Today we’d like to talk trends in cotton solid colors. Solids are one of the design elements that have helped to define modern quilting. While there are certainly many, many modern quilts that rely heavily on prints, solid colors contribute to the bold graphic quality of the work of the movement’s most prominent voices (think Jacquie Gering and Denyse Schmidt).
We at RST are Robert Kaufman Kona girls — we love the quality of the fabric (it’s never, not once, bled on us), the softness with which it washes up, and the huge amount of color choices. The latest collection, in stores next month, will have a whopping 303 colors. In the meantime, though, here are our current top five essential Kona solids — and the ones we think every modern quilter should have on hand.
Unless you live under a bush on Mars, you’ve probably heard that the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year is “Radiant Orchid.” (Because, you know, regular orchids are so… meh.) Cerise is a slightly darker and even more radiant version of the Pantone. It’s beautiful. I do not sew with a lot of pinks or purples, but this one is such a bold color that it doesn’t feel overly cloying or sweet. It’s purple with a punch.
I’m all about Curry right now. It’s a slightly brighter mustard yellow, and it’s going to be the background of one of my quilts that features a lot of turquoises, grays, and oranges. (Pro tip: it’s also a perfect coordinate for Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics line.) Bold colors like this one fit perfectly into the mid-century modern aesthetic of a lot of today’s modern quilts, and it looks great with more muted neutrals like grays and whites.
Azure is sort of a Caribbean blue, incredibly bold and vibrant with just enough green to make it seem a bit aqua. I love this color because it coordinates so well with so many others: bright warms like corals, yellows, and oranges; tans, browns, grays, and other neutrals, and even more saturated blues. It’s modern, but not too “in-your-face” about it.
Tangerine is a really saturated reddish-orange. (Sorry if the picture is frying the rods and cones out of your eyes. The orange is not quite this bright in real life, I promise.) It’s not pink enough to be a coral, but it’s in the same general family. I made all sorts of baby clothes for my daughter a few years back using this color, mostly because it was so damn happy. Incidentally, this was the Color of the Year for 2012 — does anyone remember all the quilts from QuiltCon that rocked it out of the park? I think Tangerine still deserves to stick around.
Clover also hearkens back to another previous Color of the Year: last year’s Emerald. Good greens are hard to find: they often can take a turn for the mossy and drab, or can seem too yellow and electric. Clover is a lovely, rich green that hits the sweet spot. It’s a bit more saturated than the traditional Pantone version, but it’s also bright enough not to seem too dated or depressing.
We’re planning on another post down the road with our top five neutrals, but in the meantime we want to know: what are your Kona standbys?