Meet Missouri Star Academy Instructor, Monique Jacobs

Monique Jacobs of Open Gate Quilts, is also the instructor of one of our Missouri Star Academy Online Classes! She teaches how to color coordinate and piece together beautiful quilts from just picking through the loose ends of your already-made stash. Learn more about Monique and then join her in Stash Busting with Style!

Have you always had an eye for color combinations or was it something you had to teach yourself to do/look for?

I’ll be honest. I had to learn. According to my mom, she had doubts about my sense of color when I was young. I used to change clothes at least 3-4 times a day and things didn’t always match. I loved trying different combinations and it was when I started quilting that I learned how to match colors. A lot of it was trial and error. As I was working with fabric, I would play around with it until I liked what I saw. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some quilts that weren’t great but I learned from those mistakes and the more I did the more I felt confident in my choices.

Tell us a little about your background – when/how did you first get into sewing and quilting?

I’ve always loved fabric. When I took Home Ec in high school, sewing was my favorite class. Both my grandmas sewed and made crafts. My dad’s mom made quilts and although I didn’t appreciate them when I was young, I sure do now! She used old dresses, curtains, whatever was available and hand stitched all the seams using a feather stitch. They are all crazy quilts and having to repair one, I know how much work goes into them!

I got into quilting because my sister-in-law mentioned that she liked quilts.  I looked at them and thought, me too! So, I took a class and that was the beginning!

Where do you find inspiration for trying new fabric and pattern designs – especially for using fabrics from your stash?

My inspiration comes in different ways. One, I will see a fabric that I like, whether in my stash or in the store and think, what can I make out of this? Or I see a pattern and adapt the pattern to my fabric. Sometimes, I will look at my stash and pull some out and think…what quilt can I come up with to go with this fabric? Truthfully, that’s how I started designing patterns, I saw all this beautiful fabric and couldn’t find a pattern to use it with. So, I started making my own. Same thing with designing fabric, I would see a pattern and think, what fabric could I use for this. Again, nothing would work for what I wanted to do, so I started designing fabric.

Do you have a favorite color combination to use in your quilt patterns and fabrics?

I love them all! If I’m doing a more traditional quilt, I tend to add red in and if I’m doing batiks or modern, I love purple. But, there isn’t much that I don’t like! 

Do you find yourself looking at color, scale and print in other aspects of life? (i.e. home decor, clothing, etc)

Funny that you ask that because I didn’t think about that until you mentioned it. Yes, I do. For sure, color is a huge factor in decorating. I like to have a warm, welcoming home but that doesn’t necessarily mean warm colors. I know what I like, just like my quilts and go a lot by what I’ve learned on how to put quilts together.

Take the class, learn something new, explore new color combinations and most of all, have FUN! Come back and show us what you’ve made out of your stash!

Start Stash Busting with Style


Enhance Your Next Project with a Hint of Red

You know it’s fall when the scenery changes from green to brown with vibrant hints of red. When walking along a pond bank, you can’t see much under the waters, but you can always catch a glimpse of the red koi fish. The red line of a rainbow is always the first to draw in your attention and there are many kinds of fruit trees, but only the splotches of red in an apple tree are able to be spotted from afar.

Red is a color of intensity. It symbolizes passion, love, strength, energy, and desire. Make simple colors pop by mixing in hints of this fiery hue into your next project!

Go Modern with Red, Black, and White

Red, Black, and White Color Combination

Placing a flamboyant color such as red next to the monochromatic shades of white and black creates an attraction like no other. It’s no wonder we find them used in road signs, advertising, and even nature as warning signals to predators. Just look at the coral snake… typically, my fear of snakes prevents me from seeing their beauty, but I have to admit the smooth black, white, and red scales of the coral snake have me mesmerized.

Check our collection of reds, white and black and create an eye-catching masterpiece!

Get Whimsical using Red and Teal

Red and Teal Color Combination

Take a look at that picture. Are your eyes drawn to the red or the teal? Not sure? Both maybe?

That’s because being just one spot away from being polar opposites on the color spectrum, there seems almost an equal attraction to the warm and cool shades. This color combination has a way of cooling down the red and warming up the teal so the two don’t become overwhelming, but instead just incredibly gorgeous!

Explore our reds and teals and get started on your next project!

A Comforting Pair of Red and Navy

Red and Navy Color Combination

For those of us whom live in the states, this patriotic pair is a comforting duo. Although, being two of the three primary colors, these colors together still create a powerful attraction for those all over the world.

Red and navy like to be dramatic, so find your favorites and place them side by side in your next project to create quite the fuss! Check out our tutorial playlist for ideas!

Use Red and Silver to Create an Elegant Look

Red and Silver

These two colors are classic. The essence of elegance. Red and silver are the way to go if you prefer a quieter look. Red can be loud, but silver will tone it down while still keeping it’s beauty.

Browse reds and silvers to create a timeless treasure!

What color do you pair with red?
Post a picture or tell us in the comments!

School is Back in Session 🏫

Back to School

Les Brown, an American motivational speaker, once said, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” So if your kids are bummed about back to school month, you’re a college student who’s dreading 10-page papers and tiring lectures, or if you’re a teacher not ready for vacation to end, then remember these words of wisdom to find your motivation!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, teacher, or parent… everyone can start the school year with confidence and style with creative projects to show off!

Tech Case

Make a custom case for your tablet that is quick, easy, and fitted to any device.

Watch as Jenny and Shea Henderson of Empty Bobbin put one together!

A Missouri Star favorite, the Everything Bag!

This adorable tote made from 2.5″ strips is great for all your back to school necessities, yoga class, or just simply picking up groceries! This bag holds it all!

Join Misty and Courtenay as they show how it’s done!

What’s your favorite part of the school day? Ours is lunchtime of course!

Learn how to make this quick and easy lunch-bag with Misty and carry your lunch in style!

Make teaching fun with a classroom theme!

Find several trendy patterns and prints for reading time quilts or classroom decor!

Know someone starting college? How exciting!

Make their transition easier with modern style pillows and quilts to personalize any dorm room (and don’t forget to incorporate some school spirit)!

(By the way, this Mod-Dog pillow is just adorable!)

Grab some stationary to make taking notes less boring and get started on a knowledge seeking adventure!

Education, creativity, and just being passionate about what you love is important at any age. So if you are wondering what you’ll be doing once the kids are back in class… take one yourself! Never stop learning with Missouri Star Academy!

What education journey are you taking this year?
Let us know in the comments!

Congrats to Our Grads! 🎓

Congrats to Our Grads!

We are excited to announce that our first year’s partnership with North Central Missouri College (NCMC)was a huge success! The collaboration between Missouri Star Quilt Company and North Central Missouri College on this apprenticeship program culminated with 21 team members completing a registered apprenticeship program through the US Department of Labor, with 20 of those individuals earning a Business Management Essentials certificate through the college.

Apprenticeship Graduates
Front row (from left to right): Amanda Gray, Ana DeJesus Gutierrez, Sarah Garland, Jennifer Souza, Kelly Gallion, Estella Granville, Adriana DeJesus Gutierrez, Brooke Barnett, Brenda Glidewell (Missouri Star Apprenticeship Coordinator)
Middle row (from left to right): Sarah Harvey, Sara Thomas, Andrea Kinzler, Teresa Kinzler, Kaitlyn Cooley
Back row (from left to right): Julia Birkeness (Missouri Star Apprenticeship Coordinator),Kristeana Reed, Kelsey Stollings, Beth Snow, Kassandra Carr, Keslie Hays, Lisa Gray, Corey Adams
Apprenticeship Graduates
The students were invited to walk during the commencement ceremony in their caps and gowns at North Central Missouri College in Trenton, MO.
Apprenticeship Graduates
Certificates were handed out in the classroom space of Missouri Star’s warehouse by the president of NCMC, Dr. Lenny Klaver (back far left), Director of Business and Industry Partnerships at NCMC, Jason Helton (back far right) and Missouri Star’s CEO, Mike Mifsud (back, third from right)

Before handing out the Apprenticeship Completion certificates from the US Department of Labor, Director of Business and Industry Partnerships at NCMC, Jason Helton, said with enthusiasm, “This is a formal credential, it’s kind of a big deal. You should be proud of what you are about to receive.” Afterward, the students cheered, the Missouri Star leadership and management teams clapped proudly, and Missouri Star’s Apprenticeship Coordinator was brought to tears!

Between academic training by professors from NCMC AND on-the-job training here at Missouri Star, we are incredibly proud of our team members who have worked so hard to enhance their skills, both personally and professionally throughout this past year! Way to go, graduates! 🎓

Comment below or head on over to our Facebook page to congratulate this amazing team! ⇩

It’s Jenny’s Birthday! And She Wants to Share Fun Ways to Celebrate Your Summer Birthday Too! Let’s Party!

Happy Birthday Jenny!

Happy Birthday Jenny and to all of you who share in the summer birthday season! Start planning your next party as Jenny shares her favorite birthday foods along with some fun, summer recipes from our Missouri Star employees! Find quick and easy sewing projects to decorate your party, and don’t forget to download some of our printable photo booth props to make your summer celebration a blast! Grab your friends and let’s party!


Jenny’s Favorite Summer Recipes!

Jenny’s absolute favorite is a Strawberry Pie that she makes on her birthday year after year to treat herself to something yummy!

Here’s how she makes it:

  • 1 9″ frozen pie crust, baked
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 lb of sliced strawberries
  • 1 (3oz) package of strawberry jello
  1. Bake pie crust according to package directions, remove and then let cool.
  2. While the crust is in the oven, add sugar and water to a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk the cornstarch in slowly and make sure there are no leftover lumps. Stir continuously for about 4-5 minutes until the mixture is thickened and turns a little clear.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the strawberry jello mix until completely dissolved. Let this mixture cool to room temperature.
  4. Once cooled, toss in the strawberries and make sure they are evenly distributed. Pour into pie crust.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to set for about 2-3 hours and then serve! (Add whipped cream if desired!)

Jenny loves a good summer barbecue and for her, the must-have at any BBQ is the beans! Cowboy Beans is her go-to and here’s how it’s done:

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cans of beans, drained (red, black, and pinto) mix em’ up!
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

Brown the hamburger and cook the onions, then mix it all together in a crock-pot and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours!

Captain Dwayne’s Jambalaya

  • 3 pounds peeled shrimp
  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 1 dozen oysters
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 3 cups rice
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 2/3 cup chopped shallots (cross between onion and garlic)
  • 2/3 cup bell pepper chopped
  • 2/3 cup cooking oil
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder salt, black pepper and red pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 4oz. Tabasco

Set the rice to cook and set aside. Sauté the onion over medium low heat in oil until almost brown. Add shallots and bell pepper, garlic powder and sauté for 10 minutes. Add smoked sausage and tomato sauce cooking for another 10 minutes. Add 3 cups water and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. Add parsley, shrimp, oysters and crab meat and cook for 15 minutes. Mixture should have a creamy texture and not to watery. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Add rice a little at a time, stirring until all the rice is mixed in. Heat over medium heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
-Dwayne Stice

Pink Lemonade Pie

  • 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (16 oz.) can pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 1 (8 oz.) container Cool Whip, thawed
  • 2 (6 oz.) prepared graham cracker crusts

In a large mixing bowl, mix together pink lemonade concentrate and sweetened condensed milk. Fold in Cool Whip. Pour mixture into graham cracker crusts. Put in the freezer for 6 hours or until stiff.
– Lauren Dalton


Birthday Party Sewing Projects!

Make a Pennant Banner or Quilt!
Pennants are crazy fun! Now, you can make some that can be used year after year! Personalize them in any way! To add some birthday charm, apply wooly cupcake buttons or these “happy birthday” appliqué pieces!

Make a 3D Pinwheel Table Runner!
A three dimensional table piece helps to create the a fun/creative environment that all birthday parties deserve!

Fabriflair Centerpiece
These joyful centerpieces really bring the party to life! Make several colors or mix and match to go with any theme!

Micro-safe Hot Holders
2 (8 ounce) packages of softened cream cheese,
2 jars of pineapple cheese and 2 jars of old English cheese all mixed together makes the perfect dip for any gathering!
*Recipe by Tammy Baker
Make this yummy dip using stylish hot holders!


Printable Photo Booth Props!

Download the props, print them, cut them out, and then come back here to post all your fun pictures so we can see!

Do you have a June or summer birthday? What is your favorite way to celebrate?