Friday, November 16, 2012

Quilts I'll Never Make: A Farewell To Hostess

(For an update to this post, click here)
Here's the fantasy quilt sketch that jumped into my head when I heard today's news about Hostess cupcakes(It was good news if healthy eating is your priority. But it's terrible news for 18,500 employees, plus millions of Twinkie addicts.)

Hostess products bring me back to my childhood in the 1960s, when hostesses (and their refrigerators) looked something like this:  

(Total non-sequiter. Isn't that a great fabric?)

My own mother did dress like that, but, alas, she was into healthy eating, so we rarely, if ever, had Hostess products at home. I got them from the local candy store, or other people's mothers.  I always preferred the (chocolate) Hostess Cupcakes to the (not chocolate, what's the point?) Twinkies. 

But I decided to fling a couple of the latter onto the imaginary quilt above, along with the cupcakes. Fabric Twinkies are so easy to make, just rectangles with shaved corners. The hand is open to interpretation: Is it taking a cupcake, waving farewell, or both? 

I'll never make this quilt because, if I keep thinking about cupcakes any more than I did while composing this, I'll run out and buy some. I bet by now there are suspicious characters in my supermarket parking lot selling Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Snowballs, Yo Yos, Yee Haws, Ho Hums, and all the rest at extortionate prices from their car trunks. (Update: Boxes of Hostess products are now listed on ebay for hundreds, and even thousands of dollars!)

Feel free to borrow the idea for a quilt of your own, though. (Send pix when you're done).  

If I were to actually make it, the icing "o" s would be the big challenge. Seriously sharp scissors required.

And while we're telling Twinkie truths....When I had my first baby 18 years ago, our pediatrician reminded us to pack infant supplies in the earthquake kit. Among other things, he told us that Twinkies are shelf-stable for decades. We believed him! (The Internet wasn't as   omniscient then). 

So a box of Twinkies sat in our earthquake kit for about 15 years, along with diapers and onesies, for my now-college-freshman. A couple of years ago, I realized that the onesies wouldn't fit him anymore, plus it was inconceivable that Twinkies could have such a long shelf life. I was right: it's only 25 days. I threw them out.  Which is too bad, because now I could go sell them, mint in box, in front of my local supermarket.

My heart goes out to the laid-off Hostess employees, and I hope someone comes along, bails them out, and revamps their jobs so they're baking and distributing something just as popular and tasty, but maybe just a little bit healthier, than Twinkies.

P.S. For an updated and more elaborate virtual Twinkie quilt, see my update here.

P.P.S. I shared this link at Nina Marie Sayre's gorgeous art quilt blog. Her off-the-wall Friday project is a great way to share the week's creativity.


  1. Those Twinkies may actually have lasted that 15 years. When I was leading Girl Guides (Canadian Girl Scouts) I forgot a loaf of Wonder Bread (same manufacturer) in the amp box for 4 months. Imagine my surprise when I took it out and there wasn't a sign of green mold and the bread was as soft as when it was bought! I did forget to check the ingredients label to see if there were any real ingredients or if they were all chemicals. Mary Ann

  2. e-bay!
    I'm a Yodel person myself, but our economy here in the Phildaelphia are will definitely suffer. Great idea to do a topical quilt with your wonderful sense of humor.

  3. That's hilarious, Mary Ann. My husband and I have always joked that Twinkies are a petroleum-based product. Maybe you could have stuffed that loaf of Wonder Bread into the gas tank, to make the car run!
    Cheryl, I forgot all about Yodels! They're chocolate, too, right? If so, I liked them....

  4. Your post makes me smile. My mother didn't allow many Hostess products in her kitchen (or, alas, my lunch box) either. But I loved those cupcakes -- did you ever peel the frosting off and eat it separately from the cake? Yummmmm...

    It is sad that all those people have lost their jobs, but I'm also hoping that some other company will buy the factory.

  5. Karen, I just heard rumors on the news that a brewery company may buy them out! I also read that someone is selling Twinkies on ebay for $50 a box! Dang, I should have kept that old box!

    Your mom sounds like mine. You note makes me want to go buy some cupcakes and peel the icing!

  6. No worries Cathy. A completely delicious, freshly baked knockoff of your beloved Hostess cupcake is available at Heirloom. Well worth the calories and money.

    Very sad for the employees of Hostess. Apparently there is a Hostess location in Glendale.

  7. Thanks, Elizabeth, I've been thinking about going to Heirloom for a memorial CupCake.
    But seriously, it's awful for so many people to lose their jobs.

  8. I have neve tasted a twinkie and I remember eating a chocolate whatever
    many years ago and finding it disgusting. It felt like air and glue.. But aI do like your pictures and your essay. I will remember to look at ypur blog again. Syd Harper

  9. Syd, I think air and glue is a good description. Just add sugar, and I think you've got the basic Twinkie recipe!

  10. I don't think its a bad idea to do a twinkie quilt - I wouldn't doubt we see one soon!

  11. Hi Cathy. If you ever decided to actually make this and your follow-on quilt, you could couch white yarn or narrow cotton clothesline for the icing swirls instead of trying to fusible-applique them!

  12. That's a great idea, but I'm not the world's best coucher. I think there's some kind of specialty foot I should be using; but I also wonder how any specialty foot would handle tight loops or curves! Any recommendations?


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