Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail in Upstate, SC, Adds Three New Quilt Blocks

# 196 “The Together Tree” and #197 “Star of Leadership”

The first two quilts displayed on Pickens County schools can be found at West End Elementary School on Pelzer Highway, just south of Route 123 as you enter Easley, SC, from the west. They are funded by the school and are the brainchildren of the principal, Angie Rodgers. Resident art teacher, Christina Covington’s 4th grade art students participated in the painting of both “Star of Leadership” and “The Together Tree.” The students also submitted names for the two squares, which were then selected by vote. Covington also was involved in painting, taking time off from her Christmas holiday to come to the Walhalla, SC, studio to paint the geometric details of the background in the “Star of Leadership” quilt square.

“The Together Tree” is based originally on an art project designed by a former art teacher, Erin Murphy, at the school. This framed painting hangs in the front entrance of the school and is decorated with the fingerprints of students and teachers at West End. “The fingerprints symbolize that we are all part of something bigger and how we all work together in our own unique and special ways,” states Covington.

The original quilts were also the inspiration of West End’s current principal, Angie Rodgers, who asked a group of quilters, mostly made up of retired West End teachers, to design and sew two hanging quilt squares for the school to display on the walls. Members of this quilting circle meet weekly to sew and also take sewing trips together. The group started approximately eight years ago and includes; Gail King, Janet Hadaway, Kathy Peot, Beth Holcombe and Paula Grant. King and Hadaway were former 4th grade teachers and Holcombe taught 5th grade. Peot is a retired nurse, but is also the mom of former West End students! Grant, a retired 5th grade Science teacher and the youngest of the quilters has recently retired from West End and can now participate fully in the fun.

“The Together Tree”, designed by Janet Hadaway, depicts a tree, surrounded by an appliqued window frame and decorated with actual buttons on a raindrop printed background. This quilt celebrates the diversity of West End as well as the many students who have come and gone through the school.

The “Star of Leadership”, also created as a quilted wall hanging was designed by Beth Holcombe. This block is a variation of the traditional “Star of the Alamo” block pattern. It was inspired by the bright, primary colored blocks in the tiled floors of the hallways of the school, especially where the halls meet at an intersection. This pattern was chosen for its likeness to a compass, directing students to move forward to reach their goals.

The two quilt squares are mounted in front of the school, on a brick marquee, formerly used for school signage and the fabric quilts will be displayed in the school building.

Quilt block #198 has been added to the array of quilts in Anderson, SC

Reagan Smith of 26 Oleander Drive selected a “LeMoyne Star” for placement on her backyard fence. Lystra Seymour from Anderson, SC, made the fabric quilt Smith told us:

“Mrs. Seymour husband is a physician that I call on and he proudly displays his wife’s quilts in his office waiting room as well as his patient rooms….this particular quilt happened to be in his back patient room several years ago when it truly caught my eye… knew that with its simplistic design and bold colors that this was the quilt block design I wanted!”

“This eight point star has many names ‘LeMoyne Star’, ‘Puritan Star’ and ‘Lemon Star’ to name a few. There are several theories on who created this pattern. One theory is that the LeMoyne brothers Pierre and Jean Baptist who founded New Orleans had this particular star pattern prominent in Jean Baptiste’s coat of arms. The earliest published date of the ‘LeMoyne Star’ is in a collection of patterns attributed to Joseph Doyle in 1911, according to Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of ‘Pieced Quilt Patterns’. The configuration falls into the category of ‘Eight-pointed/45 degree Diamond Stars’. Doyle called this pattern ‘Puritan Star’ as the design traveled throughout the country the name became corrupted into ‘Lemon Star’.”

For further info about the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail visit (www.uhqt.org).

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