My Bed Book

My new children’s picture book, My Bed, Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep around the World was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. in Sept. 2020. It took about 2 years to hand stitch all of the illustrations and I’m excited that you can now see the fruits of my labor! Reviews like these are pouring in –
“(My Bed) is just stunning, calming and healing”, “ingeniously illustrated” and “I am overwhelmed by the beauty and all the little details of each page.”

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

See how Salley Mavor made the illustrations for her new picture book MY BED.

A touring exhibition of the original embroidered bas-relief artwork that is photographed and reproduced in the book is now underway. It debuted at the Cahoon Museum of American Art in Cotuit, MA in the fall of 2020 and will travel the country for a few years. More information about the exhibition, Salley Mavor: Bedtime Stitches, including a current schedule is at the end of this post.

For a while now, I’ve shared the process of making the 3 dimensional bas-relief  illustrations, which involve stitching, embroidery and other embellishment techniques. Posts I’ve written so far are listed here:

Rebecca Bond wrote a poem that celebrates our diversity, while also bringing us together through the universal theme of children sleeping safe in their beds. As the illustrator, it was my task to bring these children to life and create their varying environments.

I am happy to announce a touring exhibition of original artwork for the book: SALLEY MAVOR: Bedtime Stories. This is an opportunity for the public to see up close the fine detail and 3-dimensional quality of my bas-relief sculptural embroideries. The exhibition is modeled after the successful national touring exhibition of the artwork for my book, Pocketful of Posies. It is currently booked through June 2023 with the possibility of being extended into 2024. Interested museums are welcome to contact me for information about hosting the exhibit.


What’s being said about the exhibition:
“Bedtime Stitches Provides Cozy Respite From a Tumultuous Year”
The Falmouth Enterprise
“The genius of Salley Mavor’s meticulously realized imaginative worlds is just what we need right now.”
Artscope Magazine

Beginning in September 2020
Sept. 11 – Dec. 19, 2020 at the Cahoon Museum, Cotuit, MA.
Feb. 28 – May 30, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon, IL
Sept. 14 – Dec. 31, 2021, New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA
Jan. 22 – May 8, 2022 (being rescheduled) Upcountry History Museum, Greenville, SC
May 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
Fall 2022, Historical and Cultural Center of Clay County, Moorhead, MN
Feb. 1 – Apr. 30, 2023, Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum, La Conner, WA
July — Dec. 2024, Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY, Bedtime Stitches and Social Fabric will be displayed together.
Additional locations will be added when they are confirmed.

Salley Mavor: Bedtime Stitches Exhibition Booklets are 6″x 9″ soft cover, full-color, 16 pages about Salley Mavor and the exhibition including images of extra works only on view at the Cahoon Museum of American Art. Booklets may be ordered online here.

Salley Mavor: Bedtime Stitches Exhibition Booklet – for sale at the Cahoon Museum of American Art

Throughout the book, there are spot illustrations of animals on text panels. To see how they were made, click here.

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

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MY BED: night sky – part 4

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.

Bedtime Stitches is currently at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon, IL through May 30th, 2021. To see the tour schedule, please visit the Exhibitions Page.

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.

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

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.

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