Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Ollie the Quaker Parrot

This is Ollie.

Ollie (short for Oliver) is a Quaker Parrot, sometimes called a Monk Parakeet.

This is obviously made of fabric, but there is a real-life Ollie who inspired this version, and he lives with my cousin and his wife in Singapore.  

We got to meet Ollie when we last visited Singapore, right before the pandemic began. Ollie is absolutely charming - he's smart, sweet and extremely well-trained. 

Also, he talks and sings. Here's a video of Ollie singing Happy Birthday To You. Evelyn (my cousin's wife) recorded it and sent it to Emily on her birthday last year. 

We all love Ollie! Unfortunately, since he lives halfway around the world, we don't see him as often as we'd like. I thought I would render him in fabric, then mail it to Singapore so real Ollie could meet him.  

Here are more shots of the fabric version.

Shape-wise, this is very similar to the lorikeet, but much simpler in that there aren't as many add-on color patches. I did get to work with multiple shades of green, which was a lot of fun. 

Ollie's face is white, blending into green over his forehead and toward his neck - I couldn't make that happen in standard store-bought fleece, so a green crown overlay appliqued to his head was my best attempt to approximate the real thing.

His wings are solid-color double layers - chartreuse on the top,

and emerald green underneath,

with that underlayer peeking out, like Ollie's wing feathers do in real life.

I'd modeled this fabric version after a photograph we'd taken of Ollie early last year - in that photo, his tail feathers were of unequal length, so I made the fabric version the same way. 

My cousin later explained that parrots' tail feathers are the same length when fully grown after a molt - apparently, I'd caught Ollie while he was still growing his out! 

Here are some shots of Ollie with the Rainbow Lorikeet from the previous post.

Ollie is truly the last bird I've made (so far!) I'm doing some crochet this summer (more portable and relaxing than sewing) but I'm also working through a to-sew list of clothes the kids have requested - fitted tank tops, skirts and T-shirts and such. I've had to draft brand new slopers for everyone, which took a while since I'd let myself get rusty over the years and then procrastinated because I was loathe to put in the brainwork to get all caught up. But I did eventually, and it wasn't anywhere as tough as I'd thought. Silly me. I can't believe we're in August already - hope you guys have good things planned for the remaining weeks. Stay well!