Quilting contests are a great way to showcase your beautiful creations to the world. Some have cash prizes and there are often different categories for you to enter. Even if you don’t win, quilting contests let you see what other people are doing and also let you be proud of your work. Let’s take a look at some of the quilting contests that are happening this year around the world. We’ve picked our quilting contests with a few factors in mind: (1) Cash prizes, (2) How much time the quilter has to prepare, (3) The diversity of categories for the quilter.
American Quilt Contests
This is the contest for the Great Wisconsin Quilt Show. There are a wide variety of prizes and categories to choose from. There is a theme for 2022’s show, “Celebrating 40 Years of Sewing With Nancy.” There is the main challenge, a kids’ challenge, and a modern mini-quilt challenge. The Best of Contest prize is $1,500 and several other prizes are also available. The winners in the kids’ contest will receive gift cards to sewing vendors. You will need to submit photos of your quilt before the contest and pay a $10 entry fee. This year’s contest projects must be inspired by Nancy Zieman’s books and the TV show Sewing With Nancy.
The International Quilt Festivals have three festivals throughout the United States during the year with different contests. One of the most exciting ones is A Celebration of Color. This is a great opportunity to showcase your color creations. A Celebration of Color will close on April 14, 2022. The Best of Show Award is $1,000. Most of the contests through the International Quilt Festivals have an entry fee of $10 to $20 per quilt. Many of the contests also have modern quilt categories.
Even though the 2022 festival date has already passed, QUILTCON is a standard show and contest for modern quilters that is presented by the Modern Quilting Guild. In 2023, the festival will be held in Atlanta. More information will be available on the QUILTCON page for 2023’s show. This is a great festival because it has multiple categories with multiple prizes for participants. The best in show usually gets a $5,000 prize and each category has its own unique cash prize.
AQS Quiltweek is a series of four shows that are held throughout the United States during the year. Each show has contests that quilters can participate in. The festivals for this year are:
- Branson, March 23-26, 2022
- Paducah, April 27-30, 2022
- Grand Rapids, August 17-20, 2022
- Des Moines, September 14-27, 2022
The Des Moines Contest is late enough in the year that quilters will have enough time to work on their projects. There are several different quilt contest categories. Society members only have to pay an entry fee of $25 per quilt and nonmembers have to pay $40 per quilt. The Des Moines show gives away over $54,000 in prizes with the Best In Show being $20,000.
International Quilting Contests
If you are looking for contests throughout the rest of the world, we’ve found a few great ones that you might want to consider.
The Festival of Quilts is held each year and in 2022 will be held at The NEC. There are over £35,000 in prizes given away. Members of the European Quilters Association and the Quilters Guild of the British Isles only have to pay £14. The contest also caters to international quilters who wish to feature their work abroad.
This contest is held as part of the European Patchwork Meeting every two years, which will happen this year in Alsace, France in August of 2022. The contest closes on May 27, 2022. The contest invites quilters to create works that tell about fairy tales and stories from their childhood. A grand prize of €3,000 will be awarded and many smaller prizes totalling €7,000.
If you are in Australia, members of QuiltNSW can enter any of these contests. The Suitcase Challenge invites people to make a quilt that is robust for traveling. While there is not a financial prize, the winners will have their quilts shown as part of a traveling exhibition throughout Australia. The Recharge, Renew, Restate is a modern quilting challenge where quilters are to use the fabrics of designer Helena Geiger. There is a $100 cash prize for this contest.