Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pineapples, Hospitality and Homemaking

Have you ever wondered why the pineapple is a common symbol in architecture, furniture, textiles and in food displays?

The pineapple originated centuries ago in South America. Christopher Columbus discovered the pineapple in Guadeloupe in 1493 and took it back to Europe with him.

American colonists began importing the pineapple from the Caribbean in the 17th century. The voyage from the Caribbean Islands to America was a long, slow one. It was great achievement for someone to be able to give a fresh, ripe pineapple to a guest. Some sea captains would put a pineapple outside their home after returning from a voyage as a sign of his safe return. The pineapple soon became a symbol of hospitality in early America.

In the 18th and 19th centuries pineapple symbols were widely used in furniture and household linens.

Today the pineapple is still used as a symbol that says, "WELCOME!"

A lot of old crochet patterns will have pineapples in them. A few weeks ago someone gave me a bag full of old doilies and this one was in it. You can't tell by the picture, but it is made with a very fine crochet thread. It is beautiful and delicate. Note the pineapples. Here I used a small juice glass with some fresh herbs and a flower to make this doily a focal point.

On the back of this rocker is one of the first doilies I made over 20 years ago. At the time I didn't know I was doing a pineapple pattern. :o)

We love the Anne of Green Gables movies. I like the part where Diana is boasting about getting married and how many doilies she has received so far, Anne pokes fun of her which leads to an argument. Although the feminist minded Anne is wrong for making fun of her we could learn a lesson here about preparations for setting up a household.

When attending bridal showers these days how often does the bride get something like a hand made doily or a quilt? Items that say welcome, warmth or comfort? Items that will last for many years and could even be passed down to the next generation?

Granted, everyone's taste is different; not everyone will love doilies or quilts, and that is OK. But I challenge you to really examine the decor of your home. When people walk into your home does it feel like a home? Are there touches of homemade grace? Do they feel welcome? Does your own family feel comfortable and relaxed? This is one of our most important priorities as we seek keep our homes to the glory of God!

You can crochet doilies too! They use the same stitches as used in yarn crochet. I love working with thread. Don't forget to check out our Learn How to Crochet DVD to get you started with yarn crochet and then you can just apply those same steps with using thread.


Lynn said...

Thanks for sharing. My daughter enjoyed the pictures. I am sure you enjoyed the bag of old doilies. We love to look at old textiles and crochet work at antique stores. Thanks.

Dana said...

I have several doilies that my great-grandmother crocheted and some have pineapples in them also. The history of the pineapple design is very interesting.


Julie said...

You just be prepared. At Christmas time I am ordering a different video for each of my girls. LOL. I will be a great present for them.