bed book in progress – Japan

Today, I’d like to give a little behind-the-scenes peek at a recently completed scene for My Bed. Over the next year, I will continue to work on illustrations for the book, which will feature sleeping places in different cultures around the world.

This double page spread has children sleeping on futons in a traditional Japanese interior. To represent a spare and ordered Japanese aesthetic, I deviated from my usual style, which tends to be busy and curvy. I can’t remember the last time I made so many straight lines and right angles!

The tatami (floor mat) is made with some 75 yr. old linen fabric from my grandmother. The texture and age stains make the floor covering look woven and worn. I loved figuring out what items to display in the tokonoma (alcove).

Here’s a video of stitching French knot blossoms on the ikebana (floral arrangement).

I researched Japanese buildings for this roof section…

and made a fence out of real bamboo shoots.

Outside, the cherry tree provided a welcome opportunity for curves and repetitious little stitches.

To make a bed covering, I found some blue cotton in my stash…

and embellished it with chain stitching.

Her pajamas also got some extra yellow thread accents.

The book, is written by Rebecca Bond and will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2020. To see a peek at an illustration set in South America click here.

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23 thoughts on “bed book in progress – Japan

  1. Love watching the process and progress on the book. You do an amazing job of using “normal” sewing objects and turning them into authentic-looking details on something completely different!

  2. Sally, having lived in Japan for 7 years, and witnessed first hand all of your subject I can tell you you are spot on! I particularly loved the roof tiles, and the tsunami mats.

  3. Salley, I look forward to the day that you and your sister Anne collaborate on a project…….maybe there’s a “Beds my Ancestors Slept In” book in the making? Seriously, I love following the creative process that you each follow in creating your art. Power to you both!

  4. Dear Sally
    Thank you so much for letting us see the development of one of the pages in your upcoming book. I can not wait to see the completed project but I would love the process as much as the result if it was me.

  5. Simply wonderful and so inspirational! Can’t wait for your book to be published! Such a legacy you are leaving your family and the world! Personally wonderful because you have helped me tell my own stories. Thank you!

  6. You do such wonderful detailed work. I loved the roof too. I like how you create the different pieces with simple stitches and they come out beautiful. Thank you for sharing the process of your work.

  7. Oh Sally, I can’t wait to visit your wonderful world of ‘beds’. The multi-cultural emphasis is so timely and important for everyone in this confusing world. As usual, executed beautifully, your work reflects your talent!

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