Entering a Quilt Contest – The Next Step


Inspiration has hit and you want to enter a quilt contest. Here are a few things to consider.

  • Check the age of the quilt. Not all quilts can be entered in every quilt contest. Most quilt contests specify an age for the quilt. The general rules will give age guidelines. For AQS quilt contests the quilt must have been completed within three years of the entry deadline. See the second bullet in the example below.
  • Take a look at the categories. This will show you important guidelines to be sure your quilt fits into a category and will be accepted into the quilt contest. All quilt shows have categories unique to their quilt contest. At AQS each quilt contest has slightly different categories and rules. Below you will see the Rules Specific for Fall Paducah. You can see for this contest there are 15 categories. 
Click image for the downloadable pdf.


  • Get permissions. In the general rules for a quilt contest, the permissions required for entering a quilt are explained. For example, item 7 on the General Rules below lays out when permission is needed and explains the definition for an original design. For AQS quilt contests, if your quilt is not 100% your own original design, you will need to request design permission to publicly display your  quilt. Using someone else’s pattern, art work, photography, or even another quilt as the basis, starting point, or full source of your design for your quilt (even if the deign has been altered) is considered a derivative work of their original design. For additional information on requesting design permission visit http://www.quiltweek.com/do-i-need-design-permissions.
  • Review the general guidelines. For all quilt contests, general guidelines are given to explain the rules of the contest.  Below is an example of the AQS 2017 General Quilt Contest Rules which apply to all AQS contests and provides helpful information during the entry process. 
Click image for the downloadable pdf.


  • Stay ahead of the deadlines. Especially if you are working on a fabulous creation made special for a quilt contest, you don’t want to miss important deadlines. Here is a list of the 2017 AQS QuiltWeek deadlines to help you.



Ready to enter? Visit www.QuiltWeek.com. We will walk you through the process step by step.

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Betsey, One thing you don’t discuss is how to decide which category to enter if you have a quilt that fits more than one. Any suggestions? My other question (probably sounds stupid) is… if you have a quilt that fits the requirements and could fit the theme (if there is one) but was NOT made specifically for that show, is it wrong to enter it, providing an explanation of how it fits the theme even though that was not your original intent for the quilt? I often see calls for entry that COULD fit some of my current work, but… Read more »

[…] In last week’s post, we covered the basic ideas of general rules, categories, permissions, and… […]

Patty w

What needs to be in a description for a quilt show, entering a quilt for the first time.Patty