Friday, June 17, 2016

Illustrating Low-Volume

When I shared the Crosscut block tutorial recently, one of my followers asked "what are low-volume squares?" - my beginning place for those blocks. I once wondered the same thing. Nowadays they find their way into plenty of my projects, but I thought I would answer the question by showing some of my favorites.

There is quite a variety when it comes to low-volume fabrics, and you might consider me a bit picky about the ones I choose to use. But here's some pulled from my stash:

1. Tone on tone - white, cream, or a mix.

2. Black on white, off-white, or cream - oh yeah.

3. Multi-colors on white, off-white, or cream - not my most-used. Usually I prefer low-volumes with little color, but these I love.

4. Dark blue on cream, pale gray, or white - also good choices.

5. A single color on white, off-white, or cream - also not my most-used, as I tend to stick to neutrals, but these are pretty irresistible.

6. Gray on cream, white, or pale gray - some of my very favorites.

7. Black text on white or cream.

So think white, off-white, or cream tone-on-tones or more likely for me, simple designs - prints, graphics, or texts - on a white, off-white, cream, or light gray background. They can add alot of dimension to a project where you might otherwise use a solid. So now you know!


  1. thanks for your great post! I need to start restocking low volumes. been using them up like crazy!

  2. When I first started quilting in the 90s they were called background fabrics. I like the term low volume so much better. The low volume Maker fabric by AGF is one of my favorites!

  3. Great post! It's funny - I consider black on white low volume too, but I think there are others who don't. I tend to use whites, creams, and grays. I was disappointed that many of the Lizzy House low volumes seem to have a blue tinge to them - I was hoping for more white.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to pull examples. I am a visual kinda gal and this was a very clear explanation for me.

  5. Thanks for sharing your low volume basics.

  6. Interesting that I have many of the same fabrics in my stash...except for the colours.

  7. You have a really nice variety. I see lots of those in my stash as well. :)

  8. This is a great post, thank you. There are a lot of quilters who are not sure of what exactly low volume is and this post with its descriptions and its pictures really helps.

  9. You have some beautiful low volume fabrics. I called them background fabrics too...not any more tho. I admit to still being unsure where to use them. Thank goodness for people who take a few minutes to give me some ideas.