The Singing Quilter Newsletter

September 2014

In this issue:

.    My Grandfather's Brother Quilt
.    New Murphy wall bed in the studio
.    New (to me) Useful Product
.    Upcoming gigs
. What I'm working on

We always take a picture when my and my brothers get together,
especially when we get dressed up for a family wedding!

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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Cathy Miller and John Bunge
1464 Cranbrook Place, Victoria BC V8P 1Z7


Autumn Approaches.

Welcome to all new subscribers who signed up since the last newsletter!

We're back on tour again, starting next week.  It's all in Canada this time, and we are excited to drive across and see some fall colours, especially in the north.

We've just had a quick two trips back to Ontario already for family weddings and a couple of gigs in Cornwall and Toronto.  It all went very well, and I'll have at least one new wedding quilt to make this winter!

While we were in Ontario, we took the opportunity to stop at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte Ontario.  It is a must-see for fabric afficionadoes.  Not only are there two quilt shops in town, but there's always an interesting exhibit at the museum.  And upstairs, there's the most comprehensive description of how you take raw wool and create fabric from it, including all the old machines they used to use!

During this short time home, I have a mini quilt retreat with my group here in Victoria.  I'm looking forward to some uninterrupted quilting time!

I hope you're getting some good, quality time to quilt too.


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).

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

Donna, a friend from Western Australia, came to visit during the summer and we went together to Butchart Gardens.  It was absolutely beautiful!


My Grandfather's Brother Quilt

Last week in Ontario we had time to make a side trip up to Parry Sound.  Just outside of town there's an old ghost town called Depot Harbour, on the Wasauksing First Nation.  This is where the 100 year old family quilt was made which inspired my song "My Grandfather's Brother", on the "In the Heart of a Quilt" CD.

I had the quilt with me, and had arranged to get a day pass to visit the old town. There isn't much left of it; it's mostly forest now, and even the current roads bear no relation to the original town plan. But I think I might have found the original foundation for the Childerhose Presbyterian Church, which was made partly from the funds that my signature quilt raised.  With over 833 signatures, we think it raised most of the money needed to build this structure!

The site is entirely forested these days, and occasionally you can see foundations sticking up between the trees.

This is the inside wall of what remains of the Round House for the railway.

The next day we stopped in at the Library in Parry Sound and found out more about the old town. It was quite a thriving place in its day about 100 years ago, before the trains stopped coming.  Depot Harbour was one of the best ports in the Great Lakes, and for years they shipped grain, logs and coal through their docks. It all ended with a bang: in 1945 the grain elevators were being demolished. A fire broke out and cinders blew across to the warehouses across the bay.  One warehouse was full of Australian wool, the other, cordite (highly explosive). It was said you could read a newspaper in Parry Sound, 7 km away, by the light of that fire!

Our last stop in the area was at the Museum on Tower Hill.  I had been in touch with the Curator and Manager Nadine to let her know we would be there with the quilt.  By the time we arrived, she had already gained approval from her Board of Directors to accept the quilt into their collection!!!

I'm thrilled that this quilt will go to a place that will appreciate it.  I'm not QUITE ready to let it go yet, though. They will be mounting a quilt show in 2017.  I'll make sure they have the quilt by then.

Although the quilt never usually comes on tour with me, I'll have it with me during the next month. We will be singing at a house concert hosted by the granddaughter of Great Uncle Jim, and I know she'll be happy to see it.  Check the upcoming gigs section below and come to one of the shows if you can!


My New Wall Bed

I know it's a bit personal, talking about beds in this newsletter, but I'm so happy about having it.  I've dreamed for years of getting one for my studio, so that I could still use it as a guest room (yes, if you come and visit me, you can Sleep with my Stash!!! LOL).  The beauty of having it able to disappear up to the wall is that I'll still have lots of room for quilting when we don't have guests (and I don't use the room then anyway). And ... BONUS!! ... I have a new design wall to boot! This is going to make such a difference in my enjoyment of the room, and the flexibility to move things around.


Printable Freezer Paper Sheets

I've been working a lot on the patterns for my Star and Plume Block of the Month this summer.  As I get to the final blocks of the quilt, the level of difficulty is increasing.  Often there's a combination of techniques required for a block: some paper piecing combined with inset seams, or curved ones. I find I'm making templates for perfect piecing more often than not.

I am happy to have found a product that will be of use to my BOM groups: Printable Freezer Paper Sheets! It's the classic example of wishing for something, and realizing someone else has already invented it!

Yes, I'm sure that it's possible for me to cut my freezer paper carefully so it's 8 1/2" x 11" and putting it into my printer, but someone has already done this for me, and for that, I'm grateful.  So all those pattern pages I'm sending out with the block patterns can just be printed - no muss, no fuss.  And it will mean far more accurate blocks because they won't have to trace the templates by hand.

I am not selling this product (maybe I should!).  You can get it from C&T Publishing, JoAnn Fabrics, even Ebay.

Do you have a favourite "quilter's helper" product that you'd like to share?


What I'm Working On

 While we were in Florida earlier this year, I was commissioned by a friend to make him a quilt for his all-white living room.  He's been adding colour slowly to the room, and my quilt will be a major focal point for his favourite colour: cobalt blue!  It's a difficult colour to find these days....

I'll also be starting to work on a wedding quilt for one of my two nephews who got married in the last month.  Dan and Yasi will help design the quilt, and it looks like it will be primarily red-orange/orange and a bit of teal.  I can't wait to see what this will turn out to be!


Upcoming Tours:

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

Oct 5       WHITBY ON House concert 2:30pm - contact me for details
Oct 7       WINDSOR ON Windsor Quilters' Guild (12:30pm and 7pm concerts)
Oct 8       WINDSOR ON Windsor Quilters' Guild (9am Mock Mola Workshop)
Oct 17     OTTAWA ON Embassy West Seniors Living (concert 1:30pm)
Oct 18     DUNROBIN concert (contact me for details)
Oct 19     OTTAWA ON House Concert 2:30pm (contact me for details)
Oct 20     LINDSAY ON Lindsay Creative Quilters' Guild (concert 1pm)
Oct 22     SAULT STE MARIE ON House Concert (contact me for details)
Oct 25     DRYDEN ON Sunset County Quilters Guild (Mock mola workshop followed by evening concert)
Oct 26     DRYDEN ON (half day Notan workshop)
Oct 28     FORT FRANCES ON Cabin Country Quilt Guild concert 7pm

Nov 4      NEEPAWA Manitoba (evening concert)

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, or to unsubscribe, please send an email to .
Cathy Miller, September 2014

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