Archive for April, 2012

More Mourning Quilts

Two more quilts made from Mark’s shirts are finally finished, and only because I had help. My friend Beth Hartford quilted them on her brand new longarm. And then it took me 4 months to bind them! This makes five quilts all together in tribute do my friend. You can see the others here.

Mark’s Mom gets these two and I have just one more to complete, a quilt made from his T-shirts.

This quilt is called “Shirt Tails.” I’m pretty sure you can see the tails in between the Nine Patches.

I have really enjoyed making these quilts, touching the fabric, hoping that they are a comfort to his mother.

I photograph large quilts outside so I get more even light. I pin the quilt to 4′ x 8″ Celotex insulation boards covered in fabric. I have a rack outside that I can Velcro the boards to, but I still need help holding them against the wind. They take off pretty fast. That’s Debbie on the right, and Scooter is also helping on the left (not so much).

The second quilt is called “3D Dugout.” It has a folded “bow tie” centers which Beth tells me as a JOY to longarm. She has to baste each one down on all four sides so the foot wouldn’t get stuck on them. (Sorry.)

I like the old-fashioned look of this quilt, especially the lighter shirts which mess with the otherwise strong contract. They just fade into the background.

It’s been a long time since I used this much muslin in a quilt, and I enjoyed playing with shirting too. I have made several great XXXL discoveries in the shirt department of Goodwill and the Salvation Army. GREAT stripes!

Now on to something smaller.
Ami :)

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April 23, 2012 at 2:34 am 12 comments

Facebook Foto Friday

You’ll be seeing this photo on the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative Facebook page on Friday.

Why the preview? Because I’m hoping you’ll join me and other AAQI supporters by sharing a photo of one of YOUR Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts on the AAQI Facebook page.

It’s a great way to get people excited about buying quilts. And quilt sales mean research dollars to fight Alzheimer’s. Plus you get to brag what a good shopper you are.

This is one of the quilts I purchased. “What Is She Thinking?” is an incredible rendition of the Mona Lisa in cloth. It was  made by Bobbie McClure Long from East Stroudsburg, PA, and donated to the AAQI back almost 5,000 quilts ago. (If you haven’t heard, we just received our 10,000th donated quilt!)

You can see a much better picture here. Read Bobbie’s Artist Statement and you’ll know why we need to end this disease.

I hang quilt #6079, and several others, on the doors that hide the mess in the cabinets above my desk. I smile my own Mona Lisa smile, but you don’t have to wonder what I’m thinking:

I’m tickled pink to own this quilt and know that the money I paid for it helped support Alzheimer’s research.

If you don’t yet own a quilt of your own from the AAQI, we know how to fix that. You can buy one here:

All AAQI profits fund Alzheimer’s research.

Thanks for your support, and I hope to see one of the quilts YOU purchased on Facebook on Friday.
Ami :)

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April 19, 2012 at 2:10 am Leave a comment

String Star Online Class

Sign up now to take my String Star Online Class starting April 23.

This is a fun little stash-buster quilt. It’s about 33″ square without borders. You’ll learn how to pick fabric, construct and cut fabric tubes for “ready-made” blocks, and how to painlessly miter a border, plus lots more. I’ve included tips all along the way.

You will get my 6-hour “in person” workshop in 6 easy-to-follow lessons spread out over 6 days:

April 23: Getting Ready
April 24: Sewing Strips Into “String Sets”
April 25: Sewing Tubes
April 26: Cutting Tubes to Make Star Points
April 27: Cutting Set Blocks & Star Centers
April 28: Joining Blocks & Borders

Busy those days? No Problem.

While lessons are available at 1:00am you don’t have to DO them at that time or on that day. Lessons will be available for you to read/watch or print until May 12th. Work at your own pace; you can’t get behind. (Just remember, you can’t print videos!)

Lessons are presented in my online classroom (a WordPress blog, like the one you are reading now) with a combination of words, pictures, and videos. Plus you get ME! I’m there every step of the way, answering your questions and comments personally from April 23 until May 2 by which time you’ll probably be sick and tired of me. (That’s my little incentive to get you working!)

Interact with classmates and stay motivated by making comments and uploading pictures of your progress, or keep to yourself. It’s up to you.

Five reasons to sign up now:

  1. Sew at home.
  2. Work when it fits your schedule.
  3. Use fabric from your stash.
  4. Learn cool stuff.
  5. Where else are you going to be able to take a class from me for only $19.95?

Read what other students said about this class.

Sign up now and I’ll see you in class on the 23rd!

April 15, 2012 at 10:57 am 2 comments

Small World – Big World

When I was in college I had the opportunity to study Amish culture as a participant observer. I hung around a family in northern Indiana, tried to blend in, and did what they did. I learned a lot:  how to milk a cow, how to drive a buggy, and (best of all) how to quilt.

This morning (almost 40 years later) I find myself thinking about that experience again and how different our two cultures are.

Amish people may have relatives strewn over several states, they are great letter writers, some travel, but the their closest relationships are with family and extended family. For the most part, day-to-day interactions are within a closed community limited by shared faith and geography.

Our cultures were much closer before the industrial revolution. Every technological advancement the Amish chose not to embrace since then has made us more different now. Our world has expanded, their world….not so much.

I think of the wide circle of friends who enrich my life. Very few are within a buggy ride’s distance from my home.  My job has me crisscrossing the country and sometimes takes me even farther afield. Cars, cell phones, email, FaceBook, and FaceTime allow us to connect with each other in so many ways.  What a tremendous opportunity!

Cathy Miller (The Singing Quilter) and her husband John Bunge, on their way from Maine to Indiana, stayed the night with us last night. We keep up  “electronically” and when we see each other it’s as if time has stood still. As awesome as it is to connect this newfangled way, it is so much more satisfying face to face.

What a blessing that we can have it both ways.

Cathy and John slept in our “guest room” and we use the term loosely. The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative quilts are in there, so while they may not have slept under 1,000 quilts, they did sleep in close proximity.

Cathy is a huge supporter of the AAQI. When she attends International Quilt Festival in Houston, she always volunteers her time in the AAQI booth where we sell Priority: Alzheimer’s Quilts and invents songs on the spot for anyone buying a quilt on her shift.

It was only fitting that Cathy helped pull quilts for an order that came in yesterday afternoon.  Now that I think of it, I should have asked her to sing! Maybe not. She worked pretty hard for most of the evening playing fetch with Scooter who was unrelenting. (You can read more on Cathy’s blog.)

Safe travels, my friends! I know they’re going to love you to pieces in Indianapolis tonight!

April 12, 2012 at 11:55 am 10 comments

Pretty In Pink

When my nephew Jack and his wife Amy had their baby, I started in on the second generation of Simms quilts. Keira received hers in the middle of last summer and here it is almost a year later and I’m finally finding time to share these pictures.

I used the same technique I teach in my String Quilting workshop except that I used a striped fabric instead of piecing all the “strings.”  The stripes in the fabric ran perpendicular to the selvage edge, not parallel to it as most do. That is part of what makes the quilt look a little different.

I used flannel for the batting/backing and machine quilted the wonky feathers in turquoise thread. Totally free-form. All I marked were the feather veins and I went off on a tangent from there.

I hope it gets as beat up as Noah’s quilt.

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And, don’t forget to read about the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative here.

April 6, 2012 at 2:01 am 20 comments

There’s Nothing Better Than A Loved Quilt

When I give a kid a quilt, I want the quilt to be used. I’m fine if it hangs on the wall, but I hope it never winds up in the closet. I hope it gets dragged around the house.

My nephew Noah gave me the best compliment I could ever receive. He sent me pictures of the quilt I gave him when he was an infant, almost 20 years ago.

I have no doubt that he enjoyed that quilt!

If you can’t see how delightfully beat up the quilt is, check out the images below.  Makes me smile from ear to ear.

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Thanks, Noah!

Get my blog delivered to you via email every time I write one, or read them online.
If you like me here, please “like me” on Facebook. I Tweet too.
And, don’t forget to read my blogs about the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative here.

April 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm 32 comments

Ami Simms

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