About Me


I am devoted to stitching. For over 40 years, I’ve created 3-dimensional hand-stitched artwork that ranges from precious to poignant to provocative. What I make and how I do it requires letting go of preconceived notions about needlework, fiber art, dolls, illustration, and even political art.




I rediscovered my childhood delight in sewing and creating miniature scenes while studying illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. 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 ideas more clearly and that my hands would direct me in a compelling way. Instead of trying to keep in step using traditional mediums, I discovered that with stitching, I could dance! For most of my career I have followed this path, creating sculptural scenes in bas-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  bound together with stitching. I am interested in universal, playful narratives that explore history, as well as reflect the society we live in today. I want to transcend the fiber medium by and of itself, making art that is valued for its message and aesthetics as well as the materials and techniques I use.


Some of my embroidered pieces are photographed and reproduced in children’s books, including the 2010 award-winning Pocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. My bestselling how-to book of doll projects, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures continues to inspire creativity. Personally autographed books, cards and posters with printed reproductions of my embroidered scenes are available in my Etsy Shop.


My new work moves away from the land of innocence and into real world issues and current events. I strive to find the beauty within the struggle and strife, as in my 2016 piece Displaced.

After the 2016 presidential election, I formed a satirical wee folk drama troupe, The Wee Folk Players  (they’re a stitch). Most recently, my husband Rob and I made a short stop-motion animated film titled Liberty and Justice : A Cautionary Tale in the Land of the Free.

WGBH (1 of 1)

My solo exhibit Liberty and Justice, which was abruptly cancelled in 2018 at its original venue, due to its political content, was generously picked up by the New England Quilt Museum and the Cotuit Center for the Arts. Portions of the exhibit are currently included in The Art of Cute at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, Maine (May 1 – August 31, 2019)

You can watch my interview about the Liberty and Justice exhibit on WGBH TV and read the post Finding My Voice, which includes an excerpt of my talk about making art that is both precious and provocative.

I recently finished the artwork for a new picture book. MY BED: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep around the World will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2020. You can see blog posts showing the book’s progress here. SALLEY MAVOR: Bedtime Stitches, an exhibit of the original bas-relief artwork from the book will tour the United Sates beginning in 2020. Inquiries from museums are welcome – please contact me for information about hosting the show.

I live and work in my home studio on Cape Cod, in Falmouth, Massachusetts. For answers to frequently asked question, please go to the FAQ Page. Contact me via e-mail or write to P.O. Box 152, Woods Hole, MA 02543.

To keep up with new posts, please 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.

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


Originals for sale: An exhibit of fabric relief illustrations from Pocketful of Posies toured the country for 5 years. Now that the traveling exhibit has come to an end, original embroidered artwork from the book is for sale. Please contact me for a list of available pieces. Each rhyme is displayed under Plexiglas in a custom-made cherry wood frame. Prices range from $2,500 to $6,500.

To keep up with new posts, subscribe to this blog (top right column on the home page).

Rabbitat is a short documentary video about my work:

Book trailer for Felt Wee Folk – New Adventures

Contact me via e-mail or write to P.O. Box 152, Woods Hole, MA 02543

Visit my Facebook Page. Follow me on Instagram.

Posters, cards and autographed books are available in 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.

To find out about my foray into political satire, please read this interview.

Read my post about artistic privacy and when to tell how and when not to.

Frequently asked questions: FAQ Page

Watch videos about my work: Videos Page

Watch WGBH OPEN STUDIO interview.

Hear Abby Glassenberg’s podcast interview with Mimi Kirchner and me.

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

Read an interview with Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

My Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion (pictured below) is on semi permanent display at the Woods Hole Public Library.


52 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.

  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 🙂

  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

  22. I’m deeply impressed, such dedication, such eye for details that make the world more beautiful, a life long thread of art and love.

  23. I found your book on Etsy and ordered it right away. I’m having a blast making your “wee folk”. I’m at a kind of crossworks in my life and your creating is filling my soul during this time of renewal. Thank you.

  24. Although I have stitched and sewn and knitted and loved little things all my life, it is now at the age of 41 that I’m starting to think seriously about illustrating books and so on with my creations. I have sought out a childhood inspiration/local artist who has agreed to mentor me, and I list you among my greatest inspirations. Watching the trailer above makes me want to pull out Wee Felt Folk and make MORE of your dolls (I have made many!), and also inspires me to find or make the time (I’m a full time teacher and mother of four) to pursue my creative dreams. Thank you so much for the beauty you bring into the world with your fabric relief!

  25. Pingback: Artista Enero – Salley Mavor | AnAnAs

  26. Pingback: The Incredible Work of Salley Mavor | a daily dose of fiber

  27. I found one of your wee folk on Pinterest, and then I noticed you last name! We’re probably ‘way, ‘way distantly related. Like 21st cousins or something. Anyway, I love your work! Kate Maver

  28. Salley eu adorei conhecer o seu Blog e a sua arte.
    O seu trabalho é mágico e de uma beleza sem igual. Parabéns!
    Um abraço
    Graça Gonçalves
    São Paulo – Brasil

  29. I am in love with your work! It is absolute amazing! Do you ever have any shows in California? Thanks so much for sharing your talents. Love your books too! And I never thought the current administration would be so much fun to use as an artistic theme! 😂

  30. Hi Sally, Peter and Cathy just shared your new work with videos. This is so exciting, and I look forward to seeing more. I really enjoyed the short intro about your work, ‘Rabbitat’, seeing this work develop, as you find inspiration in nature. All of this is lovely and inspiring. Thanks so much for creating your wonderful work and sharing it.

  31. I just discovered you, miss Salley Mavor, and I am a fan big time! You have such a talent it’s hard to believe you exist!

  32. Dear Salley Mavor;

    I’m a member of a project in the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) in Brazil, wich is called GAPsi- Grupos de Apoio Psicologico (“Psychological support groups”). We would like to ask you if we can use your work (a personal history of Fashion) as our logo of the project.

    Thank you for your time

    Kind regards;

    Nicole Oliveira

    • Dear Nicole Oliveira,

      I know that you are doing good work, but, unfortunately, I cannot give permission for you to use my artwork as a logo. I appreciate your asking, but it is too little, too late. I researched your organization and was surprised to see that you are already using my artwork on your Facebook page. This is distressing to see! My artwork is copyrighted and I have obviously not given permission to use it. Please remove the image from all of your material, either online or in printed form. I will check to see that it has been removed from every post.

      Salley Mavor

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