Look, Read, Find

Quilt Alliance Announces:

Alliances: People, Patterns, Passion

The 2011 "Alliances: People, Patterns, Passion" contest is sponsored by Handi Quilter, Moda Fabrics, EZ Quilting, Simplicity Creative Group, Quilting Arts, AURIfil, AccuQuilt, Attached Inc./Mistyfuse, The Electric Quilt Company, The Quilt Show.com, Fons & Porter, Quilters Club of America, Dharma Trading Company, Riversilks, C&T Publishing, Spoonflower, Quilters Newsletter, Quilt Album Darlene Zimmerman, Westminster Fibers, FreeSpirit, Rowan, American Quilter's Society National Quilting Association Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, and VoiceQuilt.

Entry Deadline: March 7, 2011

Download entry form


Our 2011 theme is “Alliances: People, Patterns, Passion,” a broad theme that celebrates cooperative relationships that work towards a common goal. Below is a special video message from Jamie Fingal, our 2010 grand prize winner.

Prizes and Sponsors

Venue sponsors include American Quilter's Society, National Quilting Association and Original Sewing & Quilt Expo. Recording services for our audio artist's statements provided by VoiceQuilt.

Grand Prize: The Grand Prize winner will choose from any of Handi Quilter machine quilting systems: an HQ Sweet SixteenTM sit-down machine; the HQ18 Avanté, an 18” longarm; or the HQ24 Fusion, a 24” longarm. Everything you need to get started is included: machine, table/frame, bobbin winder and “Getting Started” DVD and training with your local HQ Rep.

First Prize: Mega gift basket including items from Moda Fabrics, EZ Quilting, Simplicity Creative Group, AURIfil, AccuQuilt, Attached Inc./Mistyfuse, Quilting Arts.

Second Prize: An EQ7 Price Package from The Electric Quilt Company containing EQ7 software, three EQ7 companion books, plus two STASH fabric CD's.

Third Prize: Gift basket including items from The Quilt Show.com, Quilters Club of America, Fons & Porter, Dharma Trading Company, Darlene Zimmerman, Riversilks, and C&T Publishing.

Honorable Mention Prizes: All winners will receive 1 yard of custom-printed fabric by Spoonflower and all Honorable Mention winners will win a gift certificate to Quilters Newsletter Magazine. Viewer's choice awards provided by Quilt Album, Westminster Fibers, FreeSpirit and Rowan, and Darlene Zimmerman.

Avante image
HQ Fusion
Moda logo
EZ Quilting logo
Simplicity logo
Quilting Arts logo
AURIfil logo
AccuQuilt logo
Attached Inc./Mistyfuse logo
The Electric Quilt Company logo
Quilters Club of America logo
Fons & Porter logo
Dharma Trading Company logo
Riversilks logo
C&T Publishing logo
Darlene Zimmerman logo
The Quilt Show.com logo
AQS logo
Original Sewing & Quilt Expo
NQA logo
Westminster logo
FreeSpirit logo
Rowan logo
Quilters Newsletter logo
Spoonflower logo
Quilt Album logo
VoiceQuilt logo


Inspiration for those who’d like some:

Ode to an Ally Dedicate your quilt to a friend, teacher, family member, political, environmental, faith-based group. Tell the story of that alliance in your quilt. What are you common goal and interests?

Visual Alliances Do you have a “go-to” color palette in your work, a special method for bringing together diverse patterns? Explore the look of new alliances or celebrate tried and true ones with a quilt that shows how visual elements work together towards a common goal--exciting the viewer!

Blocks That Bond Use traditional blocks that represent alliances--wedding ring, friendship, signature, even crazy quilts. Design a new block--what symbol would represent the most important alliances in your life?

Common Good Invite a friend or group of friends to collaborate on a quilt with you. Celebrate and collaborate--what brings you together and what moves you to quilt together?

Eco-Alliances Put a spotlight on a natural alliance. What relationships in nature/the environment are you passionate about? Devote your design to the greenest part of your life.

Satirical/Fantasy Alliances Open your imagination and let the fantasies pour out. Cats and dogs? Hobbits, elves and fairies? A sassy group of super-sheroes who turn an angry pile of fabric into a dozen happy quilts?

Contest Format and Rules

Download entry form.

Contest quilts become a donation to AAQ. All entries will be auctioned with 100% of the proceeds supporting the AAQ and its projects. This auction is one of our most successful annual fundraisers and a great way for quiltmakers to support our mission in a creative way.

Grand, 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize will be awarded as well as honorable mention awards. AAQ members will vote to award prizes (a good reason to become a member when you enter the contest and to solicit new members—every vote counts!).

Entry Fee Non-refundable. Alliance members pay $5 per quilt. Non AAQ members* pay $25 for the first quilt and $10/ea for subsequent quilts. *Please click here for more information about becoming an Alliance member for as low as $25/year. The Alliance for American Quilts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations and memberships are deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Limit of Entries: None. Enter many!

Size of entries: Each work must measure 16"x16".

Sleeve and label: Each quilt must have a 4-inch sleeve sewn onto the back. Sleeve must conform to AQS’s sleeve instructions in order for your quilt to be exhibited at AQS Paducah show. See instructions on the AQS website, or contact us to receive a copy. A cloth label with the entrant's name, title of quilt and date must be securely sewn on the back of the quilt.

Artist's Statement: A 75-word (max) artist's statement must accompany each quilt (see entry form).

New this year: audio artist’s statements. One of our AAQ business members, VoiceQuilt, has donated free audio recording services so that all of our contest entrants can record their artist’s statement. Our audience will be able to hear about your quilt not only in your own words, but in your own voice. Once you’ve submitted your quilt, we’ll contact you with instructions on how to record your artist’s statement.

Jury: The members of the Alliance for American Quilts will each have one vote for their favorite quilt. Their decision will be final. Run-offs will be held as needed. The organizers reserve the right to decide which quilts will be included in exhibitions if space is limited

Who May Enter: Open to anyone who wishes to enter. The entries may be the work of more than one person as long as proper credit is given to all involved in the actual completion of the quilt. If a quilt made by multiple artists wins a prize, artists are responsible for distributing/sharing prizes.

Exhibitions: The quilts will be exhibited on The Alliance's website as well as national venues including a debut exhibition at the American Quilter's Society's 27th annual show in Paducah, Kentucky, April 27-30, 2011. The quilts will be auctioned and the proceeds will go to The Alliance for American Quilts.

Copyright Permission: Entry into the competition automatically grants copyright permission for the image of the quilt and/or all or part of the Artist's Statement about the quilt to be used in articles, ads, promotions, posters, card, catalogs, books, websites, CDs, event news coverage, television productions and/or multimedia productions for and about The Alliance for American Quilts. The quilt artist retains copyright to his/her quilt design.

Mail entries to: The Alliance for American Quilts, 125 S. Lexington Avenue, Suite 101, Asheville, NC 28801

Must be POSTMARKED no later than March 7, 2011. The complete entry should contain the following:

  • Completed, signed Entry Form (one entry form per quilt) including Artist's Statement
  • Quilt measuring 16" x 16" with 4" sleeve and label attached
  • Non-refundable entry fee. Non AAQ members* pay $25 for the first quilt entered and $10/ea for subsequent quilts. Alliance members pay $5 per quilt. There are three payment options:
  • Check or money order, in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to The Alliance for American Quilts
  • PayPal: Login to your PayPal account. Send your payment to quiltalliance@yahoo.com. When you are asked to select "Category of Purchase," choose "Service/Other." In the "Message to Recipient" field, enter "Alliances contest" your name and the title of your quilt.
  • Credit Card: include your credit card info on the entry form.

*please include your membership form and dues payment if you are joining at this time

2011 Competition Calendar

March 7, 2011: Postmark deadline for entries.
April 11-22: AAQ members vote to determine contest winners.
April 27-30: Quilt entries debut at the American Quilter's Society's 27th annual show in Paducah, Kentucky.
May 1: Quilt entries debut online www.AllianceforAmericanQuilts.org.
June 16-18: Quilts exhibited at the 42nd Annual National Quilting Association Quilt Show in Columbus, Ohio.

Contest quilts will also be exhibited at the these Original Sewing & Quilt Expo shows:
September 29, 30 and October 1, 2011 Chantilly, Virginia
October 13, 14 & 15, 2011: Kansas City, Missouri
October 20, 21 & 22, 2011: Georgia Quilt Show in Atlanta, Georgia
November 10, 11 & 12, 2011: Minneapolis, Minnesota


For further information contact Amy Milne, Executive Director at (828) 251-7073

Email Amy.