Back to the main Quilters' Guild website


Contemporary Quilt regularly offers challenges to members. These challenges lead to exhibitions. The CQ website has a challenge section which has been set up for Contemporary Quilt members to complete their CQ Challenge entries online. The website also includes photo galleries of past challenge entries.

2020 Fragmentation

CQ Challenges

The Fragmentation Challenge andThe Digital Festival of Quilts The usual expectation and practice is that all Challenge exhibits are not exhibited physically elsewhere first. However in the light of the highly extraordinary "one-off" circumstances which COVID-19 presents, the CQ Committee has agreed that as an exception, entrants to the Fragmentation Challenge should be able to submit their entry to the Festival of Quilts ?digital show this year.? 
Whilst a full programme of exhibitions across the four countries of the UK was agreed for Fragmentation from August 2020, the ongoing COVID-19 situation means that QuiltFest in Llangollen in February 2021 has been cancelled. The West Country Quilt and Textile Show in Bristol at the end of August 2020 is not now going ahead. It is therefore possible that the firstphysical exhibition will not be until March 2021, at Kirkintilloch in Scotland.?? 
In the light of the more limited opportunities for Fragmentation to be physically exhibited, the CQ Committee will also consider a digital exhibition of the Fragmentation Challenge quilts, and how this might differ from their normal display on the CQ website. 
Maggie Pearson Exhibition Coordinator, Contemporary Quilt. Email:

Members are invited to submit quilts for a new exhibition in 2020 -  venues to be arranged -see above
To be called ‘Fragmentation’
The size limit is 100 x 60 cm in landscape or portrait format. 

The closing date is 30th June 2020. 
In a break from previous years, the 2020 challenge will NOT be juried; all entries will be exhibited. The reasoning behind this decision is to try to attract new challenge entrants. If you have been a member of CQ for a few years but have been put off by the jury process now is your chance to enter and your quilt will be part of the CQ exhibition in 2020. If you are a new member to CQ then please give the 2020 challenge a go. Depending on how many entries are received, the logistics of hanging the exhibition will be reviewed.If you have been a member of CQ for less than 3 years then you can enter for the Anne Tuck Award. Anne Tuck was a founder-member of The Quilters’ Guild and also of Contemporary Quilt and her family donated funds for an annual prize in her memory.  The prize of £100 was first awarded in 2016 and is for an outstanding entry into the CQ Challenge by an exhibitor with under three years' membership of CQ. The award is to enable the winner to attend a course or workshop to further their quilting skills.  The 2020 winner will be chosen from the quilts entered for the “Fragmentation” CQ Challenge.The rules:

The theme, "Fragmentation“, can be interpreted in any way you choose.The work must be new and conform to the general definition of a quilt, being at least two layers with a reasonable amount of stitch holding the layers together.The edge treatment should be finished to exhibition standard and in keeping with the style of the quilt.Size: 100cm x 60cm, landscape or portrait format. The top edge must measure the full stated dimension for ease of hanging.Only two-dimensional pieces can be accepted.Any styles, techniques, or materials can be used.
A 4” wide D-shaped sleeve must be attached to the back, set 1/2” from the top edge (please note this is not the same as in previous challenges) and 1” from the sides. It must be able to accommodate a wooden batten (see cq challeges guidelinesfor advice).A label must be attached to the back of the quilt giving your name and the title of the quilt.Quilts must be available for any further exhibitions during the following twelve months.Your submission:

Entry should be made online at using the 2020 Entry Form by 30th June 2020 Online entry enables us to automatically generate labels and lists for the exhibitions. If online submission is not possible, please contact the organiser.

The entry form will ask for:Your name, address, email, telephone number, and Guild membership numberThe title of your pieceA written statement of the inspiration and design concept (max 100 words)A list of materials and techniques used (max 100 words)You will have the option to enter for the Anne Tuck Award if you have been a CQ member for less than 3 years. 
The image will be required by emailPlease send an image of your quilt which shows the entire, completed quilt. This should be of excellent quality and at least 2MB. Please name your image in the following format - firstname_lastname_title eg: liz_howlett_pieces.jpg
It should be sent to may find this article from Festival of Quilts useful How to photograph your quilt
Important: You will also be asked to send to the organiser an 20cm square sample using the same fabrics and techniques as the main work. This should demonstrate the look and feel of the quilt. This piece is important because it is used in the sample books that we display at exhibitions. It must be labelled with your name and the title of the quilt.

?Your sample should be sent to Janine Pound

Key Dates: 
1st April 2020 Entry Forms will be available online
31st June 2020 Entry Forms and photographs to have been uploaded and a 20x20cm sample to be with the organiser.
30th July 2020 Anne Tuck Award winner will be notified.

2019 Edwin & Mary Bloomfield Coverlet

 Members are invited to submit quilts for a new exhibition which was announced in the Spring 2018 Quilter to celebrate the Guild’s ruby anniversary and to be shown at Festival of Quilts 2019. This will be a joint Specialist Group exhibition and will be based on responses to the Edwin & Mary Bloomfield Coverlet in the Guild’s heritage collection. For our CQ entries, the size to work to is 18 x 24” (portrait). (see photograph)

The timetable is set out below under Key Dates. The closing date for entries is 29th March 2019, with pre-selection taking place during April. At this stage the judges are selecting for the CQ Challenge exhibition. In June 2019, the Gallery Curator will select those quilts to be shown at FOQ from all the Specialist Groups. We anticipate showing all of the chosen quilts from this CQ challenge at other venues afterwards.

Organisers of this challenge are Judy Fairless and Liz Howlett. Details will be published on our website and any queries can be addressed to 

In Print 2018

The challenge for 2018 is "In Print", quilt size 100cm x 45cm in either portrait or landscape format. The closing date for entries is 1 March 2018. Entry forms will be available online from 1st October 2017.

On The Edge 2016

The challenge for 2016 was "On The Edge". Further details can be found on the CQ Challenge website. The challenge was exhibited at the National Needlework Archive in September/October 2016. It will be exhibited at the Great Northern Quilt Show, Harrogate 1st to 3rd September 2017

Pictured is "Shoreline" by Cheryl Kirby

Elements 2015

The challenge for 2015 was Elements. Selected quilts were exhibited at the Festival of Quilts 2015. They are also due to be exhibited at Quilt Expo en Beaujolais in April 2016 and at the Bramble Patch during August 2016. Photos of the quilts selected can be found in the CQ Challenge website Elements Gallery

Quilt shown: Jane Varrall Cyprium

Dislocation 2014

The theme for the exhibition at the Festival of Quilts in 2014 is 'Dislocation'. The quilts are 120 x 50 cm, either portrait or landscape format.

Photos of the quilts made for this exhibition can be found here: Dislocation Gallery

Dislocation quilt by Claire Lynch

Horizons 2013

The theme for the Exhibition at the Festival of Quilts in 2013 was 'Horizons'.  The quilts are 50 x 150cm (w x h).

Quilt made by Chris Dixon

More photos of the quilts made for this exhibition can be found here: Horizons Gallery

CQ@10 2012

2012 is the year that the Group celebrated its 10th birthday.  We have come a long way in those ten years and now have over 600 members.  To mark this occasion we held a special exhibition of quilts based on a black and white photograph of East Poole tin mine in Cornwall taken by professional photographer, Tony Howell.  Why a tin mine? Because tin is the symbol of 10th anniversaries.  We were granted a gallery space at the Festival of Quilts 2012 to hang the 23 quilts juried into the exhibition.

To see more, please click on the link:

CQ@10, the book

Contemporary Quilt's, CQ@10 book, celebrating ten years of quilting by the members is available here.

Detail from Balcony rail by Sandra Grusd

Pictorial Consequences 2011

An idea based on the children's game.  Members were invited to create parts of real, imaginary, mystical or historical persons or creatures.  These quilts were shown at the Festival of Quilts, NEC, Birmingham, in 2011, where they were mixed up to create the same kind of weird and nonsensical creations that result when playing the paper and pencil game.

To see more, please click on the link:

Guatamalan woman by Gillian Travis

Breakthrough 2009

Quilts had to be either 24" (60 cm) square or 36" (90 cm) square.
A book was published containing all these quilts.

To see more please follow the link:

Hadron Collider by Kate Findlay

Thin Blue Line 2008

All quilts are 12" x 48" (30 cm x 120cm) 
A blue line had to run horizontally across the quilt whether portrait or landscape

To see more, please follow the link:

Land of Two Halves by Jill Exell

Fissures 2006

Maximum size of all quilts is 50 cm x 100cm

To see more, please follow the link: 

Stones in a Fissure by Liz Evans