(This is Part 1 of a 3 part series. For Part 2 or Part 3, follow the link!)
I’ve been tossing around the idea of posting my take on low volume fabrics and how I would categorize and use them for awhile. It seems like there is a lot of differing opinions on what is actually a low volume and what isn’t. I love this aspect of quilting!! We all have our thoughts and ideas and in the end we make beautiful things because of our differing gut instinct. I’m going to tackle these low volume thoughts in a 3-part series starting today!
The first category of low volumes are what I’ve decided to call “whisper quiet”. I pulled some examples from my stash and included a few sample quilt blocks made with “whisper quiet” low volumes. In essence these low volumes are as close to a white as possible. They look like they could be a white or very light solid when you look at them from afar and within a quilt. Most likely they are a white or an off-white background with white, gray, or light brown subtle prints.
I’ve heard some quilters say they’re afraid to use low volumes because they don’t know how to pair prints with them in a way that the prints will pop. When you use “whisper quiet” low volumes, the sky is the limit with pairing it with prints. Since the background ends up being so light, you can get away with pastels, jewel tones, vibrant hues, subdued tones, etc. Essentially if you would love to make a low volume quilt, but you’re afraid of the end result, start with a whisper quiet color palate!!
Back in November I got a bee in my bonnet to try to design and submit a quilt block to Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks magazine. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this publication, they put out several magazines, but this particular one goes out twice a year and contains 100 unique 12-1/2″ blocks! There are applique, foundation paper piecing, as well as traditional piecing. It’s such a fun magazine that I’ve loved for quite some time. As I was looking for inspiration, I saw this image and immediately the wheels started turning. I love hearing how quilt patterns develop from inspiration to final quilt, so I thought I’d share a bit of my process here.
I got out my graph paper and started drawing and trying to figure out how in the world to make this image into a quilt block. It took a lot of math and a lot of trial and error, but I eventually came up with this.
I used some leftover V & Co. Spectrum from my Dresden Butterflies quilt and I could not love it more if I tried. The geometric magenta adds so much interest! Vanessa is a fabric genius, I tell you. I sent this physical block into the magazine and waited and waited and waited. Just when I had given up and assumed it wasn’t chosen, I heard back that it had been chosen! I am in the process of cutting out an entire quilt and that thrills me. I can’t wait to see this pattern on repeat through an entire quilt.
I named the block Granny’s Turquoise because it reminded me of a brooch and I loved it.
Our home computer died and it’s been a long few weeks without it! We just got it back last week and my dear husband has reinstalled everything. Unfortunately, it happened during the time that my guest blog posting on the “What Shade are You?” tour with RJR fabrics came up. In trying to catch up on things I’ve missed, here’s a posting about that!
I feel like there’s a big misconception out there in the quilting world that fabric distributors look around and reach out to people to participate in things. Yes, this happens to some extent, but most of what happens is quilters reaching out to them instead. It is SCARY and hard, but I’m trying to be brave. A good friend once said, “They can’t say yes if you don’t ask.” Yes, you’ll hear lots of no’s, but you’ll also get an occasional yes as well!
I reached out to RJR fabrics last October. This was possibly one of the scariest emails I had yet sent. What did I have to offer that was different than the big names that were already participating in the RJR “What Shade are You?” tour??? I sent the email just asking if they were still doing it and if there was space for me to participate in the future. They said yes, and my date was set for February 10th. They sent a color card containing a swatch of all of their cotton supreme solids and I went to town. They are such a fabulous company with which to work. They are so generous with their product. I picked a basic idea of what I wanted to do and then very nervously got to work. It is terrifying to do these projects for big name manufacturers for me. What if they don’t like it? What if they expected something better? What if what if what if????
In the end, I loved how things turned out. I had my dear friend Kaylene Parry (@quilterlove66 on Instagram) quilt it in this amazing graffiti motif using invisible thread. It is just PERFECT. My sweet 5 year old loves to use the “celebration” effect via iMessage and calls it Confetti Bomb. Confetti Bomb just seemed like the perfect name for this quilt and it will always remind me of my sweet boy.
Be sure to stop by RJR’s blog to see a full write up and a million photos!