Please note that the FOQ quilt competition has closed

The Festival of Quilts aims to promote and encourage all aspects of patchwork, quilting and applique to enable quiltmakers at all levels to exhibit their work. 

As such, the competitions are an integral part of the event and we receive over 800 entries every year. There are 17 different categories to cover a range of quilting styles, including categories for schools and young people. 

This year we are excited to announce a brand new category for Complete Beginners, to encourage those who have taken up sewing for the first time to enter their work. We also have four overlay categories to celebrate excellence in hand quilting, machine quilting, long arm quilting and use of thread. Visit the Categories page for a full list. 

At the time of entry you will be asked to upload an image. Please note the image uploaded WON’T be used in judging. If your quilt is incomplete or you are not happy with the image you can email quiltentry@upperstreetevents.co.uk to request changing the image at a later date.

We aim to hang and judge every entry, making The Festival of Quilts the biggest celebration of quilting in the world, with over 1200 quilts on display. 

Prizes

There is a total prize pool of over £35,000 to be won every year; another great incentive to enter your work!

The Handi Quilter Best in Show Award

One outstanding piece will win Best in Show with a prize of £3,500!
This has increased from previous years thanks to Handi Quilter’s generosity, making this the largest prize awarded in the open competitions. 

In all adult categories, the prizes awarded are:

1st Prize: £1,000
2nd Prize: £500
3rd Prize: £250

In the Young Quilters and Schools categories:

1st Prize: £200
2nd Prize: £100
3rd Prize: £50

Prizes for the Overlay Awards 

Excellence in Hand Quilting: £500
Excellence in Machine Quilting: £500
Excellence in Longarm Quilting: £500
Thread Mastery: £500

Competition tips

  • Deadline for entering: Monday 7th June 2021 at midnight (GMT)
  • When you complete the entry form, you will need to upload at least one image of your quilt (the full quilt)
  • Please enter as early as possible to help us manage the volume of entries, but equally we ask you to ensure the details are correct when you enter, especially the dimensions so it is best to wait until your quilt is finished before you enter.
  • If you need guidance on photographing your quilt click below:

Useful information

This year when you complete the entry form, you will need to upload at least one image of your quilt (the full quilt). Images of all quilts entered will be displayed in an online gallery after the show and the public will be able to vote for their favourite in the Visitors Choice Award.
If you need guidance on photographing your quilt please click here

We ask you to enter as early as possible to help us manage the volume of entries, but equally we ask you to ensure the details are correct when you enter, especially the dimensions so it is best to wait until your quilt is finished before you enter.

Should we be unable to go ahead with the live show due to the pandemic, the competition will be run virtually as it was in 2020. In this case, we may need to ask you to submit additional images as required for online judging. Any fees paid in relation to the live show (eg return by courier or cover for loss/damage) would be refunded in the event of show cancellation, but the Entry Fee would be retained and transferred to the digital competition.

If you have any questions about your quilt entry please email quiltentry@upperstreetevents.co.uk

Standard Entry £18.00 

Fee for members of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles (and members of the European Quilt Association) £14.00 

If you are entering more than one quilt, you will be charged £10.00 for each additional quilt entered (or £8 for QGBI and EQA members)

Please note that there are additional costs associated with entering, including:

  • Use of collection points for getting your quilt to us or collecting after the show
  • Postage of your work and the courier cost for returning it to you (based on size of piece)
  • Cover for loss or damage (optional)

If you are posting your quilt or dropping it off at our collection point in West Sussex the quilts need to arrive between Monday 5th July – Sunday 18th July 2021. (Quilts cannot be accepted after this date).

Please note that the labels we provide are for administrative purposes. We do not provide postage labels – you will need to create these yourself.

Instructions for how to label your quilt will be provided in June, along with a template to populate with your entry number. Please call us on +44 (0) 20 7688 6830 to find out your Entry Number (only available from the beginning of July), and make sure each quilt is packaged properly and clearly labelled with your name and contact details.

Please choose one of the following options to get your quilt to us:

Option 1 – DELIVERY BY HAND
Costs £7 (delivery cost only).
Please deliver your quilt by hand to:

Bill Bowden Event Logistics in West Sussex – Tel: +44 (0) 203 475 2700
Bill Bowden Event Logistics Ltd
4 Dickens Close,
East Grinstead,
West Sussex,
RH19 1SE

If delivering the quilt personally by hand, you MUST do so between Monday 5th July – Sunday 18th July 2021. Monday – Friday you can deliver from 8.00am and 8.00pm  and weekends 9.00am – 5.00pm.

Option 2 – POST YOUR QUILT
If you wish to post your quilt, it must be posted to our shippers
Bill Bowden Event Logistics in West Sussex at the following address:

Bill Bowden Event Logistics Ltd – Tel: +44 (0) 203 475 2700
4 Dickens Close,
East Grinstead,
West Sussex,
RH19 1SE

The cost of postage will depend on the courier or service you choose. Please create your own postage label (the labels we send you are for our administrative use only).

Under no circumstances should you post to any other address than Bill Bowden Event Logistics in West Sussex.

The NEC Birmingham
Alternatively you can hand deliver your quilt to the NEC, Birmingham.

Option 1 – DELIVERY BY HAND
Costs £7 (delivery cost only).
Please deliver your quilt by hand to:

Hall 8, The NEC,
North Avenue,
Marston Green,
Birmingham
B40 1NT

Drop off your quilt between 10am – 4pm on Monday 26th July 2021 ONLY. Please drop off your quilt quilt at the entrance to Hall 8.

Sending from overseas

If you are posting your quilt from overseas please refer to our overseas instruction manual below (Please note any customs duty or charges must be covered by the entrant and will not be paid by the show organisers or by Bill Bowden Freight Logistics’)

Read our overseas instruction manual here

Sending from overseas

If you are posting your quilt from overseas please refer to our overseas instruction manual below (Please note any customs duty or charges must be covered by the entrant and will not be paid by the show organisers or by Bill Bowden Freight Logistics’)

Read our overseas instruction manual here

  • You are responsible for the insurance of your quilt while it is in transit to us via post or courier.
  • On arrival with us, if requested on the entry form, we can cover the quilt for loss or damage for a small administration fee which will be in place until your quilt is back with you.
  • The cost for this is £10 for a quilt up to a value of £500, £20 for values between £501 and £1000 and £30 for values between £1001 and £1500. Please select as required.
  • It must be emphasized that, whilst every effort is made to ensure the safety of any entry, it has to be recognised that some risk is inevitable and must be accepted by all entrants.
  • Please note that we are unable to add you to this cover for multiple quilts packaged in one parcel.
  • Please package your quilts individually if you wish to be covered as stated above.

Instructions on getting your Quilt back

You have three choices for the return of your quilt(s), as follows:

Option 1: Collect at the end of The Festival

Free of Charge

Option 2: Collect West Sussex

All quilts that are posted back or taken to Bill Bowden will be repackaged by our team of Quilt Angels. We will try our best to return your quilt in your specific packaging but due to the volume of quilts we can’t guarantee this).

£7 fee (return of quilt only)

You can collect your quilt from either West Sussex any time between 9.30am and 8.00pm on Tuesday 3rd August, and between 8.00am and 8.00pm from Wednesday 4th – Friday 6th August 2021.

See ‘Getting Your Entry to Us’ for address details.

Option 3: Return by Post/Courier

Prices below

With over 800 quilts to return in limited time, we regret that it is totally impractical to weigh and price each piece individually. Furthermore, whilst the entrant can choose any carrier, as organisers we are forced to select one, reputable organisation with a tracking system to entrust with the return of the quilts.
The prices below reflect these limitations and are heavily subsidised (particularly the overseas entries).

We anticipate that quilts to UK addresses will be returned by Friday 6th August 2021.

Return postage costs

UKEUOutside EU
Miniature (max 1.5kg)£10£30£38
Small (max dimension any way of 1.5m, max weight 3kg)£20£40£47
Large (over 1.5m in any direction, max weight 12kg)£26£45£52

(Please note, Winning Quilts travel onto our sister show The Knitting & Stitching Shows so will not be returned until December 2021).

Rules and Terms of Entry

In addition to the specific requirements of each competition, the following rules and regulations are common to all.

Definition of a quilt:

The structure of a quilt traditionally has three complete layers, but a minimum of two complete layers may be appropriate. These layers must be pierced and joined together by stitch. Other joining elements may be added.

Rules and Terms of Entry 2021

In addition to the specific requirements of each competition category, the following rules and regulations are common to all:

1) Only one piece may be entered per category.

2) Entries must have one dimension (either height or width) of at least one metre and must not exceed three metres (this does not apply to Miniature, Quilt Creations, Young Quilters and Schools).

All quilts must conform to any size constraints imposed by their category. The Organiser’s standard quilt frames can accommodate quilts up to 179cm wide by 230cm high; larger quilts can be hung on a wall. Please ensure accurate dimensions are provided on the entry form.

3) A hanging sleeve of 10cm (4 inches) must be attached to the back of the quilt (through which a wooden batten will be placed to hang your quilt). Failure to provide this sleeve may mean that the quilt cannot be displayed. (Sleeve not required if the quilt features an integral hanging device, if you are entering the Miniature category, or if your piece is Double sided).

4) Miniatures must have a 5cm (2 inch) sleeve attached to the back of the quilt unless it features an integral hanging device.

5) For the purpose of this competition, double sided quilts are defined as those where both the front and reverse side may be viewed as separate pieces of work. The reverse side of the piece should be a finished quilt, created to the same standard as the front.

6) Double sided quilts should have an integrated hanging method, either along the top of the quilt or between the layers and the quilt must not exceed 179cm wide x 230cm high in order for it to be hung effectively. Please note that it is not always possible to display both sides of a double-sided quilt. This is particularly true of smaller quilts that do not fill the dimensions of a display frame or those that are bigger than 179cm x 230cm. Where it is not possible to display both sides, visitors can request the assistance of a steward if they want to see the reverse.

7) The decision for the category entered is the sole responsibility of the maker. Quilts will not be moved to another category after the entry form is processed.

8) If your quilt cannot be hung on a standard batten (or is entered into Quilt Creations), please provide a clear hanging plan (diagram and/or written instructions) with your entry form and inside the packaging with your quilt.

9) Entries may not be accepted if they arrive after the 18th July 2021, or if they are delivered anywhere but the designated address.

10) We reserve the right NOT to hang work that contains any sharp or dangerous materials or which, in the organisers’ view, is unsuitable in any way for display.

11) Labels will be sent to each entrant to enable us to identify your quilt. Please ensure this label is located on the bottom left hand corner as you look at the back of the quilt and that a flap of fabric covers the label on the back of your quilt to ensure anonymity during the judging process.

12) All entrants must be aware that through their participation, both the organisers, Immediate Live and The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles will have the right to utilise photographs of the work within their own promotional publications, approved publications or within magazines and newspapers. Occasionally, work may be also seen on television. Where possible, the artist will receive full credit but this is not always possible.

13) Other than in the Group or Schools categories, the entry must have been created by the person entering the piece. Quilts sent to a long arm quilter must be entered into the Two Person category.

14) We endeavour to hang all pieces which comply to the Rules and Terms of Entry where we receive an entry form by the due date, but this cannot be guaranteed. The organisers reserve the right not to display any piece for whatever reason.

15) Entrants must state (under Inspiration) if their quilt is an original design or if it is based on a secondary source – see 16 and 17.

16) Entrants must acknowledge (under Technique or Inspiration) if their quilt has been made from a book, magazine, workshop or kit.

17) Entrants must acknowledge (under Technique or Inspiration) if their quilt features a ‘work of art’ or utilises an image or photograph created by someone other than the maker.

18) Entrants must acknowledge (under Technique) processes outsourced to third parties such as large-scale digital printing, laser cutting and fabric printing.

19) Work entered may have been shown at previous exhibitions or local shows, including the Virtual Competition in 2020.  

20) All 1st prize winning quilts will be exhibited in a gallery within The Knitting & Stitching Shows in London and Harrogate. As such, these quilts will not be returned to the maker until December 2021.

21) The Judges’ decision is final.