12/02/2015

The Dream Quilt



Some of you may remember last year I illustrated a small format, hard cover book called "Can it be True?" for Long Barn Books. Earlier this year I was thrilled to be invited to work on another title for the same publisher. This time for a book entitled The Dream Quilt by Adele Geras.

Perhaps just once in a lifetime a dream job comes along. For a textile designer who also illustrates books this was my dream commission. Each illustration represents one square of a patchwork quilt. Adele Geras's enchanting writing begins:

"I threaded silk through a silver needle to make a cover for your bed.
Rest your head, close your eyes. I’ll stitch you dreams and lullabies."

We start with a house, where everyone sleeps except for a child.....

This is the house, from The Dream Quilt. Illustration by Valerie Greeley

Although the book would sit happily in a Christmas stocking it is not specifically a Christmas title; some of the imagery is summertime, we have shells and beaches, fish and flowers. There are tigers and trains, bears and dolls. Each illustration makes up a part of the final quilt as the characters dream their own dreams.



The illustrations begin as black ink pen drawings; these are then scanned and made into a digital file. I used Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create the final images, layering textures and embroidered effects to complete the job.
This is the doll, from The Dream Quilt. Illustration by Valerie Greeley.
The publication date is December 12th, in the meantime I hope you enjoy a glimpse into the creative process. I hope to put some copies in my shop as soon as they arrive. I am also waiting to see some fabric samples, more about that later!

This is the ship from The Dream Quilt. Illustration by Valerie Greeley
Adele has written her own account of how she came to write the book, you can read all about it here-

For more information about Adele Geras visit her website, there you will find details of Adele's other works. I can recommend "Cover Your Eyes"- a story about a fashion designer haunted by her past. You may also be interested to know that Adele's daughter is an accomplished writer too, her name is Sophie Hannah. One of the most enjoyable aspects of this commission was that I got to know Adele a little as we discussed the book as it progressed. I have a feeling you will like her too.


To visit Long Barn Books please follow the link.

16 comments:

  1. Oh Valerie, how I envy you your incredible skill.

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  2. Isn't it wonderful to do what you love? this looks like such a sweet book...well done Val!

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    1. We are indeed fortunate, thanks Kerry. x

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  3. Beautiful, thoughtful work. You have let us see glimpses of this here and there, the full project under wraps. I look forward to seeing the full, lovely little book.

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    1. Thanks Frances, looking forward to sharing your books with my grandchildren this Christmas. x

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  4. Of Valerie, seeing this news about your collaboration with Adele Geras is very exciting. Of course, I will be wanting to have my very own copy of this book. These previews are very enticing.

    It amuses me that although I have been sewing by hand and by machine now for ...oh scary but true, over 50 years, I have yet to do any quilting. I do think that my initial entry will be via paper piecing, and using many of my store of vintage Liberty fabrics (clothing,) I do know that there are so many other quilting options.

    I've digressed long enough. Lovely post from you and very inspiring. xo

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  5. Frances, I envy those Liberty fabrics, how wise of you to hang on to them. I am sure you will enjoy paper piecing, it is very therapeutic. I don't have the stamina to embark on any major quilting projects. I am amazed at the commitment needed to quilt by hand a large piece, having said that I have been making some smaller pieces for cushions and table mats.

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  6. Just magical Valerie! This is absolutely gorgeous. The page with the doll - Oh, I want her! Do you know when the book will be available? I looked on Adele's website,but there's just an Amazon link saying unavailable at the mo.

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  7. Hi Jules, I think it should be around the 12th Dec but you can pre-order from Susan's website. http://www.longbarnbooks.co.uk/dream-quilt

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  8. Another wonderful accomplishment Valerie. You used Adobe Illustrator? This is a new thing for you, is it not? I am too stubborn to use computer programs for my art, but I see you have combined your hand work with the digital,with very fine results.

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    1. Hi Jeri, i only use Illustrator to make a black and white line drawing into vector, then I put it into Photoshop to edit, that way you get no fuzzy greys. x

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  9. I remember you telling us about this this when you visited; how lovely to see it finished - and I am, of course, in love with that little ink drawing of the cat!

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    1. That visit seems ages ago! This year has whizzed by. x

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  10. This book looks wonderful yet again Valerie. I do love quilting, but I'm not a good or patient sewer? Happy to see your work, I've been absent from the blogs, had a rotten year altogether, to top it all had my purse stolen in York today.... roll on 2016....moving house again, that's not good! X

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    1. Sorry to hear about your rotten year Julie. How horrible to have your purse taken too. I hope the New year brings you a change in fortune. x

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