The Singing Quilter Newsletter

May 2015

In this issue:

.    The Cruise is a Go!
.    Recent Mock Mola Classes
.    Block of the Month is starting again!
.    My Millie Update
.    Great little light
.    Peshtigo Fire Quilt
.    Upcoming gigs
. What I'm working on

It was a beautiful day to sing on the front lawn
of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah!

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

Follow Cathy's blog at

Become a fan on Facebook at  for really up to date stuff.

If you would like to be added to the newsletter notification list, send an email to with "Subscribe" in the subject line and your full name. To be removed, send an email with "Unsubscribe" in the subject.

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



Welcome to new subscribers from our recent visits to Wisconsin, Michigan, and Kentucky!

Our first "official" visit to Paducah was absolutely fantastic!  Paper Pieces hosted our show on the front lawn of the National Quilt Museum (see picture to the left), and I was able to meet some "fans" from afar just before we started (see the two pics on the right just below).  I also taught a few classes while we were there.  It was full-on, and please forgive me for being tardy with the update.  I've only now just recovered!

I've been stitching up a storm on my Millefiore since we left home, and have completed Month 2 and most of Month 3 rosettes (pictures below). I must apologize to Katja Marek for getting the links wrong for her shop in the last newsletter. It should be . That's where you'll find out everything Millefiore.

While we were in Oshkosh WI in March I had a most wonderful surprise encounter with a story I wrote in 2004 about the Peshtigo Fire. 

I'm going to start another Star and Plume Block of the Month in June, and you can sign up now for it.  See details below


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.

Fans from afar at Paducah:

Joan and Marianne from the UK

A couple of Texas quilters!



(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

I'm thrilled to let you know that the cruise is a GO!  We have enough quilters coming along.  There's still room for more, if you're interested. 

If you are travelling alone and would like to share a stateroom with someone, please let our cruise specialist Miriam know (her contact info is below) - we have been able to find a partner for at least one of our cruisers and there's another looking for a roomie.

Brandy Lynn has announced her classes, and we are starting to sign people up for all classes now.  The kit fees are the only extra charge - the classes themselves are included in your passage!

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 



Mock Mola Classes

I've been teaching a bit since we left home on this tour and I'm very happy to present to you the results of these classes!

This was my class in Lindsay Ontario to start the tour


A selection of pieces made during my 3 hour class at Paducah!  They sewed like crazy!

And this is a compilation of pieces made at the class in Niles Michigan. If you've taken the class, you'll appreciate the nearness of the garbage can in the last picture!


Star and Plume Block of the Month
Starts again June 1st

I have enough people interested in doing this quilt again to run another Block of the Month.

Two different versions of the same quilt - with slightly different sashing

Each month you will receive two patterns via email.  You will make the quilt using your own fabrics.  The patterns are now tested, so they are accurate, with loads of pictures to show you specific techniques.  Techniques include simple piecing, paper foundation piecing, English Paper Piecing, machine and hand appliqué, curved piecing, half-square and quarter-square triangles.  The blocks are offered in order of difficulty, from very simple to advanced.  You will be a better quilter at the end of making this quilt!

If you are interested in signing up for a 24 month Block of the Month @ $5.00 each month, please visit the signup page for Block of the Month at  You will be signing up via PayPal.

Thanks for the interest so I can offer this again!


"My Millie" Update

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 3700 members (that's 1300 members more than in March)!  They are uploading pictures of their blocks - do take a look; they're wonderful.

Here are my current blocks. I thought I'd brought enough to work on for this entire 2 month trip, but I got the Month 2 Rosette finished in two weeks!  So I had to buy some more fabric, didn't I?


Rosette 2 on the left and the first two rows of Rosette 3 on the right

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


Great Little Light

My friend Ami Simms is carrying a new hand sewing light that is absolutely WONDERFUL! 
If you do any hand stitching in front of the TV or in cars (like I do), this is a marvellously BRIGHT and compact light!

Yes, that's a tablespoon sitting just above the light.

It uses two AA batteries and LED technology to do the job.  The cord is attached with two strong magnets and you can angle the light to exactly the spot you want.
I don't usually promote these sorts of things (and I'm not the one selling them!)  but this is really good.

To order one from Ami, visit her website


Peshtigo Fire Quilt

A long while ago I came upon a story included in the Wisconsin Quilts book about a quilt that was used to save lives during the worst American disaster of all time.
The disaster was the Peshtigo fire, which happened on the same day as the Chicago Fire.  The engineer of the Harbour Train wet down a quilt and wrapped it around himself for protection as he ferried townsfolk on his train to the lake.  He made several trips and saved many lives. I thought it was an important story in the history of quilting, and I wrote the song (it's on "A Quilter's World", 2004)

In March we attended the Fox Valley Technical College quilt festival in Oshkosh WI, and I sang the song for them.  I usually try to sing a song about the place we're in, when I can.

The next day, just before I started teaching, a couple of women came up to me.  One said "I have a woman here who you are going to want to meet!".  She was absolutely right!

While she was standing in line for lunch, she told a stranger next to her about our concert the night before - especially about the story of the Peshtigo Fire quilt.  The second woman had not attended, but she sure knew about the quilt:  she owned it!  The second woman was Elinor Czarnecki.  I had contacted her to use her picture of the quilt when I did the CD as well as the songbook, but we had never met.  It was just serendipity that she was there, standing next to someone who told her that story!  And the woman next to them was taking my afternoon class, so she knew where to find me!

The next day we went to visit Elinor and I got to see the quilt for the first time in person!  It's heavy wool, and I can only imagine how heavy it would have been, soaking wet, wrapped around his shoulders as he ran the train.

I LOVE it when serendipity contrives for me to meet people connected to songs I've written in our travels!

What I'm Working On



The quilt has been delivered to Florida, and they love it!



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 from now until August 2015.  John is still booking for the  fall down to California and Texas.  Let us know if you want us to come to you!

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!

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)

August 7         ANNAN ON House concert at my brother's farm (send me an email if you want to come!)
August  15      FINCH ONTARIO International Ploughing Match (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, May 2015

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