I am the worst present-wrapper on the planet. Pathetically inept. I don't have to sign my name to a card; everybody can tell by the wrinkles, rips, pl


I am the worst present-wrapper on the planet. Pathetically inept. I don't have to sign my name to a card; everybody can tell by the wrinkles, rips, pleats, and gaps in the wrapping paper that it's my gift.

One would think my scissor skills with fabric would transfer over to cutting wrapping paper. Not so much. I use my cutting table, that's gotta help. I cheat with the paper that has lines and dots on the back. I gave up the paper scissors for my fabric shears and almost got the hang of sliding them without moving the blades together and apart---until the last 6 inches which just tears no matter what I do.

Then I switched to rotary cutting the wrapping paper, and when freehand slicing and dicing proved too difficult, I actually got out the 6" x 24" Omnigrip ruler. Takes me forever. By time I get to the actual wrapping part, I've totally lost my patience and the wheels come off my wagon.

But, there may be hope for me yet. Read on, friend.

12-second Wrapping Video

How to Wrap a Present in 12 Seconds

I can't wait to try this. I've already watched the video 12 times and I am totally mesmerized.

There is no mention in the video of how large the piece of paper has to be. My careful calculations reveal that the paper has to be as large as the thing you're wrapping plus 2 inches larger, multiplied by a factor of 7 and divided by pi. (Apple or cherry, your pick.)

So, while you're reading, watching, and calculating (and possibly baking) I will be practicing. By next December I should have it down.


A Gift You Can't Wrap

Give a friend (or yourself) security with Carbonite.com. This is the service I use (after multiple hard drive disasters) to keep the files on my computer safe, secure, and retrievable. Yup, all 62,000 of them. I can see every file living on my computer hard drive using the Carbonite website and my super-duper password, so if I have to back-up everything, it's a snap. I can even see them on my iPhone with the free Carbonite app.

If I burn up another hard drive, upgrade to a new computer, or just want to check a file on the fly, I'm all set.

Read more here.

mary lou weidman-tip

Fabric Eyeballs

Here's a great tip for making eyes. It comes from Mary Lou Weidman by way of mother and daughter quilters Terry and Kate Chilko. Use white-on-black polka dot fabric to put a gleam in your fox's eye, as Kate did! Or fussy cut any circle to make a funky eyeball just like Terry did. Anytime you need a tiny dot that wouldn't be fun to stitch down, think about using a dotted fabric.

Here's lookin' at you, kid!

AAQI Logo w TM

AAQI Update

Since most of you were supporters of the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative, I thought I'd share some wonderful news. Research at Temple University funded with your quilts has yielded significant results. Read about it here.

The AAQI still has six research projects going on right now. Although we have stopped all quilt sales and all donations, the $1.1 million you helped raise is still doing good work.


What To Do With Leftover Batting?

1. Make small (or really small) quilts.
2. Cut batting leftovers into dust "rags."
3. Cut the leftover leftovers into 2" squares and use them to remove fingernail polish.


Classes: In Person and Online

There are still a few spaces left for my Amazing Puzzle Ball class on Saturday, February 7th in Flint. If you can't make the drive, join my online class and make a String Star quilt (about 33" x 33" before borders) at home in your jammies. Starts January 5th. I'll be working with you as I put the borders on the one pictured below.

simms  Ami L SweatshirtMaterialAndQCottton

Click to watch video.

Scooter's Video Pick

Scooter here. I can relate to the dog in the video. It is practicing "recalls." Mom says it needs more practice. She says I do too on account of the possum.

I chased the possum the other night and then he stopped so I must have caught him. Hard to tell. Mostly I stood over him and barked while he stared at me. I was trying to get him to run some more because I like running. He wouldn't budge. Neither would I, no matter how many times Mom yelled COME! (Really loud.)

Barking short-circuits my brain. Can't help it. Mom should know that by now. She ran out the sliding door, arms going in all directions. (Snort, it was pretty funny.) But I had to, you know, keep on barking. And I did, until she got me by the collar and started yanking me towards the house. Luckily she brought my favorite squeaky toy, and that is almost as much fun as a possum.

Possums don't play dead, you know. They flatten right out like a big flat, gray triangle in the grass and they stare at you. At least this one did. Mom says she's just happy the possum didn't have a white stripe on it.


Thank you for reading all the way to the end! But don't go yet!

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Have a wonderful "quilty" day,

AmiSimms Sig