Carefully read the conditions of the particular exhibition you are entering. Most exhibitions want to see what is on offer before committing themselves to display your work. This is usually by photographs - either physical or on a CD.
Occasionally you might enter an exhibition that wants you to post the quilt, not a photo. For traveling exhibitions this is usually the case. The judges must decide if the quilt is robust enough to withstand many packing and unpacking as well as inspect the quality of the work. This is an expensive proposition, especially if the quilt isn't selected.
As stated before FOLLOW instructions. Photographing a quilt for presentation can make or break for your quilt's chances of being accepted. Here is a SHORT video with some basic pointers about photography of a quilt by the official photographer for AQS Quilt Shows in the USA.
**Ironically I strongly suggest that you DO NOT USE A STICKY LINT ROLLER to clear batting fluff from your quilt unless you are absolutely sure it isn't bearding.
While putting a needle through a quilt, occasionally a tiny bit of fluff from the batting may come through. If your needle is burred or the fabric is an open weave, this might be visible. It's called bearding.
A bit of fluff sitting on the surface of your quilt is not bearding...bearding is when a bit of the batting is still attached to the mother load. When you pull a thread of batting off - another follows, just like a box of tissues, only this box just doesn't seem to run out.
Usually bearding is not visible, but if it is, a sticky roller will make it worse. Trust me. No, I don't want to explain how I found this out, keep reading.
Best to trim any bearding close or use a long needle to 'sweep' it back under the surface of your quilt. ***
Once your quilt is in tip top shape, take photographs of it hanging, preferably in diffused sunlight, without obvious shadows such as a person or a tree branch. If you have access to a large building, the shaded side may provide a suitable site on a sunny day.
No feet or hands should be visible and all of the quilt must show. The background should not detract from the quilt. (as mentioned in video) Crop as much of the background out of your photo as you are able.
This digital era is an amazing boon for quilters. I have taken dozens of photos of my quilts back 'in the day' when whatever you had for film was 'it'. Today a quilter can take dozens and dozens of photos of the same quilt until they land that 'perfect' picture. Take advantage of that. It costs nothing to take another shot if you are in any way unhappy with the last.
If you present a photo of your quilt in a format such as CD take the time to enlarge the photo on a computer screen and look over every part. Digitally removing objects from the background is acceptable. Digitally 'fixing' a drooping corner or messy binding is not acceptable. The photos must be an honest representation of the quilt.
Hanging sleeves and/or velcro must be attached as rules dictate. A properly attached sleeve will help to display the quilt to its best advantage.
Ensure that the back of your quilt is as clean as the front before folding. I usually lay mine out on a clean sheet before folding for storage or shipping. Remember that any bits of (carpet) fluff on the back have the potential to transfer to the front when folded.
Entry forms should be kept tidy, without crinkles or smudges, and writing should be clear and legible. The quilt should be labeled with the information requested.
Double check that you have included everything required such as entry fee, return SASE, Cd's, Photos or forms. Once the entry (or quilt) is posted off, the job of presentation is over. Time to wait for the notice of acceptance or rejection!
The next Entering an Exhibition blog -Part 4 Packing a quilt for posting.