Kona Cotton-A Quilter’s Treat!

Kona Cotton New Summer Colors Collection


I know quilters love flowers and they love chocolate, but if you really want to give a quilter a treat–add  gorgeous fabric in stunning colors to her stash!


I recently contacted Kaufman Fabrics about their Kona cotton.

I LOOOVE the colors and love how free motion quilting looks on Kona cotton– but, I was a little confused…

  • I have purchased Kona cotton labeled Robert Kaufman at my local quilt shop...
  • But I also find “Kona” cotton–not labeled as Kaufman fabrics--at JoAnn Fabrics...

Is there a difference???

Kona Cotton New Summer Colors Collection


Here’s the response I received from Teresa Coates at Robert Kaufman Fabrics:

Kona Cotton Solids are sold at both independent fabric retailers and Joann Fabrics and Craft stores. We sell the exact same quality of product to both and while there has been lots of talk online about different quality standards, that isn’t true. Any inconsistencies are not from our end since we only produce one Kona cotton, but in 271 colors!

Kona Cotton New Summer Colors Collection

So there you have it folks!  There’s only one Kona cotton and it doesn’t matter from whom you buy it!


If you are looking for a real treat–buy yourself a Kona Fat Quarter Bundle.  Free Motion quilting looks fabulous on Kona cottons.  The colors are beautifully rich!

Kona Cotton New Summer Colors Collection

Fat Quarters are the perfect size to practice Free Motion Quilting and for making small vase quilts!  (See yesterday’s Turtle Quilt and the Turtle Tutorial earlier this week…)

Happy Stitching!


PS…All images, tutorials and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to Pin, Blog, and Tweet with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at lckennedy@ hotmail.com.  Thanks!

27 thoughts on “Kona Cotton-A Quilter’s Treat!

    • Wow that is really interesting. I just assumed that the kona solids at Joanns were a lower quality as is the case with most of the quilting cotton sold by the chain. Thanks for the research on this!

  1. Lori, I always thought manufacturers wouldn’t do different quality lines for different venues. After all, their reputation is at stake.

    I so enjoy your FMQ. Any books planned in the near future?

  2. I had wondered the same thing…thanks for checking it out. It’s very hard to pick the colors…they are all so pretty. A bundle might be the way to go. 🙂

  3. Thank you so much for this research. I too have been told the same thing by local quilt shop owners. Now I know the truth. Thank you.

  4. I’m a Kona fan, too. JoAnns only carries a few colors, but I like them as inexpensive (COUPON!) backgrounds. NOthing beats my local shop for selection, though.

  5. Thank you Lori!!! I have always wondered that myself. I buy the Kona cotton from Hancock Fabrics. Now I can buy them knowing they are the same thing. I do buy from my local quilt stores because I think it is important to keep them in business. But sometimes I just need some black fabric and head on over to Hancocks because it is less than 5 minutes from my house.

  6. I wondered about that myself! Good to know because I buy Kona Solids at JoAnnes and it is one of the best bargains in fabric! Thanks for checking that one out!

  7. That is great to know, Lori. I’m all for supporting my LQS whenever possible, but they are an hour away from me (not quite so “local” after all) and when I factor gas into the equation, it just makes more sense economically, environmentally, AND from a time management perspective to run over to the JoAnn’s a few miles away when all I need is a yard of Kona solid white. It’s nice to know that doesn’t compromise the quality of my projects. Don’t worry, Quilt Shop — I still seek you out for the gorgeous assortment of designer quilting fabrics, specialty threads, notions, and the expertise and service of your fantastic staff, and I promise you are getting a MUCH bigger chunk of my stash-building dollars than that nasty Big Box store! 🙂

    Re: Kona solids in particular, solids in general: I read an interesting blog post recently (unfortunately I can’t recall the source) wherein the quilter recalled being instructed in her early quilting days to avoid solids because they appear “flat” in quilts, and that she should choose tonal/textured fabrics that were ALMOST solid for her quilts. And now, of course, we are seeing solids used to spectacularly dramatic effect everywhere, particularly in so-called “modern” quilts. I personally am challenging myself to use more solids in my own quilts, which is tough for me because all those gorgeous prints hop up and down and beg to come home with me. But I’ve been using Pinterest a lot over the past year or so, “pinning” the quilts that I’m most drawn to, and noticing that the finished quilts I most admire, both antique/vintage quilts as well as modern, use a lot of solid fabrics either mixed with prints or solids by themselves. Now that I’ve realized that my fabric stash does not accurately reflect my own taste preferences (duh!), I’m deliberately trying to ignore prints and build up a supply of high quality solids.

    Do you know whether JoAnn’s carries the half yard or fat quarter bundles of Kona solids? With their coupon, that would be a great way for me to acquire a variety of solid colors without breaking the bank.

  8. I also buy Kona solids at Hobby Lobby. It’s the only solids I use and I just love their quality and texture. One thing I have noticed though is I buy charm packs and jelly rolls of the white Kona when I see them on sale and I have noticed a huge color difference in some of those. Some have an almost yellow cast to them when they are stacked together. By themselves it’s not noticeable but I have to watch which one I use when I am parring it with the yardage. I know, like yarn, you should watch the dye lots but I use a lot of whites in my quilts and buy them from variious places. Still love it though! Thank you so much for all your wonderful, wonderful tutorials! And for asking about the Kona qualities at JoAnns. I have learned so much from you and am so happy to have found your blog.

  9. What a beautiful collection of colors. I agree with previous post about the appeal of solids- I also have noticed myself being drawn to them. What’s old is new again?
    I like to make scrap quilts and the solids seem to draw your eye around the quilt.
    I admit to stash envy when I look at the beautiful rainbow of colors in your collection pictured here.

  10. Thanks for clearing that up. I have had thought that they were the same and would buy my black by the bolt with a 50% off coupon. Then someone told me that they were not the same and that the stuff at Joanns was poor quality. Now I can buy with confidence that I am really buying Kona fabric.

  11. Rosemary B here:
    I have two JA fab stores near me. the only things I buy there are the light grey thread, kona cottons, and tools. Every now and then I find a little gem in the fabrics.
    — okay and maybe some gems in other aisles.
    My daughters give me gift cards for mother’s day every year…
    Thank you for sharing this valuable information!

  12. Thanks for the information Lori! I used some extra wide Kona from Joann’s, as the backing in my earlier quilts and then started hearing that it wasn’t the same quality. I hadn’t noticed that. Love Kona!

  13. Thanks for this info. I have gotten some great deals on Kona from online JoAnn stores and loaded up on many colors not usually in the store. I felt for my limited spending this was the way to go and get the best amount for the money. I mentioned to others and I felt they thought it was inferior product. I am glad you straightened this all out.

  14. This is the best news. Now I can buy with confidence that I am really buying the one and only Kona fabric. Thank you to taking the time to educate me.

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