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  • Writer's pictureGail Abbey

Counting Sheep



This quilt, made for my granddaughter's third birthday, was a group effort. I'd seen sheep quilts on Pinterest, and wanted to try one, but my attempts at drawing sheep were really terrible. I asked my daughter Meg, a graphic designer by trade with loads of artistic talent for help, and she designed the whole quilt. It evokes the Irish countryside, complete with cottage and Lula, her beloved family dog. Lula watches over the sheep as they enjoy romping through the green fields. Stone walls crisscross the landscape, but aren't always sufficient to contain the sheep.


Once I had the design, I needed to figure out the best way to make it into a quilt. I haven't done much applique, and was having trouble getting started. Linda Mai, a dear friend and master of many art forms including quilting, generously offered to help. We spent a day quilting together, and her suggestions were just what I needed to finally get started. She even supplied the fluffy fabric that was perfect for the sheep.

I love the variety of textures on this quilt. Lula is made of a smooth satin fabric, and her ear and tail are free from the background, able to wag/flap. The sheep bodies are fluffy white, and the faces are made from a soft, old sweater of Grandpa's. The back and binding are warm soft flannel.


When granddaughter Hailey opened her gift, she immediately began counting the sheep. I hope she'll enjoy snuggling with it until those sheep are worn bald and Lula's tail and ear fall off. That's what quilts are for.


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