Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Hunting for Kona in the English Countryside

As I merrily blathered on to a non-quilty friend recently about the scarcity of Kona in these parts of the English countryside she remarked ' is a kona an animal?' oops, I do forget sometimes that everyone doesn't live in quiltyland. But that said, it's a serious point - it really is very hard to get hold of decent solid cottons in colours you want to use here in the UK if you're serious about making your quilts modern. And everyone knows that quality cotton in modern shades means one thing - Kona Cottons. For two years I was a regular Hancocks of Padducah girl (In Kentucky USA, very cheap Kona solids in every colour.) But there are only so many times you can hand over £15+ to the postman in order to bust your package out of customs and excise gaol and still feel like you are getting a bargain ( £50 of fabric could end up costing +£30 more to ship and tax). So last month I decided it was time to start buying wholesale in Europe by the bolt.

I am now the proud owner of a bolt-stash (is that a term?) of Kona solids (from the left Essex Linen in Natural, Kona Cotton in Pale Flesh, Kona in Snow, Kona in Ash, Kona in Charcoal, Chambray Cotton in Pale Blue, Kona in Dresden Blue, Kona in Zucchini and Kona in Artichoke). These are my most favourite Kona solids, I love them.
Weirdly, just as I took delivery of my new stash I started getting questions from my lovely customers who are often fledgling quilters, starting out on their first quilt after a Make Do & Mend Kit had shown them the ropes, asking about where to buy solid fabrics. Turns out that I am not the only forlorn hunter of the elusive Kona in these shores!

As my raison d'etre when it comes to quilting is to get as many people as possible doing it ( so I don't have the whole kona/animal chat too often!) I figured maybe I should start sharing my stash and selling Kona cottons to other frustrated British quilters.

I am listing these colours over on my folksy site. It's just a little bolt-stash at the moment cos it's stuff I like and use. But heh, I'm open minded and keen to try new things, if you have a fav colour that I haven't tried, drop me a mail and maybe I'll get a bolt of that in too, I'm excited to find out what others are using!


  1. Hurray Debs. You're a star!

  2. before i had even got through the first paragraph i was already wondering if you could be convinced to part with a little of your stash and then I hear you have Ash which is THE colour I have been pinning for!

    I have found Pelenna to have a good selection of solids and the customer service is fantastic, they are so helpful and the turn around is very fast. I bought the charm pack with all 45 colours so I've got a swatch of each for matching ect. They have some really nice neutrals as well as a good selection of modern brights. what they dont have is a nice grey or olive which i really want, isnt that always the way...45 colours and you can still dream up a colour combo they dont have!

    sorry for leaving an essay in your comments section, oops!

  3. Its funny how you mention how everyone doesn't live in "quilty" world...

    I'm 22 and my girlfriends throw out designer jeans/purse/dress names and I'm always saying "what's that?". However if you give me any major fabric designer and I can instantly picture their fabric, in each colorway. They too don't understand the excitement Kona Cotton Solids can evoke... I guess that is why I follow about 30 quilting blogs. Definitely makes you feel like you're part of this huge quilting world, sometimes I forget that it only lives in my computer.

  4. Good stuff Debs, good stuff! I'll be back to order when I decide what to do with the fabric colourwheel I won from you!! Very excited to receive it I must say! Justine xx

  5. yay. with the next paycheck I'll get some from you. Hope you'll have some left by then. :)

  6. This is fantastic news. I've got you bookmarked! Julie