After a winter with unusually heavy snowfall, Massachusetts is just starting The Long Melt. (Can Mud Season be far behind)? While some years, March here does seem like the beginning of spring, this year the landscape reminds me of low volume quilting fabrics: Mostly white with a bit of color.
Low volume designs of snow and shrubs in my front yard:
After watching part of Cheryl Arkison's class, "Quilting with Low Volume Fabrics" on CreativeLive, and looking again at her book, A Month of Sundays, I decided to try making a quilt with just low volume fabrics. A low volume quilt perfectly echoes the world outside my window.
What are low volume fabrics? Cheryl describes them as white or light colored fabrics with a colored design OR a colored fabric with a white design. "Low Volume". It's a term created by, and only used by, quilters. Unlike most other design and color terms, this one isn't used in the art world.
I also think of low volume fabrics as light colored fabrics with some design and which are especially well suited for backgrounds in quilts. These fabrics have color, but it's understated.
Making a whole quilt with low volume fabrics is a challenge. You need to pay attention to value so the quilt isn't flat looking. Cheryl uses the "X Plus Block" in her class. I didn't want both an X and a plus sign in my blocks. So I modified the pattern, keeping the plus sign but changing out the X for a small fold-over triangle which will create a secondary pattern of small diamonds in the negative space of the joined blocks.
Above are four of my blocks. I've laid them out on a snowbank. They have the pale blues, green and lavenders of the snow and it's shadows and then the light yellow block, like the March sun, whispering of warmer, brighter days to come.