Originally published in The Weekly Packet, December 12, 2013
Under cover: Sedgwick students get quilts of their own
Joan Thelwell of the Hancock County Quilters presented hand made quilts to the students at Sedgwick’s Early Care & Education Center.
by Faith DeAmbrose
Students at the Sedgwick-based Peninsula Early Care & Education Center (commonly known as Head Start) got their hand-made, custom crafted quilts just in time for the season’s first measurable snowfall on Monday, December 9. Each year students entering the pre-k program receive quilts from the Hancock County Quilters complete with a personalized name label. They will keep them at the Head Start center until they leave the program, said teacher Kate Haskell, using them for story time or to define personal space.
The quilts, which are as intricate in their style as they are unique to the students’ interests and tastes—ranging, this year, from princesses to race cars—are a labor of love for quilter and Sedgwick resident Joan Thelwell, who delivered the quilts on behalf of the quilting group. When the students asked how they were made, Thelwell responded: “With a sewing machine and lots of fabric.”
Thelwell said that while some of the patterns are more intricate than others, it basically takes about one week’s time to make each quilt. She made a point to tell the students that she is not the only quilter who contributed to their gifts. A team from around Hancock County, including Joanne Anderson, Sue Croteau, Mary Dority, Barbara Herget, Larcha Lyons, Lucia Michielli, Win Pusey, Jean Savalchak and Dixie Wehmeyer all helped to make the quilts this year, and many have helped for the past five years the quilters have been volunteering their time to students in Sedgwick.
The quilts are woven into the curriculum, said Haskell, who read the students a story about quilts after Thelwell’s presentation. Haskell said the students come up with stories based on their quilts throughout the school year and have developed different ways to use them in the school setting. Once students “graduate” from the program they get to take the quilts home with them.