Archive for May, 2011

Mason’s Quilt

All my nieces and nephews get quilts. Eventually. Sometimes their mothers need to help by learning to piece the tops, but they all get quilts.

Mason has been very patient.

His quilt is a take-off on the quilt we do in my String Quilting workshop. Just snowball the set fabric. (Don’t worry, I’ll show you!)

As with some of the other quilts I’ve made recently for children, I’ve substituted fleece for the batting and lining. It makes the quilt super soft and the quilting shows up surprisingly well. I bind it just as if it were three layers.  (Click the image to make it larger.)

All the feathers were machine free-motion quilted. I attempted to add to my feather repertoire . It was a great project for experimentation. Mason’s name is quilted in one of the patches. He’s pointing to it below.

As I said, Mason has been very patient. He gave me a big hug and a heartfelt “thank-you” which is what every quilter wants to receive when gifting a quilt.

I’m just glad I got it finished before he graduated from high school.

Aunt Ami

Get my blog delivered to you via email every time I write one, or read them online.  Join my community of quilters on Facebook

May 23, 2011 at 3:01 am 15 comments

Airplane Yo-Yos

I can’t leave the house on a teaching trip unless I have something to sew. It just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t matter if I ever pull it out of my carry-on, just knowing I could amuse myself at any moment with needle and thread is comforting.

It takes my mind off the age of the plane and the youth of the pilot.

This past week I packed yo-yos to sew. Itty-bitty ones. Before I took off on the first leg of my journey to Salt Lake City and the Home Machine Quilting Show I FaceBooked and asked how many yo-yos my friends thought I could sew from Flint, Michigan to Minneapolis.

Even with a maintenance delay I wasn’t as fast as they thought I was. I got 12 done.

I stitched on all three flights on the way home for a grand total of 48 yo-yos on the 13-hour trip home.

I do have a use for them. I’m just not ready to reveal exactly what that is yet. ;)

As for sewing on airplanes, needles, pins, and SHORT pointy scissors are “TSA OK.” Read what’s allowed at

Travel Tip: if you want the armrest, use long thread. Your seat mate backs off pretty quick if they think your #10 between might connect with a body part oozing into your personal air space.

If you’d like to try making a mini yo-yo, the fold line is a 1-3/16″ cirle.

Get my blog delivered to you via email every time I write one, or read them online.
Join me and my friends on Facebook

May 16, 2011 at 1:59 am 16 comments

Funky Fabric

There’s nothing wrong with a wild border. I love ’em.

This junk food fabric was the perfect ending to Buttons and Bows, a quilt featured in, “Picture Play Quilts.”  I just wish I still had more fabric.

Apparently adults like funky fabric too. Several years ago, this quilt was selected by the US Ambassador to Dakar, Senegal and his wife to hang in their home. The Art in Embassies program facilitated the loan.

Buttons and Bows is one of 15 patterns in Picture Play Quilts. They’re all based on squares and rectangles and come with step-by-step instructions.

Best of all, there are a dozen games to play with the quilts you make that teach language skills, encourage creativity, and build self-esteem.

Since half the fun of making quilts with conversational fabric is the collecting, and collecting with a buddy is a blast, take advantage of my momentary insanity. I’m offering a “two-fer.”

Picture Play Quilts normally sells for $22.95. Now you can get TWO copies for $20. Go! Quickly! This offer ends May 14th.

Here’s that link again:

Picture Play Quilts makes a wonderful gift. (Hint, hint.)

May 12, 2011 at 11:57 am 4 comments

Russian Cream

I don’t cook, but I look at this recipe for Russian Cream nearly every day.

My mother framed it and gave it to me.  It was written by her mother, my Gramma Jennie.  Some day it will belong to my daughter, her namesake.

On the back of the frame it says “circa 1945 shower gift card”  in my mom’s handwriting.

Along the left hand side is the recipe. It was written in pencil. The paper has darkened with age and the pencil lines have faded, making it very hard to read. I can’t quite make out the very last part.

On the right side, opposite the ingredients and instructions my grandmother wrote “annotations” in ink. Rather than transcribe them, I’ll let you read them as she wrote them. (Click on the pictures to make them larger.)

Heat in double boiler
1 pt sweet cream
3/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp gelatine (Knox flavorless) dissolved in 1 cup cold water

Cook in double boiler 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Fold in 1 pt sour cream. Add 1 tsp vanilla, serve with preserved fruit.

My grandmother signed the recipe card this way: “Live life fully and enjoy your many blessings.”

I totally agree!

Happy Mother’s Day!
Ami Simms

Get my blog delivered to you via email every time I write one, or read them online.
Visit me on Facebook too!

May 8, 2011 at 1:16 am 34 comments

Ami Simms

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7,999 other followers


I’m a TWIT on Twitter

Look Who Stopped By

free counters