November 2012 (Part 2)

November 2012 (Part 2)
The Ami Simms Newsletter
Mid-November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL! As promised, here's your second installment of the November 2012 Newsletter.

I know Scooter hasn't blogged in a while, but he has been posting on his FaceBook page fairly regularly. He would love to be your friend too.

Scooter has been doing really well on walks. It is actually a pleasurable experience now, as long as we don't meet another dog! I look forward to it, even in this colder weather. We've changed malls and now walk in a strip mall across the street from the mall where the people walk inside. There is an overhang so we don't get wet when it rains. There are fewer wind tunnels that whip the wind around clear through my bones. And, it gets full sun first thing in the morning. As an added benefit, we have a purpose. Scooter and I return all the abandoned shopping carts to their appropriate stores.

If you're not into dog friends, you can always friend me on FaceBook:

I just shot a new, shorter, video about my PowerWrapper with my friend Mary. She had never wrapped clothesline before. Seriously she didn't even a practice session before I started videoing. See how great she did:

Fabric wrapped clothesline bowls are a blast to make. Relax while you wrap the clothesline with my new PowerWrapper, and then zigzag the wrapped line into coiled bowls. I do my PowerWrapping in front of TV in the evening with my feet up. Once the clothesline is completely wrapped, I head over to the sewing machine and whip out the bowl in about 20 minutes.

The PowerWrapper is still at the Introductory Price. Order here.

Make caramel apples with the caramel on the INSIDE of the apple. Cut the apple in half, hollow out the core and pour the caramel into the apple center. Cool and slice. I have no idea if the caramel will stick to the moist apple flesh, or indeed how to make caramel in the first place, but I know somebody reading this will know. I saw a photograph of this somewhere….

I had two very productive dying days before the weather got cold. Not only did I finish up the last batch of underpants (finally) but I dyed some really cool clothesline for bowls. (With dyed clothesline, you can skip the wrapping part entirely.) They turned out really pretty and will make beautiful bowls. I just added about a dozen new hand-dyed clotheslines and paired many of them with matching or contrasting thread.

If you drop your spatula or ladle behind the stove as you're whipping up your Thanksgiving feast, it isn't lost and gone forever. Grab your magnetic pin caddy, REMOVE THE PINS, toss it down the leg of an old pair of panty hose, and fling it behind the stove. Pull it up slowly, and anything metal you've lost down there will come up with it.

From now until the end of November, three of my books are on sale for 30% off:
  • Picture Play Quilts
  • How NOT To Make A Prize-Winning Quilt
  • Creating Scrapbook Quilts
I'll autograph your books and inscribe them to you or to someone else. Just be sure to click the autograph option in the drop-down box when you order. They make nice gifts. Also useful if you have a table with one short leg. Order here.

I couldn't sleep the other night and was listening to an old podcast of "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me." They were interviewing Martha Stewart and she gave this bizarre tip on how to extract the seeds from a pomegranate by thumping it with a wooden spoon. Well, it made no sense to me, so I googled it and found a video of Martha and a very oddly-coiffured young man removing seeds from a pomegranate. That led me to 12,000 other videos on pomegranate seed removal. I watched them all and have synthesized the information for you. Without actually trying it for myself, I am passing along the BEST way to remove seeds from a pomegranate. Let me know if it works, and then I'll try it.

1. Wash the outside of the pomegranate with soap. Who knows where it's been or who touched it before you did.

2. Cut off the top and bottom of the pomegranate. Don't cut off too much, maybe just the top of a seed or two, just beyond the pith (that's the white stuff).

3. Score the outside of the pomegranate skin with a sharp knife. Try not to burst any seeds. You can score it in quarters, or if you have a lot of time to waste, you can locate the thin membranes that hold the bunches of juicy seeds together (look at the top and bottom you exposed in step #2) and score down those lines.

4. Lower the scored pomegranate into a large mixing bowl filled with water. Holding the pomegranate under water, pull back the scored skin and break open the pomegranate. Keep the pomegranate submerged as you gently pop the seeds out. The pith should float to the top of the water so you can remove it easily.

5. Remove the pomegranate seeds from the water, wash the bowl, and use the wooden spoon whack the mixing bowl as you shout, "Dinner's READY!" If you're having more than pomegranate seeds for supper, you might want to insert a step #4.5 where you cook the rest of the dinner.

There's still time to make lovely fabric bookmarks for holiday giving. I'm still giving away my pattern for free with the purchase of a Double Diamond Ruler set. And the "starter kit" is still available. Oh yes!

Order Rulers.
Order Starter Kit.

March is just around the corner and spaces in the five workshops I'm teaching in Pigeon Forge, TN are going fast. One is sold out already and there are just a few seats left in the others.

If you've already signed up, email me at and let me know which workshop(s) you've registered for. I may have some additional information for you. If you're considering signing up, check out the links to workshop descriptions and supply lists with added information on my Home page.

November was the best month in the history of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative! We raised more than $75,000 selling Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts in Houston from October 31st to November 4th, and the Celebrity Invitational Quilt Auction during the first 10 days of the month brought in $15,545 for AAQI. For details and pictures head over the AAQI Update Blog and read the two most recent blog posts. It's easy; they'll be the first two articles you come to. Good stuff.

I would be remiss if I didn't remind everyone that the AAQI is a national charity. As such, buying a quilt from the AAQI is a purchase with a purpose. Buy for yourself or for someone on your holiday gift list. We have something for everyone and all profits fund research. Wanna see? Click here.

Have enough quilts? Cash donations fund research even faster. How about $5. Do it online and save the postage.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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

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