Joan Lintault began making this remarkable piece with the remaining, unused pieces of her quilt A Riddling Tale, which is now in the collection of the Illinois State Museum. "Just as soup is made from the leftovers in the fridge," she explains, "I decided to make a piece with the leftovers. Manuscript letters and vegetables comprise the theme of Alphabet Soup. The quilt was made to remind me of the good time I had as a child eating alphabet soup and laying out the pasta letters. Each letter has a corresponding food-related image. . The quilt has images of all the vegetables in my soup. The border is decorated with the negative shapes of letters that spell out a recipe. There are soup bowls in my favorite blue and white, and there also are references to a children’s song and an old joke.
Despite what your eye tells you, the surface of the quilt is completely flat; the seemingly curved ribbons are trompe l'oeil. Writing in the New York Times, D. Dominick Lombardi observed, 'M. Joan Lintault's Alphabet Soup brings quilt making to a new level of obsessiveness. Alphabet Soup is dense with information, a cornucopia of images including stylized letters, a recipe, fancy decorated soup bowls and vegetables so luscious and fresh you can almost taste them."
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