Monique’s Trunk Show

IMG_2914 A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see an old friend, Monique Dillard, and her beautiful quilts in an outdoor quilt show in Lake Villa, Illinois.

Monique’s speaking engagement and trunk show was at Common Thread Mercantile in the gazebo. Though the weather was quite chilly for July, about 60 degrees, there was no rain! Monique was able to showcase her quilts on a clothesline and the gazebo.

She brought a large number of quilts with her and spoke about how she got her start designing patterns and publishing quilt books for her company, Open Gate Quilts and designing fabric for Maywood Studios. I think Monique and I first met back in 2004 when she started teaching at my Winter Quilt Retreat. She was teaching at a quilt store in Rockford and was friends with two of my teachers – Kay and Kay. They started teaching for me a few years before that with their friend Bridget. Bridget was moving away so they suggested that Monique take her place, she was a great addition to my teaching staff.


Wine and Cheese

The first year was the only year Monique did not teach one of her original designs. This was about the time she started to put her ideas to paper – or on fabric – and the rest is history. Over the next several years, Monique joined us with something new each time – and she happened to bring some of those quilts with her for her show. Wine and Cheese was the first quilt Monique taught for us. She changed the colors in the one shown above, the original was in reds and yellows, thus the name “Wine and Cheese”. I took her class that year and really loved making this quilt. It’s one of my all-time favorites!


My Wine and Cheese

A few other favorite quilts that she taught at my retreats were Across the Ocean, Best Friends and Crazy Eights from her book Fat Quarter Winners.


Across the Ocean

Best Friends. . . mine, Ginny

Best Friends. . . mine, Ginny

Crazy Eights

Crazy Eights

Another special quilt was Circle of Friends, one of Monique’s first books. I taught this class one year as a block of the month quilt for our Itasca Firehouse group.

Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends

My version of Circle of Friends

Monique’s talk centered around the origin of her business ventures, books, patterns, fabric lines and rulers. She shared the thought process involved in the creation of her very successful ruler line, including the Fit to Be Geese and Mini Fit to Be Geese rulers. I’ve used her rulers in many projects and assure you that they make for very accurate piecing.


Monique’s Mini Fit to be Geese quilt


My Mini Fit to be Geese quilt

Monique detailed where she got her inspiration for each of the quilts, the programs that she utilizes, and the steps and timeline to getting her designs from paper to fabric. It was very inspirational for anyone aspiring to design patterns and fabric.


Monique’s presentation to the fabric company

It was so good to see Monique and especially fun to see all of her beautiful creations. She is such a talented designer. I am always waiting to see what she has in store for the future!



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