Wednesday, June 02, 2010

a solid question

I have never ever sewn with solid fabrics*. Tone-on-tones, watercolor batiks, hand-dyes... but never solids. Since reading Cherri House's new "City Quilts" book, I've been thinking a lot about solids and I have a few questions for you, my faithful and informed readers!

- what is your favorite brand / line of solids?
- how on earth do you choose colors from all that are available?
- favorite place to shop for them?
- anything else you want to say?

* except for the occasional Kona black or snow background for swap blocks

p.s. photo "borrowed" from; I want a stack like that!


Sheila said...

I don't usually buy solids, so I'm curious to hear what others have to say, too. I think from a quality standpoint, I would buy charm packs of the different brands to see which I liked best. One good thing: solids seem to be less expensive! I found some Kona at Hobby Lobby the other day, and it had a nicer hand than that purchased from Hancocks.

Nancy said...

I LOVE Kona cotton... I get it from Jackie at Canton Village Quilt Works online and also from Hobby Lobby locally.

Paula, the quilter said...

I've been re-organizing the stash and finding solids. Now that they are all together, I realized how many I have. I am not sure what I'm going to do with them. May be I'll over dye in a low immersion dye bath so I have mottled colors. I'll use them that way.

sophie said...

Kaufman's Kona Cotton comes in so many colors that you'll always be able to find the color you want. You can order a color card–I got mine from Hancocks of Paducah–if you want to see all the colors in the line alive and in person (actual fabric swatches).

Some other solids that I like and that have more of a hand-dyed quality (even though they are solids without any texture) are Primose Gradations and Cherrywood Fabrics.

The Cherrywood fabrics have a sueded quality, Primose Gradations seem to be a finer cotton and the Kona Cottons have a beefy quality that some people find a little thick, especially for stuff like needleturn appliqué.

Amy said...

After a lot of research I found that the Fabric Shack has the lowest prices on Kona cottons and pretty reasonable shipping rates. They also have built in options in case they don't have as much as you wanted (send nothing, send what you have, or leave comments with other instructions). How to pick colors? Get a color card -- this is really helps to at least narrow it down. I got mine from Pink Chalk fabrics, but they go out of stock very quickly!

chq said...

I love that everyone is talking about solids! Personally, I highly recommend Kona Cotton Solids, Moda's selection of Bella Solids is very nice, and their color selection is continually growing. Beware of the lesser quality brands available at JoAnn's...I bought some by mistake, and they were horrible to much lint, and practically paper thin.
Good luck in your quest!


Libby Fife said...

Well, I have a lot to say about this. Shocking right? So, color fastness matters and Kona is great fro this. RJR is not nearly as reliable.

Online, go to Hancocks of Paducah both for the price and they also sell a color swatch chart. Locally, Stone Mountain and Daughter has a pretty good selection.

As far as all of the colors go, the value thing really matters. Also, tints, tones, shades, and pures-whichever one you choose- really stands out. That is why I think the swatch chart is helpful.

Equilter is also a good source though their shipping is a tad high. More reliable stock than Hancocks though.

I agree too about the solids at Joanne's-stink-a-roo.

The Calico Cat said...

Hands down KONA. (You can get some at Joanns - very limited & you have to read the bolt cores - you can use a coupon.)

Moda Bella is o.k. too - stay away from RJR & other brands.

Depends on what kind of quilt I am making... When I made Plain Spoken (pattern by Ringle & Kerr of Fun Quilts) I got EVERY green, peach, & fuscia I could find - Kona or not. (many tints, tones, shades were necessary to make that pattern SING!) From what I have seen of Cherri House's quilts, this seems to be her take as well. (She has quite a few quilts on flickr.) & I Need to ask my husband what happened to my copy of that book....

For use with novelites, I pull ROYGBV & expand as necessary into brown, light blue/dark blue, pink/maroon, butter yellow, etc. (Again more the merry.)
Ash is a go to for sashing when I use a wide variety of colors.

Jackie - at Canton Village Quilt works sells Kona at a great price.

I will "never" go back to tonals in lieu of solids.

Darcie said...

I've got no advice, but I'm applauding loudly!!!

I've been hand dyeing fabric for about 7 years (yikes...that long already?) so I totally appreciate the artistry of the solid or solid-reading fabrics. I feel that there's just such drama and depth to solids. They're luscious.

Like I said, no advice...just full-on support! ;-) Enjoy the journey, Julie!

Barb said...

I, too, always use Kona solids. I really love how they feel and I always get them at my local quilt shop. Gotta support the small shops.

Mom said...

I love the variety of Moda Bellas, they are also very nice quality. For white and ivory, I prefer the Kona's as they are heavier and rogue threads do not show through.

Joyce said...

I haven't worked much with solids but after reading the comments I want to order some Kona solids and give it a try.

Brenda Gael Smith said...

I bought 100+ yards of Kona cotton solids online from Hancocks of Paducah for a workshop that I did with Nancy Crow in 2006. I'm still trying to use them up! They provide graphic results and the fabric handled well. Hancocks actually labelled each bundle with the name of the hue ("kiwi", "mango" etc). I'm not sure that is standard practice but it was appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I buy the Kona solids. I can't find any other brand of solids as all my buying is online. Since I mainly paint on these fabrics it does not matter what colors I buy.