Six Inspired Tips to Transform Your Low Volume Quilts
Everyone should try a bit of low volume quilting. It’s a fun and easy way to try some new fabrics. Below are some low volume quilting tips that have been successful for me. The fabric patterns can be as simple or intricate as you want. Just think of low volume fabrics as your neutral background. Mix them all together and start making your blocks. You’ll love the distinctive look of these fabrics against your more colorful design prints.
Download your printable copy of Free 6 Inspired Tips to Transform Your Low Volume Quilts.
This quilting adventure all started with about 15 yards of low volume fabric in curated fat quarter bundles. The total mix consisted of about 40 different low volume fabrics. Since I hadn’t ever used low volume fabrics, I decided to start small and make baby quilts. It was also a perfect way to try multiple low volume quilting techniques without using all my new fabric in just a couple quilts.
Pretty Little Pink Squares
My first low volume quilting tip is reflected in this simple, yet sweet baby quilt with bits of intermingled pink prints among the low volume 2½” fabric squares. It’s an easy, quick project that requires no matching seams. Using low volume fabrics as your neutral background offers a lot of diversity when mixed with the small pink prints used in this quilt.
Once your squares are cut, sew them together into long strips according to the size quilt top you’re making. Then when you join the strips, every other one is offset by a half-size square. This way none of the blocks requires matching seams. Next time you need a quick quilt, try this method and you’ll be finished in no time!
A Soft Blue Rag Quilt
The next low volume quilting tip focuses on a soft blue baby rag quilt. With a blue flannel backing, the rag edges wash out beautifully and so fuzzy. You can make this quilt using 5” squares or bigger for a larger size quilt top. Mix up your low volume fabrics with four or five different pale blue prints for a good balance. Then use one of those prints as a border to secure your edges.
With the large variety of prints, there’s lots to see in this quilt. The rag-cut blue flannel edges highlight the pale blue prints wonderfully across the quilt top. The special finishing touch to this quilt are the rosette corner blocks in the border. Such a simple technique that adds a great distinctive look.
After two quilts designed with very subtle fabrics, I needed more color. Back to the 2½” squares, wonky stars & corners were added in bolder colors. This low volume quilting tip is a combination of 9-patch and 36-patch blocks. Wonky corners are added sporadically throughout the pre-assembled blocks. Then a few wonky stars are put in to showcase some very bold, bright pink batiks. Though a bit fussier to assemble, I am very pleased with the results.
A Bit More Modern
Quilt number four is a low volume quilt with bright batik accents. It also starts with 2½” squares. This low volume quilting tip focuses on these smaller squares that blend so well creating a perfect contrast for some bold batiks. Their size helps to create an all-over background without any single fabric dominating the design. Using a 36-patch block, an assortment of 4 – 7 bright batik squares are added in random patterns. While each block has multiple batik fabrics, they are grouped into color families. This way the blocks become very distinctive on their own and mix well when combined in a group. Check out the Low Volume Quilts with Bright Colors post to download this free pattern.
Modern Improv Low Volume Quilting with Bold Batiks
What to Do with The Rest
Bold contrasts are my favorite to quilt with. Given all the remaining bits of low volume fabric still in the pile, I really want to add a punch of bright, bold color all over this quily. Most of the low volume fabrics remaining are cut to 2 ½” strips. That means making up some 9-patch low volume blocks and adding some bright batik squares sporadically throughout the quilt top to add lots of contrast. This is a simple way to try an improv quilt, too.
Simply use what you have and make it work together in a design that appeals to you. This quilt’s design has improv pieced batik blocks throughout the quilt top and a border of mini 1″ patchwork. It all comes together in a fun and vibrant quilt!
Low Volume Quilting Tips
The biggest advantage to low volume quilting is what a fabulous background these fabrics make. Their subtle colors and patterns blend so well and create an intriguing look to any quilt. I’ve never been a fan of white fabric backgrounds because I love to work with lots of color and patterns. Low volume fabrics give me the contrast I want, yet also provide some great design elements, too.
Try a bit of low volume quilting with a couple tips mentioned above. Low volume fabrics offer a lot of diversity. Whether you’re adding a subtle bit of color throughout your quilt top or taking it all the way to the extreme with bright, bold contrasts, you’ll enjoy the endeavor.