Children of Williamsburg County Magnet School of the Arts in Kingstree were blown away by a quilt they had a hand in designing. The quilt included blocks featuring scenes created by the students and teachers. The pieces were carefully stitched together by Vital Aging of Williamsburg County seniors. -photo by Michaele Duke
Eyes twinkled and smiles exploded as children from the Williamsburg County Magnet School of the Arts gazed upon a quilt many of them had a hand in designing. Some scanned the squares searching for their particular artistic contribution while others studied each design with great intensity.
The quilt is the flagship project of the Magnet School, which is an amalgamation of Cades-Hebron and St. Mark schools. Principal Sarah Boyd had a desire for a project that would best exemplify the school, which is celebrating its first year in existence. “We wanted to do something as one school - not separate,” said Boyd. “We are not separate entities. We are one. And this is our first project as Williamsburg Magnet.” Her desire came to life through teacher’s assistant Loretta McFadden who came up with the idea of employing the simple yet timeless qualities of a quilt.
The project was set in motion and seniors from Vital Aging of Williamsburg County were invited to take part in the endeavor. After the 42 blocks were completed, they were placed in the hands of expert quilter and Vital Aging volunteer Vivian Cato who hand-stitched the pieces together. Cato then passed the blocks to six seniors who worked four days quilting the entire piece together. “The squares were amazing,” said quilter Myrtle Cooper of the stunning designs. “They were very interesting.”
The handmade works were created through a joint effort from child development through sixth grade, as well as department staff. The individual squares convey a relevance to the magnet school - from the arts and special needs, to the curriculum and parenting. Fourth grade student Telly Capalite was one of many who participated in the project. “My homeroom teacher said she likes apple so I said I could do a big apple,” said Capalite referring to teacher Rebecca Gamble. Fellow students would integrate their impressions of their school through drawings, paper cutouts, sequins, and buttons.
The quilt will reside in a prominent place at the Magnet School, where visitors can admire its intricate beauty - a beauty woven from the fabric of two special histories. “It’s absolutely gorgeous,” said Boyd. “It’s everything that we thought it would be.”