Boston Children’s Hospital Installation

I’m excited to announce that a winter themed display full of my wee folk characters is on view until March 15th at Boston Children’s Hospital, which has been named the country’s #1 pediatric hospital for 9 years in a row.

The 8 ft. long case is located in the Mini-Museum in the Hale lobby, not far from the main entrance to the hospital at 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, Massachusetts. The exhibit, which is sponsored by the Art Program at Boston Children’s Hospital is for patients and their families, staff, and visitors to enjoy.

I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to show my work in the hospital and hope that it provides a bit of comfort and joy to the children and their families who pass by on their way to appointments and treatments.

The snow scene is populated with sample dolls from the Winter Play chapter of my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures. The book includes instructions for making the dolls and stands like the ones I used in this scene.

After being invited to show my work and consulting with the hospital’s art program manager, I drew up this sketch that showed how I envisioned the display case. We agreed that placing the 3-dimensional snow scene at child height on the bottom shelf was important.

I constructed wood and chicken wire supports for the snow bank and trees, which I tested out on the big oak table in my studio. Bayberry branches, with their densely packed branches are the perfect scale for a scene like this.

For the free-standing trees, I made weighted stands from plastic wire spools and a stack of metal washers, which I padded with stuffing and covered with white felt.

This video shows the practice set-up of the winter scene in my studio.

Snow scene practice set-up in studio

I packed everything up and drove to Boston to set up the scene. Some of the figures aren’t really dressed for cold weather, but they wanted to come along anyway!

Also in the case, above the snow scene set up, are printed enlargements of Frosty Morning, Winter Play (from Felt Wee Folk) and Snow. All 3 are available as cards in my shop.

Here’s a video of the installation in Boston Children’s Hospital.

Snow Scene Display at Boston Children’s Hospital

Most of the figures and houses are from other projects, so I was able to reuse them for this display. I did make something new, though – an adaptive sled for riders with disabilities. I took lots of photos of the process of creating the sled, which I’ll share in a future post.

I’ve already been contacted by several people who encountered the exhibit while going to a doctor’s appointment with their child or grandchild. Hearing their reactions warms my heart and makes it feel like the effort was worth it! If you’re in the area, please stop by the Boston Children’s Hospital’s Mini Museum.

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

Bedtime Stitches opens in Minnesota

Bedtime Stitches at the Cahoon Museum in 2020

In the two years since Bedtime Stitches, the touring exhibition of original bas-relief artwork for my book, MY BED debuted at the Cahoon Museum, the show has been enjoyed by thousands of visitors at five different museums in Illinois, Nebraska and parts of New England. I’m excited that even more people will have the opportunity to experience the detail and 3-dimensional quality of my work as the exhibition continues to travel to other parts of the country during the next few years. You can see the schedule here.

Here I am at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, Maine, with a van packed full of my life’s work from last summer’s retrospective exhibition, What a Relief (which included Bedtime Stitches).

Artwork from last summer’s exhibition, “What a Relief” packed up and heading home.
Bedtime Stitches being installed at the Brick Store Museum in the summer of 2022.

I’m happy to announce that the next location of Bedtime Stitches will be the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County in Moorhead, Minnesota from Oct. 15 through Jan. 1, 2023. I’m envisioning carloads of friends making the trip north from Minneapolis and south from Winnipeg, across the Canadian border, to visit the show!

Opening Event – Oct. 15, 1-5 PM. Dr. Sandra Gordon will give a presentation about my life-long passion with 3-D embroidery at 1:00 PM. I am grateful to Sandra for suggesting that the museum host the exhibition. She is active in the Embroiderer’s Guild of America and has written 2 articles about my work for their publication, Needlearts.

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.

The collection of artwork brings the viewer on an international journey, showing children in varying cultures and home environments around the world. Each intricately rendered scene captures the spirit of a different place and way of life, all the while illuminating the universal theme of children sleeping safe in their beds.

After its time in Minnesota, the exhibition will be heading further west, to the Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Art Museum in LaConner, WA, Feb. 1 – April 30, 2023. See the tour schedule through 2024 here.

Will Bedtime Stitches continue to tour after 2024?
I’m open to having the exhibition travel for a little longer, as long as museums are interested in hosting it. I would love to keep the series together for as long as possible and create more opportunities to view the original embroidered pieces in person, which is a completely different experience than seeing them on a screen or on the printed pages of a book.

I constantly hear from people who want to see my original work in their home territory, from Texas to Australia. I wish I had the power to just point a magic wand and send my pieces all over the world. But the reality is much more complicated. You see, there are all kinds of things that need to happen to make an exhibition possible, starting with an invitation from a museum. At this point, I’m more engrossed in making-mode than promo-mode and am no longer actively searching out locations. But, I’m very willing to answer inquiries directly from museums and curators.

Actually, the most effective approach has been for fans to reach out to their local museums and tell them about the opportunity to show my work. That’s how several bookings came about, including the one in Minnesota. Interested museums can contact me for details about the exhibition at salley@weefolkstudio.com.

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

WHAT A RELIEF – first 6 weeks

I’m overwhelmed by the response to my first major retrospective exhibition, WHAT A RELIEF: The Art of Salley Mavor. In its first 6 weeks, visitors have streamed in from all over to see a big portion of my life’s work at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, Maine. There’s a lot to see – four galleries on the Museum’s first floor contain over 150 works that span 40 years (more if you count my childhood pieces), from early sculptures, to picture book illustrations to my recent foray into current affairs. If you’re considering traveling to see the exhibit, there’s still time, since it’ll be there for another 8 weeks, through Sept. 11th. I’d thought that people would drive in from the surrounding New England states, which they are, but I’m flabbergasted to hear that fans are actually flying in from other parts of the country to see my work in person!

I’m touched that so many of you’ve gone out of your way to see my work in person. It makes me feel that all of the effort that went into this exhibit was worth it! These are just a few of the comments coming in:

“Hands down, one of the most beautiful, inspiring and creative museum exhibits I have ever seen. I will remember this forever!” -Lucinda Shattuck, Dover, NH

“We are blown away with wonder and delight. We spent over three hours gazing up close at every inch of your amazing work. Best weekend ever!!’ – Julie Steller of Minneapolis, MN

“There is so much to feast your eyes on! I love that women, diversity, and politics all take center stage, too.” – Marty Lapointe-Malchik, Concord, MA

For those of you from the other side of the world, I’ll do my best to show what the exhibit looks like. In this video, I walk through one the galleries that contains original artwork for Pocketful of Posies and MY BED.

Bedtime Stitches
Bedtime Stitches

WHAT A RELIEF: The Art of Salley Mavor
Brick Store Museum
117 Main St., Kennebunk, Maine
June 7th thru Sept. 11th
ZOOM Talk, Aug, 25, 2 PM, Register HERE

I look forward to seeing your smiling faces (via Zoom) when the Museum hosts “An Afternoon with Salley Mavor” ZOOM Talk on Aug. 25 at 2:00 PM (eastern time). After my presentation, there will be an opportunity for participants to ask questions. Please register HERE. Don’t worry if you live in another time zone, the event will be recorded to watch later.

Visitors of all ages are enjoying the show. We hung the artwork a little lower than usual, so that children and short adults can see the detail more easily.

The wall of women has turned into a popular photo-op spot.

Whiskers

At the opening reception in June, I loved meeting people, signing books and

admiring a pair of adorable fairies made from my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk.

This exhibit follows my career through many twists and turns, including my recent venture into political satire. The “Liberty and Justice” room holds the Wee Folk Players cartoons and the props and characters from our stop motion animation, Liberty and Justice: A Cautionary Tale, which visitors can watch on a video monitor.

Liberty and Justice

Jim Newman of Woods Hole, MA wrote to tell me this tidbit:

“My favorite moment was in the Liberty and Justice room, where an elderly lady, bent over a walker, looked over at me and started a nice conversation with “EVERYONE needs to come see this.”  

Liberty and Justice

I want to thank the staff at the Brick Store Museum, particularly Leanne Hayden, who believed in me and supported the idea of a large solo exhibition like this. Let’s be honest, when your medium is embroidery, it can be a challenge to have your work taken seriously by the art and museum world. There is no question that Leanne viewed my work as art from the first time she saw it. After years of planning, it’s gratifying to have everything magically fall into place. I’m thrilled to share my work in such a warm and inviting venue!

Leanne’s kind words about the show left me speechless.

” It has been such a pleasure to work with Salley and host her first major retrospective. I knew it would be a great summer exhibit for the whole family but I never could have imagined the enthusiastic and heartwarming response we receive every day from visitors. I love to hear stories of visitors who have traveled from all over the country to see this exhibit. But my favorite reactions are from those who had never heard of Salley Mavor and are seeing everything for the first time. I have actually had visitors stop me in the galleries just to tell me that this is the best exhibit they have ever seen. Or to hear audible gasps from a particular piece. That is the kind of experience you always hope for when putting an exhibit together.”

Leanne Hayden, Collections Manager, Brick store Museum

Felt Wee Folk
Pocketful of Posies

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WHAT A RELIEF installation

If you’ve followed me for a while, you know that my artwork runs the gamut from precious to poignant to provocative, making it hard to categorize. One thing is for certain, I love creating and sharing my vision with you, whether on social media, in books or in person! This summer, from now until Sept. 11th, there’s an opportunity to see over 150 of my bas-relief pieces and sculptural objects at the Brick Store Museum in the quintessential New England town of Kennebunk, Maine.

WHAT A RELIEF at the Brick Store Museum

The retrospective exhibition, WHAT A RELIEF: The Art of Salley Mavor contains a large selection of my life’s work, showing everything from a folksy fairy world to full-frontal nudity (in the Garden of Eden). The exhibition spans over 40 years, from early in my career to the present day. Rarely seen works on loan from private collections fill multiple galleries on the Museum’s entire first floor. The show is laid out somewhat chronologically, so visitors can see the evolution of my style and techniques through the years..

Brick Store Museum block, Kennebunk, Maine

So what’s my connection to the Brick Store Museum? In 2019, my recent topical pieces, including Displaced and the animated film, Liberty and Justice were included in their exhibit “The Art of Cute”. The show, which was curated by the Illustration Institute, included a broad spectrum of art and products that could be considered “cute”, from endearing to edgy. My topical and political work were part of the Meta cute or “beyond” cute category. The museum received such rave reviews about my work that we immediately started planning a larger solo exhibit and here we are!

The Art of Cute at the Brick Store Museum in 2019

Curating a show of this size takes a lot of time and preparation. In addition to figuring out what to include, I’ve spent the past couple of years studying the museum’s floor plan and visualizing how my work could be organized in the galleries.

Since it is a retrospective exhibition, I needed to track down people who’d purchased my work decades ago. My records are spotty, so I don’t know where everything ended up, but I was able to contact several owners who live within a reasonable driving distance who were willing to loan their pictures for the duration of the exhibit. So, in the early spring, I personally picked up artwork from various locations around New England. It was wonderful to meet some owners for the first time and hear how much they’ve enjoyed living with the pieces for 25 to 40 years! After bringing them back home, I removed the artwork from their frames and cleaned the glass, as well as took digital photos. Keeping them protected under UV glass for all these years really made a difference because they were in excellent condition inside.

In addition to early work on loan, the exhibition includes more recent pieces that I’ve purposely not offered for sale, so that they are available to exhibit. One consequence of all this laborious hand stitching, is that it takes forever to accumulate enough work to have a solo show. For instance, I completed just 3 pieces in the past year and a half (Frosty Morning, Mossy Glen and Harvest Time), even though I spent every spare moment working on them. At this stage of my career, I feel that the value of my work lies in its ability to be shared publicly. So that means I’ll be holding onto my recent work for the time being. See a schedule of current and upcoming exhibitions here.

Two weeks ago, Rob and I stuffed a UHaul cargo van with crates and boxes filled with artwork and drove up to Maine to deliver everything to the Museum. We spent a few days helping the staff set up the show, which you can see in photos and videos further ahead in this post. We left before the installation was fully completed, so we’ll take more pictures when we go back for the opening event on June 25th.

WHAT A RELIEF: The Art of Salley Mavor
Brick Store Museum
117 Main St., Kennebunk, Maine
June 7th thru Sept. 11th
Meet the Artist on June 25th, 1 to 3 PM
ZOOM Talk, Aug, 25, 2 PM, Register HERE

Once the artwork was unpacked, the museum staff got to work installing the show. Here’s Leanne Hayden, the collections and exhibition manager hanging Noah’s Ark and a group of ornaments over the mantelpiece in the first gallery. I made the ornaments about 10 years ago for the Family Trees event at the Concord Museum.

One wall in the center gallery features enlarged photographs of women from my piece, Cover Up. Their faces are blown up to about 12 times the size of the 1″ wooden bead doll heads. I like playing with scale, taking something tiny and making it huge. They certainly demand your attention when you walk into the room.

Cynthia Walker, the museum’s executive director, skillfully hung the prints on the wall with sticky Command strips.

I was so impressed by how quickly everything went up. While I set up sculptural items in display cases, Cynthia and Leanne measured and hung the framed pieces.

Props and characters from the animated film Liberty and Justice.

In this video, I bring you around the room, pointing out what’s on display.

With her baby and dog looking on, Cynthia hung Bedtime Stitches. How impressive is that?

The Bedtime Stitches portion of the exhibit has been touring for the past 2 years and is scheduled at other locations around the US through 2024.

Video tour of Bedtime Stitches

It’s wonderful to hear that the exhibition is already attracting many visitors from near and far. I look forward to meeting some of you at the opening event on Sat., June 25th from 1 to 3 PM. And for those of you from very far away, we’ll take more photos and share them!

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

Mossy Glen: Part 8 – wee folk

This is the 8th and final part of the series about making the spring landscape, Mossy Glen. All spring I’ve shared photos, videos and commentary about how I created the piece, from stitching moss to forming wire stems. I’ve saved the best for last – today’s post is about making the wee folk characters! 
Part 1 is all about stitching a moss-like texture, Part 2 gives a glimpse at how I made the cherry trees, Part 3 is about the stone walls, Part 4 shows how I made the forsythia blossoms, Part 5 features wire and felt leaves, Part 6 is about chain-stitching leaves and Part 7 looks at the violets and berries.

Before delving into how I made the wee folk in Mossy Glen, I’d like to announce the opportunity to see a large selection of my work in person this summer. The exhibition, What a Relief, has been in the works for years and I’m happy to say that its doors are open to the public this week! For those of you who live too far away to come see the show, I’ll be sharing photos and videos of the exhibition in future posts.

WHAT A RELIEF: The Art of Salley Mavor
June 7 – Sept. 11, 2022
Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk, ME
Meet the Artist on June 25, 1 – 3 PM

This is the first major retrospective exhibition of my artwork, spanning over 40 years, from early on in my career to the present day. Rarely seen works on loan from private collections fill multiple galleries on the Museum’s entire first floor. The show is laid out somewhat chronologically, so visitors can see the evolution of my style and techniques through the years. Over 150 framed pieces and sculptural objects are on display, including the series of original illustrations from my most recent picture book, MY BED.

What a Relief, Brick Store Museum
What a Relief, Brick Store Museum

Wee Folk in Mossy Glen
Now, let’s turn our attention back to the characters frolicking in the Mossy Glen. I’m never sure who is going to appear in these landscapes. They just show up one by one and claim their spots. After many months building places for the wee folk to live, it feels satisfying to finally meet them and let them take over.

The figures are similar to the acorn-capped dolls in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk, just smaller in scale. Instead of pipe cleaners, I made the armatures with 24 gauge jewelry wire. You have to wind a lot of thread around the wire to make the limbs look proportional and not too spindly. At least you don’t have to deal with pipe cleaner fuzzies poking out.

After wrapping the wire armature with either embroidery floss or tapestry yarn, I embellished the torso and arms with faux knitting. which is basically rows of chain stitching.

I first started experimenting with fake or faux knitting when I made Polly’s Irish sweater by embroidering patterns and textures on felt. I’m not very experienced with knitting or crocheting, so this seemed like a good solution.

Since then, I’ve left out the felt and stitched directly onto the thread wrapped bodies. It’s fussy for sure, but the clothing comes out looking the way I want it to.

Here’s a Stitch Minute video showing some of my faux knitting.

I know this fellow looks uncomfortable, but I didn’t want to hide what he endured for the sake of fashion.

I made this stroller out of wire, which I covered with embroidery floss. The wheels are beads. As usual, I was so absorbed in figuring out how to make it, that I didn’t think to take photos along the way. I’ll try better with the next scene.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this series about making Mossy Glen. Here’s a list of the different parts:
Mossy Glen (overview)
Part 1 (moss)
Part 2 (cherry trees)
Part 3 (stone walls)
Part 4 (forsythia)
Part 5 (wire and felt leaves)
Part 6 (chain stitched leaves)
Part 7 (violets and berries)

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

Bedtime Stitches opens in Lincoln, NE and other news

First off, I’d like to welcome the influx of new subscribers, who’ve recently discovered my work through The Quilt Show. I hope that you enjoy exploring my needle and thread universe that you don’t get too lost in the archives!
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Today’s post includes an exhibition announcement with a virtual gallery tour, a zoom interview hosted by Niisha HandCrafted from Dubai, UAE and a preview of the fall landscape in my 4 seasons series.

Southeastern New England took the brunt of last weekend’s blizzard, but miraculously we didn’t lose power. Sunday was both a gross and fine motor skills kind of day, with shoveling outside and stitching inside in front of the wood-stove. Gotta have a balance of physical exertion and fiddly handwork or weird things start to happen!

I’m working on the fall landscape (autumn for some of you) in my 4 seasons series. As you can see, this scene will have a moss-covered habitat for the wee folk that is surrounded by chain-stitched vegetation. There’s still a lot more to do, but if I can complete it by spring, this yet-to-be-named piece will join Mossy Glen and Frosty Morning in my retrospective show at the Brick Store Museum in Kennebunk, ME this summer (June 3 – Sept. 11, 2022).

Bedtime Stitches Touring Exhibition
The International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska is hosting Bedtime Stitches through April 9, 2022. Even if you live too far away and can’t see the show in person, you can have a virtual gallery tour on their web page here.

The Bedtime Stitches exhibition is a unique opportunity for the public to see the detail and 3-dimensional quality of my actual hand-stitched artwork, which was photographed and printed in the book, MY BED: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep around the World.

Russia

The collection of artwork takes the viewer on an international journey, showing where children sleep in varying cultures and living environments around the world. Along with the framed embroidered pieces, interpretive boards give a background peek at my process. See where the show is going for the next few years on the exhibitions page.

View the virtual gallery tour here.

Bedtime Stitches at the International Quilt Museum
Bedtime Stitches at the International Quilt Museum
Bedtime Stitches at the International Quilt Museum

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.

Visitors to the exhibition, as well as those of you at home with a copy of My Bed, can hunt for details in the artwork using the downloadable sheet below.

And finally, I want to share a zoom interview I did with Niisha HandCrafted from Dubai, UAE, which can be seen on her Facebook page. If you’re interested in learning about my artwork, where it came from and why I do it, this interview is for you. Prompted by Niisha’s insightful questions, I blab on for over an hour about all kinds of things – how I got started and grew as an artist, what I think about “slow stitching”, as well as offer advice for people who want to build a creative life of their own.

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

MY BED – Home: Part 1

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.

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.

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!

Bedtime Stitches on view at the New England Quilt Museum

I’m happy to announce that the touring exhibition, BEDTIME STITCHES, is on view through Dec. 31, 2021 at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA. This is an opportunity for people in southern New England to experience the detail and 3-dimensional quality of the original artwork for my book, My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep around the World .

Rob and I recently drove up to Lowell to take photos and videos of the show to share with you. In addition to snapping still photos, Rob filmed some impromptu conversations in the gallery, which are included later in this post.

My bas-relief embroidered book illustrations have 2 lives. The easiest and most accessible way to enjoy them is by looking at the reproductions on the printed pages of the book, My Bed. Another way to experience the artwork is to go to an exhibition of the originals, where the scenes are presented behind glass in shadow-box frames hung on the wall. Either way, you can get lost in the stitched miniature worlds full of characters, props and scenery.

Personally signed copies of My Bed are available in my shop here. Watch this 8 minute documentary about how I created the illustrations for the book.

The BEDTIME STITCHES exhibition has been traveling for the past year and is booked at museums around the country through 2024 (see schedule below). I’m open to extending the tour, so if you’d like to see the exhibition come closer to where you live, please reach out to museums in your area and tell them about the opportunity to show my artwork. Interested museums are welcome to contact me (Salley at weefolkstudio.com) for information about hosting the exhibition.

BEDTIME STITCHES Tour Schedule

Sept. 14 – Dec. 31, 2021New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA
Jan 25 – April 10, 2022International Quilt Museum, Lincoln, NE
June 3 – Sept. 11, 2022,  Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk, ME, (Bedtime Stitches will be included in the retrospective exhibition, What a Relief: The Art of Salley Mavor)
Oct. 15 – Dec. 31, 2022Historical and Cultural Center of Clay County, Moorhead, MN
Feb. 1 – Apr. 30, 2023Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum, La Conner, WA
Fall 2023Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT. (Bedtime Stitches and Social Fabric will be displayed together)
Feb. – May 2024Upcountry History Museum, Greenville, SC
July — Dec. 2024Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY. (Bedtime Stitches and Social Fabric will be displayed together)

Pam Weeks – New England Quilt Museum’s curator

Pam Weeks, the museum’s curator greeted us when we got there. She did a beautiful job hanging my artwork in a cozy corner gallery, where visitors can spend time viewing the pieces up close.

A series of information panels describe different aspects of my working process, including making sketches, stitching and using wire and found objects.

While we were there, we had the good fortune to meet 2 very interesting women – artist Laura Petrovich-Cheney, who’s remarkable Wood Quilts are also on display and Janet Elwin, who helped found the New England Quilt Museum in 1987. Here we are conversing at the museum.

Here I am signing a copy of My Bed for Laura Petrovich-Cheney.

BEDTIME STITCHES will be on view at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA through Dec. 31, 2021. The next stop on the tour is the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska (Jan 25 – April 10, 2022).

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

Social Fabric exhibition in Greenville SC

I’m excited to announce that my exhibition, Social Fabric is on display at the Upcountry History Museum in Greenville, South Carolina! It’ll be there for a good long while, through Sept. 5, 2021. Seeing the detail and 3-dimensional quality of my work up close is a very different experience than looking at printed or digital images. It feels like you’re peeking into the miniature stitched worlds from a side window, not just through the front entrance. So, I encourage those of you who live within a reasonable distance of Greenville, SC to visit the museum this summer. You won’t be able to miss the humongous banner hanging outside the building!

6 years ago, the Upcountry History Museum hosted my Pocketful of Posies exhibition and I’m pleased to have another opportunity to show my work there! In the near future, they will also be hosting the Bedtimes Stitches touring exhibition. We’re still working out the dates, but it looks like the show will be scheduled in late 2023 or early 2024.

SALLEY MAVOR: Social Fabric
April 3 – Sept. 5, 2021
Upcountry History Museum, Greenville, SC

The museum’s exhibition designer kindly sent photos of the display. I love how the cherry wood frames and the vinyl cutouts of birds look on the slate gray walls!

Birds of Beebe Woods

This exhibition includes a variety of pieces I’ve made over the past 20 years that interpret the theme of social connectivity. The works explore cultural diversity, migration, fashion, the natural world, and a range of social narratives, from the everyday to topical subjects.

The large pieces (24″ x 30″) average about 4 months to make, so it’s taken years to accumulate enough pieces to show together like this. That’s why I’ve decided not to sell my recent work, including Birds of Beebe Woods and Displaced.

Displaced, 24″ H x 22″ W, 2016

Large pieces that feature portraits of people who are connected to each other in various ways include Whiskers, Face Time and Cover Up. There’s also Walking the Dog, Rabbitat and several original illustrations from the picture books, You and Me : Poems of Friendship (1997) and In the Heart (2001).

Dana Thorpe, the director of the Upcountry History Museum wrote this about Social Fabric, “Your work is breathtaking, emotional, and energizing. I have the pleasure of walking through the Mezzanine Gallery, where the exhibition is on display, every day and am inspired.”

The Social Fabric exhibition also includes Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion, which you can see in this film. I hope that you enjoy the nostalgic soundtrack!

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Bedtime Stitches exhibition opens in Illinois

I am delighted to announce that the Bedtime Stitches touring exhibition is opening today at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon, IL, which is in the southern part of the state. This is an opportunity for those of you in the middle of the country to see the original bas-relief embroidered artwork for my picture book MY BED. UPDATE: The exhibition has been extended to August, 2021 (closing date TBA). I’ve already heard from fans who will be driving from Chicago, St. Louis and Nashville to see the show. Others from further away are planning overnight visits. I wish I could be there to greet you all, but my artwork will have to stand in my place.

Whenever I post announcements about the exhibition, I hear from folks who want the exhibition to come to places near where they live. I would love to be able to point to locations on a map and have them magically appear on the schedule, but that requires enlisting venues to partner with. So far, Bedtime Stitches is booked at locations in eastern, western, northern and southern parts of the country through mid 2023. The current schedule is at the end of this post.

So, will more locations be added? I’m open to extending the tour, if there is an interest. To make that happen I need your help. Over the past few years, I’ve contacted just about every quilt and textile related venue I could find, as well as other art museums. For whatever reason, sending proposals hasn’t worked. What has worked are personal contacts and extra motivated fans. Several bookings are at places that have shown my work before and a few came about as the result of fans telling their local museums about the opportunity to host the show. So, if you would like to see the exhibit come closer to your doorstep, I encourage you reach out to museums in your area. They are more apt to respond to an enthusiastic member of their community than to some random stitching lady they’ve never heard of before. Past experience has taught me that as more people experience the book and exhibition, the word spreads and new opportunities will arise. Interested museums are welcome to contact me (salley at weefolkstudio.com) for information about hosting the exhibit.

The staff at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts put together this Eye Spy game for their visitors. It could also be fun for those looking through the pages of the MY BED book at home. You can download it here:

SALLEY MAVOR: Bedtime Stitches
Feb. 28 – May 2, 2021, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon, IL
Sept. 14 – Dec. 31, 2021, New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA
Jan. 22 – May 8, 2022, Upcountry History Museum, Greenville, SC
June – September 2022, Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk, ME
Oct. – Dec., 2022, Historical and Cultural Center of Clay County, Moorhead, MN
Feb. 1 – Apr. 30, 2023, Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum, La Conner, WA
Additional locations will be added when they are confirmed.

Autographed copies of the book, MY BED are available in my shop here.

Watch MAKING MY BED, an 8 minute documentary film about how Salley Mavor created the illustrations for MY BED on YouTube.

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