2017 Contest


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Voices, the 11th Annual Quilt Alliance Contest, Exhibition & Auction

 See all of the Voices contest entries/auction donations here:


New for 2017:

  • We have eliminated the entry fee for our contest, but ask that all entrants be current members. $25 is our base annual membership rate and you can join or renew online on our website here.
  • Exciting new prizes for 1st -3rd place provided by our partners at Handi Quilter!
  • Donate your quilt AND its story. All artists are encouraged to submit a 3-minute or less Go Tell It! video recording the story of their quilt (we’ll help!)
  • New rules on awards eligibility (see Eligibility for Awards section below)

2017 Theme: Voices

As part of our mission, the Quilt Alliance records the stories of quilts and quiltmakers through our oral history projects. We value the human voice as well as your voice expressed in cloth and thread. We encourage everyone who makes quilts to enter our annual contest regardless of their style (traditional, modern, art) or technique (longarm, hand quilting, applique, pieced…) –all are welcomed and valued!

We invite entrants to share their opinions, memories, language, conversation and truths in the form of a quilt. Help us document the state of quilting in 2017—let your voice be heard.

We have just a few stipulations:

  • Each entry must be a quilt (three layers stitched together).
  • Finished quilts must be 16″ x 16″ in size
  • Quilts must include a label affixed to the back with at minimum: artist’s name, title, date, location made
  • Stitch a 4″ sleeve to the top of the quilt.

All entries become a donation to the Quilt Alliance, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and after exhibition, will be auctioned to benefit the mission of the organization. All entries will be documented and shared on the Quilt Alliance website.

Prizes and Sponsors

Handi Quilter logo

1st, 2nd 3rd prize and Honorable Mention awards will be chosen by online member voting. A panel of professional judges will select Judge’s Choice awards. Outstanding Label prizes will be awarded by Mike Newman of StoryPatches.

Honorable Mention and Judge’s Choice Award prizes will be provided by these generous sponsors:

Moda Fabrics, Aurifil, and StoryPatches.

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1st Place Prize: HQ Stitch 710 (retail value: $3,995)

2nd Place Prize: HQ Stitch 510 (retail value: $1,595)

3rd Place Price: HQ Stitch 210 (retail value: $595)

Eligibility for Awards

Past Quilt Alliance Contest winners (Grand Prize and 1st-3rd place winners) are ineligible for a period of 3 years to win 1st-3rd place awards in this year’s contest. For the 2017 contest, this includes 2014, 2015, 2016 contest winners. All past entrants are, however, eligible for Honorable Mention and Judge’s Choice awards. Past Quilt Alliance Employees, dealers or retail representatives of contest sponsors, as well as current Quilt Alliance staff, board members and advisory council members are ineligible to win any and all Quilt Alliance contest prizes.

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Auction and Exhibitions

In addition to an online display of the quilts, the collection will be exhibited at 2017 Alliance events, including the Not Fade Away conference on July 15 in Herndon, Virginia, the Quilters Take Manhattan fundraising event in New York City on September 19, and in the Alliance booth at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, November 1-4. Additional exhibit venues may also be added. All quilts will be auctioned online beginning November 13, 2017 to benefit the Quilt Alliance.


There is no fee to enter. But you must be a member to participate. Join or renew online here. Check to see if your membership is current on our Supporters page.

Registration and Deadline

Register here. We recommend that you register your entry(s) right before you plan to submit them by mail. Please note new deadline: the last day to register and postmark your quilt is July 3, 2017 until midnight CST (however, if you are requesting photography services, we need to receive your quilt one month before the deadline).

Terms and Conditions:

Entry into the competition automatically grants copyright permission for the image of the quilt and/or all or part of the Artist’s Statement (written and recorded) about the quilt to be used in articles, ads, promotions, catalogs, books, posters, cards, websites, CDs, event news coverage, television productions and/or multimedia productions for and about the Quilt Alliance. The quilt artist retains copyright to his/her quilt design.

Submitting the completed entry form means that I will abide by the contest rules and accept the decisions of the judges. I also understand that I am donating my quilt to the Quilt Alliance for any purpose they deem appropriate, including sale by auction.

Digital Images

Please submit three images for your quilt: An overall, detail image and your quilt label.


Please submit your images at 2100 pixels on the longest side and crop the image so that only the quilt is in the photo (see examples below). If you need some tips on photography, check out Andy Baird and Holly Knott’s wonderful website, “Shoot That Quilt.” Still not feeling confidant about your photography skills? Email us for information about our photography services.

Photo submission example: “Katrina’s Dream 2,” 2016 Playing Favorites contest entry, by Katherine Dossman, Belton, Texas.

Number of Submissions

You may submit up to four quilts per registration (just a limitation of our system; to enter more than 4, just create a second registration)

For More Information

If you have any questions, please contact Deb Josephs at admin@quiltalliance.org. To reach by phone, call (828) 251-7073. If you have technical questions about the on-line system, please contact Lisa Ellis at lisa@ellisquilts.com.

The Quilt Alliance is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations and memberships are deductible to the extent allowed by law.