Tara Kranz
This quilted market tote bag is one of the many projects that will be covered at the Capital Quiltfest. (Project quilted by Terri Stegmiller) (Submitted photo)

Mickey Depre is this year's national teacher at biennial Capital Quiltfest. (Submitted photo)

Terri Stegmiller, a member of the Capital Quiltfest planning committee, will be teaching several classes at the event. (Submitted photo)

This finished example shows what Terri Stegmiller's sheer collage quilting class will teach you to create. (Submitted photo)

Bismarck's biennial Capital Quiltfest will be taking place November 4th through the 6th at the Ramada Bismarck Hotel and Conference Center. Whether you are an experienced quilter or a novice, this conference will have something for you! It will involve a wide variety of classes, a trunk show, a banquet and a quilt show.

This year's national teacher, Mickey Depre, will feature much of her own work in the trunk show. She will also discuss a variety of quilting techniques and teach three classes: Pieced Hexies, Castle Walls and Summer Carnival. Depre is the author of Pieced Hexies and Half-Scrap Quilts and is passionate about appealing to both the art quilter and the traditional quilter.

A member of the Capital Quiltfest planning committee, Terri Stegmiller, explains her excitement to see Depre in action: "She's got a background that is kind of diverse concerning what kind of techniques she would teach; I think she would appeal to many different audiences as far as what she has to offer."

The conference provides more than just Depre's expertise. A wide variety of quilting classes will be offered on all three days of the conference. Stegmiller, also an experienced and accomplished quilter, will teach classes, Sheer Collage and Painted Market Tote. Sheer Collage involves a unique quilting technique where a sheer fabric is placed on top of the collaged quilt to bring out added details. Painted Market Tote is a class where the finished product will involve a tote bag. "I will be taking the students through adding many layers on their canvas, adding hidden or transparent layers to add interest...After the painting session, we will be sewing up the bag." Stegmiller couldn't contain her enthusiasm for her upcoming classes, "I really enjoy watching the students have fun with their project and I like their feedback."

Depre and Stegmiller are just two of the eight talented teachers offering fifteen different classes throughout the weekend. Each class has a fee for supplies, so it is important to sign up for the class you want to attend as soon as possible. It is also important to sign up for the banquet on Saturday night as that includes a separate fee. Stegmiller says, "It is a good idea to register early for the classes you're interested in just in case they sell out, because there is limited space."

A quilt show and merchant mall will also be available throughout the weekend. According to Stegmiller, "Just taking in the quilt show is enough to inspire anybody to start quilting." This show features a variety of different techniques and quilters, offering an abundant source of inspiration for the experienced and novice quilters. The merchant mall will be available all weekend for attendees to browse and shop the latest quilting fabric and supplies.

In this modern and fast paced world, quilting may seem intimidating and unpopular; however, according to Stegmiller, "It has been very popular for several years now, and I continue to see that...There's the people who are really very traditional, and then there's the more modern traditional, and then there's the artsy side of it. I think there's room for everybody and that encourages more to look into quilting." Stegmiller also describes the influx of young people beginning to take up quilting, explaining that the modern style is attracting them. Another member of the planning committee, Evelyn Buchfink, disregards quilting as intimidating, saying, "It's a whole lot easier than it looks -- it really is."

The Capital Quilters Guild has been putting on this biennial quilting conference since 2001, and it has been growing since. The national teacher tends to attract quilters from all areas of the state and of all styles. Stegmiller encourages any quilters or aspiring quilters to sign up, "There are things there for every level. Even if you've never quilted before, there are classes that are geared more toward a beginner quilter. The teachers are all very patient and excited that you'd be there to learn." Class descriptions, registration forms, and quilt show entry forms are available at ndcapitalquilters.com. There is no registration deadline, but early sign up is important in order to get a spot in your desired class.

Tara Kranz is an English teacher turned stay-at-home mom from Bismarck. She is an aspiring freelance writer who enjoys blogging, crafting, getting involved at church, movie nights with her husband and whatever will make her son smile.