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. Salley Mavor: Bedtime Stitches debuted at the Cahoon Museum of American Art in Cotuit, MA in the fall of 2020 and is traveling around the country for a few years. More information about the exhibition, 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 2024 with the possibility of being extended into 2025. Interested museums are welcome to contact me (Salley at weefolkstudio.com) 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
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“The genius of Salley Mavor’s meticulously realized imaginative worlds is just what we need right now.”
Artscope Magazine

OURING EXHIBITION
Beginning in September 2020
Sept. 11 – Dec. 19, 2020, Cahoon Museum, Cotuit, MA.
Feb. 28 – May 30, 2021, Cedarhurst Center for the Arts, Mount Vernon, IL
Sept. 14 – Dec. 31, 2021, New England Quilt Museum, Lowell, MA
Jan. 25 – April 10, 2022, International Quilt Museum, Lincoln, NE
June 4 – 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, 2022, Historical and Cultural Center of Clay County, Moorhead, MN
Feb. 1 – Apr. 30, 2023, Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Arts Museum, La Conner, WA
June – mid-Sept. 2023 Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum, Carrollton, Georgia
Sept. 30, 2023 – January 7, 2024, Southern Vermont Arts Center, Manchester, VT. Bedtime Stitches and Social Fabric will be displayed together.
Feb. – May 2024, Upcountry History Museum, Greenville, SC
July — Dec. 2024, Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY, Bedtime Stitches and Social Fabric will be displayed together.

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.

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

Mossy Glen: Part 1 (moss)

Wouldn’t it be nice to step out your front door onto a mossy carpet every morning?  In this Part 1 of the series about making Mossy Glen, I share photos, videos and commentary about how I created just that for the wee folk who live there.

Mossy Glen is a springtime scene in a series of seasonal landscapes that capture the wonder and magic of the natural world, both real and imagined. Mossy Glen and the winter scene, Frosty Morning are available as note cards in my shop here.

I always start a project with an image in my head. In this case it included a forsythia bush overhanging a neighborhood made up of stone walls and doorways nestled into moss covered mounds. I drew a thumbnail sketch of the basic composition and printed it out in full scale using Block Posters. Over the 5 months working on Mossy Glen, I used the enlarged drawing as a general guide, not as an exact template.

Faux Moss
About 10 years ago, I fell in love with stitching moss while making my piece Rabbitat, which you can learn about in this film.

Rabbitat 2011

I can’t believe it’s taken so long to get back into embroidering moss. The simple idea of stitching multiple French knots side by side to form a naturalistic ground cover isn’t a new concept, but it reached a heightened level of obsession with Mossy Glen. It’s one of those repetitive activities that has you totally mesmerized.

Out of curiosity, I calculated that each square inch of faux moss contains an average of 144 knots, depending on the thickness of the thread, number of strands and the density of the stitches. That means that Mossy Glen is covered with several thousand knots.

If you follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram, you’ve gotten a preview of the process of making Mossy Glen. Last summer I shared photos and videos of whatever part I was working on that particular day. One constant question was, “How do you stitch on wood?” Back then, I was immersed in the act of creating and didn’t want to switch on the explaining part of my brain. Now, I’m ready to talk about it.

So, how do I stitch onto wood? It helps to think of art is an illusion, that the goal is to make the viewer perceive something in a way that suspends disbelief, like magic. The thing is, people who make stuff are super curious and aren’t satisfied until they can make sense of how something is done.

Here’s the simple rundown – 1. find interesting pieces of wood, 2. glue pieces of felt to the wood, 3. stitch onto the felt. As long as there is something to catch a needle with, you can make stitches. I usually shy away from using glue because it’s messy and unpredictable, but decided to try it for this purpose. Aleene’s glue makes a variety of fabric embellishing adhesives that all work well.

French knots/Colonial knots
It’s been pointed out by people who know such things, that I’m actually making a Colonial knot, not a French knot. It has something to do with the twist at the end. Being self-taught, I’ve never paid attention to the names of different stitches or doing them the “right” way. I just use the basics in combinations that work for me. Here’s a Stitch Minute video that shows how I stitched the knots.

Stitch Minute – Moss

Thread
To make the moss, I used all kinds of thread, from silk to cotton floss, depending on what kind of look I was after. The naturalistic appearance comes from combining different shades of green in groups of 3 or 4 strands. I used these threads: DMC cotton floss, Vineyard Silks and Watercolours by Caron,

This 2 minute video gives a further glimpse into my process.

Stitching Moss with Salley Mavor

Stay tuned for more posts about making Mossy Glen. Future parts in the series will focus on the stone walls, the cherry trees, the forsythia bush, the embroidered embellishments and the wee folk characters.

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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  2. Glancing back, looking forward 3 Replies
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