Sofia and Celie have begun working on a large quilt that Celie wants either to give to Shug or to keep for herself. She wishes to give it to Shug only if it turns out really beautifully. Celie tells God, in the letter, that she now feels closer both to Sofia and to Shug.
This is another example of Celie's improved craft skills—skills she will put to good use in her pants-making business.
Some unspecified time later, Sofia asks Celie why men eat as much as they do. Apparently Harpo has been eating a great deal recently—whole pans of biscuits, six eggs, many glasses of buttermilk. Sofia says, also, that Harpo enjoys housework more than she does; she prefers to work outside, in the fields. Sofia is perplexed as to why Harpo is eating so much.
Harpo's scenes of overeating are another of the novel's very few comedic moments. But, of course, Harpo's eating is motivated by a deep uneasiness, and by a fear that he is not strong enough, not "man" enough, not big enough to beat and control his wife.
Celie observes Harpo's eating the next time Harpo comes to her house. Harpo has cornbread and "clabber" (naturally soured milk), and Celie notices, in the following days, that Harpo is eating so much he is growing a potbelly, and he now resembles a pregnant woman.
An ironic instance of cross-gendered description. Harpo has eaten so much, in order to become "manly," that he has come to look like the most feminine of mother-figures: a pregnant woman.