I’ve been a fan of mystery books since my Nancy Drew days. As soon as I learned May’s theme, I decided to base it on the title of a mystery that I’d read. For the past few months, I’ve been reading the gentle, life-affirming, non-violent mysteries of Alexander McCall Smith.
After I read Smith’s THE TEARS OF THE GIRAFFE in March, I knew that I had found the title to portray May’s Mystery theme. I took an easy way out, using a batik panel of a giraffe herd that I’ve had for several years. I trimmed it to size and basted it to some polyester felt, which became the batting.
To compensate for not taking the time and brain work to come up with my own design, I decided to quilt it using nothing but hand embroidery stitches. I further challenged myself to use only stitches I’d never tackled before, employing both Perle cotton and regular embroidery floss. I enjoyed learning how to do the back stitch, discovering that nothing works quite so well for curved areas, and so that stitch predominates in this quilt. I also used the seed stitch, the feather stitch, and the fly stitch. To fill in the background I embroidered teardrop shapes, using the variegated, hand-dyed Perle thread that fellow Maven Carolyn brought me as a gift from Quilting Adventures.
For the eyes of my three giraffes I sewed on white beads, and then of course my crying giraffes needed tears. I hunted fruitlessly for teardrop beads in the few local sources for beads, but finally I gave up, using stick-on scrapbooking “jewels”. After the quilting/embroidery was done, I finished the quilt with the pillowcase method, using a dark red batik for the backing.
P.S. Batik artist “Krisna” designed this giraffe-herd panel. I cut out and fused Krisna’s name to give credit where credit is due! Oh, and in trimming down the panel, that sadly left only the hind quarters of two of the giraffes!