Archive for September, 2009

Short Name Has Perks

In June I taught for Maine Quilts. I had a great time, met some terrific people, and bought a commemorative sweatshirt. It said MAINE QUILTS. Loved the graphic, good color, nice hand, and it fit. Plus, it was downright reasonable, which I took as a sign that I should own it. I love it when shopping decisions are so easy.

Alas, living in Michigan, I felt a little guilty wearing a shirt from another state. Michigan has had some hard times, and I didn’t feel that wearing my Maine shirt was as supportive as I could be.  Actually, I wasn’t wearing it at all because, unlike Maine, August in Michigan is not the time of year for wearing sweatshirts. So on the shelf it sat.

It was then that I noticed that the letters spelling MAINE were not embroidered onto the shirt like the word QUILTS, but rather, they were sewn on with a straight stitch. If you’re not following me, let me explain: that made the letters removable!

And why would I want to do that? Oh, players of word games, follow me now! The three letters that are my name (A-M-I) are actually contained in the name of the great state of M-A-I-N-E.  They’re just out of order!

I can operate a seam ripper and I know how to sew! Problem solved. I shall not promote a foreign state, I shall promote ME, actually AMI (they rhyme).


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September 26, 2009 at 6:28 pm 23 comments

The Farmers’ Market

Flint Farmer's MarketLast week we re-discovered the Flint Farmers’ Market. What a blast!

It was a beautiful late summer day, the sun was out, and the parking lot was FULL!

I bought tomatoes for some authentic Italian bruschetta:  diced tomatoes, 5 cloves of garlic, salt, fresh basil, olive oil all dumped on  a hot-out-of-the-oven pizza dough. Not that I cook any more, but I just had a taste for it.  (We ate the entire thing in one sitting.)

Fresh peachesWe also picked up an avocado, and three pounds of fresh strawberries for $5. The perfume of all those ripe strawberries on the way home was almost more than I could stand, but I did wait until we got home to dive in.

I had a juicy peach every morning for breakfast all week, leaning over the sink, so the juice wouldn’t run down my arm. The “Peach Lady” picked them in various stages of ripeness for me. Small ones right away, large ones later. That’s taking care of your customers.

The best ribs (and chicken too).I haven’t had great ribs since the PX Bar-B-Q closed. Ribs used to be a New Year’s Eve tradition, and about the only time we ever ate ribs. I don’t know how that tradition got started, but half the city of Flint was at the PX picking up take-out orders on New Year’s Eve. My nose led me to the best ribs I’ve had in a decade with just the right mixture of sweet and tang. My mouth is watering again. Thank goodness they do chicken too.

I think I’m up for a repeat visit. See you later…

PS: Flint’s Farmers Market was just named “most loved” in national online contest. Way to go, Flint!

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September 19, 2009 at 8:27 am 12 comments

“Oversized” Alzheimer’s Quilt Finds New Home

Quilt artist Nanette Zeller, from Southern Pines, NC, created “Juggling The Chances” also known as “The Juggler” ( 48.5 ” x 70″) for the traveling exhibit, “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” back in 2006. In her excitement to complete the quilt, she forgot to check the size requirements in the prospectus. The quilt was too big and wasn’t selected for the traveling exhibit. 

Her quilt is really special. It presents a visual interpretation of a Gallup Poll commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Association. The poll found that 1 in 10 Americans have a family member with Alzheimer’s (light purple ball) and 1 in 3 know someone with the disease (dark purple balls). The silhouetted juggler represents any one of us as we face the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The Juggler hasn’t been folded up in a closet somewhere. Nanette has been showing her extraordinary quilt at various venues to promote Alzheimer’s awareness.

It was hanging at Linderella’s Quilt Works in Pinehurst, NC when Gretchen W. of Alexandria, VA saw it and wanted it. An arrangement was made that the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative would receive a substantial donation, and Nanette would give Gretchen the quilt. It was a win, win, win for everyone involved.

Here is Nanette with her masterpiece.  (Yes, she is VERY tall and has three arms! Just kidding. Gretchen is holding the sign Nanette created to tell about the quilt.)

The Juggler, by Nanette Zeller
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September 6, 2009 at 11:08 am 10 comments

Dog In Charge

Mom’s busy writing the newsletter today, so she put me in charge of the blog.  She said I should put together a BIG SALE of something I really like. So, I picked her “Dog-Yeared” calendar quilt pattern. Paws down, it is my favorite of all her patterns because, well,  it’s all about dogs!

"Dog-Yeared" by Ami SimmsThere is a dog for every month, and they are all adorable, and they look like the month they are supposed to be. You can machine applique them or applique them by hand/paw.

The “Dog-Yeared” calendar quilt pattern comes with full-size patterns and lots of pictures and words to tell you what to do and when to do it. Everything is on a CD which is cool. You can print off only what you need.

Both are so lifelikeYou even get a free pattern on the CD for the back of your quilt. (It’s a fire hydrant!)

I look a little consternated in this photograph. The back of Mom’s quilt was on the disign wall, and it was so life-like, and we dogs have …urges… Should I? Shouldn’t I? Don’t worry; I didn’t.

Since we haven’t gotten to January yet, now would be a really good time to start your “Dog-Yeared” quilt. If you want to take advantage of a very special offer (even BETTER than 2-for-1) you have to order before midnight Thursday (9/3/09) or before we run out of CDs.

Don’t wait! Supplies are limited! Order now!

Plus, all orders get a free applique pattern (line drawing) for a block that looks remarkably like me! (It will be emailed to you.) After you read the directions on the CD you can take the line drawing and make a Madison Block.

And, if you’re one of the first 100 people to order Mom says I can give you a chunk of fabric from MY stash.

Madison Boo!AND, everyone who buys a “Dog-Yeared” calendar quilt pattern gets a chance to win this “October” block that Mom sewed. Stick it in your quilt! (One down, 11 to go!)

Because I’m helping pack orders this month (part of the deal) please don’t expect our usual speedy delivery. While we will process orders all this week, they won’t ship out until next week, after the holiday. We will email and let you know when your order ships.

Please tell your friends about this special offer and I’ll get more kibble at dinner.


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September 1, 2009 at 3:28 pm 2 comments

Ami Simms

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