This piece is an homage to Rosalind Franklin, the x-ray crystallographer who produced extraordinarily clear photos of crystalline DNA in 1952. The DNA structure which James Watson and Francis Crick proposed in the March 1953 journal Nature is largely based on Rosalind's experimental work.


On this quilt, in addition to the images of Photo 51 (see below) in three different sizes, there are 2 depictions of the double helix, human chromosomes printed in the border, and DNA sequencing (of nucleotide sequences) from my husband's research.

Click on picture for details and larger view.


©2003           18" x 16"

Materials: commercial cottons, hand-dyed cottons, laser-printed cotton. Cotton thread. Yarn.

Techniques: machine piecing, machine free-edge applique, free machine embroidery, hand couching and hand embroidery, twisted cord binding.

This is an image of Photo 51, Rosalind Franklin's x-ray crystallograph of DNA structure B. Apparently to those who know what they're doing, the helical structure is obvious in this photograph! This was published in the same issue of the journal Nature as the famous Watson and Crick article.

The layout of Roses for Rosalind comes from this stamp, "Geometric Design 1", used with permission from Rubber Tree Stamps.
For more information on Rosalind Franklin and Photo 51, follow this link to the NOVA Photo 51 website, which includes a video of a special NOVA presentation called "The Secret of Photo 51", as well as explanations of x-ray crystallography, DNA, and more. And follow this link to an NPR interview with Brenda Maddox, author of The Dark Lady of DNA, a Biography of Rosalind Franklin (HarperCollins 2002): NPR website.


  1. Maddox, B: Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA. HarperCollins 2002. ISBN 0-06-018407-8
  2. Watson, JD: The Double Helix. Touchstone 2001. ISBN 0-7432-1630-x.
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