Sunday, February 17, 2013

Ami Simms Rocks

Here is a press release from Ami Simms, founder the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.  She has put an amazing amount of time and talent in to raising funds for Alzheimer's research.  John feels honored to have been included in a small way in her efforts.  Just take a look at the grants below to see how successful Ami and her team of volunteers and donors have been.  Thank you, Ami!


BurtonMichigan) -- February 12, 2013: Last month the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) awarded three research grants, the most awarded in a single month since the AAQI became a nonprofit in 2008.

  • $40,894 was awarded to Texas A & M Health Science Center to explore the connection between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. The research will be conducted by Ian V.J. Murray, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics; and Carmen Ramirez, M.D., M.Sc., Assistant Professor, Texas A & M Health Science Center.
  • $35,000 was awarded to The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston to understand why some individuals remain cognitively intact despite the presence of abundant plaques and tangles (the hallmark signs of Alzheimer's) in their brains. The research will be conducted by Nicole L. Bjorklund, Ph.D., National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Postdoctoral Trainee.
  • $38,354 was awarded to Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health, to identify and target molecular mechanisms of cell death in the Alzheimer’s brain. The research will be conducted by Lucian Soane, M.D., Research Associate.

The AAQI has funded 14 research studies to date. These grants are made possible, in large part, by the money raised from the sale of donated quilts.

For more in depth explanation of the funded research see
Purchase quilts online at

The Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative is a national charity whose mission is to raise awareness and fund research. The AAQI has raised more than $894,000 for Alzheimer’s research since January 2006. Ami Simms of 
FlintMichigan is the founder and executive director of the AAQI, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Her mother had Alzheimer’s. This is the last year the AAQI will be fundraising.

For more information about the AAQI or to make a donation, contact Ami Simms at 810-637-5586 (
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Eastern), or
And here are  pictures of some of the little quilts John has done for AAQI's Celebrity Auction over the years. These quilts are always 15" square (well, in diameter for the round one)

And this little blue and red one I own; John did the quilting, donated it and then I bought it back on the AAQI website.  It is 9" x 11" and there are still some for sale at AAQI if you want one. 

Be sure to visit the AAQI website to see the little quilts on sale now, and watch for news about the 2013 Celebrity Auction, which will be the last.  AAQI

It is still winter in Montana, yeay!  Oh, are you our friend on Facebook?


Monday, February 11, 2013

A Lesson from John

We had a snowy weekend (I know, nothing like you folks on the East Coast) but it was nice to stay inside and do fiber projects.  John made up our newest colorway of the 9" Storm at Sea.  When he teaches the Storm at Sea class, students want to know about "placement".  It is so much fun to have a star to draw the eye and the wavy strips of color that make things look round.  We put together this little slide show so you can see how John plans for the star.

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These little laser pre-cut kits are only $25 on our website, all cut out and ready to sew! Website  Look for the 9" Storm at Sea Pre-cut Kit and type in "Blue Colorway" in the message section of your order blank. 

Take care, stay warm and dry!  Brooke

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Most Popular...

Hello again from Montana, I am taking a pre-game moment to write a little something about the pre-cut quilt kit that was the most popular at the Road to California Show last week.  Arrowhead Pre-cut Kit  It goes together fast, with engineered corners which are especially nice with all those diamonds and triangles.  There are good pressing instructions too.  Kate designed it and John pieced and hand quilted it, it is 48" square and very pretty!

Enjoy the game, if you are so inclined. I may look in from time to time, but Downton Abbey is on tonight and I am one of the Downton Abbey fans!  Cheerio!  Brooke

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Winter News

It is hard to settle down to office work when it is so beautiful outside!  We finally had some serious snow, it has cooled down enough so the snow may be here for a while and the world is crisp and bright and sparkly out there.  John is drafting on the table next to the big windows and I am making myself do tax stuff in the little office which is not next to the big windows.  But I did go out for a while this morning to snowshoe; it leaves very funny tracks in the snow.

So John and Kate are back from the Road to California Quilt Show; one of our favorite shows!  And the southern California location is a big plus.  Pre-cut kits were very popular; once folks buy one (oh, and sew it up, not just stash it), they are back for another.  The most popular kit at Road was the 1860s Arrowhead.  Check the kits out here.  Pre Cut Kits

John taught a hand quilting class at Road to California; he is always happy to see that interest in hand quilting has not died out.  We both like to quilt "both ways" and each has its place, for sure.  I have probably mentioned John's sewing machine collection.  He has over 40, maybe more, I don't want to know.  But a deal came up at the quilt show in Houston for a Singer 301, such a cute little machine and in great, great shape with all it's accessories, well, you get the idea.  Kate and John didn't tell me about it until they were on their way to Road to pick it up.  

We still have a few openings in next summer's Quilt Retreat here in Montana.  Two classes over 3 days, so you will get a lot done.  The classes will be variations of the 8 pointed or Indian Star design and on John's original Feathered Sun which features rings of triangles, no, not paper pieced!  You will be able to design a variety of curved triangle units (such at New York Beauty and Pickle Dish) after this class.  That is, if you pay attention and don't gaze out at the creek too much!  Call, email or sign up on the website to save your place in class.  We have fun and you and your family will like Red Lodge.  Sign up on the Website or call 800 745 3596.

Take care, stay warm and dry.  Brooke