At the centre of our friendship is a shared interest and experience in architecture, art, food and fashion. Over the years we have developed a way of seeing that is described in these quilts through their execution, their design and their materiality. We produce objects that describe our united sensibilities from our lives in Glasgow and London.

The subject or shapes created in each quilt begin with a relationship between the fabrics chosen and the particular building, landscape or combination of the two that it describes. From collected images, travels, ideas and memories, we take an architect, building or place and respond to these in either intimate detail or broad context. Some ending with more literal or graphic representations while others, taken from a micro or macro view, appear more abstracted.

Our handsewn, architectural quilts have been put together using our personal collection of clothing from friends and family, who have loved each piece for a reason. From cotton kimonos worn to paper by Annabelle’s father, ancient Plantation shirts by Issey Miyake, worn by mother then daughter until the indigo has faded to almost white in part, to a skirt designed by April Crichton for one of the first collections of Sonia By Sonia Rykiel. Our interest in each piece of fabric ranges from its historical significance, its emotional attachment, to the quality produced by the wear of its owners.

Whilst taking inspiration from traditional American and Japanese quilt making techniques, we are not bound by them. Instead we bring many outside influences and contradictions to their construction. The shapes of the deconstructed clothes might inform the patterns and where traditional quilting follows the grain of the fabric we delight in going against the grain.

Taking hundreds of hours to produce, each quilt is a unique object that tells its own layered story. The initial idea or subject, the selection of materials (the clothes, the people) the form it takes as it develops, the back of the quilt’s relationship to the front and finally how these two are bound by the hand quilting that overlays all of these.

It is the intimacy and connection of working closely and by hand with each quilt that forms the bind between the fragments of clothing, their memories and their histories. A shirt worn and loved for different reasons, whether for celebration or utility, is taken apart. These pieces are then reconstructed by us to form a new story. These stories are brought to life by the movement of the hand stitching across the quilt – its repetition, its skill, its forgivingness, its fallibility.

Annabelle Harty, Quiltmaker, London | Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way

Sheelagh Boyce

Sheelagh Boyce was born in Glasgow in 1969. She studied education and taught in Primary Schools in Glasgow for 20 years. Sheelagh lived in Berlin with her partner, Martin Boyce and two sons from 2005 – 2007. She managed the design and renovation of their Arts and Crafts home from 2013 – 2014. She studied quilting under the master sewer, Patricia McIndoe in Glasgow from 2013 – 2016, before establishing Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way with Annabelle Harty. She has travelled extensively and has a strong interest in architecture, art and design. Through the combination of teaching and nurturing her interest in the arts she has developed a strong understanding of the importance of design and communication.

Annabelle Harty

Annabelle Harty was born in London in 1965. Having worked at the Royal College of Art and lived in Havana, Cuba she studied Architecture at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow. In her year out Annabelle worked for Martorell, Bohigas and Mackay in Barcelona on the Olympic Village, before returning to complete her Diploma in Florence and Glasgow. After graduating, she worked for Benson + Forsyth for five years on the Museum of Scotland project in Edinburgh. She is a model maker and skilled crafts person and in 2002 formed Henderson Press, a publishing business, through which she handmade artist’s books. She established Harty and Harty Architects in 1997 with her partner, Stephen Harty, where she still practices.