The Singing Quilter Newsletter

July 2013


In this issue:

.
    Block of the Month update
.    Quilts for Alberta Flood victims
.    Northern travels
.    Further travels
.    Gallery Announcement
.    Upcoming gigs
. What I'm working on
 


Me and my brothers at the family reunion in July.

     Cathy Miller and her husband John Bunge, of Victoria BC Canada travel the world singing songs about quilts, quilters and quilting.  For further information, explore the website at www.singingquilter.com. Or email them at cmiller@nucleus.com.

Follow Cathy's blog at www.singingquilter.wordpress.com

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Greetings!

Greetings!

Did you think I've dropped off the face of the planet?  My last "regular" newsletter was back in APRIL!!! I'm baaaack, with a very long newsletter.

It's a lovely summer, here in Victoria, and I think I must be in vacation mode.  Despite the great weather, it's time to get back to work....

John and I have had an amazing driving trip to northern Canada: first time in the Yukon, for me, and a return to Yellowknife. I then flew down to Flagstaff Arizona and over the West Virginia for quilt shows there. It's been a busy time! We followed that trip with a visit back to Ontario and a Miller family reunion.

I'm now getting ready for the Fall Colours Quilt Cruise at the end of September, and working on the last 4 quilts for my Refractions challenge.

 Happy quilting,

Cathy
 

If this is the first newsletter from me you've seen, welcome!  I post them here on the website once a month or so, when there's something I think you'll be interested in. You can sign up for email notifications of newsletters by sending me an email with "Subscribe" in the header.  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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Anne Current made this quilt using my pattern "Australian Shadows". I love how it turned out!

 

Block of the Month

I have quite a few people making the Star and Plume quilt now, at 2 blocks per month.
We're approaching the 4th month's patterns, which I'll be sending to them on August 1st.

You can follow along and see what the others are making by visiting the blog at www.starandplume.wordpress.com
People are posting their blocks as they make them, and I'm finding it really interesting to see each block done in different colours and shades.

Heather is making two quilts at once, in different colourways. Here are a couple of pictures from her work.

 

 

Quilts for Alberta Flood Victims

In June, Alberta suffered the worst flooding in its recorded history, as a result of excessive rain.
In Calgary, large parts of downtown were under water, and the pictures were riveting and horrible for me.
I lived in Calgary from 1990 to 2000 and still hold a piece of it in my heart.

Immediately, people from unaffected parts of the city leapt into action, helping total strangers start to put their lives and homes back together.
This is the spirit of the city I know and love. Calgarians pitch in and help.

Quilters are pitching in, too.  A huge number of longarmers have volunteered their services to quilt tops for the victims
and several shops: notably, My Sewing Room and Traditional Pastimes are action central for collection and distribution
(not to mention providing space to make tops).

My group, Spoolboard Quilters, has been very active making tops to send to Alberta. I've made two already and have two more on the go.
Here we are in "sweatshop" mode a few weeks ago:

And here's the first quilt top I put together for the cause.  I'm using this as a chance to try some Modern Quilting techniques!

You can contribute too, if you like.  They have a Facebook page with details.
Learn more about the flood at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_Alberta_floods

 

Northern Travels

Up until May, I had never been in the Yukon Territory of Canada.  It was the last place in the country where I hadn't visited or sung.  John's wish to return to his home in Yellowknife for a visit prompted a month long driving tour/vacation to include the Yukon.  It was amazing!

When we're travelling new roads like this, the last thing I'm going to do is have my head down, sewing hexagons! We kept our eyes peeled for animals and beautiful views, and we were NOT disappointed!   The final fauna count?

Coyote: 4
Moose: 3
Deer: 2
Bear: 14 (one possible grizzly, but the rest were black bears)
Woodland Caribou: 20
Bison (Buffalo): 227!!!
Rabbits: 10
Porcupine: 1 (I had never seen one alive near the road....)
Fox: 1
Owl: 1 (no idea what kind)
Sandhill cranes: 3

 

The Alaska Highway was gorgeous. We drove our new car on some pretty rough roads, too, especially the one up to Fort Simpson. We met lots of quilters in Dawson City (where we did a concert and I taught a Mock Mola class), and at the shops in Whitehorse and Yellowknife. If you ever go to the Yukon, DO NOT MISS Dawson City! It is full of Gold Rush history, and a spirit of fun and community. Lots of artists live there: filmmakers, writers, singers, dancers, all trying to experience the essence of the place. We were totally captured by the energy of this very small town with a big history. It never got dark, since we were there 3 weeks before the Summer Solstice and our days of sightseeing were very long.  John got into the spirit, too, and learned some new steps on stage at Diamond Tooth Gertie's Saloon! I've never seen him in a skirt before.....

I taught classes in Dawson City and Whitecourt Alberta.  So good to see what these gals created!

It was a terrific trip.  Yes, it was a long drive, but oh so worth it!  And you know how much we like driving!  I have blogged about the Yukon part of the trip already.

 

Further Travels

When we got back to Calgary after our trip north, I hopped on a plane to Flagstaff by myself while John drove home. 
I was there to teach and sing for Quilt Camp, and to see some old friends at the same time.

One of my classes was Mock Mola. It was a small class, which meant I had a lot more time to enjoy what they were making.

The second one was a 3-hour version of my Notan Class.  Three students and I spent the morning playing with paper, having a great time thoroughly exploring Notans. Here are four of the many Notans they created.

Because John wasn't there, I asked the audience to say hello to him.  They were very happy to do so!

From there, I flew home, unpacked, and almost immediately got on another plane for West Virginia. This was my first time in WV - I loved it! Very interesting terrain.  It seems almost the whole state is smooth low hills covered in deciduous forest. It must be gorgeous in the fall.

West Virginia also seems to be one of the last pockets of truly excellent hand quilters.  The show was full of amazing work - I've never seen such even, small stitches! They treated me very well, too, and have already booked us to return next year.

Another Notan class, this time, a full day, which meant they could actually pick one of their designs to make a quilt (using Mock Mola technique)

But they made a LOT more designs than these!


Refractions: Mud, Brush and Needle:

As you know, I've been working for the last year on a series of 10 quilts as a challenge with two friends: Eileen McGann (painter) and Louise Parsons (potter).
We have each agreed to create pieces with the Refractions theme to be presented in a gallery show. This will be my first gallery show ever.

I'm happy to announce we have secured a gallery for this show. Here are the details:

Cedar Hill Arts Centre
3220 Cedar Hill Road
Victoria BC V8P 3Y3
250-475-7121

Thursday, February 20, 2014
to
Wednesday March 5, 2014

 

What I'm Working On

  I'm still working on the Refractions challenge. There are FOUR more to go! The latest one which I have almost finished is based on one of Eileen's paintings. Louise and I will be creating pieces which we have "refracted" from Eileen's original. Thanks to Katie Pasquini Masopust's technique of subdividing areas to abstract them, I created this from Eileen's mountain landscape.

 I'm in the middle of making two more quilts for Alberta flood victims.  They are both from my blue jeans collection (appropriate, for Calgary, I think!). I have pieced together 13 inch squares of various jeans, including as many back pockets as I can.  With the addition of some cuddly fleece on the back, they'll make two lovely (and somewhat heavy) raggy quilts.

Upcoming Tours:

My next adventure will be the Fall Colours Quilting Cruise, departing from Quebec City, QC on the 22nd of September.  We'll arrive in New York City on October 2nd.

October 14 Abilene TX concert
October 15 Keller TX concert
October 16 Keller TX Mock Mola class
October 17 Texas City, TX concert
October 24 Victoria TX concert and 1/2 day Notan class
October 25 Victoria TX Mock Mola class

October 30 to November 3 We'll have a booth at the International Quilt Festival in Houston!

November 4  Baytown TX concert
November 6  Missouri TX concert
November 13 Grand Junction CO concert
November 14 Grand Junction CO Mock Mola class

John continues to organize our huge tour in 2014, again around the perimeter of the US and Canada. The confirmed gigs are up on the website already.  We STILL haven't sung in Mississippi or Arkansas.  Help!

For details on any of these performances, please get in touch, or visit the Tour Itinerary page of 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 cmiller@nucleus.com .
Cathy Miller, July 2013

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