Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Rock Solid: Using Solid Colors

Thirty years ago Robert Kaufman Fabrics introduced Kona Cottons. Today there are over 300 colors to choose from! 

In my 26 years quilting, I have found solid fabrics to be essential to my stash. They have become even more essential with the rise of Modern quilting with its minimalist, graphic patterns and use of negative space.

Rock Solid: 13 Quilts Made with Kona Cottons is a visual feast of color, from monotone to analogous to complementary palettes. The patterns update traditional blocks to make amazingly simple quilts with the graphic punch of mid-century Modern art.

Here are a few of the thirteen quilts in the book.
 Lanterns designed and made by Christa Watson

Analogous brights pop against the Coal solid background. The pattern looks complex and yet is made from simple shapes. Christa added the warm yellow-green to cool down the warm colors. 

 Mosiac Gems designed and pieced by Cortney Heimerl

The Trip Around the World block in Mosiac Gems is one of my favorite treatments of a traditional block in this book. A very sophisticated use of color creates a 'column' effect. The gradation of background color from black to pale green creates luminosity. And secondary patterns appear. Because it is made only of squares it seems easy but requires careful construction to keep proper color order. 

 Tribal Beat designed and pieced by Angela Walters

This pattern knocks my socks off! I love the colors. I love the ethnic feel. With a tweak of color palette, it could read more Art Deco. The blocks are strip sets and half square triangles made into flying geese which set together become the diamond in a square.

8-Bit designed and pieced by Janice Zeller Ryan]

This quilt uses traditional Nine Patch and Courthouse Steps blocks but the feeling is anything but old fashioned! The complex pattern draws the eye across the design, resting briefly on the red centers of the border blocks before jumping back into the maze of the central design. The image is as complicated as a computer motherboard, but the blocks are actually not hard to piece. It is all in the color placement.

Zoomer designed and pieced by Elizabeth Dackson

Take one quilt block, blow it up, set it off center, and you have a very Modern quilt with great visual interest. Zoomer is an amazing example of asymmetry in design. In blue and blue greens the feeling is cool which tames the edginess of being off center. The pieces are still simple, half square triangles and rectangles. 

 A New Day designed and pieced by Megan Pitz

Make your own striped fabric from strip sets. Cut into triangles. I love this technique. The pyramids of stripped colors are set against alternating white and gray. Megan suggests starching the fabric before cutting.

Ragged Edges by Kristi Schroeder of Initial K Studio, quilted by Melisssa Eubanks

Ragged Edges is super-easy, constructed of half-square triangles and a few rectangles. The monotone color palette is both contemporary and edgy, but it is easy to imagine alternative color schemes. Indigo instead of gray for the background, with various blues for the design. Or black with an explosion of reds, yellows, and oranges? This patterns has enough movement to carry off the subtle color scheme, but could become a virtual lightning strike of color!

These quilts could be baffling to construct, but the instructions include lots of pictures to illustrate every step. The Color Palettes for each quilt is also included at the end. 

Rock Solid is a great collection of patterns showcasing solid fabrics.

To see the other quilts visit
To learn more about Kona Cottons visit

I received a free ebook from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

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