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Quilter Name: Cynthia Whitnell

My name is Cynthia Whitnell, I am an American living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with my family.  I am blessed to be a wife, mother of three amazing little girls, and owner of 2 furry dogs.  I enjoy crocheting, hand embroidery, sewing, painting, drawing, and designing spaces.  I started to sew in 2004 when my first daughter was born and fell in love with quilting at the International Quilt Show in 2010 with my dear friend.  We got together weekly over coffee and our machines and with much laughter we taught ourselves how to quilt using books, the internet, and lots of trial and error.  I do not have a specific style as I enjoy the creative aspect of mixing shapes, fabrics, and sewing styles to complete each project.  Thankfully this passion is being passed down to my children as they enjoy designing their own quilts and sewing as well.

This quilt “The Star to Freedom,” was created using fabrics given by Sari Bari to contribute to freeing women from the bondage they are held captive in.  I chose the pattern Freedom Star, or sometimes called the North Star block to create this quilt.  This block was believed to originate from Civil War times as a code to slaves that were escaping to the North to gain their freedom.  It is also called the North Star, I think symbolizing Jesus birth and the freedom we have through it.

This quilt has been a delight to make while traveling around the state of Texas as well as Brazil.  The opportunity to tell people why we are making it has allowed us to share the needs of these women and how anyone can make an impact by donating time through personal passions. The quilt was designed and quilted by me, while the color selections and knotting was done with the help of my 8 and 6 year old daughters.  It has been a wonderful to share this experience with them and allow them to see how they can make a difference and help others.