Pink Castle Blog

5 Different Ways to Use Solid Fabrics in a Quilt

Posted by Katie Remski on Jan 22, 2018 8:45:00 AM
  

Solid fabrics are undoubtedly essential in every stash, but sometimes it's hard to know how to best utilize them in quilts. Maybe you don't like solids, or only see them as background fabric, or just aren't sure how best to incorporate them into your quilts. Here's 5 of our favorite ways to use solid fabrics!

1. Use solids as a background

Maybe the most common use for solid fabrics, a smooth, unobtrusive background lets the prints shine and provides a place for the eye to rest between blocks. For this quilt made by Brenda using Liberty of London Tana Lawn, the white offers a separation of the very detailed prints so each one can be appreciated without distraction.

Liberty of London Quilt at Pink Castle Fabrics
Chocolatier BOM at Pink Castle Fabrics

2. Make the solids your focus by using a print background

For an interesting twist on tradition, try using a print background and use solids for the feature elements in your blocks. Here in the Chocolatier quilt by AnneMarie Chany, solids make the blocks look graphic and bright while the busy print background keeps the eye moving away from pesky background seams. Look at how the custom quilting shines within the solid spaces!

3. Use a solid where you would have used a print

It can be tempting to pack as many favored prints as possible into one quilt, but adding in a few solids actually gives the prints a greater impact. In this half-square triangle quilt (made by me!) white and blush pink solids are randomly scattered throughout the blocks, allowing the subtle prints and hand quilting to pop. If you want to showcase your most precious stashed prints, adding a few solids next to them will boost their impact.

Good Hair Day Baby Quilt at Pink Castle Fabrics

Aura Quilt Kits at Pink Castle Fabrics

4. Use only solids

Without prints to distract the eye, all-solid quilts look clean and smooth. Solids give you the opportunity to play with color value, hue, and shade to create interesting shapes and even optical illusions. The Aura Quilt by Nydia Kenhle uses a balance of bright and neutral Kona Solids to make her quilt look complex (though it's contstruction is anything but) yet still modern.

5. Use solids for backing/binding

Using one solid fabric as the backing for your quilts lets you emphasize a color from the quilt top, like this stunning emerald green (similar color here.) Sometimes I use solid backings because I want to use a favorite color in a pure, unobtrusive way. Solids also help show off interesting quilting. This photo is the same quilt as #1-- now you can really see the floral quilting! You can also see the binding is the same white as the background, which prevents a hard visual outline around the quilt that can sometimes be distracting. 

Liberty of London Quilt at Pink Castle Fabrics

Thank you to all of you who contributed to our solid fabric survey. Stay tuned for more posts about how to use this essential part of every stash. 

All Solids in Stock!

Topics: Liberty of London, Gen X Quilters, Lecien, solids, Quilting, Fabric, quilt finishing, Kona solids, Robert Kaufman, solid fabric, cotton

Interview with Karen Lewis about Kona Solids

Posted by Katie Remski on Jan 12, 2018 8:00:00 AM
  

t'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! 

Karen Lewis knows Kona-- she's the designer behind the ever-popular Blueberry Park collection, printed on Kona cotton! Read on to see what she had to say about her favorite colors, how she stays organized, and why Kona is her favorite solid. 

karen lewis.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 stash bolts! Mostly I buy solids to use for my screen printing and I like to have it to hand for when I do a run of a certain color.

What colors do you gravitate towards?

I enjoy greys, teals and mustards. I try and mix it up and try new colors, but I always seem to lean towards those...usually with some pale pinks, peaches and orchid thrown in.

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

I mainly use solids as backgrounds in my projects.

What do you love about Kona Solids?

I love the amazing range of color available with Kona Solids. I love that I can always find the exact color I need. I love the handle of Kona too. I don't prewash fabric...I know, I'm a rebel!...and I love the crispness that Kona gives to my stitching.

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

Don’t be afraid of solids. See them come to life when you piece them together and see the magic when you quilt over the top of them.

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

Learn about our Kona Complete Club!

Topics: Kona solids, Robert Kaufman, kona complete club, solid fabric, blueberry park, karen lewis

Interview with Jennifer Sampou about Kona Solids

Posted by Katie Remski on Dec 29, 2017 8:00:00 AM
  
 

t'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! 

Jennifer Sampou knows the perfect balance of intricate, artistic prints and simple solids! Read on to see what she had to say about her favorite colors, how she stays organized, and why Kona is her favorite solid

 jennifer sampou.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 use large, stackable see through bins from the container store, then fold my Kona colors and arrange by color families. They look like books on a shelf and I can see a spine of every color.

What colors do you gravitate towards?

I love all the colors, it just depends on my mood and the season. But I always incorporate neutrals and muddies. I'm not a rainbow palette only girl.

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

I use solids everywhere. I mix them with my prints and yarn dyes as both a feature and as backgrounds.

What do you love about Kona Solids?

I absolutely love the consistency in color from lot to lot and of course, the expansive palette.

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

Try to use wide range of colors and values, because you can! Kona Cottons are stocked more than prints ever will be!

Thank you Jennifer 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, Kona solids, Robert Kaufman, kona complete club, solid fabric, jennifer sampou

Interview with Elizabeth Hartman about Kona Solids

Posted by Katie Remski on Dec 22, 2017 8:00:00 AM
  

t'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! 

Elizabeth Hartman's colorful critters rely on different shades to create fun, well-defined characters. Read on to see what she had to say about her favorite colors, how she stays organized, and why Kona is her favorite solid. 

Bio Photo-1.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 rarely buy solids without a particular project in mind. When I do, I like to get at least 1 yard of each color.

What colors do you gravitate towards?

I prefer strong colors, usually bolder more saturated colors.

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

I like to use Essex linen blend for backgrounds and Kona, with print fabrics, in my blocks. I find that including solid fabrics with prints is a great way to emphasize and highlight prints - more so than using all print all the time.

What do you love about Kona Solids?

The range of colors!

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

Seek to coordinate, not match. When selecting a solid color to go with a print, a color that is a little different (more saturated, a little darker, a slightly different hue, etc.) will tend to create a richer composition than something made with all the same tones.

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

Learn about our Kona Complete Club!

Topics: Kona solids, Robert Kaufman, kona complete club, solid fabric, elizabeth hartman

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

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