We first connected with Monique Jacobs of Open Gate Quilts back in 2018. It started with a delightful introduction, some exchanged emails, and a call or two and grew into a meeting at Spring Quilt Market in 2019. We meet with Monique and her husband Mark along with the amazing team at Maywood Studio. It was clear straight away that Monique was wonderfully talented, motivated, and best of all genuine. We knew then that we wanted to work together, but didn’t know just how or when we would make it happen.
We finally made our plan in Summer of 2019. Monique was working on a new collection that would feature a stunning BOM. Amour was scheduled for launch at Fall Market 2019 with fabric hitting stores in Spring of 2020. So, on March 1, we released Monique’s debut collection — a lovely range of neutrals, purples, and greens in our versatile 50wt thread.
We love that Monique crafted her collection to be the perfect partner to her BOM or any of there other collection patterns. Her go-to for piecing is a grey neutral and to make sure quilters had enough of what they’d need for a full quilt, she included 3 small spools of 2600 and 3 small spools of 2620. Two shades of purple and 2 shades of green round out the set, providing exactly enough thread for your preferred quilting finish. So… the only question we have is which pattern will you make first?
HOT TIP: There is a free quilt pattern available via Maywood Studio, courtesy of Monique. Grab it HERE.
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
10 Small Spools, 50wt (220yds/spool), 100% Aurifil Cotton
3 x 2600, 3 x 2620
2902, 2540, 4225, 2905
Thanks so much for taking the time to share some of your story with us. For our readers who are meeting you for the first time, could you tell us a bit about your background and how you got started in this creative textile world?
I started quilting 32 years ago. My sister-in-law mentioned that she likes quilts and I thought “Me too! I think I’ll take a class.” So, I did and fell in love. In 2004 I had started designing my own patterns and a couple of friends encouraged me to start a company. I gave it a shot and I’ve been going ever since. I have a degree in math and as I was designing, I felt a need for some different rulers so I designed several different rulers. Then in 2008, I again was looking at different fabrics and didn’t find what I wanted so I decided to try designing fabric. I came up with a proposal and sent it to Maywood Studio, they loved it and I’ve been with them ever since.
Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I would say that looking at antique tiles, textiles and tapestries gives me inspiration. They have such rich texture and color that I gravitate towards that.
How did you first get involved with Maywood Studio and what do you love most about working with them?
Well, there are several reasons that I love working with Maywood Studio. First, they always show their lines of fabric instead of paper. This is important to most quilters because we are very tactile. We want to touch the fabric, see how the color will turn out and know that it is cohesive. Also, their fabric is very high quality and you can feel that when you touch it. And, if a line is very popular, they will continue to print it until their is no more demand. This is wonderful for both the quilt shops and the quilters. The quilt shops can use a sample over and over and the quilters can get the fabric that they love and need for projects. One more thing that I love about Maywood. They allow me to design different styles of fabrics. I have designed traditional, batiks and transitional fabrics… the possibilities are endless!
What do you love most about the practice of fabric design?
All of it! I love finding the inspirations, choosing the color, designing a line of fabric that is cohesive, creating quilts that highlight the fabric and once I receive that fabric, see all my hard work and art come to life!
Can you tell us a bit about your new collection, Amour?
This is my first really transitional line. What I love about it is that it is wonderful for quilts but also can be used for home dec. The line has variety in purples, greens and greys and a nice scope of hues from a lights to darks.
Where can fans find your All My Amour BOM and what does it entail?
My suggestion is to check with your local quilt shop or online. It is run through quilt shops and I wholeheartedly want to support our quilt shops, whether online or locally owned. The BOM is not your traditional BOM. I start in the center and work out. It’s a 6 month BOM and I love that although you make different blocks, it has a different feel to it because of the way it is designed.
When did you first discover Aurifil and what makes it your go-to thread?
I first discovered Aurifil several years ago. I was hand sewing a binding and picked up a spool at my local quilt shop. When I was sewing, I couldn’t believe how smoothly the thread glided through the fabric. It didn’t shred or have any knots. I was sold! Now I use it for hand sewing, piecing and quilting! It’s truly the best!
Do you have a favorite color and weight?
For piecing I like either a grey or a beige, depending on the project. For quilting, I love the Forty3 (40wt 3ply). I use both 50wt and 40wt. I find they both sew wonderfully.
How did you go about selecting the colors for your coordinating thread collection and what excites you most about releasing the collection to the world?
I really wanted to include both piecing, quilting and binding threads in the collection. I wanted to give the quilter all the colors to complete their entire quilts. They don’t need to get any other colors if they are going to make a project out of Amour! I am so excited about the thread collection because I love Aurifil and want everyone to see for themselves how wonderful Aurifil thread is!
What do you have coming up this year? Where can we find you in 2020?
I have several lectures and teaching engagements in 2020 which you can find on my website www.opengatequilts.com. Also, every Thursday night at 7:00 pm central time, I do a Facebook Live which includes quilt alongs, tips and tricks, giveaways and much more! Hope you can join me!
Thank you SO much to Monique for joining us today! Don’t forget to join her for her Facebook Live tonight at 7pmCST!
Monique Jacobs (Dillard) of Loves Park, IL (USA), was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada). Her love of quilting was encouraged by relatives in Canada who taught her the art of handwork and sewing. She parlayed her degree in mathematics into a genuine understanding of the need for an accurate 1/4” seam, squared blocks and precise cutting. She was a regular teacher at her local quilt shop for 15 years until her budding quilt design business – Open Gate – steered her career toward a national audience. These days, you can find Monique teaching across the United States at quilt guilds and weekend retreats. Monique’s classes always fill up fast with fans from previous classes and students eager to learn from this talented designer.
Monique has 150 (and counting) Open Gate patterns and 5 rulers (Fit to be Geese©, Mini Fit to be Geese©, and Fit to be Quarter©. Fit to be Quarter 2.5©, Fit to be Quarter 6.5 & Companion©) She has written 3 books with C&T Publishing, Fat Quarter Winners, Traditional Fat Quarter Quilts, and Diamond Traditions. All 3 books feature traditional, Americana inspired fat quarter quilts. She finds inspiration for her traditional designs everywhere and is inspired by fabrics, textiles and tapestries. Several trips to Europe have resulted in not only new beautiful quilt pattern designs, but also her fabric collections with Maywood Studio.
Mark and Monique got married in 2016 in San Diego. Mark became involved with the business long before they were married. He plays an essential roll in promoting and continuing to grow the business. His research and social media support includes filming Thursday night Facebook Live events, posting on Facebook and Instagram and helping with all aspects of Open Gate Quilts. All of this while holding down a full time job elsewhere!