Elaine Krajenke Ellison

West Lafayette High School, Purdue University
Sarasota, Florida

An appreciation and demystification of mathematics is a common thread that runs through my mathematical art. Before l980, I had investigated drawing, bronze, painting, glass, and photography. In the early l980's I settled on fabric to tell my mathematical stories. The topics I have quilted include early mathematics from 2,000 B.C.E. to mathematics of the present day . To date, I have quilted over 57 mathematical quilts. Most of my quilts are sewn by hand and hand quilted. Because this quilt is so long, I plan to display it folded in quarters. In this way, observers can view each of the significant sections: Plimpton 322, Diophantine Equations, Brahmagupta's area formula, and Al-Kwarizmi's completing the square.

Landmarks in Algebra
Landmarks in Algebra
102 x 203 cm

In researching the origins of algebra, I found the four mathematicians or mathematical time periods continuously showing up no matter what the source. Because of this, it was very easy to design this quilt. Each section is given the same general area indicating no one time period or mathematician dominates the contributions to algebra. I found it very interesting to crewel in the Plimpton 322 symbols. Further, behind each white letter is a second piece of white material. This prevents the shadowing of the black material coming through to the front of the quilt.