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Katie Remski

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Interview with Carolyn Friedlander about Kona Solids

Posted by Katie Remski on Dec 15, 2017 8:00:00 AM

It's no secret we love sewing with solids, but sometimes choosing colors to use and how to stash them for later can be a little overwhelming. To help us learn about using and stashing Kona Solids from Robert Kaufman, we talked to some of our favorite designers! 

Carolyn Friedlander's use of color and solids in her work always inspires us to branch out and try something new. Read on to see what she had to say about her favorite colors, how she stays organized, and why Kona is her favorite solid. 

carolyn friedlander_2_667px.jpg

How do you Stash Solids? (How much do you buy when you don't have a specific project? What's the best size to stash, etc?)

I keep solids together in their own section that I have organized by color. This makes working with them super easy. Having a couple of color cards is a must for me. I have one that I cut up and one that I keep intact. The intact card is always a great reference and overview, whereas the cut card is perfect for project and palette planning

What colors do you gravitate towards?

Pickle, Orangeade, Wasabi, Leather, Lingerie, Cantaloupe, Astral--there are so many good ones!

How do you use solids in your projects? (backgrounds, main feature, binding, etc)

I use solids any and everywhere. They're handy!

What do you love about Kona Solids?

I love the wide range of colors and the overall quality. The weight and hand are perfect.

What's one piece of advice you want to give about sewing with solids?

Kona solids are great and easy to work with. I don't usually pre-wash, but if you are using them in a way that will get handled a lot (i.e. handwork), I've found that pre-washing can help limit fraying. This tip isn't limited to Kona solids, it's handy for prints as well!

Thank you Carolyn for your tips and tricks! If you're interested in collecting all 340 Kona Solids, click here

Learn about our Kona Complete Club!

Topics: solids, Fabric, Kona solids, Robert Kaufman, carolyn friedlander, kona complete club

Why Choose Kona® Solids? (Interview with Robert Kaufman Design Team!)

Posted by Katie Remski on Dec 9, 2017 10:30:00 PM

Kona Complete Club at Pink Castle Fabrics

Learn about our Kona Complete Club!

We love sewing with solids, whether it be mixed with our favorite prints or making a modern statement with all colors. Kona solids from Robert Kaufman are a popular choice, and we love the enormous rainbow of colors and smooth cotton texture. We wanted to learn more about Kona, so we chatted with the design team at Robert Kaufman! Read on to see what they had to say about how Kona is made, how they choose colors, and more.

What are Kona Solids?

Kona® Cotton Solids were first introduced in 1984, as a solid version adjunct to an existing collection of Hawaiian print fabrics called Kona® Prints, produced on the same quality basecloth. The original dozen colors included a primary palette, geared towards the sportswear customer of the mid-'80s, the target market for the fabric at the time. Robert Kaufman's foresight into the need for solid quilting cottons came at the urging of the New England sales representative, who insisted that quilters were enjoying Kona’s signature weight in patchwork projects. The range then grew through several expansions over the years and was marketed specifically for quilters.

What kind of fabric is Kona printed on? / What makes Kona different from other solids?

Kona Cotton is based on a standard cotton sheeting construction of 20 x 20 (20 singles) yarns and 60 x 60 thread count. However, this standard construction doesn’t provide the weight or bulk that Kona® is known for. To achieve this, extra yarn was added for a custom construction, which creates a higher thread count and adds to the overall bulk of the finished product. Kona® Cotton will therefore weigh more than standard cotton sheeting. Renowned for its ‘beefy’ hand, it adds desired structure to patchwork projects while still being a delight to sew through.

Piece-dyed in lots using reactive dyes, Kona® is processed and tested according to Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, satisfying the requirements of its product class to be free and clear of harmful substances – the only solid in the market with such certification. For more info about this testing, visit

Kona is also the largest range of cotton solids at 340 SKUs.

How do you choose colors to add to the collection?

There are several factors that influence our decisions on which colors to create and add to our range. The Robert Kaufman design team monitors trends from a variety of sources, including several global forecasting firms, to anticipate exciting, new colors. When we see a color start to trend, we consider adding more to that range. We also perform a sales analysis by color family. For instance, in the last few years, there has been an increased demand for grays, which led to several new additions in our latest release.  We also listen to designer and customer and consumer requests for missing colors, and are always evaluating our current range to see if we have any gaps that could be filled.

Why should sewists choose Kona® Solids for their stash? 

As the premiere brand, of superior quality and sewability, Kona® is recognized by the industry’s leading professionals. Here’s what some of them say about Kona:

    1. Only brand with 340 colors
    2. Signature bulky authentic cotton hand
    3. Forgiving and easy to needle through
    4. Oeko-Tex certified for no hazardous chemicals

Thank you to the Robert Kaufman Kona crew for answering our questions! Stay tuned for upcoming posts on solids, and click here to check out our Limited Edition Kona Club!

See all our Kona Solids

Our new Kona Complete Club will help you collect all 340 Kona solids from Robert Kaufman! AND you will get a great discount on Kona reorders all 2018!

Learn about our Kona Complete Club!

Topics: solids, Kona solids, Robert Kaufman

Holiday Gift Guide: Hello Kitty Sewing Machines from Janome!

Posted by Katie Remski on Nov 16, 2017 1:25:35 PM
The Janome Hello Kitty machines are just $129 at Pink Castle Fabrics! What a good deal for this machine! The Janome Hello Kitty machines are just $129 at Pink Castle Fabrics! What a good deal for this machine!

One of our favorite things here at Pink Castle Fabrics is kids who sew. They come in the shop, carefully choose their favorite prints, and excitedly tell us about what they're making. With kids who sew (or want to sew!) comes a common dilemma-- what kind of machine should they have? Toy machines from big box stores break almost instantly, but you probably don't want to spend several hundred dollars for a machine that will be way over their skill level. That's why we decided to carry the Hello Kitty 15312 (blue) and 13512 (red) from Janome

 These machines are lightweight at only 13 pounds, but have aluminum framework on the inside for stability. They have 12 stitches respectively (including zigzag and machine applique stitches) and both have a 4 step buttonhole feature in case your little sewist wants to try their hand at apparel sewing. The tension and stitch length can both be adjusted so you can do topstitching or small quilting projects. The needle postiion can either be center or far left for use with the zipper foot.  The Janome Hello Kitty machines are just $129 at Pink Castle Fabrics! What a good deal for this machine!
The Janome Hello Kitty machines are just $129 at Pink Castle Fabrics! What a good deal for this machine!


Both machines come with all the notions you need to get started, including bobbins (these machines use standard Janome bobbins,) a seam ripper, extra needles, sliding buttonhole foot, blind hem foot and a zipper foot. All you'll need to add is thread and fabric! 

You can even remove the lower compartment to create a free arm, perfect for sewing around small circles like sleeve cuffs and small bags. 


The Hello Kitty Janome machines make great simple travel machines if you're looking for something to tote to classes or retreats, and are small enough to stash on a bookshelf. The hardest part of buying one of these machines? Choosing red or blue! 

Shop Hello Kitty Janome Sewing Machines!

Topics: hello kitty, Janome, kids sewing, kids, Sewing Machines, travel, air travel

How to Travel with your Sewing Machine and Supplies

Posted by Katie Remski on Oct 13, 2017 10:57:36 AM

How to travel with your sewing supplies

With Glamp Stitchalot just a few weeks away, it's time to think about packing! It can be nerve wracking to take your sewing machine away from home, so we thought we'd share with you a few tips for safely traveling with your sewing machine and sharp supplies!  

For Air Travel

  • According to the TSA website (link below,) the biggest concern for sewing machine travel is size. As long as it fits in the overhead bin or under the seat you are good to bring your machine as a carry on. If it doesn't fit in either place, you'll have to bring it as checked luggage. 
  • Remove needle from machine and put it with your hand sewing needles and pins. It may seem like overkill, but any sharp, pointy object can raise a red flag at TSA, and it might just make life easier to take it out. 
  • Really, you'll want to avoid checking your sewing machine luggage. It's always the safest (and cheapest) bet to bring it as a carry on. You don't need to bring a super fancy machine to Glamp Stitchalot-- just something that reliably sews both straight and zigzag stitches. 

Sharp stuff: 

  • Hand sewing pins and needles are okay to take in carry on luggage as long as they're secure, such as in a latched box or soft needle book. 
  • Scissors under 4" long can be taken in carry on luggage as long as they're in a sheath or case. Any bigger and they need to be in checked bags. No circular thread cutters are allowed on planes, even those little rings with a bladed notch for thread clippings. 
  • Rotary cutters are typically not allowed in carry on luggage. The easiest way to deal with this is to remove the blade from the tool, take the handle as carry on, and purchase a new blade when you arrive at Glamp (discard the blade before your return trip.) We will also have some Olfa rotary cutters available at each cutting station during the classes.

Here's a link to the TSA website:

For Car Travel:

  • Try storing some of your fabric for the trip inside your sewing machine case, rolling it around the machine to help pad it in case of tipping or bumps. 
  • Use a magnetic pin box for pins and needles so there's no risk of spillage 
  • Stash a plastic trash bag with you so you can cover your machine/case with something waterproof in case of 

 General Considerations for Both:

  • You'll need to haul your machine through the airport four times over the course of the trip or in/out of your car, and sewing machines tend to be a bit heavy. We reccommend a case with wheels (as long as it still fits in an overhead or under the seat compartment) such as the Tutto. If a wheeled case won't work, a sturdy bag with comfortable shoulder straps is best. Janome makes a sewing machine tote, and Jeni Baker has a great pattern for a roomy and strong tote you can make. 
  • If you really enjoy going on retreats or just want to be able to sew on vacation or out of town trips, a small-ish, light sewing machine is a good investment, especially if your at-home machine is very large or expensive. 

Topics: Glamp Stitchalot, Janome, glamp 4, flying with a sewing machine, travel, air travel, retreat

How to Create a Mosaic for Glamp Stitchaswap

Posted by Katie Remski on Oct 6, 2017 1:09:25 PM

Sewing swaps are always fun, and creating a mosaic (AKA, mood board or collage) of your personal style can really help your swap buddy to make something that's perfect for you. For our Glamp Stitchalot 2017 pouch swap (affectionately named Glamp Stitchaswap,) we highly recommend making an inspirational mosaic to post on Instagram to help your swap partner make something you'll love and use. Creating an inspiration mosaic is easy with a few steps and the right app-- let's get started! 

1. Find images

The best part of creating an inspiration mosaic is finding pictures! Use the Pinterest app (it's free-- just sign up with your email) to find pictures that represent "you"-- here's a few guidelines of what's most helpful for your partner:

--photos of a favorite color combo, like purple and teal or black and pink

--photos of prints you love, like stripes, dots or florals

--general "mood' pictures you think convey your personal style 

Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog


2. Save images to phone

Here's how to save images from Pinterest to your phone: 

Tap on the image in Pinterest. Then tap the 3 dots at the top middle of the screen. 

Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog
Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog Tap "Download image." The photo is now saved to your phone's camera roll. Remember before you leave the pin-- see where it came from and make a note of it so you can credit the source later. 

3. Make collage in "Layout" app 

Layout is a free companion app for Instagram that lets you make collages. Download it to your phone if you haven't already. Once the app is open, just tap all the photos you want to be in your mosaic. You can then swipe through the upper row of sample collages to choose the one you like best. 

Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog
Layout Mosaic How To Pink Castle Fabrics Blog Now you can adjust the sizes and "drag and drop" photos to change their position. Hit "save" when you're done and the mosaic will appear in your phone's camera roll, ready to be posted to Instagram! 

4. Post to Instagram!

Now you're ready to post-- here's what you need to write in your caption: 

--credits for each photo, if you can find them, such as "rainbow bundle: Pink Castle Fabrics". It's good internet manners. 

--the hashtags #glampstitchaswap and #glampstitchalot2017 

Optional info to include: 

--names of favorite designers (Tula Pink, Lizzy House, Cotton+Steel, etc) 

--other fun information, like your favorite animal, your love of coffee, your non-sewing hobbies, etc! 

mosaic sample Pink Castle Fabrics





Topics: Bags, Glamp Stitchalot, glamp, pouch sewing, stitchaswap, pouch

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