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.

SALLEY MAVOR: BEDTIME STITCHES

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

TOURING EXHIBITION
Beginning in September 2020
Sept. 11 – Dec. 19, 2020 at the Cahoon Museum, Cotuit, MA.
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 (being rescheduled) 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
July — Dec. 2024, Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY
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

Recent Posts

MY BED: night sky – part 3

This is part 3 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 beds from India, South America and Afghanistan.

Update: 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.

Rebecca Bond’s words say, “Can you see me in my bed? I fit so nicely, toe to head.” The open-ended nature of these 2 simple sentences is a picture book illustrator’s dream. They give the cozy feeling of a child in their bed, without any annoying descriptions. There’s just enough information to use as a jumping off point. Generally, with picture books, the words set up the trajectory of a story and the illustrator’s job is to provide the visual details. I can’t remember exactly how I came up with the idea of having all the beds float in space above a silhouetted night skyline. It just seemed like a good way to bring together all of the children from around the world, as well as make a fun eye spy game.

The Bedtime Stitches touring exhibition of the original artwork for the book is currently at the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon, IL. The exhibition will be there until May 2, 2021. To see the tour schedule, please visit the Exhibitions Page.

To make miniature versions of the beds featured throughout the book, I had to simplify the designs quite a bit. In the case of the child in India, who’s bed is partially seen through an open window in the illustration below, I reduced the scale of the bed and stylized the mosquito net.

I embroidered a geometric pattern on felt for the bed covering…

and fashioned the mosquito net canopy on felt, with wire and embroidery. What would I do without the blanket stitch?

The children sleeping in hammocks in the S. American scene are about 3 1/2 inches from head to toe.

For the mini version, I shrunk the girl down to about 1 1/4 inches tall.

I made a thatched roof for her little hammock to hang underneath. Luckily, I had some straw silk from Silk Road Fibers on hand.

It was a lot easier to replicate the child sleeping on a floor mattress from the Afghanistan scene.

The printed floral pattern was too large in scale for the mini quilt, so I reproduced the flowers and leaves with simple embroidery stitches on a piece of felt.

Here she is, already sleep.

The whole time I was making the children and their beds in miniature form, I thought back to re-imagining the full size outfits depicted in my Self Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion. By the way, a note card of this detail from the piece is available in my shop.

detail from Self Portrait : A Personal History of Fashion 2007

I hope that you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes at how I made some of the tiniest beds in MY BED. Please stay tuned for Part 4, which will feature more beds in the night sky scene. Previous posts in this series include Part 1 and Part 2.

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.

  1. MY BED: night sky – part 2 4 Replies
  2. making Face Time (part 1) 2 Replies
  3. My Bed: night sky- part 1 5 Replies
  4. Heirloom Collection – wooden spools of thread 10 Replies
  5. Bedtime Stitches exhibition opens in Illinois Leave a reply
  6. Making My Bed video 11 Replies
  7. Bed book peek: title page 4 Replies
  8. Bed book peek: Dog 2 Replies
  9. New cards in the shop 3 Replies