Jurying & Judging FAQs


Q: What’s the overall objective of QuiltCon?
A: QuiltCon’s overall objective is to promote the MQG’s mission to support and encourage the growth of modern quilting through art, education and community. This is done with the quilt show (which provides opportunities for our members to showcase their work), the workshops and lectures and holding a large-scale event that brings our community together to one place, at one time.

Quilt Show Entry Rules & Submissions

Q: What has changed for QuiltCon 2019?           
A; Nothing has changed since QuiltCon 2018 entries, but in case you did not enter for QuiltCon 2018, here is what changed at that time:

  1. Entry fee will be $15 per quilt

  2. There will be a limit of 5 quilts accepted into the show per quilter.

  3. Quilts made in the last three years are eligible for entry. For QuiltCon 2018, this includes quilts completed in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

  4. The jury and judges will now be informed of the “original work status” of each quilt as they do their jurying and judging.

Q: Why are the number of acceptances limited?
A: We are limiting the number of acceptances to feature as many of our members’ work as possible. In looking at the data from previous QuiltCons (see below), we have learned that this change will not affect many people and therefore the quality of the overall quilt show will only be positively impacted.

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Please note: The limit of 5 acceptances is not impacted by group or bee quilts that you contributed to. Only if the group/bee quilt was designed, assembled and submitted by you is it included in your count of quilts.

Q: Why aren’t the number of submissions limited?
A; We feel that members should be allowed to determine, on their own, how many quilts they would like to submit into the show. We hope that members will submit their best work, but the most prolific amongst us might have many quilts they would like to enter and would also like to increase their odds of having a quilt accepted into the show. We have left this determination to the makers.

Q: Why are “design” and “originality” emphasized by QuiltCon?
A: Note that this preference is only relevant to the QuiltCon show. It is very common for large quilt shows such as QuiltCon to have a preference for original work in their shows. The reason for this is twofold — for one, it helps keep the show interesting from year to year. People keep coming back to see the new quilts on display. The second reason is that showing original work supports the MQG's mission, to support and encourage the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community. Showing original work helps us with the portion of our mission related to development of modern quilting, and it promotes continuous growth.

Q: May I enter a quilt made from a pattern and it is eligible to be judged?
A: Yes. The entry form has a section where entrants indicate if the design is from a pattern, original, inspiration source. It can be entered in a judged category.

Q: If I follow patterns or make quilts inspired by artwork that I love, does that mean I'm not a modern quilter?
A: Absolutely not! Work does not need to be original to be modern — these are two separate things. The QuiltCon preference for original work is specifically related to the quilt show. In fact, the MQG releases block of the month and quilt of the month patterns to our membership because we know that many quilters love to follow patterns and there are lots of great modern patterns out there to follow, as well as lots of modern art to serve as inspiration!

Q: If the jury and judges give preference to original work, then what is to stop a quilter from marking their work as original even if they were inspired by another artist’s work?
A: We trust that our members want to be honest and fair to each other because it is the right thing to do. It is unfortunate for all involved when we show a quilt and describe it as an “original design” when in fact it is heavily influenced by another quilt or piece of art. Quilters should be aware that because something is not marked as an original design on an entry form, it does not mean it will be excluded from the show or not be eligible for prizes. Rather it will allow the jurors and judges to review the original inspiration piece to determine how innovative the submitted quilt is. There may be cases where the maker thinks they directly copied another piece of art while the judges think that the interpretation is actually very creative and innovative.  

Q: Will my quilt be disqualified if it is not an original work?

A: No. Although QuiltCon generally has a preference for original work, we also want to have a diverse and interesting show representing our whole membership. Therefore, we do not restrict the show to only selecting quilts that are at the extreme high end of the originality spectrum. However, note that a quilt may be disqualified if it is found that someone misrepresented their quilt on the entry form, which includes not providing adequate credit for the design inspiration. It is important to be thorough in describing design inspiration.

Q: How do I protect myself from the possibility of a copyright infringement lawsuit?

A: QuiltCon and the MQG cannot provide legal advice and cannot tell you whether or not a particular quilt you have submitted may infringe on a copyright. However, the three simplest ways to protect yourself are:

  1. Reach out to the artist/quilter in question and request permission to display the quilt or enter it for competition. Once you've obtained permission, make sure you give proper credit on the quilt entry form (the original artist/quilter may provide specific language in the permission approval that he/she requires for giving proper credit).

  2. Hire a qualified attorney to give you advice.

  3. Decide not to enter the quilt into quilt shows. As much as we want to encourage all our members to submit quilts that they are proud of, sometimes, the best thing to do is to not enter a certain quilt, if you are feeling doubtful about its copyright status.

Q. What do the following phrases mean and why are they included on the entry form?
“Please note: QuiltCon retains the rights to change the category your quilt was submitted to if it thinks the quilt will be more successful in a different category.”

A: Many quilts may qualify for more than one category and QuiltCon many move a quilt if they think that it will clearly be more successful in a different category. This isn’t common at all. Additionally, the jury may think a quilt deserves to be accepted but it is clearly in the wrong category based on the category description and may therefore ask for it to be moved to a different category. The language is included on the entry form so that entrants will not be surprised if their quilt has been placed in a different category.

“QuiltCon reserves the right to reject any quilt misrepresented in the photos during the entry process.”

A: If the quilt differs significantly from the time the picture was taken until the quilt is sent in (large stains, tears or other serious issues not present in the photo), QuiltCon may disqualify the quilt. This language is included on the entry form so that entrants will be more likely to submit realistic photos and take good care of their quilt between taking the photos and mailing it to the quilt show.

“QuiltCon reserves the right to reject or disqualify any quilt that misrepresented design credit.  If this misrepresentation is discovered after the show and the quilt was awarded, the winner forfeits all ribbons and cash prizes.”

A: This is because if the quilt was misrepresented if cannot hang or win prizes. The quilt might not have been juried or judged the same way had it been properly represented.

“The entrant represents and warrants to the Modern Quilt Guild and QuiltCon that the entrant’s entry does not infringe upon, violate or misappropriate any copyright or other intellectual property or proprietary right of a third party.”

A: This means the entrant has either submitted an original design, or if using the design of someone else, has permission to do so.


Q: What is a Jury?
A: The jury is the group of people who select which quilts will hang at QuiltCon.

Q: Who serves on the Jury?
The jury is made up of 4-5 members

Q: How is the Jury selected?
A: Each year the MQG staff determine the makeup of the jury. It is made up of MQG staff, board members and at least one MQG member that is not on the staff or board.

Q: What kind of system is used to rank quilt entries?
A: An online software program called Art Call For Entries is used. This system is structured around a scoring system in which jurors give each entry a numerical score from 1 – 5.

Q: Can we share the names of the Jury members?
A: The MQG follows common practice in the art/quilt world not to share the names of jurors.

Q: Can entrants get feedback from the Jury as to why a quilt was not accepted?
A: In 2017 there were 1488 submissions for QuiltCon. Feedback would be ideal but with the number of submissions it is not possible for the jury to do. Just the time to score takes many days, so it would not be feasible for jury members to take the time to write down feedback for each quilt.  Please refer to the jurying policy document to read about how the jury process works. Quilts are not “rejected” from the show; rather, only the highest scored quilts based on averages among all jurors are selected to hang in the show. As such, there often is no “reason” that a particular quilt was not selected, it simply did not score as well, on average, as the other quilts that were.

Q: What happens if a juror recognizes a quilt?
Objectivity and impartiality are required of jurors. If a juror feels that he/she cannot remain objective or impartial, he/she must stand down for jurying of that quilt and will not submit a score.

Q: What information is given to the jury about the quilts?
A: Jurying is a “blind” system meaning that the jurors are given only the quilt title, category, and if the quilt is an original design, made from a pattern or other source of inspiration. Additionally, the jury can read the artist’s statement.


Q: How many judges are there?
A: There are 3 judges

Q: Who are the judges?
The QuiltCon judges are: an NACQJ (or equivalent) certified judge, a modern quilter, and a person with a demonstrated sense of design with a preference for someone outside the quilting world.

Q: Who selects the judges?
Judges are selected and hired by the MQG staff.

Q: When are the judge’s names announced?
The names of the judges are announced the month before the call for entries opens by featuring their photos and biographies on the MQG website.

Q: How are quilts organized for judging?
Quilts are organized by category. Entrants select the category they believe will best showcase their quilts. Category descriptions are found on the QuiltCon entry website. Each category is judged separately.

Q:  When do the judges first see the quilts?
The judges first see the quilts when judging begins. They do not receive any information about the quilts prior to judging.

Q. What information is given to the judges about the quilts?
The judges are given the quilt title, category, and information from the quilt entry regarding the originality of the work and any inspirations.

Q: What criteria is used to judge the quilts by category and challenges?
Judges consider overall aesthetic value, originality and design of the quilt along with the quality of workmanship, as it can affect the overall visual impact of the quilt. Challenge quilts are judged with these criteria and how effectively the quilt design depicts the challenge requirements. Judging sheets listing attributes to consider for each category are provided in the judging policy document.

Q: What does the judging form look like?
You can see a copy of the judging form here.

Q: May the judges ask questions about a quilt?
The judges may ask to be read the artist’s statement about the quilt. They may also ask to be read the category description and whether or not the quilt has been quilted by the entrant.

Q. Who is in the judging room?
The judges, quilt handlers, scribes, the facilitator, and quilt folders are in the judging room.  Only certain individuals are allowed to speak in the judging room and no one speaks except in accordance with the judging room rules as described in the judging policy.