The Singing Quilter Newsletter

August 2015

In this issue:

.    Cruise Update
.    Quilts by other people
.    New Quilt is finished and given away
.    My Millie Update
.    My Grandfather's Brother quilt
.    Caryl Bryer Fallert retrospective
.    Upcoming gigs
. What I'm working on

This is the view from the stage before our concert at the
International Plowing Match in Finch Ontario
Beautiful quilts!

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



It's been quite a while (May!) since I last updated you on my activities.  I hope you're having a great summer (if you're in the Northern Hemisphere) and no snow (if you're in the Southern half).

I've been busy with preparations for the Aloha Quilt cruise which is coming up in ONE MONTH! The classes were determined ages ago, but now I have to make kits for the students (and figure out how to pack them into one suitcase!).

It's been a summer spent mostly home, with a 2-week visit to Ontario.  We had a great time with friends and family, enjoying all that Ontario had to offer at this time of year.

I hope you enjoy this newsletter.  Let me know if you have any suggestions of things you'd like me to talk about!


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).

To be removed from the email list, send an email to with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.


Me with my brothers and one package of
MANY leftover buns from the family reunion!

(but there's still room for you!)
2015 Aloha Quilt Cruise
September 19-October 4, 2015
Round Trip from Vancouver to Hawaii on the ms Star Princess

We have 44 quilters coming along with Brandy Lynn Maslowski and me in ONE MONTH. I can't believe how quickly this has approached.  The last month for me involves finalizing all the cruise kits, dyeing the last fabrics for my Fractured Mock Mola class, and making sure I have EVERYTHING I need.  There are no quilt shops on the way until we arrive in Hilo, so I'd better make sure I haven't left anything behind.

I'm not sure how I'm going to fit the rest of the kits into this suitcase!

If you have been considering coming along with us, please get in touch with Miriam (see contact info below) right away to book your spot.

Guests can join me and Brandy Lynn Maslowski, host of Canadian QuiltTalk for 15 days at sea including 8 full days of workshops and 4 days on the islands of Hawaii.


Miriam Cloutier 
Phone: 250.360.2058  
Toll Free: 1.866.420.4410 



Quilts by Other People

Here are a couple of quilt pictures that people have sent me since the last newsletter.

The first one was made by Joyce Duncan.  Joyce asked my permission to use the lyrics to "My Hands" in her quilt.  This is the result:

Lynn Dryzmala also sent along a picture of her version of my pattern Australian Shadows.  I love how it turned out!

Thank you for sending these pictures.
If you have made a quilt inspired by my work (or my classes or patterns),
please send it along so I can share it with everyone.


My New Quilt:  Embrace

While we were back in Ontario I presented my nephew and his wife with their wedding quilt (and it wasn't even their first anniversary yet!). I'm so pleased with how this turned out - it was challenging to make this one, because of the various techniques I used.  The ocean and islands were done with Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry's "Appli-piecing" technique. The sky was done with a sew and flip.  Then I layered it and quilted the top half. The tree was fused onto a stabilizing fabric, cut out and appliquéd onto the background.  Then I appli-pieced the bottom foreground and finished quilting it.  It took some figuring out, but I'm delighted with the result! 

That's an arbutus tree in the foreground (also known as Madrona, south of the border). It grows everywhere here on the west coast, and resembles an Australian eucalyptus tree in that it never loses all of its leaves at once.



"My Millie" Update

The Millefiore Block of the Month Facebook group is now up to 5700 members!  That's a lot of people working on this project.  I've been working very hard on mine, and I've just completed the rosette for Month 7.  August's block is next.  I'm a bit behind, but it doesn't matter. Some people are just starting the first rosette now!

Here's what I've done since the last newsletter:

Rosettes 4, 5, 6 and 7

Here's what they will look like in place on the quilt!

The whole quilt will measure about 75" square when it's finished.  The hexagons that make up its elements are 3" along a side.  I'm still not used to working so BIG! For more information about this BOM visit Katja's website.


My Grandfather's Brother's quilt

If you have a copy of "In the Heart of a Quilt", you'll be familiar with the song "My Grandfather's Brother". It's one of the few songs I've actually written about myself and my family.  Briefly, the story is that my great uncle James Miller was given this quilt by "grateful parishioners" from his first church.  He founded 15 Presbyterian/United churches in Toronto during his life, but this one is from his very first church - in Depot Harbour Ontario.  Now a ghost town, in 1905 when the quilt was made, it was a bustling town at the end of a rail line. From there, lumber, grain and other goods were shipped onto or off big laker ships on the Great Lakes.

After I wrote the song, my brother and I figured out the story of the quilt (it was still a mystery when the song was written). The 833 signatures on the quilt were likely paid for and the quilt was used as a fundraiser for the building of the church. There are notable signatures there of my own family, of all the previous ministers of the church, as well as the then-Premier of Ontario, the Member of Parliament and the Member of the Provincial Parliament.

Two years ago John and I visited the Parry Sound Museum.  This is the closest town to Depot Harbour, which has reverted to Native land and is being reclaimed by the forest. I wanted to know if they'd be interested in having the quilt as part of their collection.  They were!

So two weeks ago when John and I were back in those parts, I presented the quilt to Nadine Hammond, the curator of the Museum. I'm so happy that it has found a home where it will be kept safe and secure.  It is very delicate (being 110 years old!) and it's only been shown a few times over the years.  It will be much better taken care of by the museum.

With Nadine Hammond at the Parry Sound Museum

Nadine told me they plan to use the quilt as the centrepiece of an exhibit about Depot Harbour in the next three years. 

New England Quilt Museum exhibit
with Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry

For your information, Caryl has a retrospective show on now at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell MA. 
If you live anywhere nearby, you're going to want to see this one!

What I'm Working On

 For the next month I'll be putting kits together for the Aloha quilt cruise. 

I also have a couple more family quilts to make and I'm going to be pushing ahead on my "Millie". 


Upcoming Tours:

2016 will be our last year of doing big tours by car.   If you want us to come to your guild (or come BACK), please talk to your program person now so that we can fit you into our schedule.

Here are the confirmed gigs for this fall in California and Texas.  John is booking next year's tour everywhere in North America (including Alaska!).  Let us know if you want us to come to you!

John has FINALLY confirmed a booking in Arkansas!  That means we're only missing Mississippi in our tours!!!  WE CAN'T RETIRE UNTIL WE'VE DONE MISSISSIPPI!  Do you know any quilt guilds there?  We need to sing for them!

Sept 19 to Oct 4:  Aloha Quilt Cruise (Vancouver to Hawaii)

Oct 8:  SANTA BARBARA CA Coastal Quilters Guild (concert)
Oct 9: SANTA BARBARA CA Coastal Quilter (Mock Mola workshop)
Oct 13: BRYAN TX Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild (concert)
Oct 14: BRYAN TX Brazos Bluebonnet Quilt Guild (Mock Mola workshop)
Oct 15: WEATHERFORD TX Quilters Guild of Parker County (concert)
Oct 16: WEATHERFORD TX (Mock Mola workshop)
Oct 17: NEW BRAUNFELS TX New Braunfels Area Quilt Guild (concert and Hexagons workshop)
Oct 20: HUMBLE TX: Peace By Piecing Quilt Guild (concert)
Oct 27: BELLVILLE TX: Bluebonnet Area Quilt Guild (concert)

Nov 3: HOUSTON TX Bay Area Quilt Guild (concert)
Nov 9: NAGODOCHES TX Quilters Guild of Nagodoches (concert)
Nov 12: GALVESTON TX The Island Quilters Guild (concert)
Nov 15: NASSAU BAY TX Lakeview Quilters Guild (Mock Mola workshop)
Nov 16: NASSAU BAY TX Lakeview Quilters Guild (concert)
Nov 17: HOUSTON TX Quilt Guild of Greater Houston (concert)
Nov 18: HOUSTON TX Quilt Guild of Greater Houston (Mock Mola workshop)
Nov 19: DENTON TX Denton Quilt Guild (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

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© Cathy Miller, August 2015

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