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. 25 – April 10, 2022, International Quilt Museum, Lincoln, NE
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
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.
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

Bed book peek: Pony

Today, I’m happy to give a behind the scenes peek at how I made this pony, which is used as a spot illustration on the Mongolian spread in my new picture book, MY BED. The story about children’s sleeping places in different cultures around the world was published in Sept. 2020.

The pony is also pictured with all of the other animal icons on the book’s end-papers. If you’d like to see posts about making the other animals, please follow the links below: RoosterCamelParrotElephantGoldfishCatDuckSheepRabbitCow,
 Crocodile, Giraffe, Dog.

A touring exhibition of my original embroidered artwork for the book is traveling around the United States. Salley Mavor: Bedtime Stitches will next be shown at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA, Sept. 15 – Dec. 31, 2021. Then, the the exhibition will head to the Midwest, to the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, NE, Jan 25 – April 10, 2022 . The five year tour schedule is listed here.

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.

Making MY BED

I’ll start off by showing this video, which brings you through the different steps of the pony making process, complete with Mongolian zither music in the background.

Making the Mongolian pony for the book, MY BED

in this series of still photographs, I’ll try to explain what I’m doing. As I’ve said before, I work intuitively, so it can be a challenge to describe the process in exact terms. For most of the animals in the book, I bent a pipe cleaner to form an outline shape. Then, I wrapped the legs, using the same technique that’s taught in my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk,

This part is all about building up the body with layers of felt. First, I sewed on a back piece and used scraps of felt to fill the cavity until it was a good thickness.

This is the point where I “upholster” the front of the animal with a piece of felt. There isn’t a supporting photograph because I consistently forget to take a picture of this part. It must be because I’m always consumed in the heat of battle. Just imagine the back as a maze of crisscrossing threads, all working to get rid of any bumps or folds.

Well, after the animal shape looked the way I wanted it to, I sewed on a seed bead eye and embroidered a mane.

I can’t remember how I made the top of the mane where it sticks up, but it could have been several rows of blanket stitching.

To make the tail, I covered the pipe cleaner with embroidery floss.

Research was an important and fun part of illustrating this book. To make an accurate representation, I looked at photographs of real Mongolian ponies, with their colorful, decorative saddles.

It took a while to make the right placement of the ear.

With its bridle in place, the pony was almost ready to go.

All it needed was a brass bead stirrup, which you can see in the last photo.

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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