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September 19, 2010


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Mary Ann

Just bought 18 yds of solids today at a shop near me that carries 100+ Konas. And I've bought about 10 yds of grunge lately too. I have always used some in my quilts but your book and some of the "modern" blogs have me expanding my view. I think I might buy more online if I could get my hands on the Kona color card!

Lisa Kay

I am just starting to buy more solids. Mostly Kona, as that is the easiest to find here. I am just starting to make more modern/less traditional quilts and I love the look of solids. I also like the shot cottons (years ago I lived in India and fell in love with shot silks) but there aren't many in our LQS's. I'd like a bigger assortment of solids, otherwise I'll need to go on line. I think my biggest influences have been FunQuilts (Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr) and now you!


I get Kona solids at a nearby Hobby Lobby and then some at Canton Village QuiltWorks online.
I Love them...and I am using a piece of medium gray linen right now...
I don't have a ton of them as I just started to buy. I do have two charm packs..a jelly roll and fat quarter pack of solids.. oh..and a fat quarter pack of solid in all shades of yellow...
I've never used anything but Kona, but that is because of the availability..

Eileen Gianiodis

I just started buying more solids. I've stuck mainly with Kona cottons and purchased them at JoAnns and my local quilt shop, but I did just get a pack of Kaufman solids in the posiedon blues. I have to admit that I'm not really comfortable using them yet, but I'm working hard to get more comfortable. For some reason I always think that a print will hide something (not sure what). But, that's why I bought your book! I've probably got 15-20 yards of solids right now. I'd really like to see more quilts in my stores with solids AND to have them available in fat quarters, or precuts. ALSO, have more of them and label them clearly, there's nothing more frustrating than thinking you've got the right gray and getting home to realize it's the next shade down, or up. Arrh.


I buy mostly Kona Cotton because that's what's available locally. Even so, I have to buy it at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn Fabrics because none of the closer LQS's carry much in the way of solids. I have 9 quilt shops within 30 miles, and only one carries solids (and of course it's the one at the farthest distance). I've purchased a few Moda Bella Solids, although I haven't worked with them yet. I have a decent stash of solids, maybe 30 yards. I'd love to try shot cottons and some of the other near solids you mention. I have used linen but not in quilts, just in purses. Unfortunately, economy, fabric diet, you know the story. My fabric stash is large enough that I feel guilty buying more.

If I could get a message to the LQS's in my area, I'd ask them to PLEASE carry a wider variety of solids and near-solids, especially in colors that appeal to me. Of course, that goes for all fabrics, not just solids. Despite the large number of shops near me, they focus on the more traditional colors and prints.


I LOVE your houses! What a great quilt!
My solids stash is pretty sparse, really. I buy solids in quantities to work into specific projects, but don't really have solids sitting in my stash, like I do prints. I buy mostly Kona, just because it is easier to find...and I buy mostly online (except for white) because my local shop doesn't carry a whole lot of variety.


Love your Houses’ quilt!

As you know I live in The Netherlands. The only solid fabric I know is Kona cotton, which I mostly buy online and sometimes at a quiltstore, but not a local one. I’ve bought some fat 8th’s of shot cottons, but I don’t know the brand and I love to use linen. The fabric they sell at my LQS is Quilters Shadow by STOF A/S, this is my favourite (almost) solid fabric. The feel, the shades.
I’m comfortable using solids now and my stash is growing, but not nearly as big as the printed fabrics stash.
I bought a Kona Cotton colourcard online and I guess I can buy 10% of the colours on the card overhere.
I would like to tell my LQS and other quilt stores in The Netherlands to offer more solids, because it would be great to choose from a wider range of solids.
I also would tell them (again) that working with solids only is not dull!!!

Anne D

The house quilt looks great and I am going to try your technique for HST in Sunday best although I will probably make a smaller version.

I buy solids online because fabric is very expensive in Austalia.I like kona cottens but I also like the near solids.
I love batiks and would love to make one of your solid quilts using batiks. It is on my list of things I must do!


I'm in Australia too. I find buying solids really hard - most local stores have a limited selection, and I always want a really particular shade, and often multiple shades of the same colour, which they just dont have in stock. But then when I try buying online, trying to view the colours online is always so difficult, thats not really ideal either!

I'm a fan of the crossweaves and shot cottons, but i'm not a fan of other near-solids.


I rarely use solids. I prefer a more textured look to my quilts. That being said, I did purchase your City Quilts book and I am rethinking the solid thing. I try to buy from my LQS so they can stay in business but I have bought online when I couldn't find what I wanted in the shops here.

Mary P

1. Where do you buy your solids? My LQS doesn't carry a very large selection (<20) of solids, so I buy them online instead.

2. Favorite brands? I use mostly Kona but have found the Moda Bella ones to be nice too.

3. Do you use strictly solids, or do you use near solids as well? I love the Moda Cross-Weave and the Fassett shot cottons. They give a nice feel without being straight solid.

4. Are you comfortable using solids? Not totally.

5. How big is your stash of solids? About 10% of my stash.

6. Is there anything that you would like your quilt store to know; in regards to solids, their use, and their availability? Even if it is not feasible for a shop to carry all the solids available, having more is helpful, as well as having a color card for a variety of brands would be helpful. That way you can still match up when you are selecting fabrics. It would also be nice to see more examples of solids being used in quilt samples.

Robin (rsislandcrafts)

I prefer to buy solids locally but if I see something I love online I will buy there also. I prefer patterned solids but do also use straight solids. When I buy white I prefer something with a pattern in it to soften the white a bit. I don't fear solids simply because I don't know any better. I like the way a solid looks in a quilt even one that is all solids. I have gone through most of my solids so I'm almost ready for a shopping spree. I would love to have more choices in ranges of colors. I would like to make some same color quilts but in different shades of the same fabric. I can find main colors like blue but I would like some more choices of the other colors of the spectrum.


I am beginning to use solids (other than white!) and I love the look of them! I like that Kona solids come in FQBs...and wish that some of the other distributors would do the same. Moda has some precuts available, but not really in the quantity that kaufman has. I like that RK offers a bunch of colors all really close together...rather than a pack of yellow, red, blue, etc.

I too, like some of the other commenters, wish that quilt shops would CLEARLY LABEL their solids in the store. Get real people...we look online before we shop. That is the reality of today's world. However, I like to support local businesses when I can, so I go to the store to look for it cause I want it right then! BE SMART...have the name of your products right on the bolt! It is SOOOOO frustrating to either purchase something incorrectly, or think that you've got it right, only to drive home and have just purchased 2 yards of the wrong shade of green...

That sounded mean...but lately I've been really annoyed by local shops that act mad when we look online at products. I LOVE going to a local shop...I just think that more of them need to be realistic about the times that we live in these days...

Kim M.

I have tried to buy solids at LQS but they don't carry a large selection and never have the colors I want. They have lots of pastels but no brights. I bought a Kona color card from Pink Chalk fabrics and I have ordered from her as well. So far I have only used Kona and Moda solids, but I prefer Kona. I have a few in my stash but mostly I bought them for a project I am working on from the Modern Quilt Workshop book. I would love to see the LQS carry solids that coordinate with the more modern, brighter colors that we are seeing from Amy Butler, Momo, Anna Maria, etc.

Nancy Lewis

Have just started using solids. Loved your book, so I had to make one. Actually, I did buy your pattern for City Park at my LQS. Although my LQS does carry Kona cottons, their selection is limited. Buy my solids online at Fabric Depot. They also carry Fat Quarter bundles so my stash of solids is growing. Love the House quilt.

Heather F

Online or Joann's as my LQS doesn't carry them. Since I love your book, I am desperate for solids now. I haven't made a quilt yet, but I am slowly adding solids to my stash and after Christmas projects, that is what I am going to work on next!

Cheryl Arkison

I can see why you like that! Fantastic.
True confession, this quilt appeals to me more than a straight solid quilt does. I feel like it has more depth.

Thanks to you, I am just starting to use solids. I'm not sold on them yet, but I am open to them. To answer your questions:

1. Mostly online, but I have bought some white/snow for backgrounds at my LQS. But truthfully, they have a a very small collection, if at all.
2. I've only worked with the Kona solids, in organic, and Kaffe Shot cottons. Love those shot cottons.
3. My preference is for near solids, like in your quilt above.
4. I wouldn't say I'm comfortable, yet. But I'm certainly willing to experiment. I do like the purity of colour from so many of them.
5. Small. Less than 10 colours.
6. I can imagine it is tough for a LQS to carry a lot of solids. I would suggest they carry colour cards/samples with the promise to order. If that is feasible for the store.

Dianne Ritter

1)I prefer to frequent LQShops, online is a last resort. 2)I have worked with shot cottons, linen, kona and Moda solids a little bit (a solid in amongst prints)3)I prefer near solids as they have more depth however I am in love with so many solid fabric quilts and projects of late that I may have to conquer my fear of solids! 4)So I guess that is no I'm not overly comfy with working with solids....yet. 5)My current stash of solids is small but growing. 6)My LQShops have a small selection of solids and don't tend to carry more than one shade of each colour.Would like to see more linen/cotton blends in stores and rather than having a lot of single colour bolts perhaps having a few colours with a range of shades so it is easier to work with them. Thanks for asking!


1. Where do you buy your solids? I buy my solids online, at Joann’s and at several LQS locally.
2. Favorite brands? Kona is the most prevalent, and you can buy the color card at Hancock’s of Paducah so you can select the hue you need. My favorite solids belong to P&B. They are less thick than Kona, and have a lovely hand. The LQS used to carry quite a few, but alas, they are under new management… haven’t tried the Moda Bella line yet, but may soon invest in a few.
3. Do you use strictly solids, or do you use near solids as well.. I use what works and what I like. I hadn’t seen the Grunge line, after seeing House’s House, might have to find me some.
4. Are you comfortable using solids? Yes
5. How big is your stash of solids? Probably about a sixth of my stash.
6. Is there anything that you would like your quilt store to know; in regards to solids, their use, and their availability? I would love to find a quilt store, either on line or locally, that carries the entire line of P&B solids. (their chartreuse is gorgeous!)


1. LQS. I have to see and touch.
2. KONA!
3. I use whatever gives me the perfect shade.
4. Absolutely
5. Solids are about 1/3 by volume.
6. The closer a shop stocks a full spectrum of color the happier I am to make the journey.


I love solids (and near solids). I would love to buy them at my LQS, (being able to see the color in person would be great) but the ones near me don't stock many so I buy most online, (Kona mostly)

I'm very comfortable with them - and use solid, or solid-reading fabrics far more than big/bold patterns. Though I usually use them as part of a mix.

Not sure on the yardage - about an 1/8th of my stash, looking at the shelf. Not counting the one's that are pulled out for the various "i could make this" piles, or the white that lives permanently next to the cutting mat.

Ruth Oblinski

I buy my solids on line.
I love Kona cotton.
I have just been looking at the Grunge line and want to start with getting a bunch of half yards of them.
I am very comfortable using solids.
My stash of solids is pretty extensive
I wish I could find more stores that carry the "whole" line of one solid or semi solid


I have just begun collecting, so I have mostly smaller pieces of solids right now - but lots of colors.

I use Kona and Moda Bella - I just don't like working with wovens, but I will use Grunge if I have it.

I buy all my fabrics online and search really hard for the best prices.


I want to love solids, but I think I'm more comfortable with the "almost solid" lines -- I have lots of quilt shops around, but the selection of solids and almosts seems better online. My stash of them is still pretty small but I'm always being inspired by your photos!


I buy solid solids. When I go to the store I usually pick up a "pretty color" or two (whatever suits my mood that day) and add it to my stash. Most of the times I have no project in mind for what I'm buying. When I work on a project I ALWAYS manage to find something in my stash that is a perfect solid to finish out my project. Funny how that works...I wish stores would carry ALL colors of solids from kona or whomever. I would just like them all in one place so I can compare colors side by side.

Chris Clark

1. Where do you buy your solids? Online or LQS - mostly online as availability at my LQS is limited, and usually only some Moda Bella, no Kona.
2. Favorite brands? Kona, though I also like the Kaufmann and Moda Bella solids.
3. Do you use strictly solids, or do you use near solids as well? It depends on the project. I love the Fassett shot cottons (but haven't seen them locally ever and I love the Essex linen blend (It's either Michael Miller or Robert Kaufmann, can't remember). I find that near solids make great additions to quilts too, they can give nice texture without adding distraction to an already busy pattern.
4. Are you comfortable using solids? yes
5. How big is your stash of solids? not very at the moment as I have used most of them up. Usually the only time I see them they are in big FQ bundles. I would LOVE to buy those but it's usually not in the budget. So being able to pick up just a few FQs or some yardage would be more suited to my shopping style.
6. Is there anything that you would like your quilt store to know; in regards to solids, their use, and their availability? I love solids! Since I frequently end up ordering online anyway, I think if my LQS had a Kona color card and the ability to get an order in relatively quickly (maybe a week or less) I'd be happy to order from them instead of someplace like fabric.com if I knew about it. Also, I'd love the opportunity to hold a Kona color card in my hands before buying one... so it might be something to stock if the shop was willing to take orders for individual colors.


I love your house quilt and can't wait to see it quilted. I love the look of solids. I'm trying to build my stash but it seems the local shops around here just have the basic red, navy, white, etc... so I think it will turn to an online purchase. I have been inspired by recent blogs, Fun Quilts, and Gwen Marston's books. I have been buying Kona. One shop owner told me that another solid they have started carrying has a sheen to it and some people don't care for that.


This quilt made me think about all the recent foreclosures, (pause to wipe tears with kleenex). It is a beautiful, beautiful quilt. So many little, plain, solid houses, each one unique, each one so alone in its little square, and so simple, no sign of humans and no decor. Each house, a precious home for somebody, with all their hopes and dreams.

I love solids and I get them online, so far just Kona yardage. I love your work. You are exceptionally talented and inspiring.

Pamela Davis

Your houses are gorgeous! I have favorite online stores, LQS, and visit quilt shows; these places always have my favorite solids. My first quilt, a 110x110 bed quilt is an Amish Rainbow - beautiful, colorful Kona Solids with Kona Black background (circa 1997) to my latest mystery quilt last month, also Kona solids/black! My favorite is Kaffe Fassett's Cotton Shots! beautiful irridescent solids! One third of my very large stash is solids. The fabulous fabrics you use are in my future...lol! Oh I must mention that I really enjoy hand-dyed solids as well. The purchase at the quilt show this past weekend with be used to build my house quilt! Thanks for the inspiration!
big hugz


I don't use many solids, yet use many near solids and tonals. The few solids I've purchased were Kona cottons from Joann's. The near solids and tonals were from LQS, Wal-Mart, online, and Joann's - no single source. Wish I could find these at a lower price point (when shipping is factored in for online). I like marbles. I am somewhat afraid of solids because my handquilting is not the best.

Barb in MI

Only recently started buying & using soilds. Mainly Kona from JAF. So far strictly soilds, but am trying some variations with Kona dimensional (in the mail). Getting more comfortable with solids; usually still more a background fabric for me. Stash is small and I constantly run out... Haven't really seen too many shop examples with solids only. In fact I don't remember a single one. Hm, may be my choice of LQS though.


1. I buy solids at the LQS, but I'm considering going online for more variety of colours.
2. No favourite brands, I check the quality by eye each time.
3. I don't care for near solids. A lot of quilting cottons look cheap, coarse and a bit 80s to me. Near solids especially. All that Liberty Lawn has spoiled me.
4. I love solids!
5. I don't have a big stash of solids because I am drawn to garish patterns and 60s style. I also recycle a lot, so there often isn't much choice.
6. I'd love to see a greater range of colours available locally. That would make me buy lots more rather than having to dye it myself or wait til I find it secondhand.

Donna C

1.I buy most of my solids (which I have yet to use) at Joanns since they carry Kona and it is close enough to my house to make frequent use of the 40 or 50% discount. That said, I just bought an array online to begin the stash building when it was on sale.
2. Kona
3. Not familiar with shot cotton. Would love to try linen.
4. Are you comfortable using solids? Don't know yet but love the modern edge they provide.
5. How big is your stash of solids? Only about 8-10 yards thus far
6. Carry more if possible. My LQS carries very few.


Hi There, I have to tell you even though, I am not the biggest fan of traditional I LOVE the quilts you design! They are amazing and beautiful (and easy)!!!


1. I buy solids wherever I can find them! A local shop carries about 100 of the Kona Cottons, and there is Hobby Lobby but they don't carry much variety and some of their Kona feels a little "different". Most of the solids I buy are online ~ in at least 1/2 yard increments.

I've tried to be good about labeling the pieces as they come through so that I have my own "sample book" of sorts. Even though I've bought color cards when I see them, nothing beats having a larger piece for "auditioning" colors and color schemes.

2. Kona Cotton, Moda Bella Solids, Kaffe Shot Cottons, the Amy Butler solids, anybody who does a good quality fabric with great color, I'm there!

3. When I started quilting, I used a lot of solids as they were readily available ~ it was the 80s and Amish quilts were huge, the market for prints was "limited" so solids were easy to find, though not in the colors we get today. I then got into making quilts with a lot of print ~ I like A LOT of print going on in my quilts, but of late, I've had the itch to work with all/predominantly solids again so I've been collecting Kona Cottons, Kaffe's Shot Cottons, Moda Bella Solids and whatever else I find. While I tend to prefer the true solids, the color and look of the near solids is amazing. While I've only seen a few pieces of the Quilter's Linen, I really like it and hope to find more of that.

4. Very. And I have no idea why. :)

5. Big and getting bigger. (Shhh... don't tell but it's probably closing in on 100 total yards already.)

6. Yes! If they're going to carry it, I would like to see them go "all in". If they're going to carry Bella Solids, carry all the colors, not just a dozen or so. The same goes for Shot Cottons, Quilter's Linen, whatever. And make the commitment to re-ordering those colors/pieces when they run out. I would also tell them that that they need to get someone who is comfortable working with solids to have a class or make up a small kit. It isn't hard and the patterns can be something they already have, something that worked well for them in prints.

One of my favorite things about working with solids is that you can take a very old-fashioned, very traditional quilt made with lots and lots of prints and remake it with all solid fabrics for a very different look. The quilt has the same contemporary feel that Amish quilts do. Even better, depending on the color scheme, the quilt can be "urban", "funky", "mod" or "sophisticated".
Is there anything that you would like your quilt store to know; in regards to solids, their use, and their availability?

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