Frequently Asked Questions
Quilt TV

Non-refundable entry fee per quilt: $25 AQS Members/$40 Non Members

2021 QuiltWeek Contest Information

2021 QuiltWeek Info

2021 Contest Deadlines

2021 Contest Rules

Enter Your Quilt

Daytona Beach

October 16, 2020 Daytona Beach Rules OPENING SOON


November 6, 2020 Branson Rules OPENING SOON


December 4, 2020 Paducah Rules OPENING SOON

Grand Rapids

April 2, 2021 Grand Rapids Rules OPENING SOON

“How to” Links & Videos

photography-graphicPicture this: You’ve spent months cutting, sewing, and striving for perfection. You’ve been up to your ears in batting, thread, and fabric. You’ve made the quilt of your dreams. After all that hard work, your quilt is finished. Your quilt entry has to be entered today! Frantically, you throw your quilt over a banister and shoot a picture. You may have just made the best quilt of your entire life.

It may, in fact, be “Best of Show” worthy. But you’re forgetting one important detail: In order for your quilt to hang in one of our shows, it must first be juried. How do we jury your quilts? You guessed it…by YOUR photography.

We’ve received our share of excellent photography…but we’ve also seen some of the worst. Below you will find some helpful hints to go by when photographing your next masterpiece! Remember, your pictures are all our jurors can see…show your best work!

First, make sure your camera is on the highest quality setting. This will, indeed, make your file sizes larger. This is NOT a problem. In most cases, the larger the file size, the better quality the image; the more megapixels you use, the better your photograph will be. Also, (and we can’t stress this enough) be sure your camera is in focus when shooting your quilt.

The full shot image must be exactly what it says: a FULL shot. This means no folded corners, no bushes or trees in front of the quilt, and no fingers peeking over the top. For the best results, suspend your quilt from a curtain rod, letting it hang freely. Shoot your quilt at a 90° angle from the CENTER of the quilt. If you shoot your quilt from above or below, the quilt does not appear square (see illustrations).

Use your best source of lighting. The best results come when shooting outdoors on a cloudy day. The distilled sunlight creates just the right lighting for your quilts. Avoid harsh, direct sunlight as it blows out the color of your work. If you must shoot your quilt indoors, choose a room with the most natural lighting, and try to avoid any shadowing over your quilt.

When selecting your detail shot, choose a 12-inch section of your quilt that is your best work. You know your best work, so show it in your detail shot. Make sure you’re not physically too close to your quilt when taking the picture, as your camera may have trouble focusing.

Save Images As: JPEGS in all lower case with no spaces.

Full: title_of_quilt_f
Detail: title_of_quilt_s
Headshot: firstname_lastname

A headshot is a photo of you from the shoulders up. If you are a group or team of quilters, please use a group photo that includes everyone. (If you are a group of quilters, save as group_name.)

Not only will your quilt photographs be viewed by our jury, but if your quilt is selected to hang in any of our QuiltWeek events, your photograph may be used and re-used for publication and re-publication in AQS QuiltWeek material, digital or printed. We know you’ve worked hard on your quilt. Don’t jeopardize your quilt’s future with bad photography!

Troubleshooting If you find that you are having trouble uploading your photos, make sure your photo is saved as a jpeg, and under 10 MB. Depending on your network, it may take several minutes to complete the upload. It may appear that nothing is happening, but try waiting 2 to 3 minutes to see if it uploads successfully. (Note: Our registration software does not support iPads or Smart devices.)

Click here to view AQS photography tips for entries

An Explanation of Design Permissions Who Needs to Seek Permission? If your quilt is a completely original design, not based on anyone else’s patterns, photographs, or artwork, you do not need to worry about getting anyone’s permission before displaying your quilt. If your quilt is strictly for your own use and enjoyment, and will not be displayed publicly, used commercially, or sold, you also do not have to seek any permissions. However, if you use someone else’s pattern, artwork, photography, or even another quilt as the basis, starting point, or full source of your design, it is important that you ask for and receive that person’s permission, before displaying your quilt publicly. Even though the quilt and the hard work are all yours, the design is the intellectual property of its creator. Your quilt, even if the design has been altered, is considered a derivative work of their original design.

I Paid for My Pattern – That Means I Have the Designer’s Permission, Right? Many people believe that by purchasing a pattern, they are purchasing the right to use the pattern in whatever way they see fit, but this is not the case. Purchasing a pattern (or book, or photo, or magazine) gives you permission to make a quilt from the pattern only for your own use. It does not grant permission to publicly display the quilt or to use it for commercial purposes. To do this, you need to ask the creator for his or her permission. This is not difficult or time consuming, and it is often a very pleasant experience.

What if I Altered the Design to Make it My Own? Quilters are often inspired by others’ work in photography, sculpture, painting, or fabric arts. If the other artist’s work is visible and identifiable in your work, even though it might not be exactly the same, you still need to ask their permission. If it is not visible or identifiable, it is still a good idea, and a respectful courtesy, to credit that artist, even if you do not ask permission.

How Do I Ask Permission? Seeking permission does not have to be intimidating or difficult. In most cases, a simple e-mail or short letter is all that is needed. Contact information is usually available through the book, magazine, or pattern company, and may even be printed in the book, magazine, or on the pattern. Often, designers, photographers, and artists have their own websites with contact information posted. Tell the artist/designer that you have made a quilt from their pattern/artwork, attach a photo, and ask their permission to enter and display it in the show and to publish photographs, with proper credit. Depending on where you found the pattern or artwork, you may need to contact the publisher as well. Most of the time, people are happy to hear that a quilt inspired by their work has been accepted into a juried contest or show.

Is it Enough to Have Permission? Gaining permission is the biggest hurdle in avoiding copyright infringement, but not the only one. It is not enough to just get permission; you have to give proper credit to the designer/artist. That should be done on your contest entry form. Provide the name of the artist/designer, the title and publisher of the book, magazine, or web site if applicable, and any other information that may seem important. You may write on the back, or attach an extra page if necessary.

Why Insuring Your Quilt Might Not Be Enough

If you are concerned about protecting the value of your quilts, have them appraised, and use a fine arts rider on your homeowner’s insurance, rather than buying the shipper’s insurance. If you can’t use your home owner’s insurance, shipping insurance is fine as long as you have an appraisal.


The reason for this is simple—major carriers (UPS, FedEx, etc.) will gladly allow you to place any value on your shipment and charge you accordingly. However, if your shipment becomes damaged or is lost, things get a little complicated.


Example: Jane Doe ships her quilt across four states using one of the major carriers. Somewhere in transit the package suddenly falls off the map. Tracking shows it got half-way there and then nothing has happened for several days. Jane promptly contacts the carrier and has a trace placed on the shipment. The carrier calls in a few days and says the package has been determined to be lost or stolen.


Jane then begins the process of making a claim on the package. The carrier’s first question will be whether the package was insured. Jane breathes a sigh of relief because she had conscientiously placed an insurance value of $2,000 on the package. The carrier then asks Jane if she had an appraisal on the item. Jane responds that she did not. The carrier then tells her that they will only refund her the cost of the materials used to make the quilt. Her time, artistic ability, past quality of work, etc., are all inconsequential without the written appraisal.


This is why it is very important to have a certified appraiser do an appraisal of your quilt. It is a relatively small amount of money to protect your art.


For more information about appraisals, go to and under the Quilting Community tab, click AQS Appraisers. This information may be reprinted in guild newsletters with the following credit line: Used with permission, American Quilter’s Society, Paducah, Kentucky.

Hanging Sleeve Instructions

AQS has the leading hardware for hanging quilts at our shows, which may be different than some contestants have used in the past. This new system requires some give in the sleeve on the quilt, so the rod can slip over the hanging hook properly.

Step-by-steps instructions for adding a new sleeve:


1. Cut the sleeve 8½” wide x the exact width of your quilt. Fold the ends in twice (¼” and ¼” again) to finish each end of the sleeve. Stitch using a scant ¼” seam allowance. Press the long sides of the sleeve so they meet in the center. It helps to fold the sleeve in half lengthwise first and press, to give you a center crease. When you press the sides to the center, you’ll press those creases out—they just give an easy guide without measuring or marking.

step2 2. Fold right sides together and stitch ¼” seam on the long edge of the sleeve. Turn the sleeve right-side out.
step3 3. You may need to repress the fold lines—you’ll need those for attaching the sleeve to your quilt. This is the step that provides the give needed in the sleeve.
step4 4. Center the sleeve across the width of your quilt. The edge of the sleeve should lie just inside your binding, on each side of the quilt. Using the fold, pin your sleeve in place ½” to ¾” from the top outside edge, on the back of the quilt. This spacing is needed so the sleeve will not show after it is hung.
step5 5. Pin the top of the sleeve along the fold and blindstitch in place. Use the opposite fold line to pin the bottom edge of the sleeve in place; blindstitch to the quilt. The sleeve will fit flat against the quilt from fold line to fold line; the rest of the sleeve will cup out, giving enough play in the fabric to fit into the hanging device, without damaging the sleeve.
final 6. This photo shows how the quilt will attach to the hanging device. Notice how the hook of the hanger pushes the sleeve inward—that’s why we need some play in the sleeve.

Adapting a sleeve already sewn to your quilt

1. If your sleeve is already sewn to your quilt, and is positioned at least 1/2″ from the top outside edge on the back of the quilt, you can simply remove the stitching on the bottom edge of the sleeve, and fold it up ½” from the stitching line, and resew that edge to the quilt.

2. If your sleeve is not positioned at least ½” from the outside edge of the quilt, you will need to remove the sleeve. and reposition it—following the step-by-step instructions for applying a new sleeve, as shown above.

Miniature Quilts: Miniature quilts are pinned in cases and do not need to have a sleeve applied to the back of the quilt.

Watch this video, as Bonnie Browning shows applying a sleeve step-by-step.

Quilt Shipping Information | AQS QuiltWeek

NOTIFICATION: All accepted entries will receive an email notification with an attached Contestant Guide. The guide contains details on preparing your quilt for shipping, obtaining an appraisal, insurance coverage, and returning your quilt.


Using the information provided in the guide, contestants will complete their return shipping preferences: Continental U. S. Shipping, International (including Alaska, Hawaii, and all U. S. Territories) Shipping, Pre-Paid FedEx or UPS Shipping Label, or In-Person Pick up. (A “Hold” option is available for some shows.) Contestants also have the option to request an appraisal during the selection process. (Note: Written appraisals will be mailed approximately 30 days after the show.)At AQS, we provide brand-new, specially designed boxes for every quilt shipped in a standard box free of charge. These square boxes come in three different sizes to accommodate varying quilt sizes, and have double flaps on top and bottom to protect your quilt. However, we understand that some quilts need to be rolled and we will continue to accept rolled quilts in long, slender boxes or tubes and return these in the same container in which it was shipped for a $10 package handling fee.


Beginning in 2018, an additional $10 fee will be added to all quilts shipped in irregular-sized/shaped packages.

Irregular-sized packages require additional time and handling by staff to check-in, process, and repackage.



• Be sure your quilt has a label with your name, address, and quilt title on the back.
• Pack the quilt in a plastic bag, inside a sturdy box.
• Identification Card: Write the title of your quilt, your name, address, and phone number and place inside the box with your quilt.
• Address Card: Write your name, return address, and phone number on a 3″ x 5″ card for shipping and place in an envelope. Tape the envelope to the outside of your plastic bag so it is visible when we open the box. Write your quilt number (provided in the guide) on the front of the envelope.
• In large bold print, write your quilt number (provided in the guide) on the top of the outside of the box, near the address.


Because our home office is in Paducah, all quilts are shipped to Paducah to be processed and checked in. Someone is available during regular business hours, at our facility, to sign for shipments from UPS, FedEx, or the US Postal Service. Once most of the quilts have been received, they are checked in, labeled for return shipping to you, or the place you designated, and then organized by categories. (Quilts shipped to us in irregular boxes/tubes will stay in their original packaging for a $10 package handling fee.) The quilts are then transported to the show where they will be placed in their designated area for hanging.


Once the quilts return to our facility, they are shipped out the following week, unless additional photography is needed (winners, etc.) All effort is made to ship quilts within 10 days after the show. Quilts may have shipping insurance added at the rate of $4.00 for each $1000 worth of insurance. This is requested when completing the shipping preferences online. Included in the box with your quilt will be any ribbons awarded, a copy of the Show Book, and a quilt label. Quilts shipped in irregular boxes/tubes will receive these materials in a separate mailing.


A signature is required on the return of all quilts.


AQS cannot confirm the arrival of individual quilts. Please track your quilt using your shipment tracking number.


For security purposes we request that all quilts be boxed and sent separately. Quilt boxes are kept behind the curtains where the quilt is hung so the box and quilt are never separated. Since your quilts will be hanging in separate areas, they each need their own box.


2019 QuiltWeek Deadlines


Mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

American Quilters Society
Attn: Andrea Ray – RIBBON
PO Box 3290
Paducah, KY 42002

Please specify the contest entered when requesting a ribbon.




Are you having trouble uploading your photo? Make sure your photo is saved as a jpeg, and under 10 MB. Depending on your network, it may take several minutes to complete the upload. It may appear that nothing is happening, but try waiting 2-3 minutes to see if it uploads successfully.

Still Have Questions?

Do you have questions about the requirements, entering your quilt, or shipping? Andrea is happy to help!

Andrea RayAndrea Ray
Contest Coordinator
Ph: 270-898-7903 x 174

E-mail Andrea