Low Volume Prints

21 Mar

Barbara Brackman had a nice article today on her Material Culture’s blog.  It’s about shirtings and what she calls “low volume” prints.  Those kinds of light fabrics are always tough for me to use.  Are they lights?  Are they mediums?  They always have light backgrounds but sometimes the print makes them busy.

Like this one:

yuck

I don’t like this one above.  There’s not a clear enough distinction between the lights and darks.  That’s the trouble I have with these “low volume” prints.

However, I really like some of the other antique quilts in her article.  Like this one that looks 3D to me.

threed

She says the quilt above is a charm quilt.  I really like it.  And on the one above, I don’t mind that some of the low volume prints read as mediums.  It just seems to work.

So what’s the secret?  When can you use the low volume shirting prints and they look okay?  Is it the size of the pieces?  I always thought smaller was better for scrappy, but I don’t like those small pieces in the circle block.  Is it that the second quilt is more geometric?  My eye just kind of adapts better since it’s basically got only one shape to it.  Hmmmm…  anyone have any answers as to when to use these low volume prints?

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