Sunday, December 27, 2015

From Galileo to Interstellar

To follow my theme of Magic and Science, I decided to use equations, although I know little about maths.  But they looked attractive to me as a design element. I searched for those equations with a particular meaning for my purpose, which was to chart the important landmarks that have eventually led to the exploration of space - although we haven’t yet progressed as far as Interstellar.

The equations are, starting from bottom up:

Galileo’s equation of motion

Kepler’s law of interplanetary motion

Newton’s law of gravity

Einstein’s curved space-time

The equations were machine stitched with white thread on black fabric, to look a bit like chalk on a blackboard. These ‘blackboards’ are only about ¼” thick, but they do stick out, therefore fulfilling the 3-D brief.

The background is a piece of  fabric hand-dyed in multicolour style by Heide Stoll-Weber, which I quilted with circles inside circles, to give the feel of outer space and of interplanetary travel. It also includes the names of the scientists who wrote the equations. The ‘blackboards’ were then hand-appliquéed with hidden stitches, which kept the edges in relief.  It's 40" high by 27" wide.

Previously I had played with the idea of attaching my witch doll to the background - whom I found in the attic - but decided against it. Although it stuck out just the 4” maximum allowed, it proved incredibly difficult to attach, and likely to present great complications to travel.  But you may enjoy seeing my experiments – she is precariously held by pins to the wall behind the quilt.


This quilt is also a celebration of British astronaut’s Tim Peake’s flight to, and time at, the International Space Station, which has been front page news in the UK for the last month or so.


  1. So interesting to see your Magic & Science theme brought to life Alicia. Love the blackboards & equations.

  2. Interesting! I like mathematical equations as design elements. There's something appealing about numbers and graphs and equations - - I've seen a lot of fabric prints in that design recently. Your piece takes us into another dimension!

  3. I love the interplay of math and magic, there is much to be discovered in the juxtaposition of things real and ethereal. I love the witch doll too! Perhaps she will find her way into a different piece.