Terese Agnew's work has evolved from sculpture to densely embroidered quilts by a process she calls “drawing with thread”. Her themes are environmental and social. Her most notable quilt to date is the Portrait of a Textile Worker, constructed of thousands of clothing labels stitched together, contributed by hundreds of sympathetic individuals, labor organizations, Junior League members, students, retired and unemployed workers, friends, family and acquaintances worldwide. The resulting image is about the exploitation and abuse of laborers, the by-products of globalization and the insatiable American appetite for goods.
Agnew’s quilts are included in permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, and The Milwaukee Art Museum, among others.