Cathy used to be a folksinger with a slightly jazzy bent. She performed at folk festivals, clubs and house concerts all across Canada and released five CDs of her music. That was before quilting.
In 1991 Cathy was hired to write music for a play about quilting. As part of her research, she took a class and the rest, as they say, is history. She now devotes her entire career to researching and writing songs about this fascinating art. Why? Because often embedded in quilts, there are important human stories about love, death, immigration, hope, and community. Cathy realized that no one was capturing these stories in song. She was uniquely qualified to take on this task.
Cathy is a stickler for detail. For her song A Quilt & A Kettle about the Oregon Trail experience of pioneer Rachel Bond, she worked with Portland/Lopez quilt historian Mary Bywater Cross to refine her wording. Cathy¹s husband, John Bunge accompanies her. He is a former member of The Gumboots from Yellowknife, a folk group that first formed in 1984 and performed both traditional Canadian folk songs and original songs about the North.
Cathy is known for upbeat performances, which have made her an event favorite. Cathy and John are a unique couple, traveling the world, singing about the life of contemporary quilt makers as well as historic quilts. Cathy released her first CD of 12 quilt story songs, One Stitch at a Time, in September of 2000.
The tales surrounding a quilt¹s history can be fascinating, and frequently tell a tale of women's lives and community life that don't often make it into the history books. Cathy delights in finding and writing songs about unusual and wonderful stories woven into quilts.
For her Lopez concert, Cathy will be performing songs that relate to World War II, western migration and other themes. The songs range from the historical, through the poignant, to the drop-dead funny!
Quilts will frame the concert setting, including several of Mary Bywater Cross’s woolen quilts. Mary's quilts will be available later on the Studio Tour. Featured will be the new Lopez Island Signature Quilt from the Lopez Island Historical Society. This visual record of island residents is the quilt style that leads creative minds like Cathy’s to write her songs. We’re eager to share it with her and the island community.
Please come and join us for a special late afternoon concert of stories set to music!
Karen B. Alexander
"You honor the life that has been given you by remembering and telling your stories."
Robin Moore's "Awakening the Hidden Storyteller"
Quilt History Reports
Honorees of The Quilters Hall of Fame
Enchanted Quilters of Lopez Island