Quilt to the hilt: Blue-ribbon quilter has a modern point of view

Not your grandma’s quilt

How many thousands of women in Texas history have entered their handiwork to be judged at the great State Fair of Texas?

Shannon Page is one. Among hundreds of entries from all over Texas, she won two blue ribbons, in quilting and sewing, in 2014. Given her 10 entries in this year’s fair, more wins are likely.

Your grandmother’s quilt repeated a 12-inch block patterned evenly over the surface of a blanket, perhaps. Modern quilts make more use of white space. They’re flat and incorporate an overall graphic unrestrained by quilt blocks.

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Page, who serves as education coordinator for the Old Red Museum, is a master of modern quilting.

After her mother died in 2011, she taught herself to sew by watching Youtube videos. It was partially to give herself a distraction, partially to connect with her family heritage.

“Everyone in my family has quilts from my great-grandmother,” she says.

As it turned out, she had a knack for sewing.

A weekend suitcase, covered in quilted Japanese linen and fitting perfectly under the seat in front of you, won her the blue ribbon in the “Sewing: Other” category last year. That’s a huge category, with hundreds of entries.

A handbag with a recycled leather bottom, quilted of course, is among this year’s entries.

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And, unless you are a serious baller, this could break your heart: You can’t really have one.

Page is an artist. Not counting the modern quilts she frequently shows, sometimes there are too many works of art piling up in the Dells district home she shares with her boyfriend. A large quilt could take 80 hours of her time, not to mention the investment of her heart and soul.

Taking a few hundred bucks for one would feel cheap. But she likes to give them away to friends and family.

“Really, if you come to my house and tell me you like one, I will probably give it to you,” she says. [Editor’s note: No, I will not give you her number.]

Page, a member of the Quilters Guild of Dallas, also serves on the board of directors of the Modern Quilt Guild. She is a seamstress and cook, and she crochets. Find her designs at pressandpin.com.

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