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!