Friday, July 24, 2015


"You keep using that word.
I do not think it means what you think it means."
(William Goldman, The Princess Bride)
For the last few years I've been seeing more and more quilters, or, more specifically, quilt bloggers, using the term "low volume" in reference to a quilt. I believe what they are actually talking about is low contrast.    I imagine we all have those things that irk the heck out of us.  This is one of those things for me.
1.  a collection of written or printed sheets bound together and constituting a book.
2.  one book of a related set or series.
3.  a set of issues of a periodical, often covering one year.
4.  History/Historical. a roll of papyrus, parchment, or the like, or of manuscript.
5.  the amount of space, measured in cubic units, that an object or substance occupies.
6.  a mass or quantity, especially a large quantity, of something:  volume of mail.
7.  amount; total:  the volume of sales.

  • opposition or juxtaposition of different forms, lines, or colors in a work of art to intensify each element's properties and produce a more dynamic expressiveness.
  • Photography. the relative difference between light and dark areas of a print or negative. 

You could have a low volume of quilts, meaning that you only have a few of them, as VOLUME speaks to an amount or quantity of something.  But if you are talking about the lack of differences in the prints in a quilt, that quilt would lack CONTRAST, "the relative difference between light and dark areas of a print". Volume already has a plethora of definitions, I don't think it needs other.



  1. Not being a quilter, I would have thought that 'low volume' meant that it was a thin quilt or maybe had quiet colours!

  2. I read Bonnie Hunter's blog, Quiltville. She also does not like the term Low Volume. She defines it, if I recall correctly, a light color. She loves scrappy quilts, and uses lights from off white to brown paper bag color for the light in her quilts. One thing I love about scrappy, you don't have to run out of the fabric you had in mind and make the quilt smaller than intended. Hope my comment about low volume helps.


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