Monday, June 17, 2013

What's For Dinner?

24" x 15"
May, 2013
Fused cottons, drawn with fabric markers, machine quilted

Mangia! has been accepted into the "What's for Dinner? exhibit at the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas this October. It is one of 24 quilts to be chosen for this show. Each of the 24 quilts is made to the same dimensions and answers the question with dishes full of food on a 'place-mat.'

You may have seen in my last post how this piece was made. I mentioned my Grandmother's tablecloth and her home-made pasta and meatballs. I'd like to explain why I wanted to do this quilt so much. 

Food was a major part of my upbringing. The Italian/American side of my family was strongly influential in my eating habits. Both my grandparents and my parents kept a large garden for vegetables and fruits. Until I went away to college, I had never eaten canned vegetables from the supermarket. My mother put up tomatoes, made pickles, jams and froze home-made tomato sauce, and many vegetables. My dad made his own sausage and wine with my Grandfather. We had a cold cellar for winter vegetables and Dad started his tomatoes and other plants in the garage under lights in February. My Grandmother kept chickens primarily for the eggs but occasionally for eating. I watched her gut and clean a chicken at around age 8. She used to go into the woods to pick wild blueberries and sometimes wild mushrooms. Our lives literally revolved around providing food.

We lived about five houses up the hill from Ma and Pa (my Grandparents) and every Sunday we would share Sunday dinner at their house. Sometimes my Aunts, Uncles and cousins would come, sometimes not. But regardless of who was in attendance the menu was always the same. Grandma's home-made hand cut pasta, tomato sauce with pork, lamb and meatballs, bread from the Italian bakery (bought on the way home from church), hot peppers for the brave, fresh grated romano cheese, and of course, the home-made wine. On special days the tablecloth would be the crocheted one that Grandma made. And this is my quilt.

Every time I think about cooking a meal, the ghosts of the past flash through my mind. Every meal I make comes from years full of Sunday dinners at Grandma's, "Mangia, Annunziata!" 

I will mention here that this is the first time I have entered a quilt into any show. It is also the first show I have been accepted into. I did a bit of a happy dance when I got the email of acceptance. My next post is coming soon on the three quilts I completed in the weeks following the completion of 'Mangia!.'   

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your acceptance - love the quilt! Your Sunday dinners sound about how my husband describes his experiences. You wouldn't guess with a name like "Hall" that there's Italian blood, but his mother comes from a huge Italian family. His Grandpa made the wine and Sunday dinner was the whole nine yards. When we got married, the big question I got was, "Does she make sauce?" lol Well, I learned how to make a pretty good sauce!