Quilting festivals offer an incredible opportunity to display creations, view the work of fellow quilting enthusiasts, learn, and spend time with like-minded people from all over the world. Shows, conferences and festivals bring quilters together, enabling them to discover dazzling new designs, share tips and tricks and delve deeper into the magical world of quilting. From beginners and amateurs keen to hone their skills to seasoned pros with years of experience under their belt, quilting festivals can be fun for everyone.
In this guide, we’ve put together an extensive list of top quilting festivals around the world, including shows in the US, as well as those further afield. Whether you’re planning your first or your fiftieth festival, here’s a guide to inspire you and ensure you’ve got those all-important dates in your diary.
Quilting festivals in the US
The US is home to an ever-growing range of shows, exhibitions and themed gatherings, which celebrate quilting, and there’s a broad spectrum of events on offer throughout the year. Upcoming quilting festivals and conferences in the US include:
The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show
Affectionately known as SOQS within the quilting community, the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year. Regarded as the world’s largest outdoor quilt show, this annual gathering will celebrate its 46th show in July 2021. The show is attended by quilters and master creators from all US states, as well as visitors and talented quilters from across the globe. In the past, the gathering has attracted crowds of over 10,000 people from over 30 countries.
The major draw of the SOQS is the diversity and scope of the quilt display. In previous years, there have been more than 1,300 quilts on show, with quilters from the US and beyond using a range of fibers and materials showcasing their creations. In addition to a huge display of quilts, the festival is also famed for its activity schedule, with a host of interactive sessions and educational workshops and classes on offer.
This year’s show, the 46th annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, will take place on Saturday July 10th from 9am until 4pm. Due to Covid-19, the display will be smaller but there will still be a staggering exhibition comprising over 500 quilts. The quilts will be spread apart to facilitate safe viewing and crowd numbers are limited. There will be around 180 quilts available to buy on the day.
For those who would love to be at the show but cannot attend due to travel restrictions or ticket limits, there is a virtual event taking place on Facebook. The stream will go live at 7am, and there will be social media updates about the event before and after the show on both Facebook and Instagram.
- Date: 10th July 2021
- Location: Sisters, Oregon
- Website for further information: https://www.soqs.org/
- Virtual stream available via Facebook
Denver Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival
Denver Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival will take place between Thursday 8th July and Saturday 10th July 2021. A high-profile show, this event attracts a diverse range of visitors with a broad spectrum of displays and activities available to suit all levels of abilities and ages. This is a show that celebrates everything related to quilting, sewing and crafting, and there’s a packed schedule to keep everyone entertained.
The show features a display of quilts in addition to workshops, courses and sessions designed to help visitors improve their sewing, quilting and crafting skills, learn new tricks and take inspiration from design ideas and trends.
For those who love to shop, there is a vast selection of pop-up stalls and stores with a huge range of products on offer.
Visitors can also enter daily prize draws, watch demos and presentations and get involved in make ‘n’ take activities.
The organizers of the event will be working within Covid-19 guidelines to ensure that everybody is able to enjoy the festival safely.
- Date: 8th-10th July 2021
- Location: Arapahoe County Fairgrounds, Aurora CO
- Free parking is available
- Website https://quiltcraftsew.com/denver.html
World Quilt Show Online
World Quilt Show events take place all over the US but this year’s virtual event is set to be more popular than ever. With restrictions still in place, the 7th annual virtual event is expected to attract giant audiences across the globe. This virtual show will be available to view around the clock from August 11th-14th.
The World Quilt Show has a reputation for staging outlandish, original and inventive competitions and challenges, and the briefs encourage quilters to think outside of the box and present unique creations. The extensive array of quilts will be available to peruse from the comfort of the couch, with interactive galleries and exhibitions just a click away.
As well as browsing virtual collections of stunning quilts, online attendees will also be able to join classes and workshops (to check the workshops I will be teaching this year visit here), listen to lectures and take advantage of interactive tutorials via their tablet, laptop, desktop computer or smartphone. There is also an online Merchant’s Mall for those who like to shop.
- Date: 11th-14th August 2021
- Location: online
- Website for further information: https://www.quiltfest.com/upcoming-shows-and-events/httpswww-onlinequiltfestival-com/
Northwest Quilting Expo
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2021, the Northwest Quilting Expo is back after a year off due to Covid-19. This year’s show, which is expected to take place in September, will mark the 21st birthday of the event and the 20th show.
The 2021 Northwest Quilting Expo is set to be one of the best yet, with a huge range of quilts available to view and sessions and workshops run by expert instructors and well-known creators. Visitors will be able to sign up for classes in advance and browse stalls and merchant stores as well as viewing the quilts submitted by entrants for the 2021 competition.
General admission is available for single days, and there is a 3-day pass for those who are keen to enjoy everything the festival has to offer.
- Date: 23rd-25th September
- Location: Portland Expo Center, Portland, Oregon
Quilt Festival Houston
Quilt Festival Houston is a highlight for many quilters who are keen to display their masterpieces, as well as those who are eager to brush up on their skills and learn. With a varied schedule and a host of classes and workshops available, there’s scope for everyone to get involved, whatever their level of expertise and experience.
This year’s event will take place between October 28th and the 31st October with a preview night earmarked for the 27th October. The show floor will be open for displays and exhibits and there will also be full days of classes and sessions for those who want to diversify their skills, learn new things and see how experts master the art of quilting. There are tickets available for single-day admission as well as a full show pass covering all four days.
The great thing about Quilt Festival Houston is that visitors can enjoy the best of both worlds. They can relax and unwind and enjoy viewing quilts and marveling at prints, patterns and colors but they can also learn, develop their skills and get ideas for their next project. Examples of classes that will be included in the schedule include quilt repair and restoration and machine quilting. There is also a series of lectures provided by expert quilters and leading names in the industry.
- Date: October 28th-31st 2021
- Preview night: 27th October 2021
- Location: George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston TX
- website https://www.quilts.com/quilt-festival/quilt-festival-houston/
One of the most high profile events in the global quilting calendar, QuiltCon is an annual gathering organized by The Modern Quilt Guild. The largest event of its kind in the world, QuiltCon is the place to be for enthusiasts keen to display their creations and see all kinds of showpieces adorning stages and halls.
QuiltCon is designed to be fun, and it’s a wonderful event to meet people with similar hobbies, to link up with friends within the community and to discover a deeper appreciation for quilting and what it means to visitors from all over the world. There’s a party-like atmosphere as well as a serious side, and many people who attend the event will go year in, year out.
QuiltCon alternates between the East and West coast with the next event in 2022 set to take place in Phoenix, Arizona.
The 2022 QuiltCon show will feature over 600 quilts from talented, creative makers all over the world. Entries will be accepted from September 2021 for those who would like to display a quilt. There is an expert judging panel and a number of categories available. Prize money is awarded to the winner of each category, with the Best in Show award winner scooping $5,000.
In addition to the quilt show, visitors attending QuiltCon can also join classes and lectures, social activities and interactive sessions and swaps. With a diverse schedule, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing how to spend your time!
- Date: February 16th-20th 2022
- Location: Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona
- Website for further information: https://www.quiltcon.com
One of the most talked-about quilting festivals of the year, Paducah QuiltWeek attracts thousands of visitors from the US and overseas. For a few days, the charming town of Paducah, Kentucky, is transformed into a quilter’s paradise, offering those who love sewing, designing and crafting the chance to occupy a tiny slice of quilting heaven on earth.
One of the largest and best-loved shows in the US, Paducah QuiltWeek usually draws crowds of around 30,000 from across the world. The main attraction is the quilt show, which attracts some of the most talented and creative fiber artists on the planet. There are hundreds of quilts available to view with 100-500 exhibitors taking part in the festival each year.
As well as the quilt show, visitors can also enrol in classes, listen to lectures and watch demos by top quilting instructors and shop up a storm at the Merchant’s Mall. The mall showcases an enormous range of products from leading vendors. From supplies to machinery, anyone who has a shopping list will be able to find exactly what they need and there’s also an opportunity to indulge in a little retail therapy.
Many people have a very high opinion of Paducah QuiltWeek, and it’s an event that captures the imagination and makes visitors rebook time and time again. This is a celebration of quilting and creativity, and many people like to go with friends and family and really make a trip of it. The town of Paducah gets behind the event and there’s a fantastic community feel, with local businesses and residents enjoying the quilting invasion and getting in on the action.
Date: April 27th-30th 2022
Location: Schroeder Expo Center, Park Street, Paducah KY
Road to California
January 19 – 22, 2022
Ontario Convention Center
2000 E Convention Center Way
Ontario, CA 91764
Wednesday January 19th through the 22th 2022.
Wednesday – Friday – 9:00AM-5:30PM
Saturday – 9:00AM-4:30PM
Broward Quilt Expo
Every two years, seven quilt guilds in Broward County, Florida, come together to present the Broward Quilt Expo (BQE). It is one of the most exciting and expansive quilt shows in South Florida, and takes place in sunny South Florida.
In 2021, our show event will be held in October at the new state of the art facility – the Charles F Dodge City Center in Pembroke Pines, FL.
- Friday October 22nd : Awards Gala and Lecture in the mezzanine
- Saturday and Sunday, October 23rd & 24th : Quilt Show, Marketplace, demonstrations and workshops in the main hall – mini quilt auction open to the public at show end.
Over the week-end, thousands of viewers will join us to celebrate the uniquely American art form of quilting. Whether you want to look at beautiful examples of traditional, modern, or art quilts, if you’d like to buy a quilt, learn how to quilt, attend a lecture, or shop for supplies, BQE has it all!
Atlanta Quilt festival
The AQF is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of African American quilting and other textile art. It showcases some of the finest examples of African American quilts, dolls and other fiber art across the spectrum of all genres including traditional, art, modern and African American Heritage styles. At the same time, the Atlanta Quilt Festival provides a welcoming environment for beginners to introduce their work to the world.
To accomplish the two objectives of showcasing professionals while encouraging beginners, the AQF hosts a joyous and informative schedule of activities each August. The heart and soul of the festival is the juried exhibit which has grown to over 100 quilts. Just as important, is the array of classes offered for beginners to professionals so that students can hone their craft and enjoy the company of like-minded creatives. Trunk shows offer the inspiration and joy of admiring the work of others.
Atlanta Quilt Festival Exhibit
July 30, 2021 to August 27, 2021
Southwest Arts Center
Quilting festivals around the world
There’s a treasure trove of quilting festivals on offer in the US but for those who enjoy traveling and quilters eager to learn more about quilting in other countries, there are amazing opportunities to explore and discover new, exciting events. If you’re looking to go abroad, or you like the idea of adding a few new shows to your annual schedule, here are some international quilting festivals to consider:
India International Quilt Festival
India International Quilt Festival [IIQF] curated by Quilt India Foundation celebrates the quilting tradition in India, from days gone by, to modern times. Held in January once in two years, the festival is an important event in Arts and Cultural calendar of Chennai, India.
The second edition of India International Quilt Festival was a fully virtual festival held from 23- 25 January 2021. The highlights of the second edition were
The very first edition was held in January 2019 and the highlights were:
Specially Curated Exhibits including “Quilts across time and nations” and the MQG
prize winning showcase
- Artisans’ Showcase
- Festival Catalogue
- Awards evening and Gala dinner with entertainment
- Add-on Textile Tours that included sightseeing and shopping
The third edition of India International Quilt festival will be held from 20-23 January 2023, at Chennai, India.
- Quilt Show – gallery of quilts
- Learning sessions
- Artisans Showcase
- Shopping hub
- Festival Catalogue
More information :
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Instagram : @indiaintquiltfestival
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/indiaquiltfestival/
Nadelwelt Karlsruhe, Germany
Traditionally held on the first weekend in May, the largest show for needlecraft in Germany, Nadelwelt, has been rescheduled to 15 – 17 October 2021 due to the pandemic. The international event covers patchwork and quilting, sewing, needlepoint, knitting, crocheting and other textile arts. It takes place in the southwest of Germany and regularly attracts 14,000 visitors. On 14,000 square meters, the event offers 17 different thematic exhibitions, a hall with approx. 200 vendors and a wide range of workshops and courses (list is yet to be published).
Location: Messe Karlsruhe, Messeallee 1, D-76287 Rheinstetten, Germany
Dates: 15 – 17 October 2021
Opening hours: Friday and Saturday: 10.00 am – 6.00 pm, Sunday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Festival of Quilts, Heritage Park, Calgary, Canada
Moved to August 2021 to allow visitors to attend in person safely, the Festival of Quilts at Heritage Park is one of the highlights of the quilting calendar in Canada. This summer, Heritage Park, Canada’s largest living museum, will be transformed into a wonderland of color, as quilters from all corners of the country descend to showcase their talents. Hundreds of quilts of all sizes and shapes will blanket the area, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy the displays, shop at the merchant mall and enjoy stunning views while they meander through the exhibits under sunny, blue skies.
In addition to the quilt display, visitors will also be able to attend workshops set in the grounds of the museum. Classes are available for a limited number of guests, and booking in advance is essential.
- Date: August 21st-22nd 2021
- Location: Heritage Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
- Website for further information: https://www.heritagepark.ca/plan-your-visit/event-calendar/festival-of-quilts
Australasian Quilt Convention, Melbourne, Australia
A four-day celebration of quilting, the Australasian Quilt Convention (AQC) is a huge event, which showcases the talent, creativity and flair of quilters from Australia, New Zealand and beyond.
The highlight for many visitors who make the journey to the AQC is the quilt show. This beguiling exhibition is one of the many things that make the AQC so popular. With hundreds of creations from all over the region and international entries, the famous painted dome of Melbourne’s famous Royal Exhibition Building comes to life in a flurry of color. The show comprises local fiber artists, instructors and quilters who are showcasing their masterpieces for the first time with a dazzling array of different styles on show.
As part of the new program, entrants will be encouraged to use their creativity and originality to conjure up designs to celebrate ‘The Best of Australia.’ The best quilts submitted by creators from around the country will be displayed for judging by an expert panel, with the winner revealed at a gala dinner on Saturday 21st August.
The organizers have added a host of classes to the schedule for 2021 and there is also an impressive range of stalls available for those keen to shop.
- Date: August 19th-22nd 2021
- Location: Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton Gardens, Melbourne, Australia
- Website for more information: https://aqc.com.au/
The Festival of Quilts, Birmingham, UK
One of the largest quilting festivals in Europe, the Festival of Quilts takes place in Birmingham in the UK. Launched in 2003 in partnership with The Quilter’s Guild, the event was designed to act as a beacon to bring quilting fans from the UK, Europe and beyond together. Since its inception, the gathering has been a huge success and it has continued to grow, attracting crowds of over 25,000 people per year.
The Festival of Quilts offers a hugely diverse range of activities and the chance to design and plan a schedule that enables you to do everything from marvel at beautiful quilts and make your own judgements in different categories to shop until you drop, learn new skills at workshops and classes and meet some of the leading names in the textiles and art fiber and quilting communities.
There is a stunning collection of galleries available to view online, which feature the artists and creators set to grace stages and exhibit quilts at this year’s festival in the summer. As well as showcasing pieces from established names, this show has also earned a reputation for shining a spotlight on new talent. There’s a wide range of challenges, categories and galleries, including a graduate showcase. Tickets are available to book online.
- Date: 29th July- August 1st 2021
- Location: The NEC, Birmingham, UK
- Website for more details: https://www.thefestivalofquilts.co.uk/
Great Northern Quilt Show, Harrogate, UK
Nestled in the county of North Yorkshire in the UK, Harrogate is a quaint, historic town, which provides a beautiful base for the Great Northern Quilt Show.
The Great Northern Quilt Show combines exhibitions and quilt displays with workshops, informal classes and demonstrations, and shopping. There’s a large selection of stalls available and a wide range of vendors offering all kinds of supplies and materials. The displays feature artists and creators from the North of England, as well as those from other parts of the UK.
There’s a friendly feel to this festival in the North of England and Harrogate is a very popular tourist town. For those visiting Yorkshire from overseas, there’s scope to enjoy the festival as part of a vacation that involves crafting and inspecting stunning quilts as well as visiting country houses and stately homes, castles, national parks and of course, enjoying a good, old-fashioned pot of tea. Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the door.
- Date: 10th-12th September 2021
- Location: Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK
- Website for further information: https://www.grosvenorshows.co.uk/view_show.php?ID=4
Auckland Festival of Quilts, Auckland, New Zealand
The Auckland Festival of Quilts is an annual show organized by the Auckland Quilt Guild. Back with a bang for 2021, this will be the first festival since 2018.
The festival is designed to enable the guild to share designs, visions, ideas and creations with the public and encourage people who enjoy quilting and those who are new to the activity to come together and enjoy a fun, interesting and engaging event.
The showpiece for most visitors is the quilt exhibition, which features the work of the country’s most talented quilters. There is usually a theme, which artists must interpret to enter the competition, and the best quilts are available to view in an online gallery after the event.
In addition to the display, there is also a host of stalls available to buy quilting supplies and gadgets and a host of classes on offer. After the show, visitors to the city can embark upon a sightseeing itinerary with a vast selection of attractions on offer and the chance to travel further afield to discover New Zealand’s breathtaking scenery.
- Date: 5th-7th November 2021
- Location: Auckland Netball Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
- Website for more information: https://www.aqg.org.nz/auckland-festival-quilts/
European Carrefour do Patchwork
The international event for textile arts. Traditional quilts and modern patchwork get together in the Val d’Argent, the birthplace of the Amish culture.
The eventtakes place in several villages in Val d’Argent: Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Sainte-Croix-aux-Mines, Lièpvre, Rombach-le-Franc. During 4 days, historical buildings, village halls or places of worship are the theater of a unique event dedicated to the textile and the patchwork.
From Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th of September 2021
Pour L’amour du fil
Ever since our very first show, this has been the meeting place for all aficionados from Planet Textile! Patchwork, Quilting, Sewing, Embroidery, Home Decor, Knitting, along with some of the best-known experts, for 4 days in the HALL 4 at the Parc des Expositions de la Beaujoire from September 29th to October 2nd, 2021!
For our 12th Edition, we have chosen the British Isles as our guest country of honor and there will be much to see!
Quilting is a hugely popular activity, which can be a therapeutic hobby, a creative outlet or a full-time job. Quilting festivals and shows bring people who enjoy quilting together, enabling them to take part in classes and workshops, learn new skills, meet new friends and get inspiration from like-minded individuals. Whether you’re a beginner, you’re just starting out, you’ve created hundreds of quilts or you’re an award-winner, there is a fabulous selection of shows, festivals and events on offer. From the US to New Zealand and Canada to the UK, there’s scope to trot around the globe or stay close to home. If you’re looking for dates for your diary, hopefully, this guide will point you in the right direction.