Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pining for Pine Cones

As much as I love palm trees, pineapples and all other things Hawaiian, there is another side to me-one that loves the forest and anything that recalls a 1950’s camping trip.  Vintage picnic baskets and old thermos jugs, cozy plaid Pendleton shirts, rustic wood furniture, and anything with a pine cone motif.  Over the past decade, I’ve collected a few pine cone treasures, like the art pottery, and clothespin bag above.

Recently, I struck gold with this wonderful barkcloth.  It has a striking pine cone design and the most beautiful color combination of greens and brown. Additionally, it’s also the first pine cone barkcloth I’ve ever seen.

The piece I found was a long, but narrow remnant-about 5 feet in length by 10.5” wide,  so I knew I’d have to make a small bag.

 pine cone bag B

To compliment the barkcloth, I looked through my stash of supplies and found the perfect vintage plaid button and geometric print lining fabric.  I’m really happy with this little bag!

And as it turns out, the tropical side of myself and the woodsy side of myself can live in harmony, because pineapples and pine cones have something in common. 

Around 1220, an Italian mathematician named Leonardo of Pisa, or Fibonacci, as we all more commonly know him as, discovered a series of numbers that describe the spiral growth pattern of pine cones, pineapples, many flowers, sea shells and a host of other things too.  I’d heard of  Fibonacci and his number sequence before, but yesterday I did a bit of research into just how it applies to the pine cone.


A Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers beginning with 1,  in which each number is the sum of the two previous numbers:

1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, etc.

Drawn out on out on graph paper, and starting with 1 and counting up, the spiral starts to take shape…


For a more in-depth explanation, here is a great website-

It’s an extremely fascinating subject-for both sides of me!


Images sourced from the web.


  1. That's what I love about your pieces--the attention to detail and getting it just right! What a fabulous find, that pinecone barkcloth, and a beautiful purse!

  2. You have the best legs. Just sayin.

    And what sweet little purse. You know, when I went to the handmade market at Blissdom the girls were selling tons of handmade kindle and ipad covers. And I bought one for myself. Because where else are you gonna find one?

  3. Your bag is so fantastic! It calls to mind the North Woods of Maine. I almost expected a moose to pop out of your blog :-)

  4. Thank you Dawn! I've been so fortunate to come across such amazing fabrics and buttons and things. It never ceases to amaze me how every time I make a bag the right elements come together so perfectly:)

    Tina-thanks so much, but I have a confession to make. Those are my mannequin's legs in this photo. She's been doubling for me lately due to my knees killing me when I wear the anchor shoes. I'll have to introduce her in another post:)She does have killer legs-and they are so firm, too;)

    I keep playing with the idea of kindle and ipad covers...we'll see...

    Lisa-thank you, too! A moose would be a great addition here!! We saw a lot of them when we were in Anchorage a few years ago-amazing, amazing animals!!!

  5. What a cute bag! I especially like the contrast between the lime and forest greens. I also thought it was neat how you said the design reflected both your tropical and woodsy sides via the Finbonacci tie-in. What a clever and enjoyable post :)

  6. That bag is just adorable!

    I love pine cones, too. They remind me of winter and Christmas and snow!

  7. Awesome pinecone barkclth, Valerie!
    I've had a few different pinecone designs over the years, and I'm always pleasantly surprised when I see another one.
    Love the bag you've created, the button is just perfect.pples
    And that's so interesting about the math connection. I knew that about pineapples, but didn't realized it applied to pinecones as well.

    btw, your garden is beautiful. I'll have to get your secret for the gigantic rubarb. LOL


  8. You are truly and artist. That bag is gorgeous - something I'm not sure I saw in just looking at the barkcloth.

  9. Thank you so much Tracy!! :)

    Melissa-I think that's part of the reason I love pine cones too. Part of me loves snowy weather, just as part of me misses the beach in Hawaii:)

    Kimberly-thank you! I'll be on the lookout for more pine cone barkcloth now. I wonder if there is any rhubarb themed barkcloth out there LOL!

  10. Hi from the mingle! You have a great pine cone collection, and I love the bag you made.


  11. Hi to you too, Popcorn! Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Hi just wanted to say that I like your article very much. Please keep up the good posts Thanks a ton! and Have a good day