The Singing Quilter Newsletter

March 2015

In this issue:

.    Cruise Crunch
.    Hawaii Report
.    The Quilt Show free shows
.    Millefiore
.    The Big Reveal: Star and Plume II
.    Upcoming gigs
. What I'm working on

This is at the end of the Chain of Craters Road
on the east side of the Big Island of Hawaii
Nothing but lava for as far as you can see!

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


Happy spring in Canada!

I have lots to tell you about this month, including a recap of our wonderful 2 weeks in Hawaii in February.  It was a great getaway to a wonderful quilt retreat.  We met some new friends and snorkeled and laughed and caught some sun.

I'll be going back to Hawaii in the fall on a Princess Cruise.  We still need THREE more staterooms to be booked before March 20th, or this cruise won't be going ahead. 

I have a new passion that is taking up much time.  It's a block of the month called Millefiore and is amazing.  This one's for all my sister hexaholics!


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.

Last month I showed you all the oven mitts we made for my friend who went with a dental team to Ecuador.
This is how they used them.


2015 Aloha Quilt Cruise
September 19-October 4, 2015
Round Trip from Vancouver to Hawaii on the ms Star Princess

The crunch is on: We are 3 staterooms short of being able to confirm this cruise!  Six more people need to book before March 20th for this wonderful getaway or we won't be going.

I have just posted a blog entry about the three classes I'll be teaching aboard.  Brandy Lynn Maslowski is the other teacher, and she'll be announcing her classes soon too.

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.

The Aloha Quilt Cruise Blog -

Thanks in advance for sharing information about the Aloha Quilt Cruise. I really appreciate your support!


Miriam Cloutier 
Phone: 250.360.2058  
Toll Free: 1.866.420.4410 



Hawaii Report

We spent a wonderful two weeks on The Big Island in February, thanks to Quilt Passions shop and their annual retreat "Quilting on the Beach".

I taught two full day classes, John and I sang a concert, and I also "sat in" as a guitar player for their "reader's version" of The Quilters play.  It was full-on and fun!

The cast of The Quilters, from my view in "the orchestra pit"!

The Mock Mola Class did some wonderful work!

I must say that Hawaii is the best place I've ever been for positive/negative design inspirations!  Everyone really "got it" in class.

This was our very enthusiastic audience!
(We didn't get a picture of them ALL shop-hopping along with John's choreography!)

We also met some new quilty friends:  Pam Bocko runs Pieceful Designs and offers lots of very charming wall hanging patterns. You'll find her at quilt shows and on line  She and her husband Rick (who is a mad ukulele player) were great at showing us around to their favourite snorkeling beaches (like the one above in the first picture).

This was taken after an oceanside breakfast ukulele jam session with 50 other musicians.

We also got to know the irrepressible Rob Appell from Morro Bay CA, who is a sewing machine repairman and VERY enthusiastic quilter and snorkeler/surfer.

Karen and Robert were our gracious hosts, and they really showed us a terrific time. They had lots of ideas of fun things to see while we were there, and even loaned us their snorkel equipment for the duration!  If you ever need a February vacation in the sun, I would highly recommend this quilting retreat.


The Quilt Show Celebrates
International Quilting Weekend
March 20-22

Big news here! In honor of International Quilting Weekend, March 20-22, 2015, The Quilt Show (, the web TV show hosted by Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, will open all of its shows from the first nine series-- shows 100-1513 --for the entire weekend. This means that, for three special days, everyone will have the chance to view over 200 shows, featuring some of the quilting world’s leading artists, for FREE. 

This year's sponsors are contributing over $5000 in prizes, including the Grand Prize, a BERNINA 550 QE.  Other prizes you have a chance to win are:

·         Innova – Have your quilt professionally quilted ($500 value)

·         Superior Threads – five $100 gift certificates

·         RJR Fabrics – a Delicious Selection of RJR Fabrics

·         AccuQuilt – GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter

·         Missouri Star Quilt Company – $500 in Quilter’s Cash plus signed copies of Volume 1 of Block Magazine and Man Sewing Swag

 As you may already know, I appeared as the featured artist on TQS in show 1204. If you didn't have the opportunity to see this show the first time around, now you'll have the chance to see it—and so many other terrific shows—at no cost in this unprecedented three-day offer.

I hope that you'll share this information with all of your quilting friends. It's a fantastic opportunity to enjoy three days of learning and fun without leaving your home…all for free.

Enjoy the shows, and thanks for helping to spread the word!

Link to TQS website landing page:

My New Passion:  Millefiore

When we drove through Kamloops BC last year I picked up a new book by the owner of Katja's Quilt Shoppe The New Hexagon - 52 Blocks to English Paper Piece.  I thought it was a great way to change up hexagons (you do know I'm a bit of a hexaholic, don't you?) by PIECING them!  The patterns are drawn at 3" - huge for me who usually works in 1/4" and 3/8" sizes.

To help sell her book, Katja has come up with a great idea, a Block of the Month.  It's called a Millefiore quilt, and will make up to a 78" square sized quilt.  I'm not sure, but I think we'll be using most of the patterns in her book by the end of it. It started in January with a new Facebook page (find the link from Katja's website), and it currently has over 2400 members!  They are uploading pictures of their blocks - do take a look; they're wonderful.

The enticement of this quilt for me is the effects you can achieve with fussy-cutting.  Starting with the centre hexagon of the first block, it's so exciting to see what can be done with careful cutting to draw attention to the fabric designs.  Everybody's using their own fabrics and are coming up with incredible pieces!  I couldn't stop at just one of the first month's block. Consequently, I'm two months behind on the BOM. It doesn't matter. Here are my two Block One pieces - one with my collection of Australian aboriginal fabrics, and one with a Jinny Beyer border print as the focus. The left one is the completed first month's block, and it measures 36" across. There's one more round to go on the Jinny Beyer (blue and yellow) one. I'll be working on this while we fly to Wisconsin next week.


The Big Reveal:  Star and Plume: 48 Shades of Grey

I've been writing all the patterns for this quilt for the last two years, just ahead of the people who signed up for the Block of the Month!
I decided to use shades of grey so that they could see the value changes they would need to use for their own quilts (which they're doing in their own colours).
But the quilt did need some colour at the end, so I've sashed it in green with star cornerstones of yellow.
I'm very happy with how it's turned out.

The first group finishes up April 1st.  I'm thinking of starting another group June 1st.
For $5.00 a month you'll receive 2 patterns each month via email.  You'll use your own fabric.
Let me know if you'd like to be a part of making this quilt.

What I'm Working On



This is a commission for friends in Florida.  This quilt will be on their long skinny wall in a room of white.  They haven't seen this stage of the quilt yet - I'm hoping to have it quilted before we leave for our spring tour. I used the Marci Baker technique of machine piecing for the isometric background. It's about 70" tall and 25" wide.




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 the first part of 2015.  John is still booking for the  fall down to California and Texas.  Let us know if you want us to come to you!

I'm VERY excited that we will be singing in Paducah for the very first time during the quilt festival in 2015. See you there?

In 2016 we'll be doing the last of our big circuits of North America, all the way down to Florida and up the Eastern Seaboard.  Maybe then we'll be able to set up something in our last two states: Mississippi and Arkansas.  Do you know any quilt guilds there?  We need to sing for them!

March 20-21   OSHKOSH WI Fox Valley Technical College Sewing and Quilting Expo
March 23         KENOSHA WI Concert
April 9              LINDSAY ON (Mock Mola Class)
April 17           FLINT MI Genesee Star Quilters guild (concert 12:30pm)
April 23           PADUCAH KY!!!!  Outdoor concert in front of Museum at 1pm
April 27           NILES MI Niles Piecemakers Quilt Guild (Mock Mola workshop and concert)
May 15-16      CEDAR RAPIDS IA Machine Quilters Showcase show (concert and Mock Mola workshop)
May 21-22      NORTH VANCOUVER BC (concert and Mock Mola workshop)

In May we'll be doing gigs in Missouri, Iowa and North Vancouver.

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, March 2015

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