Monday, November 8, 2010

the Indispensable Kona Color Card

I buy virtually all of my fabrics online.  That's fine by me - there's no local designer quilt shop in the area and I enjoy supporting the mama's who sell gorgeous fabrics on Etsy!  But, I'll admit, that shopping online does make accurate color selection challenging, especially when buying solids.  You can't rely upon your computer screen to show accurate color.  That's when a Kona Color Card is a truly indispensable tool!

Kona color card

A Kona Color Card contains swatches of all 221 shades currently manufactured by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. The range of colors is scrumptious!  When planning a project, I wait until my prints arrive and then use this swatch card to choose my solids.  You can buy a Kona Color Card at Sew Fresh Fabrics, who is my favorite source for Kona cotton as well.  They had them in stock a few weeks ago, but it looks like they're out again at the moment.  These cards go fast!  If you want one, you should contact them to put you on the wait list so that you won't miss out next time!  If you just can't wait, you could also buy a charm pack of swatches from Sew Fresh Fabrics of the solids they stock for just $3.  The full color card costs about $18.

Kona color card

Sew Fresh Fabrics doesn't stock all 221 Kona colors, but they're always adding to their offerings.  Be sure to let them know if there's a color you really want that they don't have - hey, I probably want them to stock it too!  On the other hand, the colors on the card often look more distinct from each other in tiny swatch form than they do in person.  I've ordered colors that are neighbors on the Kona swatch card (like Tomato and Coral or Artichoke and Olive) only to find when they arrive in person that they are more alike than I was expecting.  If you're looking to add a variety of shades to a project, choose colors that look very different on the swatch card.  And, if a fabric shop doesn't stock the exact shade you have in mind, it's likely that another nearby on the card will suit you just as well, really.

A Rainbow of Kona

Oh, one more thing!  The Kona Color Card is also handy for identifying solids already in your stash!  Sure, when you get that perfect shade of grassy green you think you'll remember the name forever.  But, months later when you find you need more to complete your project, you just may have forgotten.  I've been corrected by the little typed color names on more than one occasion. 

for Hide & Seek Spectrum Quilt

P.S. I've just started work on this Hide & Seek Spectrum Quilt from Anna's Handmade Beginnings!  I've loved auditioning different solids for this baby quilt... assisted, of course, by my Kona Color Card!


  1. I just received my kona color card last week. I completely agree and fully understand ! i order EVERYTHING online.

  2. We're in sync, as I just bought one as well. I already love it.

  3. Thanks for the tips Rachel! I really need to get one. None of my LQS' carry solids, other than Joann. And, when I ask them about it, I get a ghastly look in return... What? You want solids?! Sorry.... What's wrong with wanting solids? I love em!

    I have to get on the wait list for sure!

  4. Agreed. Love my color card!

    I'm starting to really like Moda Bella solids too. The weave is a little finer. I wonder if they make a color card?

    Can't wait to see your Spectrum Quilt! The solids and fabrics you chose are lovely!


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