November 2011

November 2011

The Ami Simms Newsletter
November 1, 2011

This is a really LONG newsletter! Lots of news!

Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI)
As you may know, my mother died of Alzheimer's. It will be 3 years this month. I don't mean to frighten you, or make you feel uncomfortable, but since I founded the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) and serve as its executive director, I think about Alzheimer's quite a bit. A great portion of my time is spent running the AAQI and November is a big month for us. November is National Alzheimer's Awareness Month and the AAQI is hip deep in two incredible projects. No apologies here, just an explanation of why a big chunk of the newsletter this month has the word Alzheimer's in it.

Twelve celebrity quilts have donated wall quilts (16" x 16") to the AAQI and they will be auctioned November 1-10.

If you've heard of Alex Anderson, Hollis Chatelain, John Flynn, Becky Goldsmith, Renae Haddadin, Sue Nickels, Caryl Bryer Fallert, Pat Holly, Libby Lehman, Judy Mathieson, Mary Sorensen, or Ricky Tims, you know that these quilts are special. And so are the quilters who made them and donated them to the AAQI to raise money for Alzheimer's research.

These 12 quilting celebrities are competing against each other to see who can raise the most money for the AAQI. Their magnificent quilts will be on display at International Quilt Festival (Nov 2-6) in the AAQI booth in Row T as they are being auctioned online from November 1-10. Please bid generously, and tell your friends.

These quilts should bring in top dollar and even if you don't bid, you can help secure bragging rights for your favorite quilter. ROOT for your favorite quilt/quilter in our booth at International Quilt Festival in Houston ($1 for each root) or do so online here until the auction ends on November 10th:

Roots will be added in to the amount the quilts bring in at auction to see which quilter raises the most money for the AAQI. All our profit, even if you've heard this a million times, goes to fund Alzheimer's research.

There are also earrings, clothing, and other items with images of these awesome quilts to tempt you to part with a few dollars for this very worthy cause. Stanley Cup Quilt-Off shirts, totes, hats, and lots more stuff is available at CafePress.

More than 50,000 quilters are expected at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX November 2-6 and we hope every single one of them comes by the AAQI booth (Row T, up at the very front of the Exhibit Hall) and buys at least one of the 1,500 quilts donated by AAQI supporters. Prices range from $20 all the way up to $350. I would love to SELL OUT!

I'll be FaceBooking (and Tweeting) quilts sales….IF I can keep up!

At Festival on Thursday from about 1 to 3 we have a very special visitor, New York Times bestselling author Emily March, author of Angel's Rest Hummingbird Lake, and Heartache Falls. Emily has spotlighted the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative in her upcoming novel LOVER’S LEAP (Ballantine Books, on sale December 27th) by bringing an AAQI special exhibit to her fictional town of Eternity Springs, Colorado, the small mountain town where broken hearts go to heal. Stop by and say hi to Emily. If you have a copy of one of her books, bring it along. Emily told me she would be happy to autograph it in between hawking quilts and interviewing me for her website. Check out to learn more about her upcoming releases and the soft spot in her heart for those dealing with Alzheimer's.

Among the many celebrity quilters who will come by the AAQI booth to show their support is Cathy Miller, the Singing Quilter. Cathy will again be creating songs on the spot to send off your quilts. When you purchase a quilt while Kathy is in the booth, get ready for some beautiful melodies and heart-touching lyrics created especially for you. Look for her on Thursday afternoon about 3 in the AAQI booth (Exhibit Hall, Row T).

Not all the quilts are going to Houston. Some just didn't get here in time to have tags made and get in the suitcase. BUT, we just put a big batch on the AAQI website on the Quilts for Sale page.

You've heard me rave about Karen Kay Buckley's "Perfect Scissors." Serrated blades make precision cutting easy. Large cushioned handles make precision cutting comfortable. Both the large and small sizes cut all the way to the tips. Perfect Scissors are sharpen-able and the handles are my two favorite colors.

You need the control and the comfort Perfect Scissors will give you. So I cooked up a special deal for the first week in November. Until November 7th, get both the 4" AND the 7.5" blades and save $5. PLUS, get free shipping (US only) with the coupon code "perfect" if you're willing to wait for me to process the order until I come back from Houston. Take advantage of this special offer and I'll throw in something you can cut up with your new scissors if your order is among the first 50 I receive. If you have a pooch, tell Scooter in the comment section and he'll throw in a dog treat for you.

Great deal---great scissors! Great fun! Order now, coupon code "perfect."

I'll be presenting "Living With Quilts: A Survival Guide" to the Evening Star Quilters of Davison, Michigan on Wednesday, November 30th. Do come and enjoy the fun. Fore more details, contact Sharon Muston at Or call 810 953-3806.

One of the most fun adventures I've ever had was on Louise Young's Mola Tour to Panama and the San Blas Islands. It was amazing. Louise is doing it again in February and if you want to have the trip of a lifetime, sign up! Dates are February 2 - 12, 2012.

Picture this, says Louise: a tropical island surrounded by turquoise waters, complete with lapping waves, white sand beaches, nodding palm trees -- and some of the most beautiful appliqué work you've ever seen!

Welcome to the world of the indigenous Kuna people of Panama, famous for their molas, and our hosts for this eleven day exploration of all things mola. On this tour, you'll see literally thousands of molas -- which form the bodice of the traditional Kuna woman's clothing -- while exploring a handful of postcard-perfect islands set like jewels in the calm waters of the Caribbean. Be prepared to be amazed by the quality, variety, and abundance of molas -- one tour participant said the molas were beyond her wildest fantasies! But along with seeing (and purchasing!) molas, you're also invited to attend sewing sessions where participants are paired with an accomplished Kuna artist who will reveal the secrets of the incredibly intricate appliqué that is the backbone of mola making. Fast friendships have been formed during these classes: you'll learn not only about sewing but about life for these women who live in a traditional and yet ever-changing culture.

Sound like your type of adventure? We'd love to have you join us! Visit our website at or contact Louise Young at or 715/392-1755 for more information and a complete itinerary. Nuedi! (the Kuna equivalent to "Aloha")

Learn more.

Jane Frounfelker from Bethlehem, PA shares her Twisted Sisters quilt from a workshop I taught for her guild:

Fraser is an incredible artist who makes quilts….out of wood! I have seen his work in person and I swear what I am looking at is soft cotton. I walk towards it, my arm outstretched and only inches away do my eyes realize they've been deceived.

Fraser is on FaceBook. And after you "like" ME on FaceBook, run right over and "like" Fraser. He's been sharing images of his wood carvings from beginning to end. They are amazing. You won't believe your eyes.

Friend me.

Friend Fraser .

My husband teaches at St. John Vianney Catholic School. The school has entered the "Power A Bright Future" competitions for a grant from Clorox for new computers and they're asking everyone to vote for them. How could I not pass this on?! The man puts up with so much.

You can go here and vote through the web page.

Or, you can text to vote. I've done web page stuff before and I'm too lazy to create an account and sign in, but the texting to vote was super simple. My first time doing anything like that.

If you're new to texting, here's how. Grab your phone. Open the texting application, Find the place where you can start a new text, and type in 44144 in the place where you would ordinarily type in somebody's name or their phone number (in the To: place). In the next box, type in "clorox7123" without the quotation marks. That's all. Hit send. It's too easy. You'll get a reply thanking you for your vote and that you can text tomorrow. (Yes, I'm in it for the long haul.) Before you text daily for the next 37 days in a row, check to see what your texting plan is on your phone. Steve and all the SJV kids will be most grateful.

Thanks for hanging with me all the way to the end!

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

Please forward me to a friend.