Starting from a set of different two- and three-nucleon interactions from chiral effective field theory, we use the importance-truncated no-core shell model for ab initio calculations of excitation energies as well as electric quadrupole (E2) and magnetic dipole (M1) moments and transition strengths for selected p-shell nuclei. We explore the sensitivity of the excitation energies to the chiral interactions as a first step towards and systematic uncertainty propagation from chiral inputs to nuclear structure observables. The uncertainty band spanned by the different chiral interactions is typically in agreement with experimental excitation energies, but we also identify observables with notable discrepancies beyond the theoretical uncertainty that reveal insufficiencies in the chiral interactions. For electromagnetic observables we identify correlations among pairs of E2 or M1 observables based on the ab initio calculations for the different interactions. We find extremely robust correlations for E2 observables and illustrate how these correlations can be used to predict one observable based on an experimental datum for the second observable. In this way we circumvent convergence issues and arrive at far more accurate results than any direct ab initio calculation. A prime example for this approach is the quadrupole moment of the first 2^+ state in 12-C, which is predicted with an drastically improved accuracy.