Thursday, 5 September 2019

Pineapple Welcome

So why is a pineapple welcome?
As I wrote in my Artist's Statement for the 2019 Seminar Exhibit;

In 2018 I took Sandi Cormaci-Boles "Passionate Pineapple" class at Seminar. I enjoyed the class immensely and by the time I had finished the "Petite Pineapple" practice piece and the "Passionate Pineapple" I was so enthused by eyelets that I wanted to design my own version.

Pineapples are a traditional sign of welcome dating back to time immemorial (or at least the 17th Century). I wanted to do something with Sandi's Petite Pineapple and it was only a short step to the idea of WELCOME, but replacing the O with a pineapple. I also wanted to use colour. By lucky chance, Welcome has the same number of letters as the rainbow has colours; Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Orange, Yellow and Red. Initially I considered working the letters in eyelets, but while working on the designs it struck me that creating a block of eyelets with the letters unstitched in the centre of each block would give a much more interesting effect and a more striking finish.
I liked that, but decided that the single word lacked visual balance and needed something at the ends, so I added two more pineapples and border.

The ground is 28 count linen. The letters are all worked in eyelets over 4 threads using DMC #8 Perle. The pineapples at either end were worked with a variegated Anchor #8 Perle which reminded me of the piles of well ripened pineapples I occasionally saw at the side of the road in my childhood. The border is a variation on Smyrna Cross, with the X worked over 4 threads and the + over 2 threads. AND all the materials used in this piece came from my Stash!
I am indebted to Sandi for allowing me to incorporate her "Petite Pineapple" into my design and encouraging me to create "Pineapple Welcome".

Framed, Pineapple Welcome is 24" x 14" and took 85 hours to complete. I laced it onto the back-board and it was mounted and framed by Renaissance Framing of Edinburgh.

And a ribbon! Second place. I was surprised and immensely pleased. As one lady said of it, "It deserves a prize for bravery if nothing else! A whole piece in eyelets!" Then she looked at me as though she considered that I might be slightly nuts.
I was asked why pineapples were a sign of hospitality. I have to admit that I have no idea, I think it was the exotic nature of the plant, suggesting wealth and comfort; and the earliest I have heard of it being used as a sign of welcome and hospitality is in the UK and the American Colonies in the mid 17th Century.


  1. Beautiful and kudos on the ribbon--well deserved. Did you diagram the letters on graph paper before stitching? Was there a lot of compensation.

  2. Thank you, Brenda. Yes, I charted the W,E,L C and M, and there was lots of compensation around the outer edges of the letters. It wasn't too difficult once I got into the way of it, just slow, and once they were charted it was just a case of following the pattern.