October 2011

October 2011
The Ami Simms Newsletter
September 33, 2011

I had it all figured out. I'd get my monthly newsletter out on the 1st of October, just like the first of every month. Even though the first of the month came when I away from home, I'd be flying home that day from a teaching tip and I'd have the whole "evening" to make it happen.

Except that my return tickets said October 2 on them, a fact I didn't realize until October 1 was almost over. Sigh…

I had banked on 31 days in September.

So, did you miss me?!

My mother used to say "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." And then she would contradict herself with "Familiarity breeds contempt." If she had only taught me math skills instead…

Another family favorite that seems to apply here is: "Ignorance is no excuse for stupidity." Makes sense. It also makes sense the other way around: "Stupidity is no excuse for ignorance." Either way, it's something to ponder.

Officially, I've just blown a record that has stood for 107 months: managing to get my newsletter out on time by midnight on the first of the month. I have a feeling I'm more upset than you are.

The last five weeks have been crazy busy. I taught in Louisiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia. I had the best time!

The rest of the year will be a little calmer. I'll be in Houston for workshops and a lecture on October 18-20, and then in Davison, Michigan on November 30th.

In between will be another trip to Houston, this time for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative and our annual quilt sale at International Quilt Festival, November 2-6. Please come!

1. The October quilt auction is underway. Bid! Bid! Bid! All profits fund Alzheimer's research.

2. Sign up for the Houston Volunteer Text Brigade at:

3. Read about our 8,000th donated quilt .

4. Get ready for the Stanley Cup Quilt-Off (November 1-10).

5. Buy AAQI quilts at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX. Our booth is in the EXHIBIT area, in the very front of the room, ALL THE WAY OVER IN THE CORNER. Hike over to Row T. (Enter, hang a right, keep on walking.)

6. Print flyers for the AAQI to give out at Houston!

Start your Dog-Yeared Calendar Quilt a few months early and with a 65% discount!

Puppus Doggus is the star of each month, thematically dressed from January to December. You'll get full-size applique patterns with detailed, illustrated instructions right on your computer monitor. Print just what you need or every page, in color or black and white; it's totally up to you.

Puppus Doggus can be made using traditional hand appliqué, your favorite machine appliqué technique, or with my easy fusible machine appliqué directions using Steam-A-Seam2.

Finished blocks are 10" x 10". Make each month into a little mini-quilt, or put them all together with sashing strips and borders for a year-at-a-glance quilt measuring about 40" x 50". All instructions are included including a dog bone quilting motif for the border. You'll also get a bonus Fire Hydrant pattern to finish off the back of the quilt, just don't let your pooch see it or you may have an "accident" to clean up. It's very realistic!

System Requirements: Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP or Vista. Macs 5.0 OS or higher. Adobe Acrobat Reader included.

Hurry, the price goes back up to $14.99 on October 10th. Order now.

1. If you prefer to make your appliqué with templates, have you tried my Dirt Cheap Plastic Template Material?

You can't go wrong with this stuff. It's translucent white plastic template material. Use it to trace off applique patterns, create quilting stencils, create window templates, and much more. It's smooth on both sides, white on both sides (don't worry, you CAN see stuff through it), and it is easy to cut with a regular pair of scissors. Sold in 9" x 12" sheets. At $.75 a sheet, it's a bargain!

2. There is nothing like a Sensmatic pencil for tracing lines on paper, Steam-A-Seam2, or just drafting. (Also good for shopping lists, balancing your checkbook, writing love notes, and doing sudoku puzzles.) Kids love these!

There's a little man who lives inside each pencil and he spits out a little bit of lead whenever you need it. There's no clicking, twisting, shaking, or getting annoyed, because the lead advances AUTOMATICALLY! They are magical! And refillable!

One Dog-Yeared CD pattern, one pack of Sensmatic pencils, and 10 sheets of Dirt Cheap Plastic Template Material will fit in a flat rate envelope for $4.95. I'm just saying.

Sheryl P Bordelon finished her Twisted Sisters quilt and it looks great!

iHappy. iJust got an iPad2. I saved money and got a purple leather case on Amazon.com for $13 instead of the fancy schmancy one Apple sells for $39. I'm getting used to the duct tape to keep it closed.

I read my first ebook ever. I downloaded a free Kindle app and bought Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich. I read it on the plane home yesterday. Here's a little advice. Don't read Chapter 18 in public. I was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face. Thank goodness Delta doles out the Coke with en eyedropper otherwise I would have had tears running down my legs.

So what's your favorite app?
I just downloaded Quilt Shops for free. There is another one called Quilt Shop Locator, but it's $2.99 and I figure that's a quarter yard of fabric, so…maybe not yet. I have used Jo-Ann (as in Jo-Ann Fabrics, and also free) on my phone because I can never remember to bring the coupons I get in the mail with me to the store. That's handy. And I like Sudoku (Might Mighty Good Games, free version) and Boggle. The woman next to me on the plane recommended CardStar (for loyalty cards, so you don't have to lug those around), and I'm thinking of getting eWallet to remember all my passwords.

For less than $5 I had the iPad "scheduled" on my home owners insurance policy so if it is stolen, or falls in the toilet, I'm OK. (Inland Marine Rider?)

Take one last look at summer with this cute video.

Here's your chance to participate in the TIMELY Study.

"Healthy Men and Women 18 years of age and older are needed for a study to identify stability and subtle changes in cognitive function and associated genetic effects. Your participation in this study will help us to address the growing urgency to treat Alzheimer’s disease early – before it causes irreversible brain damage. We have some fun tests for you to try, including a Virtual Reality (Memory Island) spatial test and an Air Puff test you’ll perform while watching a video.

We call this the TIMELY Research Study – “Tests Intended to Eliminate Learning Loss in Later Years”

This research is conducted by the laboratory of Dr. Jacob Raber in the Departments of Behavioral Neuroscience and Neurology at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland Oregon.

You will be asked a series of qualification questions prior to starting the testing. This visit may last up to two hours. You may or may not benefit from participating in this study.

For more information, please contact us. Ask for the TIMELY Study at (503) 494-1431 or timely@ohsu.edu

We'll begin taking appointments for the week of October 10 and continue for months after that as we aim to test 200 people. When they call or email, we'll make an appointment at their convenience. The tests are done in the lab, so people need to be in Portland to complete the tests. We screen them at their appointment."

You will be amazed and inspired. (Thanks to Karen Scribner for sending this along.)

Play with some fabric and sew up something wonderful!

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

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