Thursday, November 25, 2010

Fibonacci flowers

The Flowers for Algernon embroidery is back on the worktable. As illustrated in yesterday's blog post, I plan to stitch a profusion of coloured flowers over the maze background, symbolising both the literal flowers that Charlie left on Algernon's grave in the story, and the way those flowers stand as a signifier of the idea of memory and loss in the book. The flowers will be worked in lazy daisy stitch with French knot centres, using the same coloured threads as I used in the Axonal connections embroidery.

Usually when I start to fill a space with stitches, I don't plan too far ahead, but simply apply the needle and thread and see where the embroidery takes me. This time, I decided in advance how many flowers of each colour I would stitch (although I left the placement of the flowers to the whim of the moment). I used the Fibonacci sequence, in reverse, to calculate progressively fewer flowers of each colour, starting with light green (34 flowers) and working back to red (1 flower). There's no real reason why I chose the Fibonacci sequence, except that it represents a natural looking progression. The sequence is 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, and so on.

If you don't know it, can you work out the mathematical basis of the progression? (Answer tomorrow, or on Wikipedia.)

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