Tuesday, December 23, 2014

low volumes

I have discovered a new love of "low volume" prints or for newcomers a light/white fabric with a low to medium tone on top. They are not tone-on-tones because they read as beige, cream, or gray. It gives a new dimension to the fabric. I was introduced to this from my friend Sandra and really had no idea what she was talking about. And instead of totally looking like an idiot, I just skipped right over what she was talking about. I know understand the term and am embracing it full-heartedly.

I just received this quilt from Emilly, my swap partner for the month of October, at the Doll Quilt Monthly Swap. It is the perfect use of low volumes! Just look at the beautiful composition using improvisation sewing, bright fall colors and low volume prints. I truly love it!! Then I understood completely where this new trend is heading - the look of scrappy with the use of low volumes instead of just "snow white" or "gray" as the neutral. Cool...I like this!

Doll Quilt received from Emilly

Then the next question...can I do this?? No. My stash is totally lacking creams, whites, and low volumes. Of course I wanted to order from the US, but it takes soooo long. Sometimes it can take up to two months before I receive new fabric lines and then I have to pay not only state tax (Mehrwertsteuer) but import tax as well. If I have it USPS'd I would also have to pay an additional charge to rush it through customs! The alternative was to pay more per yardage (or meter) for a price of 18-19€/meter. I think this is a steep price, but in the end, it might be cheaper? You tell me. What is your experience.?

So, I was on the hunt for some really nice new low volumes within the EU. The first two online shops I stopped at were Stoffekontor and Cotton and Color. I didn't find a huge assortment of what I was looking for, but I did find a few fabrics. I was also really turned on by the blacks as well, even more so than the whites. These are the new additions to my stash-

And I was so excited when I received them, I had to get started. The sun has been really nice to us the past week and making a presence almost every day. Looking at the some of the ideas from our Pillow Swap, I went right to work adding coordinating bright fabrics for greater contrast. I love contrast!

As you can see, I have not mastered this "style." I think there are a few too many non-low volume prints in there, but I am still working largely with my own stash. It is still a part of me. I am undecided if I like it, especially for a swap partner. I will get back to it after the holidays when there is more sunlight. Maybe I keep it, maybe I go for something totally different. Who knows!

I look forward to adding more and more of this fascinating fabric to my stash!

Happy Holidays!


  1. Dear Karen,
    I had the same problem with knowing low volume fabrics and asked Sandra from Hohenbrunner Quilterin. :) but I had no time until now to try out this new and beautiful trend. Your first try looks good.
    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year,

  2. For what it's worth, it is pretty challenging to find a good selection of low volume fabrics in the US, too ... at least for me. I am considering printing some of my own in 2015.

  3. More fabric is always good. Wenn Du willst, darfst Du nach Weihnachten, auch meine Vorräte nach den neuen Schätzchen durchforsten. Frohe Weihnachten!

  4. I have the same problem when I'm in Canada! What's a girl to do?? Have a very Merry Christmas, Karen!

  5. a quilter can never have too much fabric. Like you say though it is difficult unless n the USA where it is the best price. I do not buy from there either as the duty is so high plus the postage, never mind if I am honest I have more than enough fabric to keep me going some however is very dated|! All the best for Christmas and the new year

  6. Sehr schön..... Dein erster Versuch mit den "Low Volume" Stoffen! Ich liebe diese Art von Mix auch total!!
    ...und ich schließe mich den anderen gerne an: man kann ja nie genug Stoffe haben.... ;)
    Ich hoffe, Du hattest schöne Weihnachtstage....
    Liebste Grüße, Deborah

  7. This looks awesome, I really love the new fabrics!!! And it is so funny, because when I first read about "low volumes" in the group "Swappen auf Deutsch" I thought, they were talking about a thin batting :-) Fortunately I found an article in a Patchwork Magazine and started collecting low volumes. I really love them!!!

  8. I have a hard time with low volumes too. It never fails I pull something that separately looks low volume but against the others it's heavy. I spend a lot of time with my eyes crossed backing away from the project to try and decide whether it falls into the low category or not. BTW love those little plus signs, that's a lovely and well constructed block!


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