Magic tote – Wake up to Kona (giveaway)

(giveaway closed)
Greetings and welcome to old and new friends for the Wake Up to Kona blog hop with Sew We Quilt. Thanks also to our energetic cheerleader, Carol from Just Let Me Quilt, for herding ducks and getting everything to line up! I have been using Kona for solids exclusively since I started stashing fabric quilting, as they are easy to find and great to work with. I thought you would enjoy seeing my Kona stash, so I neatened it up for you. Not shown is some larger yardage of neutrals (coal, parchment, and ash).


I took on the challenge of using solids exclusively for the Simply Solids {bee} in 2013, and made a wonderful variety of blocks for my bee mates. The butterfly is my own design, and you can visit this post for the link to the free pattern and templates.
Simply Solids Bee blocks 2013

For me, the perfect showcase for solids is foundation paper piecing, the luxe colours show off the crispness of the points well. So I decided to cross a Mariner’s Compass block off my bucket list and found a free 2012 block from Quilting on the Square. Unfortunately for you, they seem to have taken the pdf down so I can’t give you the link. They do have other free blocks up here.

I like using templates to paper piece, it helps make sure the pieces are big enough and is more economical of fabric. If you are using prints and need to align with the grain, templates are essential.

compass star front

I sewed up this block into this carry-all from Laundry Basket quilts, which she calls the Small-Big tote but I prefer to call the magic tote (PS, watch the video, it’s hilarious). The only thing I changed is that I made the handles 24″ x 1-1/4″ instead of 21″ x 1″, and added interfacing. Kona colours are coral, camellia, azure, peacock, caribbean, and berry, with nautical as the background and asparagus as the lining, and the “big” tote is coal with azure for the handles.

Small tote


(Trust me, this is big–it will be great for shopping downtown).

For the quilting I decided to try a small meander. I am still learning to free-motion quilt, and definitely this worked better for me than a large meander, as it made me slow down. The FMQ butterfly is traced from a pattern, and not perfect, but looks great on both sides and was a lot more fun than the meander.
compass tote back

Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to share my creation! I wanted to offer a thank you for visiting, so I went to one of my Simply Solids bee-mates, Pam at Mad About Patchwork, and purchased a Kona color card for one of you. Leave me a comment and tell me if you use solids in the main designs of your projects or only for backgrounds. The winner will be chosen by random selection on January 22 after 8 pm est and I will mail internationally.


Now please hop back and visit the other participants for today.

Words & Stitches
Marla’s Crafts
Lisa In Port Hope <– You are here
Transitions for Meee
One English Teacher
Debby Kratovil Quilts

wake up to kona button


  1. You made so many wonderful blocks in the bee. Thanks for sharing those. Your bag turned out great too.

  2. Lisa! I love your bag. I have just started using solids but I am liking them more and more, especially since seeing all the creative ways to use them in this hop. Great giveaway. Thanks for sharing. xo jan

  3. I do both, but more background I think. Love solids when doing geometric shapes like triangles though! Beautiful project Lisa:)

  4. I’ve started using a lot more solids the last 6 months, thank you so much for the giveaway!

  5. Lori Morton · ·

    Love your Bag too! I use solids sometimes…getting better tho….probably use them more for backgrounds.

  6. I am partial to Mariner’s Compasses! Yours is wonderful in the solids; makes me want to try that combination. And to have put it into something other than a quilt is fabulous – you can enjoy it and show it off at the same time. Beautiful work, all of it!

  7. Great bag! you did a wonderful job. I like creams and whites as my go to solids.

  8. Lovely Mariner’s Compass on the tote bag.

  9. The Compass and fabrics made a wonderful tote…I bet you’ll get lots of compliments !

    1. I took it to the library today and had to switch to the big tote to carry everything home, it worked out great. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. I love your tote and the block looks great on it. I want to try the PP star now that I’ve seen it in your KONA solids. I find a lot of PP blocks too busy when quilters use too many prints. I also love your FMQ. That’s my favorite part of quilting now, the quilting.

  11. Your Kona stash looks great, Lisa. If I need the color fit, I mix up the solids with the prints. Thanks for buying the color card!

  12. Very Nice tote. Great fabric stash of Kona too.

  13. I love solids for everything!

  14. Lovely projects! Thanks for sharing!

  15. I love solids in patterns.


  16. Gorgeous. I already have a card so please choose someone else.

  17. So far I have only used Kona for backgrounds…but I think that will be changing soon!

  18. I’ve only used them as backgrounds so far, but wow your pieces make me think twice about it, because they are so beautiful

  19. Angelia L. · ·

    I love Kona solids and as a new quilter I am trying to build a stash with them. I want to make the FPP Lucky Stars 2013 BOM by Elizabeth Dackson (Don’t Call Me Betsy) using them. Your tote is gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!

  20. i do both, love working with solids, makes me color happy

  21. Nice tote! It is so pretty. I use solids or prints for both pretty evenly, so I don’t think I have a favorite. Though, if I have to choose it is probably for the backgrounds.


  23. Susan in OK · ·

    What a beautiful tote. Your quilting is very nice. One of my goals for this year is to work on my FMQ. You did a great job on your solid piecing last year. Thanks for participating in the hop and being a great inspiration. Thanks for the great giveaway, too!

  24. So many lovely blocks and your tote is fabulous. Thank you for sharing your talent 🙂

  25. Lovely tote -that’s a beautiful paper pieced star!

  26. The quilting was just stunning! Awesome job! I use solids for backgrounds mostly. But, seeing all these beautiful quilts on the Kona blog hop has really make me want to do a quilt featuring the solids. It would be awesome to have this Kona card for inspiration for that quilt! Thanks for the giveaway!

  27. you are right, the FMQ does look great, I love that butterfly! Gorgeous bag too, perfect in solids. I’ve only ever used Solids as background, though I did start the Skill Builder BOM last year using mainly solids.

  28. Your bag is darling! You are doing a great job with fmq!!

  29. I like the blocks you made for the bee and your tote is great! I like using solids all over. Thanks!

  30. Rebecca T · ·

    I like the look of solids in the background – as negative space… So that’s wheee I put my solids 🙂

  31. That is one beautiful bag!

  32. Wonderful bag! I use kona solids in my backgrounds and made an all kona solids mini quilt for my stop on the kona blog hop.

  33. Gorgeous colors!

  34. I love the butterfly quilting! It might not look perfect to you but it looks pretty good to me! 🙂

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