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The center of Robert’s Freedom Quilt hand-quilted with love!Freedom!

Where does the time go? 21 years ago December 4, I gave birth to my blonde hair-blue eyed baby Robert Eldon Eubank. From baby to toddler to child to teen it has been an amazing journey watching him grow and change into a 5’ 11” young man.

People make comments about children, “Six years, now that’s a fun age!” For me, every age is full of fun, adventure and changing expectations as Tom and I parent Robert through the joys and travails of life. All of the “firsts,” the “We’re sure you will never do/try that agains” and sad final goodbyes.

Now Robert is 21, a milestone to celebrate. Certainly there is the first bar drink, a coming-of-age ritual in today’s society. In the 1800s a young man would be presented with a Freedom Quilt, lovingly made by his mother and sisters. The quilt reflects their acknowledgement of his coming of age and the responsibilities accompanying it.

How time passes! Three years ago I start to piece and quilt Robert’s Freedom Quilt. It is still in the frame, unfinished. I found the 48-quilt pieces in an antique mall in Decatur, Indiana. I hand sew them together to create a big star and appliqué it against a deep blue night sky. The back fabric is tans and browns-the same shades as the star.  Bold and masculine: a star to guide Robert on his life’s journey.

As I continue to quilt the star portion, I’m reminded of all the names this particular star pattern bears-Lone Star, Bethlehem Star, Morning Star and Rising Star to name a few.

I look at the rich dark blue fabric and consider how I should quilt it: traditional cross-hatching or perhaps meandering stitches reflective of cosmic dust?

Young Robert used to pretend he was Simba of Lion King fame. Simba gazes at the night sky and sees his father watching over him guiding him. Quilted constellation-like symbols would be gentle reminders of those who cherish him most. A special name will come in time inspired by the quilting. After all, I have an entire year to enjoy year 21!

Happy Birthday Robert!

Catch Lois at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation Craft Show December 4 from 9-3 and Dec 5 from 9:30-1 (5310 Old Mill Road)

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Lois Levihn

She is the author of the "Around the Frame" quilting column. She is a graduate of Wayne HS. Quilts have always been important to her, she loves the stories surrounding them, the techniques used in making them, & restoring them. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer