I’ve been asked several times what I mean when I say “low-volume fabric”, so today I thought I’d address that, especially since I just recently mentioned that I want to reorganize my fabric stash to include a low-volume bin.
Low-volume fabric is basically just fabric that has low color value. They are usually prints, and the backgrounds of these prints are generally white, cream, or gray, although if light enough, other colors could qualify. The designs in the prints on these backgrounds are usually fairly understated, so that these prints can be used to create light areas in a quilt where you don’t want to use a solid light color — it really does add a lot of interest.
Here is an example of some of the low-volume fabrics in my own stash (the ones on the right are all from Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s new line of neutrals with RJR Fabrics):
I just showed you this block yesterday, and I’ve used low-volume fabrics for the tiny strips between the prints.
I’m using low-volume prints as the backgrounds for my Tile Quilt blocks:
And I used them to make this scrappy version of my Happily Ever After quilt (see more of it HERE):
I also used all low-volume prints to create the light area of my Log Cabin Challenge quilt (you can see the entire quilt and more pictures HERE):
Low-volume fabrics are not restricted to quilts that look modern. Here’s an example of how I’ve used them in a reproduction-fabric quilt as the background (this is my Mayflowers pattern):
Allison Harris over at Cluck Cluck Sew has a great article explaining more about low-volume fabric, so go check it out for more information and more examples of low-volume fabrics, including some shopping tips!
I hope this helps clear it up a bit. While “low-volume” is a relatively new way of describing such fabrics, low-volume fabrics are nowhere near new, and I have several vintage quilts that use low-volume fabrics in them as well. Back then they just called them “light fabric” — teehee!
If you haven’t jumped in and tried any low-volume prints in your quilts yet, I encourage you to give them a try sometime. They really can add more interest to your quilts!