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Manuscripts by Subject - Groups / Organizations- #11227

Title: Capital Quilters Club (Bismarck, ND)          

Dates: 1980-2009

Collection Number: MSS 11227

Quantity: 2 feet

Abstract: Consists of founding documents, by-laws, membership records, meeting minutes, materials from activities such as quilt shows and workshops, newsletters, published articles, records and newsletters of the Prairie Textile Arts Guild (PTAG), scrapbooks, and photographs.

Provenance: The Capital Quilters Club (Bismarck, ND) records were donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Martha Downs on July 22, 2014. 

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.  Permission to use any radio or television broadcast portions of the collection must be sought from the creator.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Related Collections: MSS 10552 North Dakota Quilt Project Records

History of Capital Quilters by Agnes Will, September 2011

Nearly one hundred curious and enthusiastic women gathered in the banquet room of the Centurion Restaurant (now the Royal Fork Buffet) in April 1981 to hear members of the Quilters Guild of North Dakota from Fargo talk about organizing such a guild in Bismarck.  Several meetings were held during the next five months, and in September 1981 Capital Quilters was formally organized with Bertha Myers elected as our first President.  This was the first of the many happy gatherings we have had in the past years, and the beginning of the wonderful friendships developed among the members.

Reviewing the minutes of all those years makes one almost dizzy remembering the variety of activities we have engaged in since 1981.  We've shared our quilting techniques, patterns, knowledge and mistakes with each other; we've produced quilts and other items for various groups and agencies that needed help; we've contributed money to local agencies concerned with the care of people in our locality; we've enjoyed classes taught by our local members as well as those from other guilds in and out of our state; we've participated in Quilt Discovery Days, an effort to produce a record of memorable quilts, preserved from years ago - some used, some carefully saved in new condition; we've participated in many different types of quilt shows, work days, craft fairs, etc; we've assisted for several years in classes in quilting at Century High School; we've participated in the National Quilting Day activities by providing classes and exhibits at the Heritage Center; and most of all, we've kept busy quilting.  

A few of our activities deserve special mention.  One occurred in May of 1987, when members made a trip to Webster, South Dakota to tour the plant of Dakotah Industries. There we witnessed hand guided machine quilting (28 - 30 minutes per quilt!), computer directed quilting, and other techniques of mass production, and spent a happy afternoon buying fabric to bring home to create our own masterpieces.

We assisted in the creation of the largest quilt ever made, up to that time, the North Dakota Centennial Quilt, showing all the counties of North Dakota, their important cities, crops, activities, etc., under the general direction of Leona Tennyson of Antler, North Dakota.

Various members have shown quilts at local, state, and out-of-state shows and have won may ribbons for their creations.  We've followed national trends in going from making only bed size quilts to making quilted wall hangings, miniatures, clothing, using foundation piecing, trapunto, and various other techniques in the process.

Our quilts and quilted items have been used as gifts to family members and others, have been sold locally and in other states, have been enjoyed by residents of nursing homes, the Ronald McDonald House, the United Blood Services Center, and the Heart Association to name a few.

In about 1992, we were asked to participate in the Governor's Residence Quilt Project by submitting ideas for the blocks to make into a State Quilt.  Mrs. George Sinner and a committee selected the pattern from all those submitted.  The clubs in Grand Forks and Fargo completed the blocks, and the top was sent to us for the quilting.  The State Quilt was stretched on a frame in the Governor's Residence, and members spent several afternoons doing the quilting.  After it was finished, Mrs. Sinner hosted all the participants to a luncheon in the Governor's Mansion.  What fun!

Another project of note, was the creation of the Millennium Quilt in 2000, with blocks solicited and received from the 36 quilt guilds existing then in North Dakota.  This quilt has been displayed in various areas of the state, and will be a permanent record of the quilting skills, the patterns and textiles available at the beginning of the third millennium.  We trust that many people will be inspired to continue the quilting craft that we leave to generations of the future.  This quilt was presented to the Heritage Center in 2009 and will be on display occasionally.


Box 1:
1 By-laws, 1985-1999
2 Organizational information: history, informational brochure, original logo sketch, charter members, pin sketches, ca. 1980s
3 Member lists/directories, 1980s-1990s
4 ND State Quilt Council: Quilt Services Directory, 2002-2003        
5 Membership information and treasurers' reports, 1981-1997
6 Meeting attendance, 1997-1999
7 Roll call sheets, 1982-1997
8 Meeting minutes, 1998-2003
9 Meeting minutes, 1987-1998
10 Meeting minutes, 1984-1987
11 Meeting minutes, 1981-1983
12 Reports to Secretary of State, 1998-2001
13 Non-profit application, 1999
14 Quilt shows and activities: Bismarck Arts & Galleries Association (2000), Century High School Quilting Class (2000), quilt block contest, 1980s-1990s
15 Scrapbook: Century High School Quilting Class, 2000
16 Grants, 1995-2003
17 Pattern for new logo, ca. 1990s-2000s
18 Judging criteria and information, ca. 1980s-1990s
19  Quilters' workshops, 1990s
20 Quilters' workshops (continued), 1990s
21 Workshop attendance, 1994-1999
22 Surveys and questionnaires, ca. 1980s-1990s
23 Newsletters, 2005-2009
24 Newsletters, 2002-20005
25 Newsletters, 2000-2001
26 Newsletters, 1995-1999
27 Newsletters, 1990-1994
28 Newsletters, 1983-1989
29 Prairie Textile Arts Guild (PTAG) newsletters, 1988-1997
30 Prairie Textile Arts Guild (PTAG) newsletters, 1980-1987
31  Prairie Textile Arts Guild (PTAG) documents, 1980s-1990s
32 Published article: Millennium Quilt, Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, March 2003
33 Photographic negatives and slides, ca. 1990s-2000s
34 VHS: Capital Quiltfest, Community Access TV, n.d.

(loose)  Scrapbook: activities, 1982-1996
(loose)  Scrapbook: activities, 1981-2003
(loose)  Scrapbook: activities, 1991-2005
(loose)  Scrapbook: activities, 1993-2003

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