QuiltCon 2020 Charity Quilt Challenge

Last edited July 29, 1:33pm PDT* to add FAQ’s, revise deadlines, fabric sponsors, and add a form for labels and signage.

We are thrilled to announce the 2020 QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge! This is one of the MQG’s largest scale charity projects and we look forward to getting many guilds and teams of individual members involved in the challenge.

This year, we want to encourage individual members to form teams and work together. We are calling these Individual Member Teams (IMTs). IMTs must have a minimum of four MQG individual members (the maximum size is up to you). The IMT must appoint two individuals as the leaders who will coordinate and communicate with the MQG.


Theme: Text

The 2020 design theme is text.  Quilts incorporating text have been popular in the modern quilt movement right from the start.  Krista Hennebury’s quilt, “Fly Blackbird Fly” (pieced with Denyse Schmitt’s letters) won a prize at QuiltCon 2012.  Most recently, at QuiltCon 2019, there were a number of quilts exhibited using words.  There was the powerful, “Where are all the black women?” quilt by Jessica Wohl.  Berene Campbell’s colorful quilts “Brave Brilliant Beautiful Badass” was eye catching as you turned the corner.  Bill Stearman exhibited a moving quilt that read “We were wrong. We are sorry. And we will never let this happen again.”  And, of course, Chawne Kimber can always be counted on to have a recent text quilt.  One of her recent quilts “not showing proper deference to wypipo”, also hung at QuiltCon.

There are many alphabet patterns available or you could work improvisationally.  Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill released a set of EPP letters called Typecast at QuiltCon. Jen Carlton-Bailly has designed a set of letters using curved piecing called Curfont. Stitch Your Story, a new release by Sarah Fielke, includes 6 alphabets.  There are no restrictions on technique. 

Each quilt should include at least one word and it should be a central design element in the composition.  Of course, you can use text fabrics too!

Color Palette

The color palette is shown here. No, you don’t need to use all the colors in this palette—your team can be selective if you prefer and limit your palette to just a few of the colors shown. 

This palette is unique and more restrictive this year to coordinate with the text theme by using shades of gray, white, and black.

Also, you do not need to use the specific fabrics listed by the manufacturers below, but seeking out some of these solids might help you pin down the color palette.

Once you have some of these solids on hand, it is easy to pull prints from your team’s stash that coordinate. And YES, you can certainly use modern prints too! When choosing prints, it is best to look for prints that are monochromatic or even tone-on-tone prints rather than those that include other colors since those colors may not be part of this color palette. You may also consider using fabric with text / words on it so long as it fits within the color palette.


Coordinating Solids from QuiltCon Sponsors

Please note the colors listed below are approximate and may not match exactly to the color palette above. Free free to use your best judgement when matching color palettes.


Hoffman Fabrics, Indah Solids

100-618 Zinc

100-3 White

100-619 Warm Gray

100-494 Raven

100-122 Jet

Windham, Bedrock

Moda Bella Solids

  • 098- Feather White 

  • 127 Feather 

  • 185 Zen Grey 

  • 322 Dovetail 

  • 202 Graphite 

  • 099 Black 


How to Sign Up


To sign your guild up for the challenge, please first appoint two members to be the project coordinators for this project (one main coordinator and one backup). These members will be responsible for communicating about the challenge on behalf of your guild. Project managers should sign up your guild using the link below by October 5, 2019. When you sign up, you are expressing your guild’s intent to complete a quilt for the charity challenge. You will not need to complete an entry form for the show. This is all you need to do in order to sign up. Please understand that this is a firm deadline.

Individual Member Teams (IMTs)

Get Matched with an IMT

Would you like to be matched with other individual members to form an Individual Member Team (IMT)? Please fill out this form, and someone from the MQG will match you with other individual members in your area to make a QuiltCon Charity Quilt.

Register Your Own IMT

Do you have your own Individual Member Team already? Please select a team leader who will be the single point of contact for the team. The leader should fill out the Project Manager Signup form below by August 15, 2019 to register your team for the challenge. You will need to choose a team name and two coordinators.

Donating the Quilt

As in the past, Individual Member Teams and guilds will be asked to donate the finished quilt to their local communities! After the quilts are displayed at QuiltCon, guilds are asked to donate the completed quilt to the charity of their choice and notify the MQG of those details. Based on feedback from our guilds and IMTs the MQG will also provide an option for quilts to be donated to a charity of the committee’s choice. Stay tuned for more info!


The deadline for quilts to arrive in Austin, Texas for QuiltCon is February 8, 2020. Mailing information will sent in late 2019.

The MQG will feature selected guilds and Individual Member Teams and their quilts in our communications in 2020, so make sure you collect the best photos of your process and stories!



Need Help?

If you need help, please visit the review the FAQ below or feel free to email our QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge Coordinator, (Amy Friend at charity@themodernquiltguild.com).

Thank you for your interest in completing the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge.

We hope that this information is helpful. If you have any questions you can post them in the forums on Community here, or feel free to email us at info@themodernquiltguild.com


  1. Does the quilt back need to adhere to the color palette?

    No, it does not.

  2. Can you add colors that are not in the palette, or an additional neutral?

    No, you cannot. The challenge is to work within the color limitations and theme.

  3. Can we enter our charity quilt into the QuiltCon show?

    All charity quilts that meet the guidelines will be on display at QuiltCon. These quilts cannot be entered into the show, however. First, the QuiltCon charity quilt challenge was created to grow the community and charitable activities through our guilds and individual groups. The charity quilt challenge exhibit is not about competition, but about building community and we hope to keep that the focus. The other big reason is that if we allowed charity quilts into the competition, we worry that over time, more and more guilds would start submitting and the charity quilts would start to overrun the group category completely.

  4. Do individual group members need to be members of the MQG?

    Yes, this is a MQG membership challenge.

  5. Can an individual submit at quilt for the QuiltCon Charity Quilt Challenge?

    Individual member quilts can be submitted to the show but this challenge is a community project. We’d like to encourage groups of at least 3-5 members.

  6. Can we enter our charity quilt into other quilt shows?

    Yes, that is encouraged! Go ahead and submit it to shows and then donate it to the organization of your choice.

  7. Can we raffle our quilt and give the proceeds to the charity of our choice?

    Yes, you may but you must be sure to follow the laws surrounding raffles in your local jurisdiction. Most US states prohibit online raffle ticket sales and have laws on how non-profits legally conduct raffles.

Details in Summary

The signup link will be emailed to guild leaders and individual members via the MQG newsletter on May 5, 2019. Guilds and teams will select two charity quilt contact persons to coordinate and communicate with the MQG. Once the form is filled out and the teams established, please start researching, brainstorming, designing and making your quilt!

Design the Quilt

  • Guilds and Individual Member Teams will complete a quilt using the predetermined color palette.

  • Guilds and teams will design and complete the quilt using text piecing as an integral part of the quilt design.

  • If your guild or team decides to use a pattern, be sure to get permission from the pattern designer and include that information when you submit the quilt to QuiltCon!

Work Together

  • Your guild or individual members team will collaborate to create the design and piece the blocks for the quilt.

  • Your guild or individual members team will provide batting, backing, binding and additional fabric to complete the quilt top.

  • Quilts should be twin size which is 65” x 85,” quilts should be between 60"-65" and 75-85". Quilts larger than 66" x 86" will not hang.

  • Quilting must be no farther apart than 2”. These quilts will be used, so please make sure they are sturdy.

  • Machine sewn bindings are ok.

Quilt Tracking & Shipping to QuiltCon

  • We assign quilts inventory numbers to assist with tracking while they are in QuiltCon’s possession. Quilt numbers will be sent in early December.

  • We will send all information about shipping your quilts to QuiltCon in December 2019.

  • Your quilt should include a 4” sleeve (here’s a handy tutorial) and a sewn on label that includes:

    • Quilt number

    • Return shipping address

    • Project manager name and email

Quilt Signage

  • Please submit your group's charity quilt information using this link. This will be displayed with your quilt at QuiltCon 2020 in Austin.

  • Deadline for signage content is January 15, 2020.

Blog Post Article (optional)

  • Your Guild or Individual Member Team may submit an optional blog post article with 3-5 accompanying photos discussing the process of designing and completing your guild’s quilt. These posts are due by March 31, 2020.


* When editing the info about the challenge staff switched out multiple example quilts to not give the impression that politics were the focus of the challenge. In doing those edits, we didn't include any of Chawne Kimber's quilts and we regret that, as her work represents some of the leading text work coming from modern quilters. We also need to acknowledge that we were playing it safe, and that we do that at the expense of those who don't have the ability to do the same. Please note that only staff played a role in this mistake, not any volunteers or any person involved with the charity committee and the current post is as it was originally written.

This was an opportunity for us to celebrate the contributions that Chawne Kimber has given to the modern quilting world and we didn't take it. This incident reflects the long history of people of color's contributions not being acknowledged. Looking at our edits from our perspective of white privilege made us not see an issue that is clearly present. This was 100% a mistake of ours. We completely own it. We are truly sorry for that and we have edited the post to its original form.

We continue to learn how our privilege impacts our day to day actions, and we continue to grow and work to improve those actions. If anyone would like to talk further about any of this, you can email the MQG Executive Director at alissa@themodernquiltguild.com, or our board chair, Andrew Joslyn (who also sits on our Inclusion & Diversity task force) at andrew@themodernquiltguild.com and we're more than happy to discuss more.