Low Volumes: Normal Speaking Voice

This is Part 2 of 3 in a series on Low Volume fabric usage, not meant to be a fully comprehensive study in low voumes, but a good starting point. For Part 1 or Part 3, follow the link!

This lovely selection of low volume (LV) fabrics I like to call “normal speaking voice”. They have a white/cream background, but also have some more punch to them than the “whisper quiet” palette. These LV’s have more color and more pattern in them than the whisper quiets do, while still not being incredibly distracting AND still having a light base cloth of white/off-white/cream/super light gray. Here’s an example of “normal speaking voice” in action.

When pairing these “normal speaking voice” LV’s with prints, make sure you pick a print that is contrasting in color from the color of the LV. If you were to pair a blue-ish LV with a similar blue print, you’d lose the effect of using a more colorful LV. I think that’s one of the bigger mistakes people make when using LV. As I was making blocks for this quilt, I tried really, really hard to purposefully pair prints with LV’s that were not matchy-matchy and very contrasting. In fact, some blocks were so ugly (to me) I was sure they wouldn’t make the final cut. However, when the blocks are all set out together, the overall effect is very pleasing.

What do you think so far? Are you a “whisper quiet” fan or a “normal speaking voice” fan?

Low Volumes: Whisper Quiet

(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┬áthese 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!!



Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 15: Granny’s Turquoise

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.