We first connected with Monique Jacobs of Open Gate Quilts back in 2018. It started with a delightful virtual introduction that led to a meeting at Spring Quilt Market in 2019. We met 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 absolutely love working with Monique and were delighted to hear about her new collection, Dusk to Dawn. It features a gorgeous array of batiks in tribute to the colors of the sky as the sun sets in the west and rises in the east.
Celestial motifs with touches of gold metallic play upon double-printed batiks to create a collection that travels the galaxy. Rich hues and chromatic combinations illustrate the transition of color from Dusk to Dawn. We were instantly smitten and thrilled to partner with Monique on a set of coordinating threads. Dusk to Dawn features 6 large spools of our versatile 50wt thread.
HOT TIP: Monique Dusk to Dawn quilt is available as a free pattern via Maywood Studio, courtesy of Monique. Grab it HERE.
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.
You’re a key designer within the Maywood Studio family — what do you love most about working with them?
I love the ability to do different styles of design. I have designed everything from batiks to traditional to transitional. They will reprint fabric as well. It is wonderful for quilt shops because if they make a sample and it sells well, they can continue to order fabric for kits. It’s also great for me too because I can continue to design with that fabric line and not worry that the fabric will not be there when I publish my pattern.
Like many creatives in this business, you hold a variety of roles– fabric designer, pattern designer, quilter, maker… Is there a faction of the business that brings you the most joy?
I would say that designing fabric is one of my favorite things to do. It’s a very involved process but I enjoy every part of it. Initial concept, color selection, designing prints, figuring out what prints will be in the line, designing quilts for the line, and finally getting fabrics… love it all!
Tell us about Dusk to Dawn, your latest collection with Maywood. How did this collection come to be? What was your inspiration?
The inspiration for the collection came from the vibrant colors of sunrises and sunsets. Motifs of moons, the sun, wind, and stars were such a great inspiration for the line. The ideas were plentiful and so much fun to create!
What do you love most about working with batiks?
I think it’s the versatility of the fabrics. The Dusk to Dawn Batiks have metallic stars in some of the prints. If you aren’t a metallic fan, you can always use the reverse side of the fabric because you can use both sides of a batik. You can get so many different looks with just one motif with batiks. By having a lot of contrast in the motifs with the background, you get a bolder fabric. By using different shades of the same color, you can get a more tone-on-tone feel.
How do you find you use color differently when working with batiks vs. typical solids?
I think batiks are completely different from both traditional fabrics and solids. With batiks, I don’t look for a main print that you can pull your other fabrics from. Yes, you can work with fabrics that have the same colors in them but you can also work with fabrics that don’t. The difference makes the quilts unique.
Your coordinating thread set features 6 Large Spools of 50wt thread in a perfectly lush range of hues. How did you go about selecting the colors? Why was it important for you to include some variegateds?
When I thought of the fabrics in Dusk to Dawn, I immediately thought of variegated threads. Batiks have such a variety of hues, just like variegated threads. Working with them on the batiks really made the fabric sing.
You’re sharing a quilt with us today – tell us more! What inspired this quilt design?
The quilt is called Into the Night. One of the things that I love about batiks is that you can design a traditional quilt and batiks will make it look more modern. The idea of the quilt is to create a night sky. The block placement creates a circular and star effect. By adding in the applique stars, it really draws in all the elements of the night sky.
The Dusk to Dawn Aurifil thread collection is perfect for this quilt! I pieced, appliqued and quilted the entire quilt with the collection.
What do the kits include?
The kit includes fabric for top, applique, border and binding. It also includes the Dusk to Dawn Thread Collection.
What excites you most about seeing this collection out in the world?
I love to see how the threads are used. I can see the different threads in quilts, bags, clothing…the list goes on!
Where can we find you this year (online or in person), what’s next for Open Gate?
You can find me on Open Gate Quilts Facebook page doing tutorials, Sew Alongs and Lives, Instagram and YouTube. My website is www.opengatequilts.com and I also have a newsletter that I send out to tell everyone what is new, where I will be and general Open Gate
Thank you SO much to Monique for joining us today!
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!