Mathematical Quilts

Some of my work...


Hexagons, Honeycombs, and Honey BeesAround the world, the honey bee population is at risk.  The decline of the bee population is due to many factors including:  land development, agricultural practice, habitat loss, pesticides, pathogens, parasitic mites (Varroa, Acarapis ), viruses (Israeli Acute Paralysis virus, Kasmir bee virus), bacteria, colony collapse disease, and climate change.  These clever geometers have chosen the hexagon as their packing chamber, overlooking the triangle and the square as possible shapes for a honeycomb.  This quilt illustrates some of the many flowers that can be planted to encourage our bees to flourish.

The World of Geometry -
20 Triangle Globe - The globe pattern came from a project
that Stuart Levy and Brad Barber were working on at the Geometry Center in the early
1990’s. The patterns were generated to form triangles that were to be assembled to
form a globe. I was wondering what the triangles would look like quilted. This globe is
made with polyester fabric. It is a one of a kind!!!!!

The World of Geometry -
50 Triangle Globe - One globe was not enough for me, so I
continued with the project with 100% cotton. The construction with cotton was
much easier. However, the size of the globe made it difficult to use in the classroom.

Orthic Triangles - A Tribute to Douglas Hofstadter - At a lecture conducted by
Dr. Hofstadter at Indiana University, the top part of this quilt was used. I was fascinated
by the fact that if an isosceles triangle was the start of the process, and then altitudes
were dropped, then an orthic triangle resulted by using the foot of each altitude. The
pattern was a springboard to an interesting quilt.

Graeco-Latin Squares -
Sudoku players will enjoy the ideas behind this quilt.
This quilt has 100 cells formed by a 10 by 10 square. Each row and column has the
larger square color occurring only once. Similarly, with the smaller squares, each color
occurs only once. Hence, 100 unique cells. Sudoku is a special subset of a larger
category of Graeco-Latin Squares. A short video of this quilt can be found here.

    Chartres Labyrinth - Chartres Cathedral, begun in 1145, marks the high point of French Gothic art. The labyrinth in the nave is the largest and best preserved example of a medieval labyrinth. A labyrinth differs from a maze in the fact that it has on continuous path from start to finish. Labyrinths are related to graph theory and topology. The labyrinth is an 11-circuit labyrinth, meaning that from one edge to the center there are 11 circuits or paths,
made by 12 concentric circles.

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