Literature Review: Periodic Table Quilts

In the science world, a literature review is a written work that sums up the current state of scientific research in a particular field.

After much anticipation and eager waiting, we finally got to meet the baby boy that my Mister's PI (which in the science world stands for Primary Investigator, i.e., his thesis advisor) has been gestating for the last nine months. My natural impulse was to immediately start work on a baby quilt, but what would be appropriate for the infant son of two awesome chemists? Well, why not a periodic table quilt!

My favourites from Pinterest include:

This first clean, minimal quilt left me asking, "How did they do that?" It turns out that it wasn't anything as complicated as I assumed -- this quilt was accomplished by professionally printing the periodic table onto white fabric and sashing with broad black borders.

This version is extremely similar to the first in that the fabric was printed using Spoonflower, but I love seeing that the quilter actually cut and pieced each element together to form the finished quilt top. Also, the various quilting patterns and the unique binding stitch are really worth a closer look -- make sure you click through to see the whole post at Not Only Quilts!

Source: via Jessica on Pinterest

Finally, I pinned this image of Elemental, a beautiful, abstract quilt by pivy. Something about the use of only coloured blocks to imply the periodic table hit home, and I think this is the inspiration I needed for the baby quilt I'm hoping to make!

Even if you're not a chemistry geek like me, I hope you've enjoyed this little review. There are plenty of techniques described in the three examples above that could add a little something to any quilting project!


  1. These are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing these ideas...I don't know that I would ever get around to making a PT quilt, but if I do, I would love to try that last one.

  2. Isn't that last one a dream? I'm still drooling over it!

    Also, thanks for dropping by! I've been poring over your finished pieces and finally found the free time I've been waiting for... I finally worked up the nerve to cut into my first vintage sheet and start sewing. It seems silly, but it was a thrill!

    I've got two more thrifted sheets in the dryer. It's official, I'm hooked! ;)