Golden birds

I've had a fascination with the golden ratio and spirals: our fingers are in fibonacci sequence; plants and cyclones and galaxies are in spirals. On pinterest I saw this fantastic use of the golden ratio spiral with parrots.

I just love it, especially because parrots are constant visitors in our garden: king parrots, rainbow lorikeets, crimson rosellas and eastern rosellas.

King Parrot Pair being fed in Queensland

King parrots, male and female By S. Newrick [CC BY-SA 4.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons

Rainbow Lorikeet in Roma Street Parklands - Brisbane

Rainbow Lorikeet: By Andrew Mercer ( [CC BY-SA 4.0  (], from Wikimedia Commons


Crimson Rosella (4782583544)

Crimson Rosella By Rexness from Melbourne, Australia (Crimson Rosella) [CC BY-SA 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius), Kangaroo Flat, Vic

Eastern Rosella By Patrick Kavanagh [CC BY 2.0  (], via Wikimedia Commons

I really wanted to recreate our favourite parrots and the golden rectangle as these spirals. It just couldn't be resisted. 


Firstly, I set up a 14 inch square on EQ8 and split it by the golden ratio. Then I drew each birds head and shoulders and another bird's body and tail. Each bird is different in its markings and the more colours, the harder it was to draw. I decided to do a female king parrot to balance out the green and red heads. When I was happy with the balance (more or less), I printed out the templates and selected the fabrics. 

I tried piecing the curves, but the very small beaks were too small so I did mock machine applique on the curves, and then pieced the blocks. I wanted to highlight the rectangular shape of the golden ratio so I highlighted the seams with black. 

When I added the borders, I was going to make an octagonal star, but when I did it, I didn't like it, so I took off the last four star points and left the birds at an angle. 


I then quilted with free motion circles on the birds and used rulers to make the small circles in the border. The variegated thread was fun, and I like the effect on the black.