Sierpinski Meets Mondrian (2010, 2002)


Dimensions: 27"W x 27"H

Design: original

Medium: cotton fabrics, cotton and rayon threads, cotton batting

Techniques: machine-piecing, machine-quilting

Artist Statement

The Sierpinski Carpet is named after the Polish mathematician Waclaw Sierpinski (1882-1969).  The Sierpinski Carpet is a well-known example of a fractal, a geometric object that is self-similar at all scales, obtained from the regular application of a simple construction rule.  Sierpinski was a contemporary of Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), a Dutch abstract painter.  Through his art, Mondrian tried to express the simplest regularities of the mind and the world.  Mondrian's last paintings consisted of nothing more than horizontal and vertical lines and rectangles, with their colours limited to black, white, and gray, and the primary colours red, blue, and yellow.  While making this quilt, I often wondered about the art that Mondrian might have created had he met Sierpinksi, or known of his work.


  • Juried into exhibition at Renaissance Banff, Bridges Conference on Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science, July 30 - August 3, 2005, Banff, Alberta.
  • Judge's Choice Award (challenge judge Lee Bale), Voices in Cloth, annual challenge of the Edmonton & District Quilters' Guild, June 2002.
  • First Prize (entry category: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words), Voices in Cloth, annual challenge of the Edmonton & District Quilters' Guild, June 2002.


The 2002 version of this quilt was made in response to the Edmonton & District Quilters' Guild challenge Voices in Cloth.  It was made for the entry category A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Text that Inspired the Quilt

Start with a solid square C(0).  Divide this into nine smaller congruent squares [a quilter's regular 9-patch].  Remove the center square to get C(1).  Now subdivide each of the eight remaining solid squares into nine congruent squares and remove the center square from each to obtain C(2).  Continue to repeat the construction to obtain C(3), C(4), ...., and so on.  The Sierpinski Carpet is the set of points that remain after this construction is repeated infinitely often.


From (with minor editing)

© Gerda de Vries 2015