My name is Sabine Heinlein. I am so obsessed with animals that I, quite literally, want to cover myself with them. My handmade quilts allow me to reflect on each animal’s existence, its beauty, shape and vulnerability.
Isn’t it astounding that the snake has existed millions of years before us and that it can twist into any possible shape? That the mandrill’s butt looks like a diaper? That the camel always appears to smile?
With few exceptions my appliqué quilts are hand-quilted, often with an extra-long running stitch in a style reminiscent of Japanese sashiko, sometimes with more elaborate feather or chain-link stitching. Because they are fully improvised—I design very little before starting—my quilts have a folksy and free-spirited air. I am more interested in the animal’s spirit than in its exact form. To me, animals elicit a powerful sense of wonder, incomparable to anything else in the world.
In the quilts’ backgrounds, its proportions are wonky; dreamlike landscapes evolve. Here’s the Garden of Eden, a lush jungle without predators. There is the deep of the ocean, the desert, the tropical sunset. My animals might fight, nap, or have an erection; they aren’t cute exactly, but lovable nevertheless.
Please note that all of my quilts are originals; no two quilts will be fully alike. If you want one of the quilts on this site custom-made or have an animal that you want to cover yourself with—please get in touch.
I personally make each quilt and love the idea that, functional and “sturdy,” each quilt may be handed down from one generation to the next, becoming part of a large family of animal lovers.
Depending on exact size and intricacy, the quilt-making process may take between 50 and 150 hours. Most quilts on this site are hand-quilted with Finca Perlé thread by Presencia, a 100 percent Egyptian cotton thread that has been mercerized for strength and is color- and shrink-proof. Unless otherwise noted, I’m using Robert Kaufman’s Kona Cotton, which, with its OEKO-TEX® seal, has been tested for harmful substances. Batting is either 100 percent cotton or 100 percent wool. The quilts can be machine-washed and -dried.
Please allow several weeks for delivery.
To address the injustices animals suffer at the hand of humans, 5 percent of the proceeds from my quilts will go to the Animal Legal Defense Fund.