The Singing Quilter Newsletter

November 2011

In this issue:

.    Report on My Aunt's 100th birthday

.    Houston Quilt Festival

.    My Brother's Quilt - Heroncroft

. Upcoming tours

. Notan Designs - Positive/Negative

     Cathy Miller and her husband John Bunge, of Victoria BC Canada travel the world singing songs about quilts, quilters and quilting.  For further information, visit the website at Or email them at

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Welcome everyone, especially new subscribers who signed up during this tour!  We haven't returned home yet, but I've found a few minutes to report on our travels. There's lots to tell you about!

We have just finished a very intense week in Houston at the International Quilt Festival.  We had a booth with CDs, books and patterns; a concert that was very well attended as well as two mini-concerts in the Meet the Teachers area; I had a quilt in the show; and, I taught a Mock Mola Appliqué class (my first teaching at Houston!).  Everything went very well.

Also at the Festival were the producers of the documentary "Stitched", which featured Caryl Bryer Fallert, Hollis Chatelain and Randall Cook as they prepared quilts for Houston.  We all attended a screening and got pictures to prove it.  It was very exciting to be a part of this project.

Earlier in the tour, I successfully presented my brother, Doug, with his quilt called "Heroncroft". He loved it. Picture below.

And I did finish the song to celebrate my Aunt Jean's 100th birthday - before the celebration!  It was very well received.  I only wish that everyone could be in as good a shape as she is at that age.  Amazing.




If this is the first newsletter from me you've received, Welcome!  I send them out periodically, when there's something I think you'll be interested in.  If you'd like to follow our doings more often, join my Facebook "fan" page (link at the left) or the blog (where I often write about our travels).

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Left to Right: Jena Moreno (director), Tom Gandy (Director of Photography), Caryl Bryer Fallert, me, Hollis Chatelain, Randall Cook at the screening of "Stitched".

My Aunt Jean's 100th Birthday party was an amazing family event.
I wrote a song for her called "What's Your Secret?"
and everyone was singing along by the end.

Here's a picture of the birthday girl.


Houston Quilt Festival

Here's a picture of my students with their pieces
at the end of the Mock Mola Appliqué class.
They said it was a great way to end Festival!

We were very spoiled with
25 Janome Horizon sewing machines
at our disposal in class.

Presentation of a Quilt

It has been a very busy tour, what with everything going on - including the presentation of a quilt to my brother Doug.
It was Doug's turn for a quilt, and I offered to make him one for the bed.
Instead, he asked me to make one for the wall of his new office that was built
using the most advanced green technology he could find.
There is an article about the building in the fall "On the Bay" magazine from Southern Georgian Bay, Ontario. (Page 38 of the current issue)
The walls are a mid-sage green, and he asked for something that would be lighter than the wall.
My operative adjective was "Zen".
I finished this quilt last March, and decided to wait to give it to him in person when we visited him in October.


Heroncroft, Doug's new quilt.
It features the view from his property, overlooking Georgian Bay in Ontario.


Notan Designs

Through my work with my Mock Mola Appliqué classes, I've become fascinated with Positive/Negative designs.  Not only are they addictive, but, in making them, I have learned so much about space, shape, balance, and focus in quilts.

I found Notan while Googling for design ideas.  It is a Japanese term which means "light/dark", and has come to mean a specific way of making positive/negative designs.  Here's how to do it:

Take a square piece of paper.  Draw shapes with lines that start and end on the same side of the paper.  Cut them out.  Reverse the shapes you have cut out and move them to the outside edge of the paper. 

Here's one to show you what I mean:

In July I ran a Notan Challenge on my Facebook  page, and we had a lot of fun.  My friend Wendy, who participated in the challenge, has recently challenged her on-line art quilt group to do the same, and they are creating some wonderful pieces.

Wendy has also found a great instructional video on YouTube, in case you'd like to try it yourself.

Upcoming Tours:

November 12 Pleasanton CA
November 13 Pleasanton CA (Mock Mola class)
November 16 San Mateo CA
November 21 Grants Pass OR (Concert and Mock Mola class)

November 25  Victoria Tillicum Elementary School

Then from January 13-23 2012, come cruise with us to the Caribbean!
Details at
We still have spaces available, and are currently looking for a single to share with another woman (very nice) from Victoria.

John is still booking our return from Florida via SC, Ontario, MA, NH, ME, IN, WI and Manitoba.  We're also planning to return to Australia in June and July next year. If you would like us to perform at your guild during any of these times, let us know.

For details on any of these performances, please get in touch, or visit the website where there are contact addresses for each performance.

Thank you for reading this newsletter.  Feel free to share it in its entirety.  If you have any suggestions of things you would like to hear about, please get in touch at .
© Cathy Miller, November 2011