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Quilting with Low Volume Fabrics

Lesson 3 of 6

Monochromatic Low Volume Block

Cheryl Arkison

Quilting with Low Volume Fabrics

Cheryl Arkison

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Lesson Info

3. Monochromatic Low Volume Block

Lesson Info

Monochromatic Low Volume Block

So we're going to get right into sewing now um there's more lessons when it comes to color and all that stuff but we're gonna stop him we're gonna learn by example learn by doing learn by doing here so we're going to do a monochromatic exercise I want you to pick one color right whether that be blue, yellow, black, gray and all that from our low valium selection of here at home pick it from your low volume fabrics that you have there and we're going to make one of the blocks and so this is the block that we're making in a show you this one it's called an x plus block it was actually it's not my design it's some I think that it was originally credit somebody in the twenties but it's seen a resurgence in the last couple of years because there was a quilt at the tokyo quote show that showed this and then it became very popular online and tutorial surfaced unquote alongs and everything but it's a really great block for playing with in the low volume world um with this. So we're going to ma...

ke a few of these today and I've got tons of examples to show you as we go along, eh? So we're going to make this quote block it's a monochromatic exercise so I've made mine only in black and white right I've just picked a number of different black and white fabrics put him all the other and made it so that's what we're going to do here in the studio and that's what I'd like you to do at home as well is to play with this all there so we're only making one block so we're going to cut and prep our fabric for a single block so while I'm giving the cutting instructions to everybody at home I'd like you in the studio here to go through a pile of fabrics and pick it you basically need five different fabrics at at its most basic you can use more if you have more in that color way but pick at least five different fabrics any five in a single color way okay and don't worry about anything but picking your fabrics so at home it's the same thing pick five different fabrics at home that you can cut up in this and these air the cutting instructions were going to cut four squares at five and a half inches by five and a half inches and that is for these pieces don't worry that they don't look like squares on the finnish block just follow the instructions we need four squares cut to five and a half inches square then we need eight squares at three and a half by three and a half and that's what's going to make up these little triangle bets here okay, we're going to cut those on dh then you're going to cut four rectangles at two and a half by three and a half and that's what these pieces are you'll notice on my block I paid attention to the directionality of the print but there's absolutely no need teo in there it's just cause the dead text so I was playing with it there but I wouldn't worry about that if I were you on dh then you're going to need one rectangle it uh two and a half by six and a half and then two squares these can be if you only have four fabrics that worked together the's khun b the same fabric this rectangle and these two little squares can be the same fabric but you can switch them out as well. Once he made a couple of these blocks, he'll decide which way you like going it but for now forty five fabrics to get to do that entirely so here in the studio now that you guys have picked your fabrics, I'm just going to quickly show this election that we've got some fun ones here so I've got pink lovely pink selection hear from nicky well someone's already see she's gotten I know because there's yellow and black and white and gray in those and then she's added some yellow and then some grain everything so two colors but still in that monochromatic world hey, we've got a pale blue going on here. Yeah, blue gray yeah, it all works together a very nice is unusually low no, you're going to make just ok all I wanted to do was pick it cannot see we've gotten blue here too but this is where we talk about that you know, the tents, the tones in the shades, right? These are very gray right and a little more pale you've also got picked ones that have a little more solid to them right like it's, a more of a blue background where is these are whiter with some pretty great colors on there so again, all blue but with a very different effect you've got a lot more of a turquoise sort of feel going on here too, so they'll make a great great combination so again so for those of you here in the studio, the first thing we need to d'oh is to cut our five inch squares. We're not going to worry too much about our story five and a half inch squares. We're not going to worry too much about making it like, oh, I have to make sure I'm not cutting on the bias and so we're just making one book okay, so don't don't get hung up on on making sure you're on green line and everything like that cut close to the edge scrappy yeah, anything goes, anything goes here, you can have all four of your things be the same you can have them be different right? So we're just going to go ahead and cut those there for you and I've got some cut already here that's already pre meat okay, so this is a five and a half inch square right? If you're going to be making its scrappy and cutting different ones don't hesitate toe stock your fabric and and cut it that way. Um, this is really a really fun block once you see when you've made a whole bunch, they combined together really quite nicely and as you'll see is we're going further along. We can get a lot of the lessons for using low volume fabrics out of this one block. So we're going to I'm going to show you a whole range that I've made for you that we can do some really, really fun things with it. All right? I'm gonna help cut you guys cut some fabric so that they can see what I'm doing. Which one do you want for your ex? For the the rectangle in the center with the two squares? Can I just take anyone doing okay, all right, so to give ourselves a break on cutting, we're cutting from mostly fat quarters, but sometimes you'll see that you have a piece you know, cut out like that don't worry about that if you have wrinkles like that. It's a good idea to press them out. A question I get asked a lot is, do you pre wash your fabric? I don't if I have, especially with low volumes, because pretty much you're guaranteed that nothing is going to run in terms of color with low volumes on dh I'm quite content that in my finished quilt to see that little bit of extra of a crinkle that comes with it when you don't pre wash your fabrics but it's a personal preference, I don't think there's a right or a wrong way to do it, but if I do have a little wrinkle like this, I will press it first to do it. And as much as I am a lover of scraps saying is I've also written a book on on, um, I will always try to maximize cutting of my fabric to maximize the scrap potential or my ability to use the fabric again. So for example, I've already cut from this I don't want to cut here and diminish the potential for a long piece of fabric I will cut from this part so that I have this much left over as opposed to this other piece left over and whatever you do, just make sure you're cutting off your salvages first or you're not including them and when you go to measure so I tend to cut mine off first there are lots of people who collect salvages um this is not one of the pretty ones but sometimes you'll get salvage is that have they have the writing and they'll have the registration marks for what colors are used on the fabric and everything they're really quite pretty I don't particularly have any desire to use them but I still keep mine and I put them in a band and then a couple times a year I send them to somebody who does use them so that I'm not you know I'm keeping them and not throwing them away but I don't have to keep them for me so that first piece were cutting for karen over here is two and a half by six and a half inches I haven't a straight line already there so I'm just going to cut that out get rid of that with myself with street one now this is what I meant about directionality so this is the piece that goes here right when I go to cut these two pieces if I want them to be the same I'm going to cut so that they're going in that direction as well as opposed to going up but that's again just like we have talked about in other classes here creative live that you don't it's always a design decision it's not but there's a wrong or right way to do it? It's what's your design preference for that so I'll just cut these other ones and that's one thing done for karen here and in the class today we're going to be making at least three of these blocks so you'll be old old pros and ready to go to make your own quilt at the end of it so I've cut that center for you there we go how are we doing over here? You got my corner half my half inch three and a half okay, perfect and over here, how are we doing? Good, my son sure I'll cut your center as well. So here's that pink fabric that really one with quite the saturated print on it it's a great fabric on dh actually, karen is cutting a blue version of it right now. So here's, what I meant by sort of maximizing what you've got on this piece I didn't do I said doing last time is I then cut over again. So now I have this is exact kind of thing I would much prefer to cut this way and have that be the more functional piece, so I need to go two and a half by six and a half but that peace is not quite wine enough so here's what I'm going to do, I'm going tio make sure I have six and a half inches this rulers six and a half inches wide so I'm ok there I'm just going to cut this whole strip off a little tiny blood, right? And so now this s goes in the scrap in were back in your stash depending on how you sort things ready to go and then I have this and if you go that back in your stash now you know this is a scrap, right? And you can be cutting more pieces out of it. So now we're going to cut a six and a half inch right two and a half inches and I wasn't quite straight on that, so I'm gonna cut these two sides first take away the fabric I didn't use flip it over and give myself another straight side and then not want to be ready merry go so there's the long rectangle the green is a great little hit in here now I'm cutting for the extra little the top in the bottom these ones because I am what will call an efficient quilter I'm going to cut a two and a half by five inch piece that I then cut down I just find it easier from a measurement perspective to cut bigger and then cut down do I make mistakes when I do that all the time? A lot of the time here. Welcome. How are you doing, harry? Almost done. Uh, you need your three and a half inch ones? Yes. Video. Okay, which one? This one I was just going to do with out of out of all of them. Okay, I'll cut a child before you all three. Okay? I can whack. So this is again. We'll talk about the efficiency. So we're cutting the three and a half inch ones, which makes up the's corners right here again as I'm cutting and I get these little beds, I just threw them off to the side, and then I'll clean up afterwards. Quilting is definitely a clean is you go thing. And I only say that because for the longest time, I had to cuddling or quilt on the dining room table and we have no kitchen table, so I had to clean up, and it was very frustrating, but I think a lot of us are in that same situation where we have to because you get so into a project and then you're like, and it's dinnertime, right? So one thing I did was put the extra leaf in the table so that I could just push it all to the end, but that only goes so far, so then I started tio I would cut on our kitchen counter so again, I had to clean up, so I got very much in the habit of going ok love making piles, right? Ok, this is going to go back and stash so full that back up as soon as I use it, right that's going that one's going back and stash as well and that's going to be scrapped, separate pile and then garbage, right? So I kind of got into that sort of rhythm and you're gonna have to do the rhythm that works for you. Um when you're doing that, so now we're gonna be cutting the three and a half inch screw it. I'm going to show you a little trick for cutting these, um two times three and a half is seven, right? And if I last time, I should you two talked two and a half times two is five well, I got seven seven look, I'm gonna cut four at once and I'm not going to buy folding out my fabric, I'm going to cut is seven inch square, I don't have quite a straight edge, so I'm just gonna leave myself a little bit. I'm going to cut my two sides like the odds that's going to go on my scrap pile, you know, flip that around and then cut to make myself a good square so now I have a seven and a half inch square that I'm going to cut that in half three and a half inches I am not going to move the fabric so it's staying as a three and a half inch square if you move it slightly just line it back up and then I'm gonna flip the ruler if you have a handi um cutting matt that rotates this is perfect for it and then lined it up on that three and a half inch line again and cut this way and now I have four of those squares right? So you're halfway there she's got four squares I'll do the same thing with this show you that again so you can see it right? Nice good fat quarter there now I have two choices, right? Because we're talking about minimizing, we're maximizing what you've got left for scraps I can go longer so that I'm only cutting one strip or I could cut the seven inches, so I'm going to go longer on this one and what I like to do is to remember my cutting that is not attached right? So I can turn it as opposed to me trying to cut around but I think we all like we forget that sometimes and that the cutting that can move okay so now what's four times three and a half well that's two times seven so that's fourteen inches so I need to cut a strip fourteen inches long I have a salvage here so I'm actually gonna cut it a little bit longer than the fourteen inches because I'll cut that salvage off and I'll just check and see if I have a straight edge if not yeah I don't so I'm gonna cut a little bit more than three and a half inches and then straighten that out right so now I can what I can dio is again to maximize things that can go on my scrap pile just small piece and then this almost the size of a fat quarter can go back with the stash everybody has a different definition of what counts is this crap I have friends who have used it once therefore it's scrap some people less than a fat quarter is a scrap but if this is this close to effect quarter I will also put it back in my stash personally so I got my long strip here and now we're going to cut it at three and a half by fourteen inches lining it up a fourteen and a three and a half there trim those off there's in my garbage pile and now I have this long strip which I can cut down by three and a half inches I just cut that too long I just cut that at four inches so that means I'm going to be short the stakes happen I'm about to do it again, but switch rulers when in doubt changed the tool right there we go now I won't make that mistake see what I did one is four inches no one is three and a half generally that's not that big of a deal, but now I have this piece that's too short so that can go in the scrap pile. But I'm lucky I have that strip, so I just cut even when you're doing precision piecing like this there's a spirit of improv that always happens and when I teach improv as I am and in one of the other creative life classes is that even if you never do improv after taking my class, understanding what it takes to improvise will help you when mistakes like that happen because I have friends and I've had students who go oh, crap, I cut wrong and it becomes this very dramatic thing and you're like you just cut one square wrong, just grab another one, but I won't have enough family then pick a different one it's no big deal, right? Um so it's all about just sort of coming tow that way, okay, so everybody's pretty much done there now let's, get into how this block get that's assembled I'm just going to get rid of those books for now okay so it's really a very simple block the first thing you need to d'oh this is the hardest part your three and a half inch squares okay, so take all of your three and a half inch squares and take your ruler in whatever size you have so long as it can cover from corner to corner and you're going to draw a line you can do it with a regular pencil pencil I wouldn't use a sharpie that's a little dark because this will stay with it ah fabric marker is fine a fine tip pen we'll work as well a regular pencil and very lightly you're going to place your ruler corner to corner and draw line that's it that's all you're going to dio if you're using a pencil or something that can snag like sometimes you'll find pencils snag just go slow and just do even if it's just a dotted line just to have it have it on there if you're using something with the marker and this is on the back of your fabric sorry I should clarify that I see a couple so for you at home as well this is on the back of your fabric you're not going to see the line in the finnish thing but you need the line for when you're sowing that's why it definitely has to be on the back of the tabard I'm using I've got this some fabric marker here so it's a bit thicker so if you have something a bit thicker or your pencils not quite as sharp when you going toe line this up shifted over just ever so slightly so that you're drawn line is actually on the corner because of you line up the ruler right on the corner you're drawn line will be like a smidge to the side of that through that so mark all of your eight and a half inch squares this's where pressing before you cut helps and if you didn't press right now because you want this to be flat so that that line gets as straight as possible okay? And so once you've drawn that in tyre the lines on all eight you're going to take one of your five and a half inch squares and you're going to take one just one for now of your three and a half inch squares and you're going to line it up in a corner if you are a pinar now is the time to pin I will self admit that I am not a pinar if we could get some pins and here that would be great because I see some of our students here in the studio are penner's I'm comfortable on this small of a peace not pinning so we'll go with that but you're going to line it up like that and then we're going to sew corner to corner on that line, those of us who are used to making half square triangles were very used to drawing that line and then sewing a quarter inch to the side of the line. Yeah, so what we want to do is actually so on that line this time I'm going to sit down and show you what that looks like. Make sure to hold your threads when you're starting. It really doesn't matter what kind of a presser foot you have on because you're sewing on the line for this particular thing. You khun back stitch, if that's your preference, I'm not much of a back stitcher personally, ok, so I've gotten all the way to the end lift up my presser foot and pull it out if I'm doing this at home, I would make a whole bunch of these, right? If I'm making the block that we're making today, I would do all four with one corner at one it's, okay? But I'm just going to show you for now, so now I need to add the second corner to this so I've sewn down here, you can just leave that for now. Now you need to add the second one on the key with this is to make sure you don't put it on that what you never starting your sewing in a corner? You're starting at halfway down and going across that you're finished block will come together like this, so I'm going to show you I remember I put my press it down, you don't have to worry that you're going to so over the other bed because they're far enough apart so you don't you know you're never going to so over that when you put them together, so now I've got this block looking like this what do I do next? So I've sewn down those two lines right there before even go to the iron I'm going to cut off the excess that we need to do here, so in this case all line up for a quarter inch we're on lining up a quarter inch on my seem that I sold and then I'm cutting off the excess triangle don't throw these out these air good enough size piece to do something really fun with and in your bonus materials, I give you some tips on how to use those extra half square toe extra triangles to create how score triangle blocks so just put them aside, they're so once you've trimmed them off, we're left with this sort of shape here and now you're going to want to press this cut off your threads tio you don't need them, so you gonna press this? I always recommend doing what they call setting the scene right, so you're goingto press down on the quote blocks so that you've just set the stitches within the theme I had someone asked me recently what, whether this was point like worthwhile doing, I absolutely believe that it is worthwhile doing because it's just like when you fold clothes are going to fold your clothes right out of the dryer or wait right? They become much flatter and nato if you fold them right out of the dryer because they're still warm, so warming up that scene means that when you go to press it properly, you've got, um, a nicer straight line, so then I open it up, you can press to warren's either direction on this one or you compress open again that's your personal preference I tend to press towards the center part as opposed to the corner triangles it's just about making that little part pop ah fop the background, but if you are comfortable pressing open, go go ahead and do that there and notice. One thing I want to show you is that I am not ironi I'm not moving my iron across the fabric like this because as soon as I do this, I'm going to stretch it the fabric, not the iron I'm going to stretch the fabric so and spill a whole bunch of water is the case maybe, um so I am just going toe put the iron down lifted up if you have a really long seen just move down it like that that's the difference between pressing and ironing way iron clothes we press quote blocks and I'll turn around and give it a press from the back to give myself a nice flat block okay, so you need to do that to all four of your triangles does that make sense to everybody here? Perfect was going to throw that one smooth this over throw that one up there to be the start of my quote block people are making progress I'm going to do a little depressing when I teach this is what I tend to do is go around and press for people you've got one there one there we go I won't press that too just to show you where we're at with different ones also when you flip it over the press don't hesitate to use your fingers to get that seem to be laying the way you want it to lay before you even taken iron to it and then turn around and press it from the back a cz well so see there's trees ese blah wait this is the hardest part of a block making this block is this step so if you can do this the rest of the bloc comes together without too much trouble at all dario making some progress perfect sure you can have them right over to me. How about you come and take a couple of yours show trimming again again see we've got it comes to us with squares looking like that five and a half inch square all we do is line up a quarter inch right on our scene and give that a cuts flip it around and do the same thing don't try unless whether you're right handed or left handed don't try to do this and go yeah that's a quarter inch it's okay but you might cut mork cut lesson because we want to use these um excess triangles in a scrappy project that's part of the bonus materials you want them all cut the same size to take the time if you're right handed you would be cutting this on the right side flip around if you're left handed you know you would have been doing it this way and then flip around as well I am so far from left handed so it's hard for me to even demonstrate but I can understand that frustration but now they make rotary cutters for left handed people are there some rotary cutters that you can flip which side the blade goes on which is quite nice so and you can get left handed scissors as well quick press say we can see them all coming together even with everybody's different fabrics we're getting some fun things going on up there now is definitely the time if you have these little tales to cut them off, don't leave them on because when you go to quilt, shirk well, you'll be much happier that they're not on, and if you send your quote so too a long armor, they'll be much happier if they're not on, because what happens is if you don't cut them off and they stay on your quelled, they can sometimes be seen even after you finish the quilt through the front, especially if you didn't use a matching threat. Lynch has a nasty way of doing that. I had that happen to me once I was quoting a quote that was a white background, and I did not notice a piece of red thread that would've been lint or something go between my batting and mike will top until I was done quoting it and it was there and it was quilted over and I kind of went, it wasn't it was just a little one and I thought, you know what it is what it is that's part of the quilt now, but it wasn't to show quote, right? Like if I was making a show quilt or even one for the book, I might do that, um but but it wasn't so way go making more I am his show here who was doing pink nicky you're doing pink. You may not have noticed that you did this, but it doesn't matter I'm going to tell you right now it doesn't matter, but you have sown your fabrics one on that's right sides together that one is the wrong side yeah, but in low volume particularly you're never going to notice it just looks like a different fabrics even if you're using in a not low volume instance that's a great way to get a whole new fabric is by using the back side or if you're really trying to find a fabric that you just the right shade and you can't find it, look at the back sides of your fabrics because you still see the print but it's just later, so don't don't worry about little mistakes like that and nobody will notice unless you you pointed out rain that's the thing with a lot of quilting mistakes is usually your the only one who knows they're there okay, I think everybody is mostly ready I will give you your pieces back this is not mine they ggo ok, so the next step in making this block before we get to final assembly is to do the center across portion this right? And so what you need to do is take your two and a half inch squares and so them to your two and a half by three and a half inch rectangle there I haven't done that. That was the triangle directions the's air repeated and the directions as well or in your bonus materials so that you've got that they're so it's really just simple straight seem there we go as you just going to so you're two and a half inch square to a three and a half inch one along the short side, right? And then you're going to do the same thing with the long rectangle, right? Create a strip that makes sense. Okay, so that's really quick as well. Don't hesitate chain piece these, um I will again. This is my efficiency, the less I have to get up to iron, the better in my world and my can't do it was funny. When I was sewing on the dining room table, I could set myself up so I could be sitting for hours on and I could cut so press all in, like, just by doing this, I had very nice obliques. Um, but now my sewing room, the way I have it set up, I actually have to get up toe iron unless I want to really reach s o I tend to do a lot of chain piecing, which for those of you who aren't familiar with it it's sowing, sowing your one seam and then sewing without anything without any fabric and then putting the next one's right in again and so then you just so those and you just keep going so that when you pull it apart it's his big long chain of piece things all through held together with red, they just clipped the thread and you compress, but it also saves threat. You don't need to do that, so, um we'll go there. Karen, are you ok over there? Do we need a my threat roost in such ok, but you know what you're doing? I think I know. So do you ever just press the entire fabric so you don't have to keep pressing each a little square the big yeah, yeah, yeah when I'm assembling a quilt top that's entirely blocked based where is so every block is the same size that's exactly what I do. So I'll get to the point where all I have sown all of this column together and all of this column together, and then I just keep adding, but I haven't cut any of those apart. Then I take the whole thing and press right so it's weird when you so the columns together you are actually creating rose right, because I've sewn this square and like this square to this square and then the next pair and then the next pair, but then when I go out the third one on its now I've got these three along and then thes three and everything, so I'll do that whole thing and then go impress on one of the things that that's really helpful for is direction of your pressing, because when you go to put that quote time together, if you press to one side, then your when you put the rose now together you've got one set, it seems in this direction and one set of seems in this direction, and so those intersections meet up quite nicely. Okay, everybody should be mostly done that so now we can talk about final lay out of the block have got mine here. When I made mine up, it was just a total random mishmash of fabrics that I just grabbed, um, randomly so it's not going to look totally like the quote block yet, so we've got the center portion the one above and the one below, and then you have to add your ex pieces on the sides we'll pick this one, something different, right? So you've got your different pieces there, so you technically have seven pieces in this block. Ready for assembly? Don't worry too much about whether you know like I have a couple of directional prince here I lucked out because when I put them here they worked out, but it wouldn't have been a big deal if if it was this way quilts unless it's a show quote for unless you're putting it on a wall don't live vertically, they live on your lap, they live all around you, right? So it may be upside down when you're staring at it and there's don't get hung up on those sorts of things when it comes to directionality in this particular block design. If you have stripes, sometimes you might want to cut this so that because we cut a square this way so your stripes would be running like that you may want your straight to run the length of that x and then you're just going to turn it when you go to cut it, but that's not that big of a deal, so we have this at this point it's really quite easy to assemble the block the first thing you're going to d'oh is so this seem right here now we're talking about chain piecing I would take my both of these to the machine like that so I would take this one and this one and go to the machine and I'll demonstrate that chain piecing for you if europe inner go right ahead and pan, may I just line up the edges in the ends shifting things is necessary and so now this is where for those of us here in the studio this's where we want a quarter everybody at home to this is where you want a quarter inch scene right before we were sewing on the line, so it didn't matter what what we have, but now we're quilters so we live and die by the quarter inch scene go there, I get to the end these machines don't have a needle down position, but if your machine at home does, this is when I really recommend doing it because you get to the end of this scene, you stop with your needle down so that your fabric doesn't move, get your next pairing ready and then keep stitching there's going to be a little bit of a break and then I'll just feed that in, and if I had more, I'd continue on more this would be a way to make this block um much more efficiently by doing it that way. So this is what you were talking about vanessa's that hole sort of would you take that whole thing to the machine right? It's attached, so I'll take this up here for pressing, and if I were sewing these together now, I wouldn't bother even cutting them apart but because I have this in the middle I will pressing at this point is again a personal preference I tend to press towards the center the plus bar so that that just pops off the quilt even more so set the scene press heads and then you're going to so the next piece on you just want to make sure you grab the right one so that you're not if I you know had done this right by accident I don't quite have the same block so you just got to make sure that you're grabbing the right one in this instance so go there and I go there and then press that and then I'll just be a matter of joining the three rows together one more how you guys doing here in the studio way go and again pressing towards that center section you could press open at this point bring this over here so you guys conceived from the overhead shot one of the nice things that happens with this block and it's not something I would worry too much about when you're piecing is that you tend to without even trying get that line right there where the ex parte meets up with that two and a half inch thing if it's a little bit off but I don't worry about it because it's again not something that's overly noticeable but it's just a nice little feature there now we have the top in the bottom of the block and all you have to do is sew the center row and write everything should be matching up and and going that way so we'll do that I'm not gonna we've gotten far enough with mine way that we can do low volume pattern finger is there absolutely not there are low volume fabrics can be used for any quilt pattern um what we're doing today is just I've chosen this boat block in particular because as we get into the next exercise is you will see that that there are ways to choose your fabrics to accentuate the designs in the block which will then translate into any other cold pattern that you want to dio great question great question I'm just showing you this one particular way ok, so here is one of the um blocs that I finished before I didn't go monochromatic in this one show it this way I didn't go monochromatic and this one I just went all over here and this is one of the ones where I did go monochromatic same block different effects with it right there so I'm can I grab your blocks is you finished um going to put them up here already see that we've done what I want tow happen has how you get karen came on okay so there's karen's block almost done with the other ones so sorry I have been remiss on showing you the instructions as we're going in the class, but don't forget that these are all in the class materials and it's some repeated elsewhere in there, so now we have to monochromatic blocks up on the wall and we're gonna have a couple more here in a second I actually got another one I should have another one they're way get kelsey a there should be another block that looks like this but in blues, please okay more thread breakage got quilting you kind of delve in tow low volume quoting right away is that something that kind of developed a little bit definitely came later for me I there the term didn't exist when I first started I think it really was only point about five years ago if that and it was hard to find the fabrics now it's become quite trendy, quite popular, so there are a lot of fabric designers who ad low volume to their to their fabric lines. But what I found interesting is that when we're writing sunday morning quilt there's a low volume quotes in that it's all scrappy and I I actually had to fight my publisher to include it in the book because they're like, I don't know if people are going to like this if they're going to want it and I'm like no, no trust me it's going to go over well and I really want to do this but what I was surprised at is how many low volume prince I had without even knowing that I have s o even though sunday morning quilts that's this book here is a scrap quilting book that I will admit that I made scraps to make that particular quilt but I had a fair number of those fabrics already and it was quite surprising to me um in there so um other one it's very cool so it looks like anyone I could do this even if you're a beginner quilter is absolutely really under friendly pattern and a beginner friendly thing grab that thanks there we go got mixed up in other stuff ok so here's another monochromatic block that I've made you'll recognize the let's put this way recognize some of the fabrics in tracy's block actually has done some very similar ones when we put hers up a cz well so we're seeing three monochromatic blocks what's jumping out at you right now when you look at them from the lines the corner edge cross with lines this part here know the middle one yeah, those parts yeah that that's really prominent it's not as prominent right in this block right on in this block is this section that's that's jumping out at you right? Let me take your block their ad that up here's another version right what about in this one what jumps out at you michelle your block well I perceive the yellow and then I see the ex the ex so you're really seeing this and then that jumping out at you as well we've got a pink block coming almost ready for the other blue block okay no pressure so I never called it should be fun in a perfect world we'd have a beer or glass of wine with us right now to having don't worry about the threads on the back right now we just want to get it out with the design there we go way ok so here's another one in pink another kind of different look right so what do we notice on that pink one it's pretty pink but it's these really saturated colors that jump out at you right and what's happened here is because he views them side by side suddenly this looks like a different design in this quadrant compared to here where as vanessa was saying the ex part is really standing out um in there and so we'll get that last one up but what I wanted you to see when we worked on lee in one color that this is where our tin center tones and our shades and our saturation of the color makes the difference right you khun go completely scrappy and random on everything but then you don't see the design as well right, then it becomes just a block that you pieced, but if you're going to go to the effort of piecing a block, you want to see the design in the block, so we get to this one. We can really quite see the plus and the axe. My background prints are more subtle when we go here, you've changed the look entirely in this karen by using the more saturated and heavier cult heavier colors here, so next to it, you know it's, a very different look, not wrong, it's just accentuating a different part of the block. You still see the x and the plus quite a bit, but it's accentuating a different thing likewise, in this block, because this is the only fabric you have. Well, these two, but this is the god it's, a lighter yellow with a little more granite. This is very saturated and a larger scale print. Your eye is drawn to it. Where is your eye? Recedes nicely with that and you've got the contrast between these two things.

Class Description

In the quilting community low-volume is synonymous with light, printed fabrics. In Quilting with Low Volume Fabrics, you’ll learn more about these ubiquitous fabrics and how to expertly incorporate them into your quilt blocks.

Cheryl Arkison will teach color theory basics and help you make more visually appealing quilt blocks. You’ll learn about:

  • Color saturation, hue, tints, tones, and shades
  • Blending low-volume fabrics of varying weights
  • Quilt block cutting and sewing techniques

You’ll learn how to achieve contrast through scale and texture by creating a monochromatic quilt block and how to add interest by adding a little pop of color.

Quilting with Low Volume Fabrics will inspire you to get the most out of your fabric stash and help you create designs that stand out.



Cheryl is an excellent instructor. Great clear explanations and demonstrations throughout the workshop. I also love her humor and non-judgmental approach. I very much appreciated her "value" explanation, since this can be very confusing. Cheryl also provided great tips and suggestions. This was a great experience for me. I signed up for all of her workshops and look forward to each of them. Thanks very much.

a Creativelive Student

Takes a bit to catch on as the progression develops from monochromatic, through the light, dark and medium values to backgrounds but then the click happens and wow! I also have gotten a much better understanding of value which is my own personal nemesis. I'm excited to play.

Beth Conkwright

I've already made a quilt top with low volume fabrics. You really changed my idea that quilts had to have a ton of color. I want to try using low volume for background fabric next. Thanks for such a fun class.