A Solid Frustration

I’ve had to slow down on my set of broken herringbone blocks, as I’ve run out of Bella Solids bleached white. That two yards went crazy quick! I contemplated using another similar white, but I learned when making my baby quilts that in the right light you can definitely see the colour variations. Oddly, the white homespun from my LQS is more of a bleached white than the Bella. By, comparison, the Bella looks positively eggshell. I’m also not entirely happy with the quality; it’s just, in a word: okay. I figure if I’m gonna pay more money for a solid, I want it to prove its worth. So now, I’ll be forced to buy more to finish all of these blocks, even though I want to migrate. That is so dull. 
What’s your favorite brand of solid to use? Bella Solids, Michael Miller Couture Cottons, Robert Kaufman Kona, Art Gallery Pure Elements, or have I missed another? I’ve only used Bella and Kona and so far Kona is winning. Frustratingly, my LQS has none of these, and they are typically hard to find in Australia. 

I don’t even think I can wait for the Magic Suitcase to arrive. I may have to make an order … Oh dear, I just had a quick glance around and everywhere is sold out! Maybe that’s a sign, should I just make the move and then use White Out on these strips?

25 Responses

  1. Vera says:

    Those blocks are just lovely! No advice on the solids though.

  2. *Cornelia* says:

    so in love with your blocks, and for the solids, I just buy Kona, and I really love them

  3. Oh the blocks are looking so fab! How frustrating to be out of the white solid! Try Fabric Patch for an Aussie shop that stocks Bella Solids (just had a quick squiz – they have Bleached white in stock. Not cheap though).

    I tend to go with Kona solids – and get mine from Fabric Shack because of the cheap shipping 😉

  4. Kelly says:

    Kona wins for me, but you can get colour variation from bolt to bolt as well.

  5. All the bee whites would have been different. I wouldn't sweat it.

  6. I use Kona because it is available from my localish fabric shop. And I agree with LilOlFrankie, just use whatever you can get and then scatter them around the design. It could seem intentional then.

  7. I love the Kona white. Always have a few yards on hand. :-))

  8. Kelly Young says:

    love your broken herringbones, and I completely understand the reticence to mix your whites. I have done that before, and you're right- you can definitely see the difference in certain lights. I absolutely adore Kona solids. I love the feel of them, and I love the huge variety of color options.

    I hope you get some additional white fabric soon so you can get those blocks finished. I hate when I get all excited about a project and get stymied if I run out of something!

    Happy Monday sewing!

    🙂 Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

  9. Lee says:

    I mostly use Kona, but that's because it's the easiest for me to get, and the least expensive. But I think the highest quality solids are Art Gallery Pure Elements and Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids. Both are super soft.

    My recommendation is to pick a white you're happy with and buy it by the bolt. : ) Most places offer a discount if you buy the whole bolt, and then you always have plenty on hand! I'm averaging two bolts a year at this point. LOL.

  10. Auntie Pami says:

    Hello, sad to run out of something you love. I totally get that. I'll send you a msg on FB.

  11. Julie says:

    I always use Kona. I have heard, in comparison, Kona is rough compared to Micheal Miller Couture Solids but I can live with that. Unless getting an ugly or almost ugly color, I always buy Kona solids by the bolt. In the back of my mind, I think if I have to use it to back a quilt with, it will force me to really work hard on my quilting. (That hasn't happened yet though). Let me know if you can't find the Bella solids – I may be able to help you out.

  12. Marta S. says:

    My faves are definitely Kona and Art Gallery solids (the AG solids are so beautiful and richly saturated). I've felt Michael Miller Couture and thought it was lovely too but haven't yet used it.

  13. Anne says:

    I tend to go with Kona solids because the price + variety sits well with me. I've used Cotton Coutures in the past, and I actually don't enjoy sewing with them as much because they're on the slippery side. They also have a visible sheen that makes it hard to see the color. That may die down after washing though.
    As for art gallery solids, those are nice as well. MUCH tighter weave than Konas but the price is the same as a print. So Kona it is. 🙂

    I agree with whomever said to mix up the whites and make it look intentional. But I'm impatient like that. 🙂

  14. Paula says:

    In most cases I use Kona although I have to admit that when it comes to white or off-white I have a bolt of Ikea cotton that I often use for my own projects. I go through so much and simply I couldn't afford to buy it locally or have it shipped from abroad.

  15. Ugg, I feel your frustration! I have been buying my Kona from JoAnn's and wondering if it is sub-par. Most likely… But then there's definitely the problem of the big switch over… I have one project that I changed sewing machines in the middle of and that was a real hassle because the old machine's 1/4 in was waaaaay different than the new one (luckily the new one is the more accurate one).

  16. Leigh Anne says:

    I've only used Kona or Bella and don't really have a preference either way.

    With every post you do on the broken herringbone, I come closer to making one of my own 🙂

  17. I'm a Kona girl too! Have it shipped in. I got a colour card too. The Kona grey is the best, pale colour. 🙂 x

  18. Adrianne says:

    Solid fabrics is something I think about quite a bit – being in New Zealand, the solids that most people seem to use aren't that readily available. Spotlight has the cheapest solids locally, and even though I'm a bit doubtful about their quality, I have used them without any problems. One of my local quilt shops actually carries the whole range of Kona Cottons (amazeballs, right?), and I do buy them sometimes when I'm in need of a quick fabric fix. However (and I know people are gonna be like "say what??!" when I say this), I don't really like Kona Cottons. I don't think they are particularly good quality, the hand is not that nice, you should see the amount of dust and lint that comes off when you work with them, different colours have different textures and weights, and they are not very nice to quilt on. Plus, hello, have you seen how different the colour can be between different dye lots? Phew, rant over! My absolute favourite solids are the Free Spirit Designer Solids – I buy them from Hawthorne Threads and they are a delight to sew with. I also like the Moda Bella solids – they do feel a little bit light and thin compared to some other fabrics but they quilt up really nicely (for me, anyway). The Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids are really nice as well – they are very soft, but a little more expensive and a tiny bit trickier to sew with (the weave is a little tighter than other solids which means they can be a little bit inclined to pucker along the seams). Hope that helps – I totally understand the frustration of running out of fabric and having to wait for it to come in from overseas (or paying exorbitant local prices)!

  19. I decided to standardize on Kona because it's easy to get, although I'd love to try Art Gallery fabrics sometime. Have you thought about using a medium to dark grey for some blocks? It would make a nice effect, I think.

  20. Books_Bound says:

    I'm a Kona girl. I like that I can get white and black and some other Kona colors at Joann's (in the U.S.) and they have frequent 40% off coupons, so I can get big ol' cuts at a time. Also, I used some Moda for one quilt, and it just didn't feel right to me.

    Do you have a color card? I finally caved and got one last winter–I didn't want to, because wow, so expensive for little bits of fabric glued to a card. But it's such a HUGE help if you find yourself ordering online. What convinced me was trying to guess whether or not "Kona Ocean" was what I needed for a project–it looks WILDLY different on every shop's website. It was very frustrating. Even though it was expensive, I use it all the time now!

  21. pandchintz says:

    I like to use Emma Louise (wholesaler is Victorian Textiles). Very fine and lovely handle. Hope you can find something – blocks look great.

  22. Erica says:

    The Free Spirit solids are really, really lovely. The colours are so rich and the hand of the fabric is drapey and soft. It has a bit of a sheen to it; I'm thinking you might like that! Not nearly the colour range you get with Kona, but some pretty colours indeed! I have not sewn with the Michael Miller Couture solids but I have a charm pack of them and they are very nice – pretty colours and oh, so soft! (And it gives me the shakes to mix my white fabrics!)

  23. definately emma louise – much better hand than kona or bella (made in japan too) and beautiful colours – not the huge range that kona has but what they have is gorgeous – i can help you with the emma louise…..

  24. Katy Cameron says:

    I have to admit that I use Klona, which is kind of a Kona knock off – nowhere near the same number of colours, but half the price, and it's wider and comes slightly starched. Don't know if you can get it outside the UK though, sorry!

  25. Amanda says:

    These block are fantabulous! Love the fabrics you've chosen. I myself am a Kona girl. It is easy to find here and I love the weight and texture of it.

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