Prime quilts.
On this day in 1816 pioneering mathematician Sophie Germain, was awarded a grand prize by the French Academy of Sciences for her work on number theory that revealed patterns produced by vibration. The construction of modern skyscrapers utilizes this applied mathematics foundations developed by Germain at age 40.  Germain died at age 55 from breast cancer. A school and a street in Paris are named in her honor, and certain prime numbers are now referred to as “Sophie Germain primes.”

1-6-83_1.8.13Matrix IV: All Buttoned Up is a small wall quilt made by Karen Fisher of Tucson, Arizona, for the 2008 Quilt Alliance contest. Fischer wrote in her artist’s statement: My Matrix quilts are based on a simple mathematical formula: columns of background plus rows of foreground create areas of interacting color and value…Each quilt explores scale, color arrangement, and finishing techniques. I plan at least three more, and I continue to have fun with these very formal color explorations.”

View this quilt
on The Quilt Index to read more about it’s history, design and construction. Be sure to use the zoom tool for a detailed view.


Quilt Index partners

Amy Milne headshot

Posted by Amy E. Milne
Executive Director, Quilt Alliance

See You in June for Month Three!

Thank you so much to everyone who has participated in the Quilt Alliance’s Birthday Block of the Month so far! We’ve made two very different but complementary blocks together and we can’t wait to make more. Join us next month as we make a block designed by Pat Sloan — we’ll send instructions out on the 15th.

Be sure to tag @quiltalliance and @zakfoster.quilts on Instagram with your block photos this month, and use the hashtag #QuiltAllianceBOM (or email us a photo of your block at And leave any questions about this month’s block in the comments below!


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