Goldene Nadel (Golden Needle)
The new open to all patchwork and quilt competition

Due to the worldwide corona pandemic, NADELWELT Karlsruhe 2020 unfortunately cannot take place. This also affects the Golden Needle competition, as the works submitted for the competition were to be awarded prizes at NADELWELT Karlsruhe and shown to the public. We will inform you from mid-September 2020 on when the competition will take place and what will happen to the works already submitted. Further information is also available on the homepage of NADELWELT Karlsruhe.

  • Do you share our passion for the vast diversity of today’s patchwork and quilting world?
  • Do you like the idea of showing one of your textile works to the broad international audience at the NADELWELT, one of Europe's most important handicraft fairs?
  • Are you ambitious and would like to have your work evaluated by expert quilt judges?
  • Would you like to develop your skills by receiving an objective and constructive feedback from a professional judge?

The Goldene Nadel

We are inviting passionate quilters and textile artists from all over the world to participate in an exciting artistic and cultural exchange, the Goldene Nadel competition, which will take place for the first time in 2020.
Your competition entries will be part of a special exhibition at the NADELWELT Karlsruhe where the diverse trends in textile art can be experienced first hand by a large international audience.

The Goldene Nadel competition is incorporated in the strong network of the German publishing house PARTNER Medien, the publishers of high-quality creative journals featuring various handicrafts and the organizers of the NADELWELT Karlsruhe, one of Europe's leading fairs specialising in handicrafts.
With our magazines "Patchwork Magazin", "Patchwork Professional" and "Patchwork & Nähen Spezial" as well as numerous special issues on different handicraft topics, we reach over 1 million readers each year. All our magazines will be following the Goldene Nadel competition with various articles and special features.
Since the first event in 2011, the NADELWELT Karlsruhe has developed into one of the most important handicraft fairs for end consumers in Europe. All accepted entries for the Goldene Nadel competition will be shown as part of a large exhibition to be admired at the upcoming NADELWELT 2020.

How do you fit in?

With the Goldene Nadel competition, we are appealing to established and ambitious textile artists from all over the world.

Call for Entries

Our call for entries details all the competition categories, the rules for taking part, how to enter and the deadlines for registering and submitting your work. We also provide you with some information about the jurying and judging process as well as the attractive prizes.

The Rules

  1. General Terms and Conditions

    The Goldene Nadel competition invites passionate quilters and textile professionals from all over the world to participate in an exciting artistic and cultural exchange. This competition is organized by PARTNER Medien, the publishers of the "Patchwork Magazin", "Patchwork Professional" and "Patchwork & Nähen Spezial" as well as other high-quality creative magazines who are also the organizers of NADELWELT Karlsruhe, one of Europe's leading fairs specialising in handicrafts.

  2. Target Groups

    The international Goldene Nadel competition is open to all artists from around the world working in the field of patchwork, quilting and textile art.

  3. Participation Procedure

    To participate in the Goldene Nadel competition you must register your entries (maximum 2 per participant). This is only possible online via this website. Each of your entries must meet certain criteria, described in detail from point 5 onwards. Each entry should be submitted as an image file. A jury will review all the entries and evaluate whether the submitted pieces meet the specified criteria. Participants will be informed and asked to send their selected work which will then be shown in a special exhibition at the NADELWELT Karlsruhe 2020.

  4. Time Schedule
    1. From now until December 31, 2019: Participants can register online using the form on this website. When submitting, two high-resolution photos per work must be uploaded.
    2. Until February 15, 2020: Once the entries have been selected by the jury the participants whose works have been accepted will be informed about where to ship their competition piece together with an invoice covering the participation fee and the shipping costs for returning the piece after the NADELWELT.
    3. Please note that there will be a time delay due to the coronavirus!

    4. All accepted entries must arrive and the fees must be paid in full before March 31, 2020: Each entry will be checked to make sure it fits to be exhibited. The jury reserves the right to assign a work to a different category. Works which do not meet the competition criteria, differ from the submitted photos or are deemed unsuitable to be exhibited will be returned without refund.
    5. From mid-May 2020: After the end of the NADELWELT Karlsruhe, the works will be returned by insured parcel shipping. It will not be possible to collect any work directly from the NADELWELT Karlsruhe 2020.
  5. Entry Requirements
    1. Choice of theme: The Goldene Nadel competition does not have a specific motto. The theme is therefore free and is only limited by the applicable laws of the Federal Republic of Germany.
    2. Definition: Each textile piece must have at least three layers, i.e. top, batting, back. The three layers should be held together with stitches, knots, buttons, beads etc. (exception: The Art Category in which two layers are also allowed).
    3. Dimensions: Each piece must not be larger than a maximum area of 4 m² or be smaller than 0.25 m². Each piece must not exceed 2 m in width and must be at least 30 cm wide. Maximum height is 2 m.
    4. Basic construction: For the basic construction all textile materials and techniques may be used. For so-called embellishments non-textile materials are also allowed. Do not use potentially hazardous, sharp, sharp-edged, discolouring, or easily destructible materials, including materials that can easily break, kink, or fall off during storage or shipping. This also includes safety pins. No perishable materials should be used either on the inside or the outside of the work.
    5. Condition: The submitted works must be in excellent condition. Incomplete, torn, polluted or otherwise damaged or unsuitable works will be rejected.
    6. Equipment: Each piece requires a 10 cm tunnel firmly attached to the upper edge of the back and 3 cm from each side. No hanging rods must be firmly integrated into the work. It must be possible to store the works on top of each other without damaging this or any other work. For transportation to the NADELWELT Karlsruhe and for return shipping, they may be folded or rolled. Double-sided works can only be shown from one side. It has to be clearly defined which side is to be displayed.
    7. Marking: A label with the title of the quilt plus the name, address and telephone number of the quilter should be attached in the lower left corner of the quilt (as seen from the back).
    8. Excluded: Unfortunately we cannot accept three-dimensional pieces, clothing, framed pieces or works which require a complicated set-up process.
  6. Photo Requirements

    The uploaded photos must be large enough (min. 1,000 Pixels), have sufficient resolution and be well lit. They must not have been altered by image editing software. One photo should show the overall view and the other a detailed section approximately 30 x 30 cm which is as representative as possible of the materials and techniques used.

  7. Prior Publication of the entry

    The submitted works may not have been shown already at multi-regional events, in a gallery or as part of a competition. The entries must not have been made using a third person’s design or tutorial. Sources of inspiration and, in particular, results of courses/workshops must be indicated. Works made from material packs or the like are not allowed.

  8. Entry Description

    The submitted work must be accompanied by a short text (maximum 150 words) describing the idea, the creative process and the materials and techniques used.

  9. Rejection

    Entries that do not comply with the rules in whole or in part and/or differ from the submitted photos will be returned without any refund and will not be shown at the NADELWELT Karlsruhe.

  10. Categories

    Each submitted textile work must be assigned to one of the following categories:

    1. Traditional Quilts: A traditional quilt uses one or more traditional or historical patchwork blocks or quilt patterns. The top of the quilt is made of one piece of fabric, composed of individual pieces, appliquéd, quilted (for example Wholecloth), or of a combination of all of the above. The quilt always has three layers and is sewn and quilted by hand, machine or combined. The quilt pattern supports the traditional look of the work. Please use predominantly textile materials and techniques.
    2. Modern & Contemporary: Quilts in this category build on quilting traditions but continue to develop and reinterpret classic patterns and techniques. This is reflected in the choice of techniques, patterns, colours and materials used. They have three layers and are made by hand or machine or both. Please use predominantly textile materials and techniques.
    3. The Art Category: The work should be considered a piece of art with a strong visual claim and the intention of communicating with the viewer. It expresses an idea, an emotion or a concept. Creative means are used skilfully and confidently to convey the concept and the emotion. The work breaks away from traditional patterns, materials and techniques and finds new expression. It has at least two layers, is mainly made of textile materials and also processed with textile techniques (hand and/or machine). The layers are visibly connected. This category appeals in particular to textile artists with a high level of personal ambition.
  11. Group Works

    Textile works by groups can be submitted in all categories. There is no separate category. If a group quilt is submitted, it counts as one entry for each participant. Each person involved in the execution of the work must be included – e.g. longarm quilting services.

  12. Jury / Pre-selection

    An expert jury will review all incoming applications before February 15, 2020 and will decide which 300 pieces will be accepted for the competition. If submitted works are rejected, the participants will be informed without explanation. The jury's decision is final and cannot be challenged.

  13. Judges / Determination of the Winners

    An international team of expert and certified judges will judge the competition before the NADELWELT Karlsruhe (Thursday, May 7, 2020).
    In addition, visitors to the NADELWELT Karlsruhe 2020 will have an opportunity to vote for their favourite quilt. The Visitors’ Choice Award will be announced on the final day (Sunday, May 10, 2020) at 2:00 pm. Each of the 300 chosen entries will receive a short review by the judging team, which will be made available to the participant. The judges' and visitors’ decisions are final.

  14. Fees

    There is a fee of 25 Euros per participant. The fee is only due when a work is accepted by the jury for the competition and has to be paid upon receipt of the participation confirmation. In addition, a shipping fee will be charged for the insured return of the works shown at the NADELWELT Karlsruhe. This shipping fee is regionally staggered:

    Within Germany: 10 Euro
    Within the EU: 25 Euro
    Rest of the world: 50 Euro

    It will not be possible to collect any work directly from the NADELWELT Karlsruhe 2020.

    There will be no further costs to the participant.

    If entries are rejected by the jury and thus are not admitted to the competition, the participant will not be charged.

    For all costs incurred the participants will receive an invoice.

  15. Awards

    There are three prizes for each category: first place, second place, third place.

    The prize money is 500 Euros for first place, 250 Euros for second place and 100 Euros for third place.

    The Visitors’ Choice Award, which is independent of all categories, is 500 Euros.

  16. Publication / Copyright

    Each participant retains the copyright to his/her work. By participating in the Goldene Nadel competition, each participant automatically grants the organizer permission to publish photos of the work in print and online media for advertising and documentation purposes for the Goldene Nadel competition and the NADELWELT Karlsruhe fair.