Tuesday, August 7, 2012

on Kona and Color and Rainbows and such

So what do you know... I finally got some new Kona colors! Now in case I'm speaking Greek to you, Kona cottons are a collection of solid fabrics produced by Robert Kaufman.  I love them and you will too (if you don't already) because Kona has the most colors and a substantial, high-quality feel that's ideal for quilting and patchwork.

courtesy of Pink Chalk Fabrics
There are like... a million colors!  Ok, more like 240-ish, but it's a LOT.  And they just introduced 28 more.  In case you're thinking that if they have so many colors adding new ones is kind of beside the point, I'll have to disagree.  Yep, there should always be more colors.  In fact, I still want more!

Sadly, I don't have a new Kona color card.  Pink Chalk Fabrics has the updated one (now they're sold out, but it's in stock HERE) with all the new colors and Marmalade has the 28-color update, which is cheaper in case you already have an "old" Kona color card.  Color cards are important if you're like me and shop online for your fabrics.  You can't "see" color correctly online between photographs and your monitor settings, so when you want a specific solid to finish out a project, sash some blocks or whatever, you can reference the labeled fabric swatches on a color card to zero in on the ideal shade and then order with confidence!

So, without the new Kona color card, I was left to scrutinize the new colors in "graphic" form (as shown here) to try to figure out what holes these new colors might fill in my fabric stash.  In case you are in the same situation, here are some photos that might help you out.  Photos of fabrics make it so much easier to "judge" a fabric's color than those graphic swatches.  Plus, I've included other Kona colors so that you can compare with fabrics you might have on hand or with your old swatch card.  Here goes...

not so gray...

Here are the new colors Oyster, Bison and Mushroom.  They're pretty neutrals, but not quite what I expected in Bison and Mushroom.  From the online graphic, those two looked like variations on a "warm" gray to me, which sounded awesome.  Ash and Coal are such cool grays, and I like warm colors.  Mushroom may work as that warm gray I had imagined when combined with the right colors.

comparing Kona neutrals

Next to "old" Kona browns, you can see that Bison is a lighter version of Sable and Mushroom is a bit close to Taupe, with a tad more gray. Looking around I found that Mushroom is virtually the same color as Essex cotton/linen in putty.

new Kona neutrals

Yep, I was shopping for new neutrals, so here is a whole range of colors.  First is Kona Snow, a familiar favorite, and then from top down the new colors:  Parchment, Mushroom, Biscuit and Bison.  I hope that's helpful!

Kona Kumquat vs. Tangerine

Of all the new Kona colors, I was about jumping up and down about Kumquat!  Kona was really missing a nice pumpkin orange or "burnt" orange.  Tangerine was the closest thing, but it's so, so fiery hot!  This swatch of Innocent Crush fabric is a good example of what I was hoping for.  Kumquat fits the bill.

Kona oranges

Here's Kumquat with a few popular Kona oranges.  You can see it has more red for that "burnt" orange look.  Hooray!  Last year, during the Bottled Rainbow Quilt-Along, I was wishing for an orange like this for my Bottled Rainbow Kona bundles.  Many who joined in wanted to buy a bundle in the same colors I'd used, but Kona didn't have an equivalent for my burnt orange (which was some random fabric).  So, you can imagine that the first thing I did when these new Konas arrived was to lay them out...

making a rainbow

But, wait, I'm getting ahead of myself!  Another "replacement" fabric for my Bottled Rainbows color scheme is the new Camellia.

Kona Camellia vs. Candy Pink, Bright Pink

Camellia looked a lot more "purple" online than it does in real life, but it's a really lovely pink.  I'm happy to include it in my new Bottled Rainbow assortment.

new Bottled Rainbows

Do you like it?  I do!  In fact, I'll be cutting into this to make something real soon.  If you're just getting started building your solid collection, you can pick up a fat quarter or 1/2 yard set of these 16 colors at Marmalade Fabrics.  And... you may just want to check out the Bottled Rainbow Quilt-Along too.  It was a super fun way to use up scraps!

Bottled Rainbows button 2012

This is a loose mock-up of the Bottled Rainbow quilt design, which is easy to customize for the size quilt you want - just change the size of the blocks.  You fill in the center white space of each block with raw edge applique of teeny, tiny scraps.  It's a quilt-as-you-go thing.  Very addicting - watch out!  This mock-up also shows the color names of the updated Kona colors, just for your reference.

new Bottled Rainbows

Well now... do you think I ought to go cut up some colors?  I think so.  Only, I do have one journal cover to finish up first.  Before I leave, you should know that you could sample the 28 new Kona colors via charm pack, jelly roll or fat quarter bundle.  So... in case you can't bring yourself to buy a color card, you could just jump right in with fabric!  Cause fabric is always good.   Have fun!

New Kona colors available at:
Fat Quarter Shop
Sew Modern
Marmalade Fabrics
Pink Chalk Fabrics
Fabricworm
Canton Village
Pink Castle Fabrics
Fresh Modern Fabric


26 comments:

  1. wow!!! They look great. I can't wait to see what you will create with them :D.

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  2. What gorgeous colours! I wish I had the money to afford some =D

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  3. I can't believe how different mushroom and bison are from what I was expecting, too! I was really hoping for warm greys. No one seems to make them and sometimes ash is too light and coal is too dark. Do you hear us kona folks? More greys, please! Or are greys almost played out?

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    1. Aha, I'm not the only one! I don't think gray is played out, but I do think that a warm gray would be a fun change. We've all seen Coal and Ash with about everything =)

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  4. Exciting colors--they are truly eye candy for those who sew!!

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  5. That was so very helpful, thank you! I am excited about kumquat too & a few other "holes" in their spectrum, which is hard to believe. I am hesitating buying the new update card which is really silly - I hesitated buying the old color card and then bought 3 yards of a slightly off color that I thought looked perfect online. I like to think it has paid for itself since then, plus it is fun to get out when planning projects!

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  6. I like the new bottled rainbow colours much better! Thanks Kona and thanks Rachel for putting that together!

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  7. great review and so helpful rachel, can always count on you! thanks!

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  8. This was helpful- from your photos I really like the Parchment as a neutral, but the little graphic on the website makes it look hideous :) Thanks!

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  9. I like the new neutrals. Of course I love the new pink.

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  10. This month's budget item is the bundle of the new Kona colors...stalking the mail carrier as I wait for it to arrive!
    Toni
    www.lifeinapinkbunnysuit.com

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  11. Before you, I had never heard of Kona and now I LOVE it! I just have to get some of the new colors!

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  12. I can tell this post was written by a true fabric nerd! I love it! I have a ton of kona solids due to a fabric swap. I've been brainstorming what to do with them and haven't quite decided yet. Probably because I really love looking at them as they are! :p

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  13. Hey Rachel! If you wanted to make this one row and one column wider, would you add neutrals, other colors or repeat? Just curious! Thanks for posting with the updated Kona colors!

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    1. There are so many great colors, that I would enjoy adding more colors and using the same color relationships but adding more "in between" colors like Jade and Curry and Plum. You could try to add some light values too like Aqua and Petal and a pale green. But, the other thing I'd try is sprinkling in neutrals at random. So, keeping the same color relationships and then a random neutral there and there. That way you could add in gray, browns, whites and black!

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  14. What a great post! Very helpful...and ooohhh those colors! Yum!

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  15. Super helpful post, as usual! Thanks!

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  16. Thanks Rachel for the informative post on the new colors. Can't afford the whole group yet but nice to know the details and comparisons. I second Chelsea's comment about the grays.

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  17. I love the new Kona range!! Will have to check out those neutrals...

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  18. Yep, exciting! I used Parchment in a project, and I'm super in love with the Leprechaun shade, too. I'll be sure to check out Kumquat! And someday, somday, I will return to my BR blocks. ;)

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  19. Hi,

    very informative post.
    Thanks.
    Beatrice.

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  20. seriously...thank you! you are like my personal news service for the world of color! thanks!

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  21. Thanks for a great post Rachel. I didn't know they mady a color card with just the new colors, fantastic! Someday, I'd also like to try your Bottled Rainbows QAL. It's SO cool!

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  22. I love these! I hope to get some one day.

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