Century of Women's Progress Quilt Challenge, 1920-2020.

How to Enter the Challenge


To download the entry information on this page as a printer-friendly PDF file click here.


This story quilt challenge honors the hundred-year anniversary of the 19th amendment and highlights progress toward equality over the century since American women obtained the vote. While acknowledging the legal, social, economic and political impediments that remain, the period between 1920 and the present includes many milestones, achievements, and changes improving the quality of life for girls and women in the United States today. This challenge focuses on celebrating changes that also lay the groundwork for continuing progress. As a story quilt competition, each entry into this challenge includes a quilt of original design and an accompanying written story, in the words of the maker, about the subject of that quilt. All entries will be reviewed by a jury. Up to 80 quilts and their accompanying stories selected by the jury will be exhibited in an online gallery through February of 2022. Approximately 40 of those quilts and stories will be exhibited at Voices in Cloth 2020 at the Craneway Pavilion, in Richmond, CA on March 21 & 22, 2020.


Call for 2020 Story Quilt Entries


Eligible Subject Matter:  The 2020 story quilt challenge welcomes all topics celebrating progress for women and girls in the United States, highlighting individual women, all women and groups of women, movements and organizations, historical events, personal experiences and advances in any aspect of American society marking, illustrating and contributing to gains for women and girls between 1920 and the present. An entry into this challenge includes an original quilt and an accompanying story on the subject of that quilt.


If your quilt includes quotations, photos/photographic images, or artwork/drawings, they must be your original work, or copyright-free and in the public domain. If the story accompanying your quilt contains copyrighted information or quotations, citation must be included in your text.


Visit the Resources page for resources and ideas about the theme of this quilt challenge.


Eligible Participants: Participation is open to anyone living anywhere in the United States and its territories and protectorates. Participants may enter up to two story quilts which must be solely the product of the entrant’s making. No group or collaborative quilts will be accepted.


Quilt Requirements: For this challenge, traditional, contemporary, and innovative quilt design and construction techniques are encouraged. Originality and personal expression in concept, design, and execution are desirable.


Quilts are traditionally defined as having three layers stitched together. Non-traditional approaches sometimes utilize two layers stitched together. For this challenge, both approaches qualify, as long as the layers are held together by machine or hand stitching, knotting, or tying. Natural and synthetic fibers and textile materials must be used to create the layers. All types of surface design techniques and embellishment may be used. However, quilts requiring special support frames, dowels, mounted on stretcher bars, utilizing picture frames, or which contain unwieldy, fragile, or breakable elements or embellishments will not be accepted.


Quilts must hang from a 4-inch hanging sleeve sewn securely to the back of the quilt, one-inch below the top of the quilt, and ending one inch inside the side edges of the quilt. Provide enough sleeve fullness to accommodate the round pipe hanging rods used by most galleries and shows without creating a bend at the top of the quilt. The sleeve should not show when the quilt is hung.


Quilt Size/Shape Limitations: Eligible quilts must be 30 inches high by 20 inches wide, i.e. rectangular, and hang in the portrait orientation.


Quilt Story Guidelines:  Stories are limited to 500 words about the quilt. A story explains and expands the content of the quilt, provides background information and facts about the subject matter, conveys the artist’s connections to and the relevance of the subject as it pertains to progress for women and girls during the period 1920 to the present. The story must be original work and all quotations and material under copyright shall be denoted and cited in the text.


Entry and Submission Requirements:  Complete entries, as detailed under Entry Process below, must be received by January 4, 2020. Quilts selected from this call must arrive by February 15, 2020. Quilts will be returned by April 30, 2020. Quilts may not be withdrawn at any time prior to the return date.


Inquiries regarding the purchase of any quilt selected for exhibition will be referred to the entrant. Entrants must handle the sale, which will not be subject to any commission by challenge organizers. Entrants are responsible for informing purchasers that quilts will be unavailable before the return date.


Entry Process:


  • All required entry materials must arrive between December 1, 2019 and January 4, 2020. No entries will be accepted after January 4, 2020.

  • Each entrant may enter up to two quilts. A separate entry form and $20.00 entry fee are required for each quilt. All items on the entry form must be completed. We recommend periodically visiting the challenge website for notifications prior to submitting your entry.

  • Two photographs of each quilt must be submitted: one overall view, and one detail view of a small area, approximately 6 x 6 inches. Please submit high-quality images suitable for jurying and viewing on-line, as poor images may disqualify the quilt. Photo requirements and submission options are listed on the Entry Photo Guidelines page.

  • Images must accurately reflect the appearance of the quilt. Any image correction, aside from cropping, should be done only to ensure accuracy and should not artificially enhance the image. Any quilt that differs significantly from the images submitted will be disqualified.

  • Entrants are required to sign an insurance waiver and assumption of loss release. The organizers cannot accept financial responsibility for anything that may happen to the property of entrants. While in our possession, we will handle quilts with diligent care and use good judgment to keep quilts safe from harm. It is the entrant’s responsibility to insure their quilt against any risks, if they so choose. Many homeowners and business insurance policies provide protection against property damage, loss and theft.

  • By entering this challenge, you give permission for your name to be used and for your entry to be photographed, videotaped, exhibited on the challenge website, www.centuryofwomensprogress.com, at other appropriate venues, and to be used in any publicity deemed appropriate by the 2020 challenge organizers. Any use of your entry for exhibition and publicity purposes will be accompanied by proper artist citation.

To enter your quilt, please complete the following steps:

First, complete the 1. Entry Form (REQUIRED)

Next, submit photos of your quilt entry via one of the following options. Be sure to consult the Entry Photo Guildelines to ensure your photos can be accepted before submitting them:

  • Upload photos to:  2. Entry Photo Upload (OPTIONAL) Note: to upload to the Entry Photo Upload form you will need to be logged in to a Google account, such as your Gmail or GSuite account.

  • Email quilt photos to info@centuryofwomensprogress.com

  • Mail in print copies of the quilt photos (see address below).

Finally, after completing the entry form, please mail in the following:

  • A printed copy of the completed entry form with your signature at the bottom of the printed form.

  • A check for the entry fee ($20 entry fee payable to Jennie Alexich, Challenge Curator. Please write ‘2020 Quilt Challenge’ on the memo line of the check.)

  • Print copies of the quilt photos (if not submitted through the Entry Photo Upload or emailed). 

Mail to: 
Challenge Entries 
c/o Richmond Museum of History
P.O. Box 1267
Richmond, CA 94802

Questions? Email questions to: info@centuryofwomensprogress.com.


Selection by Jury:  The Century of Women’s Progress Quilt Challenge will exhibit the best story quilts entered in this challenge based on composition, concept, content and overall excellence of the quilt and accompanying story, representing a range of visual styles and a diversity of relevant subjects. Jury selection will be made solely from the story as written on the entry form and the entrant’s quilt photographs submitted with the entry form.  All material provided to the jury for decision-making will preserve entrant anonymity. Decisions of the jury are final.


Approximately 80 quilts with their stories will be selected for the online exhibit at www.womenscenturyofprogress.com through February of 2022.  Approximately 40 quilts and stories from that group will be selected for exhibition at EBHQ Voices in Cloth 2020, to be held at the Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, California on March 21 & 22, 2020.


Jurors  for the 2020 challenge are Inez Brooks-Myers, Patricia Guthrie, and Rosa Valdez.

  • Inez Brooks-Myers received her BA in Decorative Arts and MA in Design from UC Berkeley. She is the retired Curator of Costumes and Textiles, Oakland Museum of California, where she worked with contemporary and historic quilts in such exhibitions as: “American Quilts: A Handmade Legacy,” “African American Story Quilts,” “Women of Taste: A Collaboration Celebrating Quilt Artists and Chefs” and “Crazy Quilts.” Inez also organized quilt exhibitions at the McHenry Museum in Modesto, CA and at the Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa, CA. She continues to be active in various arts and arts education organizations.

  • Patricia Guthrie, Ph.D. is Professor Emerita and former Chair, Department of Human Development and Women’s Studies at Cal State East Bay. She is a social anthropologist with several areas of research focus and publication, including African Americans, feminist studies, kinship, life history and the family. Her research on African American women and the tradition of quilting led to a current passion for quilt-making and art quilts. Patricia is currently a full-time studio fiber artist and painter. Her quilts have been exhibited in various museums and galleries throughout the United States.

  • Rosa Valdez serves as the Public Art Program Coordinator for the Alameda County Arts Commission, coordinating and managing permanent and temporary public art projects, in partnership with artists, the general public, community organizations and County agencies. Previously she was Co-director of ArtsChange in Richmond, CA and Exhibitions Coordinator for the Richmond Art Center.  She has a BA in Art from San Francisco State and an MFA from John F. Kennedy University.  Rosa uses photography, video installation, garment making and image transfer in her art to address issues of identity.


The jury will be assisted by history consultant Melinda McCrary. Melinda has been the Curator and Executive Director of the Richmond Museum of History since 2013. She earned an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University. She co-curated the WWII Home Front Quilts Project 2014 story quilt challenge. She is adjunct faculty in Anthropology at Contra Costa College.


Acceptance Notification, Delivery of Accepted Quilts

Quilt selection will be completed in mid-January 2020. Entrants will be notified of the jury’s decision by email during the week of January 20th. The 2020 challenge organizers reserve the right to refuse any quilt that differs significantly from the entry image submitted, and any quilt that is soiled, torn, poorly crafted, or does not meet challenge requirements.


Acceptance notification will include detailed instructions for delivery of quilts in person and by shipping. Quilts must arrive by February 15, 2020. Entrants are responsible for shipping and handling costs of delivery and return.


Exhibitions:  The Century of Women’s Progress Quilt Challenge will exhibit quilts and their stories in an on-line gallery on the website www.centuryofwomensprogress.com through February 2022. Approximately 40 quilts from the on-line exhibition will exhibited at EBHQ Voices in Cloth 2020, Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California on March 21 & 22, 2020.


Important Dates:

Call for Quilts Announcement --- May 2019

Entries Accepted --- December 1, 2019 – January 4, 2020
Entry Deadline --- January 4, 2020
Acceptance Notification --- Week of January 20, 2020                        

Quilts Due --- February 15, 2020

Online Gallery Opens --- March 25, 2020

Quilts Returned (Pick-up/shipping) --- April 2020

Resources/Information About the Theme: For ideas, resources, websites and related information on the Century of Women’s Progress, 1920-2020, please visit the Resources page.


To download the entry information on this page as a printer-friendly PDF file click here.