Bed book peek: Iran (part 1)

For this illustration set in Iran, I was inspired by the patterned flat perspective of Persian Miniatures. I combed through my fabric stash for small scale geometric patterns and brighter than usual wool felt pieces. It was an opportunity to over-decorate to my heart’s content!

The scene will be included in My Bed, which will be a book about where children sleep around the world, with each spread depicting a different culture and living environment. The story is written by Rebecca Bond and will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2020. Here are links to posts showing other finished illustrations for the book: South America, JapanIndiaAfghanistan, North America, Scandinavia, Ghana and Russia. To see a list of all my books, click here.

Update: Signed copies of My Bed can be ordered in my shop here. Watch this 8 minute documentary about how I created the illustrations for the book.

This is a window frame with wire edging and shutters.

I searched through my collection of beads, charms and doodads to find the right architectural details. Some of these treasures have been waiting for decades to be used!

I’ve had this piece of upholstery fabric forever and was happy to embellish it with chain stitching,

beads and a button.

I have more than a lifetime supply of Hook and Eye hardware.

Adding yet another border to tie it all together…

and more beads on top for good measure.

Here’s a roof section, with a bit of black wire edging to make it stand out.

Lattices, zigzags, diamonds and diagonal lines are the predominate motifs throughout.

I had such fun playing with color and patterns for this part of the scene. Please stay tuned for more posts about this illustration.

I am happy to announce that the Cahoon Museum in Cotuit, Massachusetts will host the premiere exhibit of original illustrations for the book. The exhibit will be coordinated with the book’s publication in the fall of 2020. Like with Pocketful of Posies, I am scheduling a touring exhibit, so that more people can see the “real thing”, which is a totally different experience than seeing reproductions on the printed page. Interested museums and art centers are welcome to contact me (salley at for information about hosting an exhibit. It would be wonderful to have the original illustrations make their way across the whole country!

To keep up with new posts, subscribe to this blog (top right column on the home page). Your contact info will not be sold or shared. If you’d like to see more frequent photos tracking the projects in my studio, please follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram.

18 thoughts on “Bed book peek: Iran (part 1)

  1. Absolutely beautiful! This one may be your most intricate so far. You are truly a gifted and amazing artist, Salley.

  2. This is quite a body of work. The stitch detail and embellishments are superb. Thanks for sharing the wonderful work that you do.

  3. Thanks for sharing your beautiful work.
    I still love to follow your art, and I am happy that you share it.

    Heidi 🌷🇳🇱

  4. I am ecstatic to see how you create all the parts that make up your scenarios. I am extremely excited, always, to see all the care, the details, the execution, everything! They are like embroidered jewels! Very precious! May God bless you always and bless your work as well. It’s what I want every time an email arrives in my mailbox. A big hug of this deep admirer and continuous follower. And sorry, my English. I use google

  5. wow wow wow — i found you through your comment on our Books Around the Table blog. What wonderful work! I will look for your books.

  6. your work is so inspiring Salley, I am already looking forward to buying the book.
    I would like to make a travelling doll and was wondering what kind of size is Polly? She has got a fantastic wardrobe!
    All the best, Ingrid

    • Thank you Ingrid. Polly is about 3 1/2 inches tall. Do you have my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk? There are instructions and patterns for a variety of sizes. Have fun making and traveling with yours!

  7. Would love to c closeups of your work in your studio in video. You have a short video on Etsy I saw but was very fast. Your work is truly lovely. Have a nice day.

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