Exhibitions | Ann Harwell

Artist: Ann Harwell | Location: Wendell, NC


December 2 - March 11, 2023

My work is to communicate ideas, express feelings and tell stories. I especially want to unite and enhance diverse fabric designs and colors with intricate, precision piecing and exorbitant quilting and all the while weave a subtle sermon on the things that delight and confound me.  I start with an original rough drawing, draft a straight-line design, and then transfer the design to pattern material. Each piece of cotton fabric (hand-dyed, batik, commercial cottons) is selected, individually precision cut, and sewn together with my 1945 Singer Featherweight machine. My work is constructed like fine garments, with great attention to detail: seams are strong and straight, corners are sharp and points are precise. After the pieced top is constructed, I layer the top, cotton batting and a whole cloth cotton backing. Finally, I add a surface design with a straight stitch sewing machine, quilting free hand through all the layers and adding hand-made bias binding. In order to hang the quilts, I hand apply a sleeve for the aluminum bar made especially for the quilt.


Join us for an opening reception on Friday, December 2nd from 7 – 8:30PM. Visit each week Tuesday through Saturday from 11AM – 5PM. Admission is free. 

Note: This exhibition will begin hanging on December 2, 2022. Please check back soon for additional information.

Ann Harwell

Wendell, NC

My Father and Grandfather were both Methodist Ministers. Growing up in the NC mountains, I sat through a lot of sermons and looked at the world outside through a lot of stained glass. The messages in those sermons sometimes altered my thinking in the opposite direction. So here I am, making art that resembles the fractals of stained glass, wants to preach a sermon and strives for perfection. No art education is in my resume. Having sewn since Santa Claus brought me a sewing machine at age 5, I have worked in or managed the alterations departments for men’s suits, bridal gowns, women’s wear or made clothes in my home. My formal education was in Early Childhood Education and I spent 10 years teaching pre-school. I made a baby quilt for my first son in 1977 and have been making quilts since then. In 1999, my work was juried into Artspace in Raleigh and I became a full-time professional artist.

Artist Website