About Me

4DSalley1960

I have had a life-long fascination with little things and needlework. At the Rhode Island School of Design, I rediscovered my childhood delight in sewing and creating miniature scenes. Manipulating materials in my hands with a needle and thread was so much more satisfying than rendering with a pencil or brush. I found that I could communicate my ideas more clearly and that my hands would direct me in a compelling way. Finding no descriptive term for what I was making, I named my technique Fabric Relief 35 years ago.

salley2014

Today, I describe myself as a 21st century needlewoman who is constantly discovering new ways to sew different materials together. I create fanciful scenes in relief, much like miniature, shallow stage sets, with figures imposed on embellished fabric backgrounds. My work is decorative and detailed, full of patterns from nature and  found objects, all  stitched by hand with a needle and thread. The original fabric relief sculptures are photographed and used to illustrate children’s books, including the award-winning Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Original illustrations from Pocketful of Posies have been touring the country since the book’s publication in 2010. My how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects is still being discovered, after more than 11 years in print. The follow-up edition, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures is scheduled to come out in the spring of 2015. I work in my home studio on Cape Cod, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Rabbitat is a short documentary video about my work:

Please note: Wee Folk Studio has discontinued the Ltd. Edition dolls and Blossom Fairy Kits.

Contact me at weefolk@cape.com or P.O. Box 152, Woods Hole, MA 02543

Visit my Facebook Page.

Posters, autographed books, and cards are available at my Etsy shop.

To find out about upcoming exhibits, talks and book signings, visit my Events Page.

To see a list of all of my books, go to My Books.

Read my acceptance speech for the 2011 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award

Read an interview with Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

35 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Your work is enchanting and appeals to the child in me. After purchasing Felt Wee Folk/Enchanting Projects the years have slipped by with no time to try any handwork at all. It has provided enjoyment, however, and my goal now is to collect all of the children’s books you have illustrated. So glad you stuck to your own vision through school and didn’t get swayed towards someone else’s idea of what is art. All the best to you in your delightful work. It is so appealing. Sincerely, Cate Jones

  2. i am so charmed, enchanted and pleased to find your lovely site and work through the maya made blog! your work is exquisite and i can’t wait to sit and sift through all your charming pages. please stop by my crazy life which you can see at farmandfrufru.blogspot.com. i live on a dairy farm and write about crafting, farming and whatever trivial thing stikes my fancy at any give time…you are always welcome…in the mean time, know that you have gained not only a new reader, but a new fan and admirer as well…

  3. Hi Salley, ever since you mentioned Lazure painting in the Waldorf blog I have been interested in trying it. Any chance you could give a few tips on how to do it your way? I’ve seen all the stuff online, but your technique/colors appealed to me. I don’t want to do a mural, just a verrrry subtle and gradual color gradation on my walls, definitely not as intense as the coral walls in the classroom picture. Do you use the ‘figure 8′ brushstroke technique??- thanks, Jules

  4. I am so taken by your work! Last Saturday (Feb 5), I chanced upon your book while at Michael’s looking for some yarn. I put it back on the shelf but the images stayed with me so I wound up ordering your book from Amazon last night. I’m an artist and a crafter and all my life, I’ve dabbled in doll-making (I cultivated a friendship with a doll maker from the Netherlands–Marleen Engeler when I was in my 30’s so we’ve been exchanging cards and mail for a good 20 years), I’ve loved miniatures and fairies and such. Somehow, painting them just didn’t do it for me. I think you’ve introduced me to an art form I’d like to try although I know I don’t have the patience it needs. Thank you for being an inspiration!

  5. Hi Salley,
    Do you photograph your own work, or have someone else do it? Good lighting is critical to getting the right colors without unwanted indirect shadows. Congratulations on your Golden Kite citation! Cheers, Joy Chu

  6. Wow! I’ve just found your book Felt Wee folk at my library and i am blown away by your little folk! There’s something about making something so tiny and cute that really appeals to me. I’m going to have a go at making these as soon as possible. You are such a creative and clever person,thankyou x

  7. How wonderful to be able to read about the woman who is behind such exquisite work.
    Has anyone ever approached you with the suggestion that you design children’s clothes? The sweet simplicity, lines and nourishing colors that your little people wear would do so well on little people everywhere.
    May your heart and hands continue their magic for years to come.

  8. I recently found your book Pocketful of Posies and I love it so much!
    I enjoy working with felt, but most of my work has been 2 dimensional. Your book has inspired me try creating 3 dimensional characters. Your little people are so precious!

  9. Hi Salley, I discovered your site whilst looking for nut hutch information, I have a workshop next weekend on birds. What wonderful work you do, I love the birds! Do you make your own felt? What is matt board? I would love more information please!
    Many thanks.

  10. Hi Salley…name is Gina I am very interested in purchasing your “Blossom Fairies Kits”. Do you still sell these? I purchased a Miniature Collector Book at a Miniature show in Syracuse, N.Y. dated December 2000…..Booooo! I really really hope you have kits available I am so very excited about these. Hope to talk to you soon.

  11. I have admired your work since finding your Felt Wee Folk years back. Saw your incredible piece in the LaConner show today with my quilting buddies and fellow admirers and was awestruck. My friend Linda summed it up when she said she never thought she’d be lucky enough to see your work in person. It made our day to say the least. So amazing. The attention to the tiniest detail is amazing and truly transports me. Thank you.

  12. Trabalhos maravilhosos!
    Parabéns pelas obras que revelam uma grande sensibilidade artistica, primando pela perfeição e preciosismo.
    Obrigado por me conceder a honra de apreciar a sua ARTE.

  13. Salley sou do Brasil, moro em SC, no interior, estou realmente encantada, maravilha com o seu trabalho encontrei seu site no face ,Parabéns por tanto don que fazem qualquer umperder o folego diante de tanta beleza

  14. I came over from Stitching Fingers.
    Visiting your website really made my day!!
    You sent my mind on a fantastic journey. Thank you and keep up the good work!
    Happy New Year wishes from Germany.
    Kirsten

  15. How beautiful… I am so glad to meet your creative amazing world.How I wished to have all your little friends… Thank you, Blessing and Happiness, with my love, nia

  16. Dear Sally,
    Your work takes me back to a time in my childhood when it was still possible to be an independent, imaginative child who roamed the neighborhood and woods with abandon. There is a magic in childhood and you capture it in the most enchanting manner with your beautiful works.
    You are singly responsible for inspiring my 17yr old daughter to sculpt and make unique dolls which she now also sells on Etsy. She always mentions how grateful she is to you for writing your books – you are her heroine!

    Thank you :)
    Marie

  17. Seu trabalho é arte!!!!! Lindo de viver, tem uma ternura, eu amo conhecer arteiras do mundo, me surpreendo sempre, e isso é muito bom. Me escreva falando mais de você e seu trabalho. Espero que venha ao Brasil qualquer dia!!! beijos Suzy

  18. I saw the corner of your piece with the crewel work sheep on a number of craft a fiber boards on Pinterest but couldn’t find your site until I did an image search for “crewel sheep on felt blanket”… and found weefolkstudio.com. What beautiful work you do! Having no kids myself and with friends and family who all have grandsons, I’ve not seen or heard of your books. I’m very happy I finally found out who you are — that little, anonymous pin was driving me crazy!

    • Thank you for persevering enough to find me! Welcome to my world. It’s stories like yours that have convinced me to recently start adding watermarks to my images so that they don’t get lost on the web.

  19. I have never seen anything like your work. I saw it on pinterest and had to investigate further. I Love crafting, sewing etc. Your birds are what caught my eye as I love birds. I definitely will follow you from now on.

  20. I saw your work today at the Lexington, Kentucky Public Library and I was simply gobsmacked! I kept saying to myself,”How does she do that?” I kept vascillating back and forth between, “That’s machine stitched,” to “No, that is hand stitched.” Needless to say, you do amazing work (I love, love, love the cats. I wish I could afford one of your pieces. Thank you for bringing joy into my life today.

  21. Hi,
    Just wanted to tell you again what a treat it was to meet you! I love your work and seeing the smiling faces that left your presentation was a fantastic tribute to you! Brava!!
    I didn’t want to dominate your time at your event but it was such fun to meet a like minded artist. Not too many of us especially working in fiber and especially in embroidery and stitching, at least in the DC area.
    This October I will be apart of a studio tour (very popular here) In my studio I will feature my efforts in – new term coming up here: Intimate Sculpture Stitching (…or something like that). If for any reason you find yourself in the DC area on the weekend of October 17th (http://www.greatfallsstudios.com/studiotour.php ) I would love to reciprocate the art and talk.
    All the Best,
    Penny Ross Burk

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