The Singing Quilter Newsletter

March 2013

In this issue:

    Block of the Month announcement
.    Katie Pasquini Masopust workshop report
.    (Inter)National Quilting Day The Quilt Show
.    Fall Colours Quilting Cruise blog
.    Upcoming gigs
. What I'm working on

The daffodils are out in my garden!

     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 Or email them at

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Sometimes I think that quilting makes me stupid.

When you spend a lot of the time in your Right Brain creating things, sometimes it's difficult to live in the "real world" again.  I've been spending a lot of time creating this month. It makes it difficult for me to get back into Left Brain activities. Like multi-tasking, making dinner, driving....

I had a wonderful retreat with the Spoolboard Quilters - my local quilt group two weeks ago.  I was able to finish up two of my Refractions quilts.  I came home and had nothing to do! I'm currently trying to decide what the next one will be. Oh, I'm producing a lot of work these days! (But, somehow, each quilt gets more involved and takes more time than the last......) I have to keep reminding myself that it's worth it!

The Katie Pasquini Masopust workshop was amazing.  Report below.

 Happy quilting,


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).

If you would like to be removed from the email list, send an email to with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.

I finished this quilt at the retreat last week - just needed to add a grey binding.
I'm thrilled with how it's turned out!


Block of the Month

A number of you signed up for my newsletter because I promised you a pattern for one of my quilts: the Star and Plume.
It is the quilt I made after I wrote the song of the same name.

Over the years I've had many people approach me to get the pattern for this scrappy sampler quilt.  It is 48 blocks that tell the story (through the block names) of a happy-ending encounter between our favourite quilty gal Sunbonnet Sue and an evil, thieving, "slasher" guy.  Sue "outguns" him (thanks to blocks like Bear's Paw, Indian Hatchet and Anvil), and they live happily ever after - together. The blocks mostly came from Barbara Brackman's wonderful book "Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns".

I have decided to offer this as a Block of the Month. It will last for 24 months, with the patterns for two blocks sent each month. I will send the patterns and instructions out via email in PDF form, so there won't be any shipping costs involved.  I won't be including fabric, so that each quilt will reflect the stash, scrap bag and taste of its maker, but there will be lots and lots of valuable technique information and advice.  I'll also be available to answer any questions from participants. This is not a beginner quilt, but beginners can learn, through making the blocks, how to be better quilters.  My own learning curve, while making it, was huge.

What will you make?
The quilt is made up of 48 nine-inch blocks, mostly traditional, with sashing and cornerstone blocks.  It measures 68x88 inches finished.  This could be augmented to a larger size by adding an outside border.

What will you learn?
Four-patch and Nine-patch construction, chain piecing, set-in circles (for Drunkard's Path), half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, foundation paper piecing, curved piecing, set-in seams (ie for Lone Star), diamonds, machine and hand appliqué.

What do you need?
A sewing machine.  Rotary cutter, ruler and cutting mat. A printer for the patterns.  A stash in your chosen colours. A binder to keep all the patterns in one place. Each pattern will tell you exactly what you need to successfully complete the project, with pictures, when necessary.

By the end, you will have a binder full of essential information, tips and techniques to help you make quilts forever.

I plan to start this block of the month in MAY 2013.  

So: who's with me?

Information is already on the website. You'll can sign up for this after April 1st.


Happy National Quilting Day!
March 15 and 16


As a featured guest on The Quilt Show (episode #1204)  I can invite you to get free access to more than 140 of their shows on March 15 and 16. Unfortunately, mine is NOT one of them..... :-((    But there are LOTS of other wonderful shows to teach you and tempt you.

These are Internet "television" shows, so pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy hours and hours of unlimited quilting lessons, tutorials, and QUILTS!

Spend some time on National Quilting Day online with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims and you'll be able to win some great prizes too. Enter the TQS prize drawing. The grand prize is a new Bernina 550QE !


Katie Pasquini Masopust workshop Report

Probably the best thing I've ever done in my quilting life was to take a class with Katie Pasquini Masopust.  I was so ready for the experience, and I was looking forward to stepping out with new approaches to designing quilts.  I and 19 others spent two amazing days with her at Studio G in Duncan BC last month, mostly painting.  We painted with watercolour and acrylic, we painted to music, and we even painted blindfolded!  (That takes all the pressure off trying to make it "good".) Then we cropped, traced, and found tons of ideas for quilts in our work. 

Here's the design wall with the results of some of our exercises.

I'm looking at these designs I did to make something in the future:

And here she is Herself:

Katie is a most generous, cheerful and knowledgeable teacher.  It was a joy, and I am EXPLODING with ideas for quilts now!
If you want to learn about art quilting, and abstract design, go to the expert.


Fall Colours Quilting Cruise

September 22 to October 2, 2013
Quebec City to New York City
on Holland America - MS Eurodam


Our website has pricing details and everything you need to know about the booking. 
Cruise-only prices are now up on the website.

Wouldn't you love to come with us?

Susan Purney-Mark and I have started a blog to keep everyone informed about our plans for this next cruise. 
We have just announced all the classes for this cruise, including two machine classes.


What I'm Working On


I'm still working on the 10-quilt challenge with my two friends.  I finished number 5 at the Spoolboard retreat last week. It is based on a picture I took while waiting for the ferry in Port Angeles, WA. The reflections on the water took my breath away.  I have combined Katie Pasquini Masopust's appliqué technique with my Mock Mola Appliqué. It took a long while, but it was worth it! The quilt measures 42 1/2" x 21 1/2".

 I returned from the retreat, having completed two quilts (the other one is "Drawing Straws", the rainbow and white one at the top of this newsletter). Now what do I do?  Time to design a new one!!

While I'm waiting, I've started preparing 3/8" hexagons for my next hexie project - I've no idea what I'm going to make, but I have some time to decide...


Upcoming Tours:


Our schedule is clear until April 15th in Coupeville, WA. I should be able to get a whole lot of quilting done by then!

In May, we will be doing a "busman's holiday" driving trip to the Yukon and Northwest Territories.  I have never been to the Yukon before.

May 24th in Dawson City, Yukon
June 3rd in Yellowknife NWT!
there are other gigs in June, which you can see on the Tour Itinerary tab now.

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. He has just confirmed our very first appearance in West Virginia for June 2013!! 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 .
© Cathy Miller, March 2013

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