Newsletter
March 2012

Apparently there is HUGE interest in my shoe shopping escapades. To date, I've only had one shoe shopping escapade, but it was highly successful. As I was deciding between two pair of shoes, I posted pictures of them on FaceBook and asked which pair I should I buy. I got 409 comments! That's my all time record. Ever. I remain stunned.

For those who really need to know, I bought both pair, the clown shoes and the white ones with the bright green soles. And you thought FaceBook was a foolish waste of time!

So, more about the shoes. As I was FaceBooking they had a trivia contest in the shoe store. I know; this was a first for me too. Florida is a wonderful state. The question was "How many animals did Moses take on the ark?" Well, phone already in hand, I punched the Google app like a seasoned veteran. Sadly, my calendar app opened instead (right next to Google app). These things happen when I get excited. I'm carefully typing "H-o-w space m-a-n-y space…" into the box for next Thursday when Mindy (my cousin and escapade companion) hollers, "I GOT IT!" She shouts out "NONE" about the time I realize Moses had nothing to do with the ark; that was Noah! I hate trick questions.

Well she won! It was so exciting! We went up to the front of the store to claim my prize by spinning the prize wheel at the check-out counter. You'll notice that in the four seconds it took us to walk briskly to the check-out counter her prize had become my prize. Of course I was the one buying shoes like I had four feet… (Thanks, Mindy.)

Mindy spun "the big wheel" and we won either a SURPRISE (a coffee cup with the store's logo on it---even the clerk wrinkled his nose) or $2 off my purchase. Always go for the cash.

Giddy with the rush of having just won such a tremendous prize, and the shoes being on sale, and taking advantage of the Buy One Get A Second Pair Half Off sale, I asked if there were any other savings I might be entitled to. Perhaps a discount for quilt teachers from Michigan visiting their family in Florida before teaching a class? How about a discount for quilters with really big feet? The clerk demurred. And then he said it was MONDAY!

I said "Yay! It's Monday!" I was about to ask him if he wanted me to put down something special since I already had my calendar app open, but he continued by suggesting that I might qualify for the 10% Senior Citizen Discount. (I'm liking Florida more and more.) I cleverly asked how old I had to be, instead of how old did he think I looked. The discount age was 55, which is, alas, is only a slightly distant memory. Cha-CHING!

Indeed they do, which is why over here at we found a way to reduce shipping costs. Instead of charging you $5.60 for priority shipping we only have to charge you $5.05 for anything we can safely put into a flat rate priority envelope. Plus, wherever we can, we are offering first class shipping. It's almost as fast, but costs less.

The only trouble is that first class postage is based on the weight of the product and how far away you live from Flint, Michigan. Silly, isn't it? The other issue is that with more than 100 items to buy (seriously, that many?!) we just can't predict what combination of items you'll want, what kind of container they need to go in, or how much the package weighs. What to do?

1. We estimate your shipping at $5.05 when you order.

2. Your credit card isn't charged until Debbie boxes up your order and figures out the least expensive way to ship your stuff to you. (First class or Priority). It might even cost less than the estimate.

3. If the cost is more than $1.00 over the estimate, Debbie will email you for your OK to ship. (Circumvent this step if you trust us and write "OK for higher shipping if needed" in the comment section when you order.)

We've been experimenting with our new system and have been getting rave reviews.

Over the next few months we'll be adding more explicit information on shipping to the website. I just wanted to tell you the good news now.

Even though I rotary cut everything in sight, I still need templates. I use them for appliqué (machine and hand), curved shapes I don't feel comfortable rotary cutting, and any shape I need to hand-cut, even if it is just once.

Whether I design the shape on the computer and print it off, or grab a pattern, the steps are the same. I place the translucent plastic template material over the original and trace. The tracing never goes as well as I hope it will. I go off the line, I correct. I over-correct. And then I decide that it will be OK because I'll "fix it" when I cut out the shape. Famous last words. I never remember which were the good lines and which lines needed fixing. I hate tracing. Sigh…

OK, I've just invented a better way! It's called Sticky Plastic. (Unless, of course, you have a better name in mind.)

Sticky plastic is totally clear, nice and thick, smooth on one side and (wait for it) STICKY on the other side. The sticky side is covered by a release paper so it doesn't stick until you want it to.

Sticky Plastic is so easy to use. Grab the paper pattern for the shape you're going to "template-ize." Cut away any extra paper so you don't waste any Sticky Plastic. (I try to stay about a quarter inch away from the line, otherwise it's too much work and I risk accidentally cutting the shape.) Peel back the release paper from the Sticky Plastic. Slap the paper pattern onto the sticky side of the Sticky Plastic. Replace the release paper. Cut out the template using your non-cloth cutting scissors! You'll be cutting on the lines of the original pattern (stuck to the Sticky Plastic) so there's no tracing involved. Perfection!

I put the printed pattern side down onto the sticky pattern. When I use the template the paper side is down (more friction, less slippage) and the plastic side up.

Sticky Plastic comes in 8/5" x 11" sheets and it's on sale now to encourage you to try it. Order here.

Some of Peg Howard's ultra-light quilty earrings are on sale. In preparation for new designs we are making room on the Peg Board (named in honor of Peg) for new earring designs. Supplies are very limited.

ON SALE Look for nine other items on sale at the bottom of my home page.

Patty Bertrand made a Yikes Stripes quilt from Picture Play Quilts into a "quillow." You can see the finished quilt prior to the transformation here:

Beth Corwin finished her Twisted Sisters quilt. She did the "Truly Twisted" version where half the blocks twist one way and have the blocks twist the other. (I accidentally invented that when I picked up the template and used it wrong-side up. One block like that would be a mistake. Half the blocks made the wrong way and it becomes a new design. Remember that.)

Thank you Gold Coast Quilters of Boca Raton, FL. I had a wonderful time with you at the end of February!

Look out Pigeon Forge, TN here I come! I am assuming that there are both pigeons and forges on display at QuiltFest 2013. If you're a student in my String Star workshop on Wednesday March 13, email me for the pre-workshop lesson on how to pick fabric. It's just a little more complicated than Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Mo, although that works too. In April I get to visit the Mayville Loose Threads in Mayville, Michigan. I think I'll fit right in, especially if I wear black pants. Later in April I'll be with the Quest Quilters Guild in Little Rock, Arkansas. At the end of April I'll be all the way over on the west coast with the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Club in Sequim, Washington. There will probably be a last minute add-on with another guild in Washington state, so watch my Teaching Schedule for a new listing for April in the next few days.

To bring me to your guild, click here. Have quilts. Will travel.

The AAQI is auctioning off all 236 quilts from the traveling exhibit, "Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope" from now until the end of the year. The exhibit was appraised at $97,000 so these are significant quilts. The first 26 Name Quilts are in the March auction. This is your chance to own a piece of history.

To search for your loved one's name, visit the AAQI's new blog. All but the last 36 quilts are listed, with videos, and a transcription of all the names on each quilt. Use the search box in the upper right and it will search through all 182 quilts (except for the last 36 which will go up later today and tomorrow). All the quilts with the name you typed in will pop up. Click on each quilt and scroll down to the bottom to read through the transcription of names.

As a featured guest on The Quilt Show (episode #712) I can invite you to get free access to more than 140 of their shows on March 15 and 16. These are Internet "television" shows, so pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy hours and hours of unlimited quilting lessons, tutorials, and QUILTS!

Spend some time on National Quilting Day online with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims and you'll be able to win some great prizes too. Enter the TQS prize drawing. The grand prize is a new Bernina 550QE !

Have a wonderful March and you'll see me in your inbox come April. I can almost smell Spring!

Ami Simms
Mallery Press, Inc.
4206 Sheraton Drive
Flint, MI 48532

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