Heather A. Dye

Associate Professor of Mathematics
Mathematics Department, McKendree University
O Fallon, IL

I quilt both objects that can be displayed and items that are used every day. Mathematics plays an important role in my design process - as a subject and an influence. I use Mathematica and Inkscape to design visual structures that appear in my quilts. I emphasize these structures through the use of color and texture. My goal is to share the strength of these structures.
Catenary Summer
20 inches x 20 inches
Quilting cotton, batting, polyester and nylon threads
"Catenary Summer" is inspired by the Gateway Arch and the colors of the summer.
The Gateway arch is the dominant structure on the Mississippi river; reflective and reflecting in the water. Robert Osserman's article "How the gateway arch got it's shape?" provides additional information about the catenary curve that determines the shape of the arch. Using reflections and rotations, the quilt incorporates multiple copies of the catenary curve; echoing the idea of reflection. The triadic color scheme is influenced by the idea of summer - green, blue, and orange. The color choices emphasize the positive and negative space; creating catenary curves without directly constructing the catenary curves.