Nancy's Quilts

Thread painting is the prominent denominator throughout all of Nancy’s award-winning quilts. Her objective is that all thread painting is completely realistic and represents all aspects of what the design would look like in nature. Being detailed oriented in her thread work also carries over into other areas of her work as well.

From the handmade polymer buttons and authentic leather shoes in The Declaration of Independence – Voices of Freedom to the leather harnesses and clothing trim in On This Winter Day and to the small signs in the storefront of Life in Holly Ridge, the detail is apparent.  Custom printed or hand-painted fabric also enhances the realistic properties of her quilts. 

The inspiration for her quilts come from a variety of places. The Declaration of Independence – Voices of Freedom came from John Trumbull’s painting in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC; On This Winter Day from where Nancy grew up in Asheville, NC, and Seasons in the Smokies came from lasting memories. 

Hopefully, you will take a few minutes to visit her quilts.

On This Winter Day

2014 Best of Show International Quilt Festival Houston

84" x 62"

About the Quilt

On This Winter Day takes me back to the hills of North Carolina where I grew up. Over 2,000 hours within 7 years were necessary to design and thread paint all the people, animals and sleighs. My BERNINA was put to good use while 75,000 yards of thread and 7 million stitches sailed through its needle.

 Polyester and silk thread were used to create the thread appliqués. The largest thread appliqué (12”) was the lady and man in the lower left hand corner and the smallest (1”) was the little girl in yellow skating on the pond. The fur on the ladies coat was made by hand using needle punch to give the fur a raised look and small silk flowers were purchased at a miniature shop for accents on the hats. The background was painted in Photoshop and commercially printed on fabric. Real buckles and horseshoes were purchased to authenticate the leather bridals, driving harnesses, girths and traces.

The large sleigh on the bottom right was made in 16 pieces and put together like a puzzle at the end. The village buildings and houses on the top right were constructed using SketchUp software which allows the houses to be architecturally correct and allows features and people to be inserted behind the windows.

The landscape style quilting was done by Linda French. Emphasis on the quilting was to show changes in terrain lines. Linda used approximately 40 different colors of 100 weight silk thread to transform the background, changing colors of thread as the background changed colors.

Shows and Awards

  • 2014 - Best of Show International Quilt Festival Houston, TX
  • 2015 - Marie White Masterpiece Award Road to California
  • 2015 - 1st Place Large Longarm AQS Lancaster PA
  • 2015 - Viewer's Choice AQS Paducah KY
  • 2015 - Viewer's Choice AQS Syracuse NY
  • 2015 - Viewer's Choice AQS Grand Rapids MI
  • 2015 - 2nd Place Long Arm Grand Rapids MI
  • 2015 - 1st Place Wall Quilt Quilt Expo Madison WI
  • 2016 - 2nd Place AQS Phoenix AZ
  • 2016 - Viewer's Choice AQS Daytona Beach FL
  • 2016 - Best of Show HMQS Salt Lake City UT
  • 2016 - Viewer's Choice HMQS Salt Lake City UT
  • 2016 - Best of Show Shipshewana Quilt Festival Shipshewana, IN
  • 2016 - Best Pictorial Hershey, PA
  • 2016 - Best of World Mancuso World Quilt Manchester, NH

Voices of Freedom

94" x 65"

Declaration of Independence

About the Quilt

For years I had an image of John Trumbull’s painting of the signing of the Declaration of Independence roaming around in my head and thought it would make a great quilt. However, I knew that it would be difficult to reproduce and it didn’t disappoint. Voices of Freedom took me 3 ½ years to complete with approximately 4,000 hours required to complete all aspects of the quilt. Approximately 95,000 yards of thread and 11 million stitches were required to transform the figures into thread. 

The quilt is 94” x 65”. One of the larger figures John Adams – in brown in the center of the quilt - is 28” tall and John Hancock is 30 in height by 27” wide. Due to their size, each figure was thread-painted in pieces. For example, the sleeves, coat fronts, collars, vests, pant legs, etc. were separately thread painted and then assembled using a transparency overlay to assure perfect placement. Working with a length of 94” required that each figure be exactly the correct size or otherwise all of the figures would not fit. Buttons for all coats were hand-made using polymer clay, leather for the shoes, ascots, and neckbands make from a stiffened batiste, and each face was hand-painted using Tsukineko inks. The background was painted in Photoshop and commercially printed. All figures' clothing was made with a variety of weights of polyester and silk threads. 

The quilt back tells a story of the signing of the Declaration of Independents. Centered in the back of the quilt is a copy of the Declaration of Independence along with the 56 signatures. The back also includes pictures of the 47 men on the front of the quilt, a schematic, a short history of John Trumbull’s painting, and names of the delegates that signed the Declaration but were not on the painting. 

The quilt was quilted by Terri Taylor. The quilting design was constructed such as not to compete with the thread figures and approximately 40 different colors of 100 weight silk transformed the background, changing colors of thread as the background changed colors. There must have been a zillion tie-offs to hide the thread tails. A little surprise detail was quilted just for fun.   

Shows and Awards

Due to the cononavirus, the quilt is currently hanging on the wall in Nancy's gameroom.

Life in Hollyridge

75" x 54"

Approximately 50,000 yards of thread and 5 million stitches created the thread painted designs. The background fabric was hand painted and Tsukineko Inks were used to ink the houses on the hill and the windows and doors on the bias sided town buildings. My grandchildren are the merchants in the town. It took approximately 1500 hours (but who is counting) of frustration, a ton of trial and error and incredible fun and ultimately total joy when the quilt was complete. Take a look around the town and step back in history a bit.

Shows and Awards

  • 2009 - Special Exhibit of my thread painted Landscapes at the Vermont Quilt Festival, Burlington, NH
  • 2009 - Smoky Mountain Quilt Show – Best of Show, Best Surface Embellishment Pictorial, Knoxville, TN
  • 2009 - Indiana Heritage Quilt Show, 3rd place, Professional Mixed and Special Techniques, Bloomington, IN
  • 2008 - A Quilter’s Gathering, Viewer’s Choice, Honorable Mention – Overall Craftsmanship, Nashua, NH
  • 2008 - Minnesota Quilters, Inc. 3rd Place Blue Diamond & Guard’s Choice, Minneapolis, MN
  • 2008 - Mancuso Denver National Quilt Festival – Viewer’s Choice, Denver, CO
  • 2008 - American Quilter magazine – How-to article on Alpine Rose – May 2008 issue
  • 2008 - Quilters’ Heritage Celebration – Most Creative use of Thread – Lancaster, PA
  • 2008 - Dallas Quilt Celebration – 1st Place - Master Other – Dallas, TX
  • 2008 - Mancuso Mid Atlantic Quilt Show – Judges Choice – Innovative – Hampton, VA
  • 2007 - International Quilt Festival – Honorable Mention Art – Pictorial, Houston, TX
  • 2007 - NQA Quilt Show – Best of Show, 1st Place Pictorial – Columbus, OH (back cover of magazine)
  • 2007 - Quilt Odyssey – 2nd Place Pictorial – Hershey, PA
  • 2007 - American Quilter’s Society 23rd Annual Quilt Show 1st Place Large Pictorial – Paducah, KY
  • 2007 - Road to California – Outstanding Innovative Quilt – Ontario, CA
  • 2006 - Quilt Fest – 1st Place Other Techniques, Judges Recognition, Jacksonville, FL

Longing for the Past

51" x 31"

Longing for the Past is a glimpse back to a simpler and seemingly innocent way of life. Thread painting created the embroidery designs necessary to bring this snapshot in time to life. No machine embroidery cards were used. Approximately 12,000 yards of thread are intertwined throughout and approximately 3 million stitches were necessary to complete the thread painted designs. As I made the quilt, it was easy to mentally transport myself back to that period of time.

Shows and Awards

  • 2007 Fons and Porter Love of Quilting – article on winter landscapes – winter issue
  • 2006 Cover of Professional Quilter Issue 94, Winter 2006
  • 2005 Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Quilt Show – Best of Show, 1st Place in Mixed Techniques, Palm Beach, FL
  • 2005 Maine Quilt Show - Best of Show, Viewer’s Choice, Judges Choice, Exceptional Merit, Augusta GA
  • 2005 National Quilter’s Association - Viewer’s Choice and 3rd Place Other Techniques, Columbus, OH
  • 2005 Ocean Waves Quilt Show - Best of Show, Viewer’s Choice, Judge’s Merritt Machine Quilting, 1st Place Art & Other Techniques, Miami, FL
  • 2005 Mountain QuiltFest - 2nd Place Professional, Pigeon Forge, TN
  • 2005 Quilt Fever - 1st Place, Other Techniques, Orlando, FL
  • 2005 Road to California - 1st Place, Traditional Wall Other, Ontario, CA
  • 2004 Mancusso Pacific International Quilt Show - Best Machine Workmanship, Santa Clara, CA
  • 2004 Simply Quilts Segment 1030 aired in November of 2004
  • 2004 QuiltFest - Artistic Merit, 3rd Place Other Techniques, Jacksonville, FL
  • 2004 National Quilting Association article “How Did She Do That? – Fall issue
  • 2004 Quilt Odyssey - Viewer’s Choice and 2nd Place Wall Quilts Mixed Techniques, Hershey, PA
  • 2004 Mid Atlantic Quilt Festival – Honorable Mention, Williamsburg, VA
  • 2004 Minnesota Quilter’s Quilt Show - 2nd place Mixed Techniques, Guard’s Choice, Rochester, MN
  • 2004Dallas Quilt Celebration - 1st place, Master Art Division & Member’s Choice, Dallas, TX
  • 2004 Gulf Coast Quilt Expo - Viewer’s Choice, Judges Recognition, 1st in Mixed & Machine Quilted Category, 2nd place in the, Panama City, FL
  • 2004 Quilt Magic - Best of Show & Viewer’s Choice - Orlando, FL
  • 2003 International Quilt Festival – Finalist Pictorial – Houston, TX

2 Meeting Street

37" x 26"

While on a spring vacation in Charleston, SC, I took a photograph of a back porch of a wonderful and nostalgic bed and breakfast at 2 Meeting Street. The grounds and especially the azaleas were in magnificent bloom, and I could already envision my next quilt as I snapped the photograph.

Shows and Awards​​​​​​​

  • 2003 Simply Quilts segment 828 on my thread painting technique
  • 2003 QuiltFest – 2nd place Other Techniques, Jacksonville, FL
  • 2003 Road to California – 2nd Place Traditional Wall Other – Ontario, CA
  • 2002 International Quilt Festival – Finalist Pictorial Category, Houston, TX

Country Roads

60" x 43"

Country Roads depicts quietness and is a virtual escape to a simpler way of life. Being from the mountains of North Carolina, fall has always invoked nostalgic memories for me. A crispness in the air and a pictorial landscape at every bend in the road was always a welcome surprise. The design was created using a composite of images from various calendar images by artist John Sloane. Small quilts were added for a touch of down-home realism.

Shows and Awards

  • 2004 Mancuso Williamsburg Festival – Honorable Mention Innovative – Williamsburg, VA
  • 2003 International Quilt Festival – Dual Finalist Pictorial – Houston, TX
  • 2003 American Quilter’s Society – Semi-finalist Pictorial – Paducah, KY
  • 2003 Quilt Fever – Best of Show – Orlando, FL
  • 2003 Designs in Machine Embroidery – Close Up
  • 2003 Road to California – 1st Place Traditional Wall Other – Ontario, CA
  • 2002 Pacific International – Finalist Honorable Mention Innovative – Santa Clara, CA
  • 2002 Quilt Fest – Viewer’ Choice and 1st Place Other Techniques – Jacksonville, FL
  • 2002 Bernina University - 1st Place Quilts and Crafts Category – Dallas, TX

This Moment in Time

48" x 38"

The inspiration for this quilt came from a postcard of a mural created by Neu Dzign. The views in Florida can be spectacular and the visual images derived from this picture are very comforting and serene. The quilt looks like a great place to meditate and slowly rock the evening hours away.

Shows and Awards

  • 2002 Yesterday Today and Tomorrow, 2nd Place Innovative – West Palm Beach, FL
  • 2002 Quilt Fest, 3rd place Other Techniques – Jacksonville, FL
  • 2002 Quilt Magic – 2nd Place Innovative – Orlando, FL

Summer Day

56" x 35"

This quilt is a nostalgic return to summer days spent at my grandmother’s house as a child. I loved the fresh smell of clean sheets on the line and the just-picked taste of fresh vegetables at dinnertime. Days were spent on tree swings and pretend like with neighboring playmates. Our imagination was our constant companion.

Shows and Awards

  • 2001 QuiltFest - 3rd place Other Techniques – Jacksonville, FL
  • 2002 Quilt Magic – 3rd place Medium Wall Hanging – Orlando, FL

Lost Moment in Time

35" x 26"

This quilt depicts the picturesque sunsets from our patio when we lived on the Banana River on the east coast of Florida. Sunset was a great time for reflection and for viewing natures constantly changing evening colors.

Shows and Awards

  • 2001 Quilt Fest - 2nd place Other Techniques – Jacksonville, FL

Seasons in the Smokies

48" x 28"

This quilt depicts the four seasons in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. Two of the seasons (summer waterfall and fall foliage) were from photographs taken on hiking trips. The other two (spring meadow and winter pond) are composite of seasons as I remembered then when I lived in North Carolina.

Shows and Awards

Poor little guy – he was never entered in any show.