Have you always wanted to attend a big national quilt show but weren't sure what's involved? Have you thought about entering your quilts but are a little unsure of yourself? We're here to explain a little bit about the process and encourage you to dive in and have some quilting fun!
Modern quilts on display at the 2014 American Quilters Society show in Phoenix
What you can do at the show
The American Quilter's Society is presenting a total of six quilt shows in 2014, spread throughout the country, so there's likely one near you! Each show runs four days, Wednesday through Saturday, and is chock full of fun things to do. You can view hundreds of beautiful quilts on display, check out special themed exhibits, shop for fabrics and supplies, and attend various lectures and quilting classes.
Based on your time frame and schedule, you can come for the day, or stay for the week -- it's up to you! If your quilt gets accepted into the show, you can even earn free admission along with the admiration of your friends and peers.
AQS Entry "Lily Pad" Pieced by Patti Van Oordt, Quilted by Cory Allender
I recently had the opportunity go with a friend to the AQS Quilt show in Phoenix, Arizona. We were inspired by the beautiful quilts, enjoyed seeing ribbons on friends' quilts we recognized, and even had a few "celebrity quilter" encounters. Craftsy instructor Ann Petersen was there along with her beautiful quilt entry Roman Tiles.
Ann Petersen with "Roman Tiles" at AQS Phoenix
It is wonderful to get up close and personal with so many beautiful quilts. The piecing is always spectacular and the machine quilting will really knock your socks off! Attending shows like this can really get your creative juices flowing along with helping you decide which techniques you'd next like to learn.
How to enter a quilt show
Most large national and international shows like AQS utilize a jury system to decide which quilts will be on display. To get "juried" into a show is quite an honor. The submission process is open to everyone based on quality of workmanship rather than name or reputation. A panel of judges will evaluate the quilts before the show opens and winners receive recognition ribbons along with cash prizes.
AQS Phoenix Best of Show "Isabelle" by Kathi Carter, Vineyard, UT
When you decide on which quilt(s) you want to enter, photography is important. Be sure to take clear, flat shots of your quilts and email them along with the entry form to the jury committee by the specified deadline.
Once a decision is made on the finalist quilts, the finalists will be notified and it is up to the individual entrants to ship their quilts to the show by the specified date. The entrant is responsible for shipping costs and the show agrees to take good care of the quilts while they are in their care.
Charming Chevrons by Christa Watson at AQS Phoenix
With the growing popularity of modern quilting, most large shows are adding modern categories to their mix, which I, for one, am most grateful! It's given me the encouragement to enter my own quilts into shows and I hope you will consider entering as well. After all, what better way to share your quilts with a larger audience than by entering them into a quilt show?
Have you ever entered or attended a quilt show? Please share your quilt show experiences in the comments!