5 Crucial Tips for Entering Art Quilt Shows

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to all the new readers!  I recently wrote an article for my Master Art Quilters Guild about entering their art quilts in shows.  You know, best practices and common mistakes to avoid.  I’ve been entering my art quilts in shows since I first started quilting.  Some pretty good quilts and some not so good.  Either way, it’s always a thrill to see your work hanging in a show.

This week I will pass on some crucial tips that should guide you with this process if you are new to shows.  And if you’ve entered a lot of shows, please share your expertise with any additional tips you can think of.  With that said, there is a lot more info I can share, but for time and space reasons, here are just the highlights.  If you want more info and resources for show entries, photography editing, and my handy spread sheet I am giving away my article, It’s Showtime! (Click on that link to  download it , and it’s yours to use and keep.

Tip #1  The Why

This is important.  Before you go through the work and time it takes, not to mention the costs, figure out what you will get out of this experience.  Are you hoping to get recognition from the judges, your peers, or friends?  Do you want the ribbons and prize money?  Do you just want the exposure for teaching or other money making endeavors?  Or is the challenge of it?  Maybe you work best within certain themes, and deadlines to prod you into action.  Don’t just enter shows willy nilly because someone said you should.

Tip #2  The What

Which shows should you enter?  How many?  How do I find these shows?  There are many online calls for entry that publish all kinds of art and fiber shows.  A great place to start is Lyric Kinard’s list on her blog.  She lists them by date deadline, and type of show.  I also recommend for beginners to enter shows at their local guild level.

Students often ask me, do I make quilts just for certain shows and themes, or do I make what I want and then try to find shows that seem to fit that quilt?  Usually, it’s the latter, because I want to make what I want to make!  But it really doesn’t matter.  Just don’t contort yourself to make a piece you don’t really like, just to get it into a certain show.

Tip #3  The When

I like to keep a spreadsheet of all my quilts, which tells me where the quilts are, as well as other vital info you need when filling out a show prospectus.  The one thing you don’t want to do is enter a show with a quilt that you don’t have back in time from other shows.  Backing out of a show acceptance is really bad form.

Tip #4  The How: Photos

Having good photos of your work is the most important determining factor in getting your work accepted in a show.  Jurors do not want to see Fluffy’s hair, anyone’s hands or feet, while holding up the quilt, or a wonky shape that is badly lit.  You want even lighting all over the surface, with a straight on view, and a neutral background with anything else cropped out.  Draping your quilt over a fence or bed is not ok.  It must be hanging vertically or shot from above at a 90 degree angle with the quilt spread out on the floor.

ARt quilt by Roxane Lessa
Crazy Quilt


Always take the highest resolution photos you can, because you can always make them smaller, but not bigger.  Editing your photos to the size requested, and labeling them correctly is also important.   I listed resources in the download that will help you understand how to resize your photos.

Tip #5   The How: Everything Else

Know when your quilt it supposed to be at the show, and allow adequate shipping time.  Include any return shipping if required.  Label everything, bags, pillowcases, boxes with your name and contact info.  Use a reliable tracking shipping service like UPS or Fed Ex.

Packing your quilts carefully with extra padding between folds is a good idea to prevent creasing.  I save padding from other packaging to re-use.  Always put it in a plastic bag to protect from any liquid mishaps.  Then send it off with all appropriate paper work, and a good luck prayer!

I want to hear about your experiences entering shows, so please comment below, so we can all learn from each other!


Students Say

One of my virtual Private students from Florida recently said and reminded me why I love to coach my students:

“I really, really thank you for encouraging me to get back into experimenting again. That is where the real joy is for me and I had drifted away from there – didn’t even realize it. So thank you again and again – you are a Godsend mentor!” ~Ellen


Reminder, the next MAQG will kick off in January- so keep that in mind if you’d like to join in the fun.  If you have any friends who would like to jump in, invite them too!



Remember to look at the next Quilting Arts Magazine– I have an article in there!!! It will be the Dec/Jan issue.

What are you working on?  I love to see your comments and pictures.  You can head on over to my FB page and share some photos of your creations too!  https://www.facebook.com/RoxaneLessaArtist

Roxane Recommends

Art Quilts 101, a newish Facebook group started by Sue Freebern.  She shares and posts everyday all about techniques and inspiration for making art quilts.  There are lots of in process photos, and links to great tutorials.  Here’s the link: ART QUILTS 101.  Even if you don’t like FB, you’ll like this group.  The only rules are share whatever you want, but share how you made it.

As always, a big thanks for reading!


Master Art Quilters Guild 

For details read below  ↓


The Private Coaching Program for art quilters who are serious about their art making (see below).  But also, I’m adding the Master Art Quilters Guild, the new group coaching program, for those of you who like to work with others.  This Fall’s group is now closed, but for more info, just click HERE for .  Next one will probably start with the New Year.

That’s it from me, hope you have a wonderful, creative week!



I want you to make the most amazing, original art quilts that you can.  That is why I am now accepting private students who are serious about their creative expression in the world of art quilting.  Take advantage of my 15+ years as a textile artist, and speed up your learning curve. To work with me privately, please set up your initial, no obligation,  free Get Creative Call here: Schedule Appointment You can find out more by clicking on the Testimonials and Private Coaching tabs to the right in the sidebar or at the menu at the top. Did You Know? That I am on Pinterest?  Did you know that there are many amazing art quilts and traditional quilts being pinned every day, just waiting for you to look at? Never before has so much inspiration been in one place.  It’s like having an art museum in your hands.  If you haven’t checked it out, there are many, many types of things being pinned. It’s super easy to get started.  You can take a look at my pins, which are organized on different “boards” HERE.  Once you are on that page, you can click on the Get Started Button to make your own page on Pinterest.  Then start pinning!  I can spend a lot of time on Pinterest, because it’s all visual.  And I have a feeling, you will too!

CUSTOM COMMISSIONS And don’t forget, I make custom commissions too! Read what my client Glenda had to say about her custom commission experience: “Normally, I would be anxious about commissioning someone to do a work of art such as this. However, I felt a connection to you when Leigh showed me your work. It resonated with me and when I met you, you seemed almost a personification of your work. I immediately felt comfortable with you and knew that what you would create would be stunning. And it is!” About Roxane Roxane-Web-Images-007 Roxane is a full time studio textile artist and teacher with two girls.  She is a 2012 Niche Award Winner and exhibits her work all over the world. Her work is in several private collections and loves doing custom commissions.  For more info go to http://roxanelessa.com. If you and a small group of folks want a more private instruction experience, call me. We can work out a studio workshop in my studio. Just drop me an email: roxane@roxanelessa.com Permission to duplicate: You certainly can use this blog, just be sure to credit me and include this link, Roxane Lessa. Hey, if you like this blog, please hit the FB or Twitter icon in the top right sidebar and share with others! That’s why they are there…..:)

SAQA logo 25years


Powered by WebRing.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Tumblr

One thought on “5 Crucial Tips for Entering Art Quilt Shows

Comments are closed.