Mathematical Quilts

Some of my work...

Primitive Pythagorean Triples
- A primitive Pythagorean triple is a set of 3 integers, with no common divisor, that corresponds to the sides of a right triangle. In 2015, Margaret Kepner designed a quilt based on B. Berggrens's discovery of a tree of Pythagorean triples.  This quilt inspired me to create my design.  The triples all developed from F. J. M. Barning's discovery that the triples can be generated using matrices, using the 3-4-5 triangle as the starting point.


Mascheroni’s Cardioid -
Mascheroni constructions are compass only constructions.
In 1797, Lorenzo Mascheroni proved that all constructions can be done with a moveable
compass alone. (One must imagine that two points determine a straight line). Napoleon
was so fascinated with Mascheroni’s work, that he had the mathematician teach his
French mathematicians and generals.

Indiana Puzzle -
This quilt was made by Diana Venters. Elaine forgot to photograph her
red and white version of the quilt before turning it over to the London Science Museum.
The quilt pattern is based on squares inscribed in squares. The coloring of the isosceles right triangles is the key to the logarithmic spiral formed here.

Poincare Plane - This
mathematician lived from 1854 to 1912. The quilt is housed in
the London Science Museum. The design is based on a stereographic projection.
The coloring of the hyperbolic plane was being investigated. The color is not
identical to Escher’s Circle Limit 1.

Koch Curve - The fractal based on Helge Von Koch’s work in 1904. Helge lived from
1870-1924. This fractal starts with the equilateral triangle as the initiator.
Reiterated is the division of each side into thirds, remove the middle third, and insert
two more sides facing outward, of an equilateral triangle. As with all fractals, the
actual fractal results at the infinite stage.
A short video of this quilt can be found here.

Clifford Torus -
This work stems from work in the late 1800’s. The image of the torus
results from projecting a sphere into the fourth dimension. Pioneering work on this topic
was done by Thomas Banchoff at Brown University. His work, Beyond The Third Dimension
was an inspiration to me, so I quilted his discovery!

A short video of this quilt can be found here.

Sierpinskis Carpet is a fractal design that I created for my son and his wife. 
Scott and Emily are enjoying this king-sized quilt that begins with a square. 
The middle third of each side of the square is marked with white.  The leftover
squares then have the same rule applied to them:  Put a white square in the
middle of each remaining square.  This pattern was continued for 3 iterations--and
then was no longer sewable!

Some quilts are for sale - please contact Elaine at for more
information and prices.