This is the 4th and final part in the series about making the night sky illustration for my new picture book, My Bed. In this spread, all of the children are tucked in bed, hovering among the stars in the night sky. Today, I will show how I made the miniature versions of the children and beds from Russia and North America.
But first, I have some GOOD NEWS on the exhibition front! A new museum has just confirmed that they will be hosting the Bedtime Stitches touring exhibition in 2024. The Albany Institute of History and Art in Albany, NY will show Bedtime Stitches, as well as Social Fabric, a collection of other pieces I’ve made over the past 20 years. This all came about because a longtime fan contacted the museum in her home town of Albany about showing my work. Thank you Janny! This proves that the combination of your enthusiasm, along with local connections can get results.
For the night sky scene, I made a smaller version of the traditional “stove bed” ” like the one in the Russian scene. Besides its use for domestic heating, people slept on top of the masonry to keep warm.
To start, I cut felt in the shape of the stove and embroidered the details. The fire box door is appliqued black felt, with a metal hook for the handle and black seed beads for the hinges. I edged the stove and bed platform pieces with blanket stitches and sewed them together. To keep it from being too floppy, I stitched wire all around the outside edges. You can’t see the wire because it’s wrapped with thread.
I made a mini version of the sleeping girl, braids and all.
Then, I created a snug place for the girl to lie down. The back wall and curtain are made of felt and the scalloped edge along the top is thread wrapped wire. Then, I added a wire curl of smoke coming out of the chimney top. The last touch was a stack of seed beads “logs” inside the wood box.
I also replicated in miniature the bed and child from the North American scene. For comparison, you can see how I made the full size illustration here.
i simplified the quilt pattern into a grid of squares made with 4 or 5 horizontal or vertical stitches.
As with the other sleeping dolls, I only had to make the top portion of the child’s body.
The bed posts are tube beads topped off with round beads. I glued wire inside the beads to hold them together. The head and foot boards are made of felt.
Here she is, ready to join the other children!
I hope that you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes at how I made some of the tiniest beds in MY BED. The other posts in the night sky series are:
Part 1 – North Africa and Holland
Part 2 – Scandinavia and Japan
Part 3 – India, South America and Afghanistan
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