How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
-Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43
This is my first start-to-finish quilt for 2010. A friend gave me the printed panel with the flower vase and coordinating squares. I added $40 in fabric for borders and backing (I had to have fabrics from the coordinating Moda lines) and $60 for quilting (Ramona at the Corn Wagon Quilt Co. does a beautiful job) to the 'free' panel. So much for free. It is fun to have a Valentine's Table Runner, though. The runner is fairly large, finishing at about 32½" x 54", but that's OK, because I have this big white table (that I absolutely LOVE and got on clearance for $55 -- have I mentioned that I LOVE to bargain shop?) that it fits on perfectly. Click on any of the pictures for a closer look.
Here is a close-up of the center panel. This is part of the 'free' part of this runner. I love the details that Ramona quilted in the vase. I also love the tight stippling around the flowers and vase and how each flower is accented with quilting. Did I mention that Ramona does a beautiful job?
Because of the busy heart pattern I used in the borders, it is difficult to see the quilting details. I washed and dried all of the fabrics before beginning to work on this project and when it came back, I washed and dried it again so that the batting would shrink up a bit and highlight the quilted details a little better. Here is the back of the runner, though, because the details are difficult to see in the photographs. Ramona quilted in a running heart border all the way around, accented each of the printed squares in the checkerboards on top and bottom and quilted very cute hearts in the squares with heart fabric. It reminds me of a hand-made elementary school Valentine's Day Card. The overall look of the quilting is very whimsical and almost vintage. Almost -- but not quite. I really like the finished effect.
Here is another close-up of the quilting on the back. This is the bottom checkerboard.
I got this back from the quilter on the Monday before Valentine's Day. It took me a few days to get the binding on (it was all cut and ready to go, though), so I think I'll leave this on my table for a few more days. It's OK to celebrate love for more than just one day, don't you think?