MY BED – Home: Part 1

Over 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!

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 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 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.