Sunday, February 13, 2011

not even the rain: a love poem - Project Quilting Time to Vote

At left: "not even the rain: a love poem" 19" x 26" Project Quilting, Season 2, Challenge 3: Be My Valentine, Feb. 2011  

Quick recap of the challenge "Be My Valentine":
1. The inspiration is Be My Valentine.
2. The main colors of your project will be something other than red or pink although you can use small amounts of red and pink.
3. You cannot use the word "Valentine" on the front of your project but you may use it in the name.

First I started thinking about Valentines and ways people express their love to another person. I thought about love letters, and specifically classic love poems. I decided to include part of the poem “somewhere I have never travelled” by e.e. cummings, which my husband wrote in a love letter to me when we were dating.

Closeup of poem and ginko leaves

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens;
only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands 

Closeup of the clover and blue flowers

Next I came up with a few design ideas then went into my fabric stash to see what I had in green, blue and purple that made me think of romance. I found a piece of fabric that had 7 different floral and leaf images, so I decided to make a quilt that incorporated items that someone would keep to remind them of their love including the second and final stanza of the poem, some ribbons, heart-shaped beads and charms, a little key and a small bag with a pair of hearts inside.

Closeup of the fern and rose bud

I fussy-cut the floral and leaf fabric (using the leftover piece for the label on the back), printed the text that I wanted to add (the poem and text in two other places). I pieced a thin grayish-green inner border and a yellow/green/blue/tan batik for the outer borders.

Detail of hearts inside a sheer bag on the fern quilt

The six pieces were sewn with a pillowcase binding and then top stitched around the edges. I did quilting stitch-in-the-ditch on both sides of the inner border then quilted around the flowers and leaves. I even added some hand quilting some of the leaves to give them definition.

I wanted to use some fun fur to soften the edges and I wanted it along the outside and not on top of the quilt so I used a zigzag stitch to attach it. Then I added my embellishments.

The final step was to use beads to connect the quilts both vertically and horizontally. (The heart-shaped bead on the second quilt on the right side is actually a navy blue, although it looks black in the photos). The handing rod hangs from a cream colored ribbon.

More about not even the rain

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Click on any of the photos to see them larger.

To see the other entries, go to the Be My Valentine page.


DownHome Designs said...

This is absolutely GORGEOUS! I LOVE it! So creative and romantic!

Lori Gravley said...

What a beautiful Valentine. I love E.E. Cummings love poems and you've included text nicely.