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Best in Show: On this Winter Day (part 1)

Posted: 17 February 2015 at 6 a.m.

Congratulations to Nancy Prince and Linda French on their incredible Best of Show Quilt, On This Winter Day, at the International Quilt Festival at Houston 2014.  This nostalgic and romantic winter collaborative piece enchanted attendees and judges.   On This Winter Day took almost 7 years, over 2,000 hours, 75,000 yards of thread and over 7 million stitches to create (whew!).  The large horse and sleigh took over 300 hours and 6 months of work!

On This Winters Day

On This Winter Day

On This Winter Day

We asked Nancy a few questions regarding her Best of Show quilt:

What was the inspiration for your project?  Years ago I made another winter quilt and it was successful not only at the shows but more importantly with the attendees at the shows.  There is something about the bright colors on the figures’ clothing against the white background that made all the thread stand out.  I based the design of On This Winter’s Day from some of the memories I had as a child growing up in the mountains of North Carolina and my love of period clothing. 

How did you choose a fabric?  The background fabric was painted in Photoshop and then commercially printed on fabric.  The background was designed such that I had three natural breaks in the drawing, so it could be printed on three 90” long pieces which I used MonoPoly to applique the pieces together.

How did you choose thread?  I bought at least 50 spools of Kimono Silk colors because I didn’t know what colors I would need.  I wanted the silk color to change every time the background color changed.  I use Superior Threads because of their quality and reliability of the threads, the education they provide, and I really enjoy working with great people.

What did you learn from this quilt?  Any time I start a new competitive quilt I always want to try some new techniques.  I incorporated punch needle for the fur on the ladies coats.  I used Kumihimo (a fun braiding system) to hand make the horse’s reins.  I tried some new thread painting techniques to give the garments a “tweedy” look.  I don’t like repetition and trying something new keeps the fun in a new project.

How did you feel after you found out you had won?  I can’t speak for Linda, but I was shocked.  I had so expected to win Superiors’ Thread Artistry award because no on puts as much thread into a quilt as I do.   I didn’t know which awards followed Superior’s award because I had zoned in on that one so much.  Winning at Houston, in my perspective, is the highest award that anyone can win in the quilting ward.  We are very fortunate to be one of only 39 others that have won this prestigious award.  Houston was a very special week and one that I will remember forever.  Since Houston, On This Winter Day, has won the Masterpiece Award at Road to California, 2014.

Nancy is a fantastic quilter and great friend. To see more of Nancy’s quilts, please visit her website,

Visit us tomorrow for Part 2 of On This Winter Day, for our interview with the quilter, Linda French.

images courtesy of Nancy Prince

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  • 3. Todd (03 August 2015 at 10:54 a.m.)

    I love this quilt!
  • 2. Nancy Prince (18 February 2015 at 6:19 a.m.)

    The more detail I can put into a project the happier I am. Plus all the different techniques keeps me from getting tired of the project and believe me after 7 years I was ready for it to be done
  • 1. Bebe Franklin (18 February 2015 at 5:28 a.m.)

    Just awesome love the way you put different techniques in

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