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Graceful Pinecone

A lovely design reborn 40 years later

By: Lisanne Miller

"Pinecones, when they are mature and open up to release their seeds, gain a grace and beauty all their own, in much the same way the petals of a rose open up and flow out from the center. Our pinecone was drawn from one found in the Maine woods when we were on a camping trip. We were struck by its resemblance to a beautiful flower."

—drawing and quotation from Rug Hooker’s News and Views, November/December 1976

Some rug hooking designers and their patterns are ahead of their time. Their work reflects a different sensibility, a different way of looking at the world. The designer knows it even as they complete the design—they are aware of the home fashions of the time, what rug hookers want, and what the world responds to.

Joan Moshimer designed Graceful Pinecone in 1974 and offered it as a free pattern in the November/December 1976 News and Views. However, Joan never offered Graceful Pinecone as part of her regular pattern line. While many may have hooked Graceful Pinecone from the free pattern, the intended size of 24" x 36" was not popular. The pattern was too modern for its time: the mid-1970s, the years of scrolls, shaded florals, and intricate bouquets.

In the process of looking for another pattern, I discovered a piece of yellow paper with a drawing. It turned out to be a design by Joan called The Graceful Pinecone. Apparently, this design was never printed or prepared to print.

Intrigued, I researched the pattern in our archives—the pattern had been crossed out of every book, with NOT AVAILABLE written across the pattern.

In my eyes the pattern was beautiful, graceful, and perfect to hook! I decided to re-introduce Graceful Pinecone, add it to the line of patterns, and invite a group of five fiber artists to hook their version. Each fiber artist received their pattern but no color plan or suggestions—not even how the rug is orientated. . . is the branch on the bottom or is it on the top?


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