While quarantined during the darkest days of the pandemic in 2020, Loudoun teens came together to make a “Hope Quilt” to honor first responders, essential workers, and lives impacted by COIVD-19. Two years and thousands of miles traveled later, that quilt is on display at Lightridge High School.
Then 15-year-old Lightridge High School student Bella Scott Lavino urged her art teacher Jim Haller to organize a therapeutic project for her classmates. They each designed panels to capture the challenges the world was facing, recognizing the heroism of healthcare and essential workers.
Diane Canney, founder of nonprofit The Art of the Matter, worked with Lavino and Haller to have the panels sent to renown quilter Susie Wong based in Sugarland, TX. Canney said the panels captured students’ hope and resilience and will serve of a memento of their fortitude and positivity.
“It’s like a time capsule. They created a visual time capsule for themselves. Quilts capture a moment in history,” Canney said.
The quilt made a journey around the country, making a stop at the Houston International Quilt Show.
In March, it was featured at the candle lit vigil, “A Pandemic Remembrance,” held at the Lincoln Memorial. Lavino, now a junior at Lightridge High School, represented her school at the event.
“I am proud that LHS was able to contribute something meaningful to people who are still grieving. It seemed important to allow this time and beautiful space to really acknowledge how hard the pandemic was for everyone and especially to those who had lost someone,” Lavino said.
Canney said that the students’ work gives her hope for the future.
“Each panel is so uniquely different, and how they responded to the pandemic in their own lives but then put together they make such a beautiful quilt,” she said. “young people can use power in many ways and using the power of art to express how they feel and to thank and honor those who mean a lot to them is you know is inspiring.”
The quilt will be in a display at Lightridge High School beginning this week.
Students from Riverside High School also made a Hope Quilt, with the assistance of Art of the Matter.