Archive for March, 2010

There’s A New Quilt In The Works

Paula PoundstoneLast week I had an opportunity to see Paula Poundstone perform. She was hysterical! If you ever get a chance to see her, go! She had us laughing for two hours straight and then came out afterwards to greet people and give autographs. She was so generous with her time, talking with everyone in line and posing for pictures.

Not one to miss an opportunity, I put together a little quilt for her to sign. More acturately, I brought her a “quilt” held together with more pins than thread, but she got the idea. As soon as it is finished it will be auctioned off to benefit the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.

I’ve read her book and saw photographs of her, but a good look at her web site helped me decide just what to do with the quilt. I went to the Salvation Army and picked up a blue shirt for the front of the quilt. I cut away the sleeves and the back and made a polka dot tie from the leftover fabric. The suspenders are red and polka dotted too, except for the area on one where she wrote a message and signed her name.

Although it was in pieces, it actually looked like part of the “costume” she wears to perform in—not bad for four hours of work. She even Tweeted me a message: “…That quilt square is so cool!”

I’m hoping when the quilt is finished she’ll tell all her fans to bid on it. Meanwhile, there is the “practice” signature I just happen to have, black pen on white fabric.  Convince me you are the quilter to turn it into a another Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilt.

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March 23, 2010 at 1:15 am 7 comments

The Yo-Yo Sisterhood Of The Traveling Panties-2010


It is spring!

They are predicting snow (just a little) for tomorrow, but today we celebrate. Away with the drab, dead colors of winter! I’m dying my underpants!

And yes, I am again offering to dye your undies too!  Interested? Click here.

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March 20, 2010 at 1:11 am 18 comments

I Just Wrote A Check for $30,000!

The biggest check I've ever written!I just wrote a check for $30,000 and it felt GREAT—as soon as my heart stopped racing and I made sure I spelled all the words correctly. That much money, well, I don’t know about you, but I get a little tense.

Writing checks to pay for Alzheimer’s research is the best part of my duties as Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative.  I know there are some organizations who can give far more than we can and would consider a check for $30K a piddling amount. But I know how we earned it: one quilt at a time. I can’t tell you what a thrill it was, and how grateful I am that quilters throughout the United State (and beyond) made this grant possible.

Dr Lim accepts AAQI check from AmiThis is the AAQI’s third research grant that we have funded directly and it is our largest one to date. This was also the first time I was able to hand deliver the check.

On Friday Debbie Chenail (AAQI Treasurer) and I drove to Ann Arbor, Michigan to met Dr. Mi Hee Lim and her research team at the University of Michigan. We brought several quilts from the current traveling exhibit, “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece” along with five of the completed “Name Quilts” from the next exhibit, “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope.”

It was VERY emotional.I explained that for most AAQI supporters, fighting Alzheimer’s is a personal struggle. We have/had family members and friends with the disease and we have seen the devastating results. Every stitch in every quilt is made with purpose and with hope, and now that hope rests with these talented and dedicated scientists.

"Our" research team.The team which will soon begin work, financed in part by the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, is from left to right: Joseph Braymer, Dr. Mi Hee Lim, Nathan Merrill, Jung Suk Choi, Nicole Schmidt, Yihong Liu, and Alaina DeToma.

They hope to create a new class of molecules that will be used as chemical probes to better understand the role of metal ions in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease and to hopefully create therapeutic agents for metal-ion chelation therapy. Godspeed!

If you would like to support the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, there are 28 Ways You Can Help. For now I’m going to rest my check-writing hand and go make another quilt.

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March 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm 26 comments

Teach Your Dog To Read

Teaching Missy to ReadUncle Bud is one of the more amazing people I know. He happens to be related to me , but I would claim him anyway. My Aunt Elaine is nothing to sneeze at either.

If you are one of my newsletter readers or you have visited my web page over the years, you have probably met Uncle Bud already. He’s a funny guy.

I’ll list some of the funny things he’s written at the bottom of this post in case you need something else to smile about, but first watch this video.

Was that not hysterical? Amazing even?

Here’s the inside scoop.

Missy, the Wonder DogMissy, the canine star of the show  is my uncle’s service dog. She’s a lab-boxer-beagle-lion-monkey mix. For all her quirks (she hates going outside, dislikes men with boxes, and enjoys turning on the heated seats in my aunt’s car) she is a huge help to my uncle. He has lost most of his sight and she helps him get around.

Scooter Dog One of her most amazing abilities is to find the men’s room for him. She’s never wrong! She also remembers where Aunt Elaine parks the car and can lead Uncle Bud to it.

She also enjoys wearing doggie sun glasses and a babushka when they go out. On forays around the neighborhood she sits demurely on his scooter.

LibertyThe little dog bouncing up and down in the background of the video (and sometimes in the foreground) is Liberty, the plumber’s dog. My aunt and uncle were dog sitting because she doesn’t do well in kennels and her people had to go out of town.  Liberty and Missy are good friends.

My cousin Niki works for Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League in West Palm Beach, Florida.  She fostered both dogs and arranged their adoptions. At the end of the video is a phone number to make a donation to the Rescue League if you like. My cousin Mindy has just opened Glamour Paws Salon in Tequesta/Jupiter, Florida. Just in case you have a dog who needs to look gorgeous.

My cousin Simm (no, that’s not a typo) and her husband Doug are videographers. Doug shot the video and he’s an amazing musician. He never goes anywhere without a flute and entertains everyone with impromptu music as the spirit moves. Simm is an accupuncturist and a very talented photographer and if she had married my husband instead of me, she would have been Simm Simms!

Bud and Missy thank you very much!So much for the shameless promotion, except that you can EMAIL my uncle for the “directions” on how to teach your dog to read.  He will send you an MS Word file so you can print out your own cards and instructions.

And one more thing. It’s very important.

My uncle is checking You Tube stats hourly. Would you like to make an 80-year-old guy really happy? See how many people you can get to watch this video. Forward this blog to them, or email this link:

Read stuff written by Uncle Bud:

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March 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm 25 comments

Happy To Be Wrong

I was on my way out the door to go walking in the mall this morning, butI couldn’t find my purse.  Typical. I’m in a panic over my pocketbook at least three times a week.  No matter how hard I try to keep it one memorable place, that just never seems to happen.

Because I am a creative individual I seem to invent a new place to set it down every time I walk into the house: kitchen counter, dining room table,  chair, desk, even the cutting table.  I’ve found my purse on top of my sewing machine, on the back of the bathroom door, on the peg behind my coat, and back in the car. It’s always somewhere. Except the time in 7th grade when I left it in Home Room on the back of my chair.

This morning it wasn’t anywhere. I looked all over the house. No purse. Oh-oh…

I remember hanging my purse on the back of the chair at one of the “tall” tables at Subway yesterday at lunch. That’s not good.

I must have walked out without it. It’s gone now. How could I have been so stupid?!  Kiss the cash good-bye and start canceling the credit cards.

I’ll admit it. I thought the worst.

Still, I kept looking. As soon as Subway opened I called to see if my purse was turned in. No it wasn’t. “Wait,” she said, “is it a tan and black Eagle Creek wallet on a string?” YES!!

Thank you!Brittanie didn’t know if a customer turned it in or it was found by another worker, but she passed it over the counter to me and it was still as lumpy and weighted-down as it was yesterday!

I’m sure my little purse passed through many hands before it got back to me this morning. Each person who touched it made a decision. It would have been so easy to take advantage of the situation. I expected that.  And yet, no one did. How happy I am that I was wrong!

The cash, the credit cards, and my overpriced lipstick were still there. So was my driver’s license with my deer-in-the-headlights picture, my proof of insurance, registration to the car, and the gift card to Starbucks (minus the price for a hot chocolate at the airport). The crumpled receipts, mini quilt templates, nail file, dental floss, 12 loyalty cards, and the seven TicTacs (paradise mint flavor) rattling around in the cute little plastic container were all just where I’d left them. 

These aren’t the best of times here in Flint. Life isn’t easy; many people are doing without. And nobody’s getting rich working at Subway. But, in the face of temptation, I saw honesty and integrity in a Subway shop in Flint, Michigan. I am so grateful.

To the stranger who found my purse and turned it in, to the employees at Subway who kept it safe, and to anyone who has done the same:  Thank you! I appreciate it very, very much!

And, for the forseeable future I’m going to wear my purse around my neck.  24/7.

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March 12, 2010 at 2:39 am 57 comments

Fur Between My Toes….Grows!

Madison T. Dog here. Again.  I thought I would write again because I am amazing and you probably want to read about me. I would like to tell you things.

I have fur. This is a dog thing. Some of us are hairless, but I have lots of hair. After Mom brushes me she says she can make a new dog out of the hair that falls off me.

I am a Golden Retriever dog. Even if you brush me, 30 seconds later I can walk near your leg and deposit more fur. It kind of jumps right off me. I can’t help it. Mom wears black only when she teaches.  She should buy stock in lint rollers.

This is me resting. I’m resting on Mom and Dad’s bed which I don’t get to do ordinarily unless I am invited up. Sometimes I invite myself up, for example during thunder storms. But, as I am rather bony and expand when I sleep, and don’t care that much who I step on as I make myself comfortable,  I am mostly not allowed on the bed with Mom and Dad

You will notice a lot that my toe fur is quite long. Mom thought it would be fun to return me to my natural state of dogness and so she let my toe fur grow out for a few weeks.

Here’s a better picture. As I stated I am quite hairy.

When I go outside in the winter I bring back little snowballs between my toes. I crunch them off with my teeth. I hope that is not too much information.

On Tuesday Mom said that the experiment of letting my toe hair go wild was over. It was up on the grooming table for me and she trimmed it all off.

She also brushed the rest of me and clipped my nails. And she combed my tail. I look even better than usual. And I smell good too because I had a bath. Mom shampoos me with Bath & Bodyworks shampoo. She told them that at the store but they didn’t seem as happy as they could have been she said.

I am resting some more in this photograph, but my feet are all trimmed.

Furly Yours,


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March 8, 2010 at 2:58 am 35 comments

Take Your Quilt To Work Day

I just made that up. Pretty cool, huh?

From here on out, and forever more, the first Friday of every month shall be known as “Take Your Quilt To Work Day.” I figure I can do that because I just googled  TAKE YOUR QUILT TO WORK DAY and on all the web pages in all the world that particular phrase came up NOT THERE. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Therefore I claim it on behalf of all quilters everywhere! Let the fun begin!

Here’s how you celebrate Take Your Quilt To Work Day:

1. On the first Friday of every month, find a quilt. Any quilt. Finished or not.  Take it to work.

2.  At some appropriate time of the day, when you will not get fired, flap out your quilt and announce with a big smile, “This is what I do for fun!”

3. Grin, enjoy the admiration of others, and encourage everyone within earshot to learn to quilt. Repeat next month.

Get a snapshot of your personal Take A Quilt To Work Day event, post it online, and put the URL in a comment so we can all enjoy you, your quilt, and the happy onlookers.

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March 3, 2010 at 2:35 am 29 comments

Ami Simms

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