Posts filed under ‘Quilting News’

On Hands and Knees

photo(1)I love this picture of Debra Voight with her granddaughter Lucy Ann.  They’re playing on a quilt called “Funny Bunny, Bears and Honey” (great name)! And it’s one of the patterns in my Picture Play Quilts book.

Is that not the coolest thing? Just look at the two of them!

I included 24 games to play with the quilts in the book. A quilt stitched with novelty fabric can be a great learning tool.

OK, now check out the quilting! Meander quilting is perfect for the busy conversational prints. I love the loop-di-loop in the birdie border. Now look at the quilting in the pink borders. It’s planned, but serendipitous, all at the same time. And catch the cool asterisk “star” in the yellow boxes. It not only provides a highway to travel from one pink border to the next, but the straight spokes are a nice contrast to the twists and turns of the quilting throughout the quilt.

DSC_0020(Hey, did you notice the sliver of pink before the striped binding? Love it!) Debra quilted this quilt with Superior’s NiteLite glow-in-the-dark thread! Awesome idea!

Debra is a big  fan of Picture Play Quilts.  She said, “Hands down it is THE MOST USED book in my quilt library!”

Here’s an overall photo of “Funny Bunny, Bears and Honey”.”

 "Funny Bunny, Bears and Honey"

Picture Play Quilts by Ami SimmsPicture Play Quilts by Ami SimmsTo start 2013,  get TWO copies of Picture Play Quilts at the Happy New Year price of  $20.13.  (Get is? 2-0-1-3?) Not only will you get a book for you and a book for your quilting buddy, but you’ll  both save more than 50% off the regular price. Get 15 great patterns and 24 games to play with the little ones in your life.  The book comes with plastic auditioning templates so you can easily harvest appropriately sized pictures for each patch, and cutting templates too. (Tape them to the bottom of your rotary ruler.) Order Picture Play Quilts before January 5th to get this great deal.

January 1, 2013 at 1:11 am 4 comments

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

What a wonderful week it has been!

I came a day early to hang the Alzheimer’s exhibit, “Alzheimer’s Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope” with Sherry Whitford. We were assisted by Judy Simmons who also taught at the show.

Their arms got longer handing each of the 236 quilts to me one at a time. My legs got a workout going up and down the ladder.

On Thursday I taught Dancing Spools, and I hope one of my students would be kind enough to send a photo of their quilt as I seemed to have forgotten that I had a camera with me that day!

Friday was Twisted Sisters and lots of blocks were stitched. I always marvel at the fabric combinations students come up with. They are truly inspired.

Below is a slide show of some of the blocks, along with the other images on this post.


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Saturday I got my upper body workout ironing strips for students during my String Quilting workshop.

Each of the 24 students sewed at least three string sets. With five seams in each to iron, I swiped that iron more than 350 times in about two and a half hours!

Somewhere in there was a lecture called “Living With Quilts: A Survival Guide.” (I think that was Friday night. And Show & Tell on Saturday night.) It was a full week.

Sunday the exhibit quilts came down with Sherry, Denise, and Paula getting most of the exercise. (Huge thanks, ladies!)

Thanks to everyone who signed up for my workshops and lecture. I know you have choices when you attend a quilting conference and I am grateful that you picked me!

Ami Simms

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February 27, 2012 at 9:00 am 7 comments

The “Rose of Sharon” Project

Hats off to Sharon Pederson, and her Nine Patch Media business partner Elizabeth Phillips, for putting together the Rose of Sharon project. It was premiered at the International Quilt Market in Minneapolis last weekend where quilt shop owners go for the newest fabrics, thread, books, and gadgets.

The Electric Quilt Company hosted the Rose of Sharon block contest at the end of last year which netted 850 different blocks made by designers in 11 countries. Sharon and Elizabeth whittled the entries down to 50, and Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims  selected the top 12 designs for Sharon’s quilt shown here.

It’s called “Roses of Remembrance” because Sharon and Elizabeth made the project into an opportunity for the designers to share their connection with Alzheimer’s (if any) and for the partner companies to support the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Sharon made the quilt reversible. On the back of the quilt you can really see Barbara Shapel’s quilting!

Sharon’s new “Rose of Sharon” book, due out this fall (Martingale & Company), includes an introduction I wrote about my mother and the beginnings of the AAQI.  Sharon’s “Rose of Sharon”  instructional DVD from Nine Patch Media will also be available soon.

Shops throughout the country will be able to offer quilters a “Roses of Remembrance” BOM (block-of-the-month) with fabrics from Island Batiks.

AccuQuilt has Go! Dies for all the Rose of Sharon appliques, and Oklahoma Embroidery Supply & Design (OESD) has each block design digitized for machine embroidery and/or applique.  Aurifil has put together two Rose of Sharon thread collections to stitch and quilt everything together.

Quilt Market is always exciting, but this year it was especially so.

May 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm 13 comments

More Bowling

I’ve been working on more techniques and samples for my Fabric Bowling workshop. I’ll be teaching it at the Valdez Quilt Festival in Alaska in September. I’ve been having way too much fun!

The first experiment was forgetting the fabric wrapping all together. I just took the ecru-colored cotton clothesline, some bright variegated thread and had at it. At this angle you can see that the tail of the clothesline was inserted into the bowl, comes out over the top and moves around the outside of the bowl, ending in a curly thing. Pretty handy that I goofed and missed stitching one of the coils down as I made the wall of the bowl. That gave me my “opening!”

The thread really changes the character of the bowl. Now I’d like to try thread in different colors AND just plain old ecru. Sort of a “white on white” bowl.

I was on a no-wrap kick, so the next thing I did was throw some clothesline in with the hand-dyed underpants. Oh, THAT was fun!

I had a pot going with a series of reds with some yellow mixed in. (Somebody is running around with matching panties!) I was trying to come up with alternative “rims” that added more stability. I really like the statement that this rim gives the bowl. Plus it gives you something to hang onto.

I suppose I could have just stopped there, but added some swirly things on the outside walls. I need to try another one with plain walls to see if I like that better.

And no, I couldn’t stop. Here’s another bowl with hand-dyed clothesline in BLUE.  I really liked the way this rim turned out. Interestingly, both rims start out the same way.

I’m not sure I like the dimples in the swirl. That’s my hand stitching to hold them down. I now have a better way to stitch them down that doesn’t show as much and is twice as fast.

While I like the fabric wrapping a lot (and just invented a new Power Wrapper) I do like the clean look of the dyed bowls. I’m starting to dream about bowls.

Here’s the last bowl I made. This was also made with hand-dyed clothesline, but instead of the “dunk and twist” method, this was dribbled.

I wrapped the clothesline about corrugated plastic and dribbled dye of various colors to make the variegated pattern. The rim was made by finger crocheting through loops I made on the last “go-round” on the machine. It’s a very wide rim compared to the others. I’m pretty happy with the colors and the rim.

Don’t ask me how I ended the clothesline on the side. I couldn’t do it again if my life depended on it!

All I can say is I’m having a ton of fun with this. They hand-dyed clothesline gives the bowl an entirely different look. If that’s a look that you’re interested in, I have small amounts of hand-dyed clothesline available here.

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May 19, 2010 at 11:23 am 49 comments

Mom’s Leaving Me Again

Madison T. Dog

Mom does this from time to time, and I don’t like it at all. The worst part is that she looks so happy about it.

Mom says she’s going on a teaching trip. She says it will be fun. Not for me.

She says she’s going to be teaching for the Crossroads Quilters Guild in Effingham, Illinois on April 13 and 14.  People who want to come to her lecture should email Sharon Davis right away so they can all fit in. I wish I could fit in. Dogs like quilting lectures too.

Mom says she’ll be home soon and that she’ll miss me every minute. I bet she will be having such a good time with all the quilters she won’t even think of me at all. I have been to her presentations before, not just the ones she teaches upstairs, and I know what goes on. All the laughing and sewing. I could carry fabric for her, and pre-moisten it in preparation for ironing. I can be a helpful dog.

I hate the suitcases. I try to take things out of them and hand them to Mommy. She just laughs and puts them back.

Perhaps if I put things INTO the suitcase….

Mommy will be sharing her lecture “Living With Quilts: A Survival Guide” at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 1501 W. Fayette, Effingham, IL. The meeting starts at 6p.m. I think you should all go and ask questions about me. I am so more important than quilting stuff.

April 5, 2010 at 1:29 am 36 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

Thank you, Tiffany!

You have proven...The words embroidered on the top and bottom inner borders of the quilt I just finished say:

“You have proven that the actions of a single person can make a profound difference in the lives of others. Thank you!”

I pieced the quilt and embroidered those words during the 27 days that my mother was in hospice last year.

This quilt is a gift for the young woman who took such very good care of my mother at the Alzheimer’s facility where she lived for the last three years of her life.

Tiffany cared for my mother amidst very trying circumstances, with kindness, compassion and devotion. It was Tiffany who “brought her back to life” on more than one occasion, getting Mom to eat, and to move again after falls that would have surely ended her life hed Tiffany not have been there.

Tiffany stayed at Mom’s bedside after Jennie and I were summoned from Houston, so she wouldn’t be alone until we got there. She did this on her own time after her shift had ended, off the clock, as a friend.

Tiffany's QuiltThe names of  18 of the residents who lived with Mom are inked on the wrong side of 2″ x 6″ purple fabric in the middle of Tiffany’s Quilt. They are sashed and bordered with fabric that my mother hand dyed. I used the pillowcase from her bed as the backing. The embroidery floss was my grandmother’s and great grandmother’s.

I quilted funky feathers in the outside border, hanging hearts in the sashing, and various meandering stitches among the names.

Thank you!I gave Tiffany the quilt top after Mom died and, in typical quilter fashion, told her I had to have it back to finish it. Embarrassingly, that was more than a year ago!

It is finally finished and I get to give Tiffany her quilt today!

Between the piecing and the quilting, Tiffany now works  part-time for me at Mallery Press, is a volunteer for the AAQI, and a caregiver for a gentleman with Alzheimer’s. In her spare time she goes to college, races cars , and works at Ba Doy Ow! I am honored to have her as a friend.

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February 8, 2010 at 2:09 am 39 comments

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Ami Simms

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