Quilting for Show–Just Do It!

When I reported on receiving an Honorable Mention award at the NQA Quilt Show for Accessorize Me—with Inchies!, Emma commented:

You give me something to aim for – one day, maybe!

and Mandy said:

Perhaps I should just give it a go with a quilt I feel proud of , where the workmanship is as good as I can make it…

YES! Yes you should just give it a go, and sooner rather than later! Honestly, one of the best ways to improve your quilting technique is to get the valuable feedback about your work from professionals in the field. And truly, one of the best places to do that is at the NQA Quilt Show every year.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing amiss with sticking close to home and entering your local guild quilt show, but local shows don’t always have certified professional quilt judges to give you feedback, if they’re judged at all. Yes, local shows are a great place to get your feet wet and get over any trepidation you might have about putting your work on display to a larger audience, but a national level show is where you’ll really get the feedback that will help you.

You can enter the NQA show for a very nominal fee, something like $5 for NQA members and $25 for non-members, I think, and the show is not juried which means that your quilt doesn’t have to be chosen from a wide field of entries before it can be displayed at all. If you send your entry in before the deadline, and the show hasn’t filled up, you’re quilt is in and you’ll be sent instructions on how and when to ship your quilt to the show when the time comes.

The NQA Quilt Show always has three NQA certified quilt judges on hand for the judging, and the feedback you’ll receive from these judges is so important. You’ll see what the judges liked about your quilt, and they’ll also share constructive suggestions for improvement and a more competitive entry. And who knows? Your quilt might just win an award while its there, and as I’ve said before, the NQA gives out some pretty awesome looking ribbons!

So what are you waiting for? It’s so easy to enter; the entry forms are always posted online at the NQA website well before the show each year. You can also become a member of the National Quilting Association to receive all the benefits of membership, including the quarterly magazine which always has information about the upcoming show. The NQA Quilt Show is always in June, so start planning now to enter a quilt for the 2010 show!

Your Voice: Have you entered your work in a show? Was it a good experience? Did you learn from it? Are you planning to enter any future shows? Share!

5 thoughts on “Quilting for Show–Just Do It!

  1. Well Nadine, your post really started something for me. I live in the UK, and am planning to submit a quilt (as yet not even started!) for the Region 13 Challenge for 2010 (this is Region 13 of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles of which I am a member). I am giving myself a month to really think about the theme (“Innovation”), then I shall start.
    Writing this here will really mean I have committed myself and I can’t cry off.
    Anyone else out there having a go for the first time?


  2. Nadine, I agree with you one hundred percent. That first show feels like a giant step, but you really have no idea just how good your work is or where it needs to improve without that step. And I agree that NQA is a wonderful place to start, I wish I had started entering it years ago. Love to read your blogs, it is always interesting, friendly and thought provoking. Thanks, Ann


    1. Oh yes, I remember my first show, and I thought I’d die waiting to see if my quilt even got accepted. (I didn’t even know about the NQA show then, so I entered my first show quilt at Houston!) I didn’t get to go to the show to see it myself with all the other quilts, but I received an email from an old friend who said she saw the quilt there. I wrote her back and asked her if it really looked good, and did the quilt look like it really belonged there with all those outstanding quilts? I’d never been to a national show, so I had no idea what kind of quilts were even displayed at an event of that nature! 🙂

      And thank you for reading, Ann. Your comments are always a wonderful addition to the conversation!


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