PART 1 – Overview: For the past few years, I’ve shared the process of making the 3-dimensional embroidered illustrations for my newest picture book, MY BED. The book has been out for a year and the Bedtime Stitches touring exhibition of the original artwork is well underway. So, I’d like to pick up where I left off last year and continue to show what goes into doing this kind of work. Posts I’ve written in the Bed Book Peek series so far are listed here.
The Bedtime Stitches touring exhibition is at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA through Dec. 31, 2021 and will be at the International Quilt Museum, Lincoln, NE Jan. 25 – April 10, 2022. See the the full schedule here. Visitors often ask, “How did she make all of this in one year?”. It’s confusing because all of the pieces are consistently embroidered with the date 2020 on the border. Even though I worked on it over a 3 year period, the project was completed when it was published as a book in 2020.
HOME – Near the end of the story, the illustration shows a child in bed, when it’s almost time to go to sleep. All of the animal icons from the different places featured throughout the book are gathered together in a snug little bedroom. I felt it was important to depict a universal child, who wasn’t clearly identifiable by gender or race, whom any child being read to could identify with. I also wanted the house to convey a warm and playful sense of “home” that could be imagined anywhere.
You can find out more about the Animal Icon spot illustrations in these previous posts – Rooster, Camel, Parrot, Elephant, Goldfish, Cat, Duck, Sheep, Rabbit, Cow, Crocodile, Giraffe, Dog, Pony.
To begin, I enlarged the thumb nail sketch to full scale and used it as a template. The drawing provided a general layout of the house and tree, but once I started making the animals, they took over and pretty much determined what the interior arrangement would be.
I worked on one double-page spread at a time. The background and parts accumulated on an old ironing board that served as an extra working surface. When I needed to press a piece of felt, the iron was right there.
Rob set up a camera and lights on top of the table, so we could make a little animated film before I sewed all of the parts together.
This is what it looks like when you compress 6 weeks into 9 seconds.
There’s is so much to show about making this scene that I’m going to write several posts focusing on different parts, including the animals, the child and architectural details. Stay tuned for more!
YES!!!! Isn’t she amazing?? I have seen videos of her embroidering the forest floor – she will take weeks painstakingly creating millions of French knots to represent the ground textures.
She recently had a show in South Carolina, and before that had a show on Cape Cod. Oh, how I would LOVE to see her work firsthand! I hope to buy her book too. She is a treasure!
Thanks so much for sharing!
May the demon of Arthritis never attack those wonderful fingers of yours and Creeping Age never slow your prolific brain. Thanks for sharing your process with us. Live long and prosper!