Low Volume Fabrics and Quilts

I am a huge fan of Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice collaborations. Often something will happen in life and it will remind me of one of their songs, they provide a kind of sound track to my days. Such is the case now and the song I have playing is “What’s the Buzz, tell me what’s happening” and I don’t need to repeat those lyrics 8 times to know that one of the answers in the sewing world is low volume fabrics and quilts.

I volunteered to do a presentation on them at the next meeting of the Naperville Modern Quilt Guild. Yeah, I am not sure why my hand had to shoot up in the air either but it did. And as a preparation for that presentation I thought I would do a blog post first.

So you want the who, what, when, where and why, yes?


Lissa Alexander is credited with the current “low volume” trend.  Her APQ quiltalong even has a Pinterest board for her low volume quilts. Or you can just google the term and get oodles of them.


Definition from Craftsy.

A Low Volume fabric can best be defined as a fabric which shows up as a light solid (or nearly solid) in a black and white photograph. These fabrics can vary from the lightest tone on tone fabrics, to text fabrics printed on a light background, to light floral fabrics. Fabrics classified as Low Volume come in a variety of colors from white to cream to beige to grey. Quilting with Low Volume fabrics isn’t something new—quilts using these types of fabrics for backgrounds can be seen in nearly every era of American quilt making; however, the use of these fabrics is definitely something that is currently trending with today’s modern quilter.


Trending now although it’s kindof always been around. Remember “muted” colors?


Everywhere including my sewing room.


It’s always fun to try something new!low volume re quilt shops tone

I got some low volume fabric from two local quilt stores and they were mainly tone on tone.

Then I went to the online shop one of my favorite stores, Crimson Tate, and got these four beauties. I don’t even care if they are low volume, I low volume re crimson tatejust really like them. Can’t a darker tone slip in there? It would photograph as a solids.

Have you ever noticed that when you start buying fabric online, well, you keep buying fabric online? Yep, me too!

I ended up wandering through Etsy and found this cool site Spun Sugar Quilt Designs. And guess what she had for sale? You guessed it, low volume fabrics.

There are eleven fabrics in this picture but I actually got 12, one little sneaky piece was hiding when I snapped this photo.low volume re sugar spun q d

If you are counting then you now realize that I have 25 pieces of fabric to play with. The largest piece is 2 yards and the smallest is 1/8 of a yard. Isn’t this terrific fun?

I am actually hoping to make a mainly white quilt to donate to Christ Hospital. I was motivated by this blog post of Wombat quilts. If it looks familiar it’s because I posted it on my Facebook page a while back.

This donation idea has been in my head for a while. Then I volunteered to do a presentation about low volume and these fabrics seem perfect for the kind of quilt I want to make.

Plus, the day of the presentation? It’s June 26th, the date my son would have turned 30. A donation in his memory would be pretty fitting.

It would, in fact, make me sew happy on an otherwise not so great day.

I have lots of things that roam around in my head and I post.  Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation! If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. That’s all, you’re done. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

You might enjoy this post about a super modern baby quilt as well.

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