This autumn I will embark on something new: curating a SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) exhibit titled “Food!” That actually sounds a lot more glamorous than it is: essentially, I will be the behind-the-scenes person coordinating entries, notifications, getting the quilts, communicating with venues and such like. The juror, the person who will select the quilts for the exhibit, is the irrepressible Alex Veronelli of Aurifil Threads.
This blogpost is to whet your appetite (pun totally intended) and get you to thinking about food and its portrayal in cloth.
I’ve used my small Tomatoes quilt (the one in my Video Workshop on how I create and quilt my collaged pieces) to illustrate this just so we’d have a tasty visual, but this post is all about ideas from words. To find a full prospectus, you need to be a SAQA member; go to the Members login page to (duh) log in. Then click on Calls for Entry (here), and then for even more information, click on “go to complete prospectus and entry instructions” or click here (remember you must be a SAQA member and logged in for that link to work). In a nutshell, though, the exhibit will be about all aspects of food from production to consumption. Finished quilts must be between 24 to 46 inches on each side; the variation in size will make it challenging for me to organize and hang the selected quilts, but will give artists substantial flexibility in size and orientation of their quilts.
While we were discussing the title and working on the Call for Entry, I googled around to find quotes about food. Here are a whole bunch–do any of these inspire YOU to make a quilt about food?
- First we eat, then we do everything else. — MFK Fisher
- Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. – Voltaire
- We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.
– Adelle Davis
- One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. – Luciano Pavarotti
- Always serve too much hot fudge sauce on the hot fudge sundaes. It makes people overjoyed,and puts them in your debt. ― Judith Olney
- There ain’t no point in making soup unless others eat it. Soup needs another mouth to taste it, another heart to be warmed by it. ― Kate DiCamillo, The Tale of Despereaux
- Sitting on the porch alone, listening to them fixing supper, he felt again the indignation he had felt before, the sense of loss and the aloneness, the utter defenselessness that was each man’s lot, sealed up in his bee cell from all the others in the world. But the smelling of boiling vegetables and pork reached him from the inside, the aloneness left him for a while. The warm moist smell promised other people lived and were preparing supper. He listened to the pouring and the thunder rumblings that sounded hollow like they were in a rainbarrel, shared the excitement and the coziness of the buzzing insects that had sought refuge on the porch, and now and then he slapped detachedly at the mosquitoes, making a sharp crack in the pouring buzzing silence. The porch sheltered him from all but the splashes of the drops that hit the floor and their spray touched him with a pleasant chill. And he was secure, because someewhere out beyond the wall of water humanity still existed, and was preparing supper. ― James Jones, From Here to Eternity
- … food is not simply organic fuel to keep body and soul together, it is a perishable art that must be savoured at the peak of perfection. –E.A. Bucchianeri
- Jam on a winter took away the blue devils. It was like tasting summer. –Sandra Dallas
- We eat the year away. We eat the spring and the summer and the fall. We wait for something to grow and then we eat it.― Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle
- This magical, marvelous food on our plate, this sustenance we absorb, has a story to tell. It has a journey. It leaves a footprint. It leaves a legacy. To eat with reckless abandon, without conscience, without knowledge; folks, this ain’t normal. ― Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
- The first supermarket supposedly appeared on the American landscape in 1946. That is not very long ago. Until then, where was all the food? Dear folks, the food was in homes, gardens, local fields, and forests. It was near kitchens, near tables, near bedsides. It was in the pantry, the cellar, the backyard. ― Joel Salatin, Folks, This Ain’t Normal: A Farmer’s Advice for Happier Hens, Healthier People, and a Better World
- You know, the act of feeding someone is the ultimate act of care and affection…sharing yourself with someone else through food.” He held another mouthful of cake under her nose. “Think about it. We are fed in the Eucharist, by our mothers when we are infants, by our parents as children, by friends at dinner parties, by a lover when we feast on one another’s bodies…and on occasion, on another’s souls. ― Sylvain Reynard, Gabriel’s Inferno
- Southerners are known for their hospitality and the foremost way of exhibiting it is through food. ― Cicely Tyson
- There is communion of more than our bodies when bread is broken and wine drunk. ― M.F.K. Fisher
- Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts. ― James Beard
- I’m pretty sure that eating chocolate keeps wrinkles away because I have never seen a 10 year old with a Hershey bar and crows feet. ― Amy Neftzger
- First we eat, then we do everything else. ― M.F.K. Fisher
- Red onions are especially divine. I hold a slice up to the sunlight pouring in through the kitchen window, and it glows like a fine piece of antique glass. Cool watery-white with layers delicately edged with imperial purple…strong, humble, peaceful…with that fiery nub of spring green in the center… ― Mary Hayes-Grieco, The Kitchen Mystic: Spiritual Lessons Hidden in Everyday Life
- The shared meal elevates eating from a mechanical process of fueling the body to a ritual of family and community, from the mere animal biology to an act of culture. ― Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto
- To eat well in England you should have breakfast three times a day. ― W. Somerset Maugham
- Bacon is the candy of meat. — Kevin Taggart
- It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one. ― M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition
- Mayonnaise: One of the sauces which serve the French in place of a state religion. ― Ambrose Bierce
- your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride. ― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
- I don’t know what it is about food your mother makes for you, especially when it’s something that anyone can make – pancakes, meat loaf, tuna salad – but it carries a certain taste of memory. ― Mitch Albom
- Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”― Alice May Brock
- If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. ― J.R.R. Tolkien
- Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch. ― Orson Welles
- After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations. ― Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance
- I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”― W.C. Fields