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Thread: Are the color cards for solid fabrics worth it???

  1. #1
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Are the color cards for solid fabrics worth it???

    I want to start an elaborate machine appliqued quilt for my daughter, who wants two shades of blue for the background fabric (a navy and something lighter).

    I figure my choices are Kaufman Kona solids, Moda Bella solids, Moda Marbles, and Bali 1895 solids. None of the LQS carry all of these brands (I would have to call around to find out who carries what), and whatever brand they carry I'm sure they have only a small assortment of possible colors.

    Checked out the price of fabric cards at Hancock's of Paducah, and they are expensive! $20 each for Kona and Bella, $35 for Moda Marbles, and $30 for Bali. $105 plus shipping just to see one-inch square samples of each color!

    I'm just *so* afraid I will order 8 yards of two fabrics that won't really go together (plus I need a sashing fabric that coordinates).

    Is there an easier way to do this, or should I just bite the bullet and order all of the swatch cards? I wonder how long the swatch cards will be good for. If they will last 10 years, then okay. It's just that I don't often need solid colors. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    WOW I think the swatchs should be free, since they are not I'd just wing it and go to LQS and choose the fabrics.
    Foe me I almost always order on line as I hate shopping in real time., LOL
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  3. #3
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Some on line shops will send swatches, usually 1" - 2" squares, free. Some have a very nominal charge for swatches. I'm really considering buying the color card for the Moda Bella Solids as they seem to be my "go to" solids right now.
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  4. #4
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    Have you considered Shadowplay from Maywood as well? They are similar to Moda Marbles but I think the fabric has a nice feel. I love working with them.

    If you do order a color card, I would think you could order just one. If Kona is what you like working with, just order that one.

  5. #5
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    I didn't know about Maywood. Just saw that Michael Miller has a color card for his cotton couture solids (another $20 at Hancocks!).

    Really, I see now that I need to narrow it down to a fabric line first, then order just one color card. I should rule out Kaufman Kona. I bought half a yard at the LQS. The color is perfect, but the hand seems heavy to me. All of the solids seem to be broadcloth, but I was hoping for a finer hand.

    If anyone who has worked with two different lines can describe the difference, that would be very helpful!

  6. #6
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I recently bought the Moda Bella card and have used it several times already, including to answer a post here on the board. The squares are actually a little larger than 1", by the way.

    In my experience the color names remain the same over time, but new may be added and some poor sellers may be dropped from the line. So, yes, they are still usable for years.

    Jan in VA
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  7. #7
    Super Member burchquilts's Avatar
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    I have a color card (it's more like a folder) of batiks (Bali maybe... I forget & I'm too sleepy to go in & dig it out of te PILE in my sewing room... LOL!). It cost les than $10 & was a wonderful purchase. I refer to it so often! So I say yes! Pictures just don't always read true... IMHO.
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  8. #8
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    I love Kona solids. I purchased the Kona solids 5" charm packs to solve the same questions you have. There are 217 different colors, divided into 5 different groups. Easily match them up to my fabric stash and then pull out the color swatch I am looking for (they are bundled together) and head to the LQS. Perfect size to place against fabrics and make decisions. Sewing Machines Plus sells them for @ $34 for all 217, equilter has them for 10.50 per bundle of 42 or 43. I know several other sites sell them as well. I personally think $34 was a great investment. I even use them to match up colors in other fabrics. I take the swatch to the store and it helps me get an exact or very close fabric tomatch besides the Kona solids.

  9. #9
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Maybe narrow your choices online and order a FQ of the finalists?
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  10. #10
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    Also Michael Miller's solids are a much finer cotton then Kona's ie. not as heavy. My LQS has the color cards for Kona and Miller - have you asked you LQS if they have color cards avaiable for you to look at? I agree with Jan in VA - if you use solids alot then it might be worth it to get the color cards - I know money is tight for most of us but it might be worth it.

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