Elaine Krajenke Ellison

Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana

An appreciation and demystification of mathematics is a common thread that runs through my art. Drawing, bronze, painting, glass, and photography were mediums I had investigated before 1980. 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 time. During the last 35+ years, I have generated 65 quilts. Most quilts are sewn by hand. This current work The Sum of Odd Integers is quilted by hand. The quilting stitches show the 17 wallpaper patterns in an interesting way. The 17th symmetry pattern occurs in the border of the quilt.

The Sum of Odd Integers
The Sum of Odd Integers
115 x 115 cm
100% cotton quilt

The Sum of Odd Integers quilt was inspired from a diagram in Roger B. Nelson's book Proofs Without Words, Exercises in Visual Thinking. This fascinating book has over 120 samples linking visual thinking with the images that represent the mathematics involved. Colorful Grunge fabric was chosen to highlight the four sections of the quilt. Once layered, the fabric was quilted using the 17 symmetry patterns. The 17th pattern can be found on the border of the quilt.