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~Famed Quiltmaker Will Talk About Connections Between Art and Math~

For immediate release:
March 30, 2004

Arlie Corday,

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- How do you make an American quilt? Just ask expert Jinny Beyer, who will present a lecture on "Celebrating Quantitative Reasoning and Art" Wednesday, April 7, from 12:30-2 pm in Collins Cinema at Wellesley College. In the last of four “QR and Art” lectures offered at Wellesley this spring, Beyer will talk about how quantitative, or mathematical, skills are used in creating quilts.

Beyer will discuss symmetries and other patterns in her quilts. She will feature her own designs as well as tessellations (interlocking shapes that repeat to fill a surface without any gaps or overlaps) by mathematical print artist M.C. Escher and others. She will also offer a hands-on design workshop.

"Jinny Beyer is not only an amazingly talented quilter with a keen sense of form, design and color, but she also has a gift for explaining various symmetries and other geometric patterns in a way that is fun, understandable and easy to apply," said Corrine Taylor, Wellesley College QR program director. "Jinny describes how she almost failed high-school geometry — a course that entailed dry memorization of formulas and equations. Only upon discovering the beautiful tessellated arrangements in Oriental rugs, South Asian tiles, American quilts and M.C. Escher’s prints did she become excited about geometric patterns."

Beyer began quilting in 1972 when she and her family lived in India and Nepal. Using her simple drafting system and inspired by the culture of the Far East, she created her "Ray of Light" medallion quilt. In 1978 this creation won the top prize over 10,000 entries in the Great American Quilt Contest sponsored by Good Housekeeping magazine and the U.S. Historical Society. This catapulted her into the quilting spotlight. The author of 10 books and three videos, she also designs fabric especially for quilting.

This spring's "QR and Art" lecture series inaugurates Wellesley's new annual Ellen Genat Hoffman ’68 and Stephen G. Hoffman series that will explore how quantitative reasoning contributes to a variety of study. For more information about the Beyer lecture, call 781-283-2152.

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to


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  • Date Modified: March 30, 2004
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