Bettye Kimbrell, Mt. Olive


Bettye Kimbrell (1995)

Bettye Kimbrell is one of the South's outstanding quilters known for her precise and elegant applique and quilting. Born and raised in Berry, Alabama in Fayette County, Bettye learned quilting from her grandmother. She later married Calvin Kimbrell and moved to Mount Olive, Alabama in Jefferson County just north of Birmingham. Here, she founded the North Jefferson Quilter's Guild, one of the most influential group of quilters in the state.



As an artist, she has broadened her horizons by constantly learning new skills and mastering them. Her quilts exhibit the most demanding examples of needlework, including the difficult techniques of stippling and trapunto.


Listen to an interview with Bettye Kimbrell conducted by Folklife Specialist Anne Kimzey


In the last few years, Bettye has become an important member of Quilt Alabama, a new state-wide organization. She has also served as a master folk artist in ASCA's Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program and as a featured artist at the Alabama Folklife Festival, the Alabama Sampler portion of the Birmingham festival, City Stages and the Kentuck Festival.

Bettye's extraordinary combination of artistic excellence and organizational skill and vision have made her one of the regions foremost ambassadors of this beloved American folk art form.

Bettye Kimbrell Received the National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2008