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 finished hanging on March 11, 2023.

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