The Singing Quilter Newsletter

April 2014

In this issue:

A Whole Lotta Students' Work!
  Lyrics to "Done is Better than Perfect"
 Your opinion on a new class
    Upcoming gigs
. What I'm working on
.    A New Song Idea

Here's John with a decommissioned cannon in Charleston SC

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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Happy Spring, from Virginia Beach, Virginia!  Welcome to all the new subscribers from our recent performances in Florida, South Carolina and West Virginia. 

We continue to roll back spring as we now head north. We've seen bougainvillea further south, and even roses.  As we drive north, it's like spring is rewinding. The leaves get smaller, the late spring blossoms become early spring blossoms, and all of a sudden we're seeing daffodils and cherry blossoms again!  I love this - it means we get a very extended spring. But lots and lots of pollen, too......

We've finished the Florida part of the tour, and the temperatures are starting to drop as we head north.  I'm hoping the snow disappears in the Great Lakes area before we get there (and I'm sure everyone there would like it to go soon too - it's been a very long winter for them!). I've written a lengthy blog about my thoughts on the places in Florida we visited. 



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 new 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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In case spring is not where you are:
Azaleas in full bloom in Charleston SC


Students' Work

First, the class in Houston, Texas in March.  We were in Quiltworks in Cypress, which had TWICE as many chairs as necessary, and everything we might have left at home available for purchase. (It's very challenging, teaching in a quilt shop - the temptations!) Here are a few of the pieces done that day in class - check out the website "Classes" "Students' Work" to see more.


When we got up to Morgantown West Virginia, a couple of my Notan students from last June brought their pieces to show me.  I love it when people do that!  They turned out great.


I taught a Mock Mola class in The Villages Florida.  Very enthusiastic class and lots got done during the day!
We've figured out how to mitigate the "fray factor" on the straight grain pieces by doing a zigzag (satin) stitch BEFORE cutting the pattern.
It works a charm.

On Amelia Island I taught another Mock Mola class - here's what they made.
If you don't quite get it finished in class, it's a great project to do in front of the TV (with good light!), but most of these are pretty close to done.

I taught three classes that week.  In Tallahassee, there was both a Mock Mola AND a Notan class!
I love the surprise turtle pattern amid the intersecting circles on the right-hand Mock Mola below.



Beautiful work, everyone!
It was lovely to work with you on these pieces.


Done is Better than Perfect
(from "In the Heart of a Quilt" cd)

Done is better than perfect.
If you made something perfect, what would you do then?
All those banquets in your honour would be boring
They'd find you snoring, up at the front
And all the money, well the money would be nice
But can you do it twice? Just get it done!

Fun is better than worry,
And if you're in a hurry, where's the fun in that?
So the deadline for the Big Quilt Show is looming
No point in glooming, that's very clear
Just do the best you can, and that's the trick
So you missed the pick: just get it done

And if it's done, all your friends will publicize it
And your family will prize it
Because it's made by you
And if it's done, it doesn't matter if it's square
When they drag it everywhere
Because it's made by you

Points are much overrated
They are sharp and serrated - you could cut yourself!
And if one or two get caught up in the seamline
Who needs those clean lines? That's showing off!
It's so much better when the rules are fast and loose
Just declare a truce - and cut them off.
Just do the best your can, and that's the trick
So you missed the pick - try again next year
And all the money..... well the money may be nice
But can you do it twice? Just get it done!
Because Done is Better than Perfect!

Cathy Miller 2006

Possible New Class

I've got an idea for a new class which will be furthering the use of Mock Mola appliqu. 
I know some of you have taken the original Mock Mola class, and I'm still experimenting with other ways to use the technique.

One of the pieces I made for the Refractions challenge was this one:

I made four identical fat quarter sized pieces (3 layers of colour), then fractured them vertically and interspersed two together. 
Then I pieced them, flipped them so they were facing opposite to each other, and sewed the centre line. Minimal quilting.

My friend Martha in Fort Worth Texas asked if she could try this technique, and I gave her the bare bones instructions. 
She did it with her quilt group, so they all gave it a try.
When we were in Fort Worth, they did a Big Reveal, and I learned a lot.  First of all, my instructions need to be clearer!
But Charlotte did one that I loved.

The red fabric around the outside will be the border.  She has finished all the raw edges with contrasting satin stitch, which adds another lovely element.
I'm thinking of this as a 2-day class.  Very abstract, of course.

What do you think?
Send me a note at cathy miller

What I'm Working On

 Now that the Refractions quilts are over, and we're back on the road, I'm back to working on hexagons!  That's all I'll be doing until we get back home in June.

I have an idea for a new vest for myself, though - made from one of my Notans, pictured below.  Also, I've picked up a new commission from our friends in Gainesville! 




Upcoming Tours:

A full list of this current tour is on the website under Touring - Itineraries.

Apr 21-22   Fallston MD concert
April 28       Dover, DE concert

May 5          Sarnia ON (Mock Mola class and concert)
May 6          Oregon OH (evening concert)
May 7          Ingersoll ON (7pm concert)
May 8          Ingersoll ON (9:30am concert)
May 12        Wellsboro PA (7pm concert)
May13         Wellsboro PA (9am HAND Mola class)
May 14        Plattsburgh NY (6pm concert)
May 15        Plaistow NH (7pm concert)
May 17        Plaistow NH (9am Mock Mola class)
May 18        Mayfield NY (3pm concert)
May 21        Simsbury CT (6:45 concert)
May 22        Simsbury CT (9am Mock Mola class)
May 24        Boston MA (all day Mock Mola class)
May 28        Boston MA (evening concert)

June 2         Amherst NS (concert)
June 10      Guelph ON (concert)
June 11      Guelph ON (9am Mock Mola class)

That's it for this tour! John is currently working at filling in the fall tour back to Ontario.

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.

New Song:

I've got an idea for a new song about hand quilting called "I'm a Rocker". I'm NOT a hand-quilter, so I'd appreciate hearing from those of you who ARE.  Here's one story I'd like to fit into the song.

At a demonstration of hand quilting at a local fair, a man was heard to say to his companion:  "Oh look!  They even find things for the handicapped women to work on!"  (because, presumably, he couldn't see their other hands underneath the quilt!)

Have you got any stories about hand quilting? I'd love to hear about them!


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, April 2014

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