That phrase, “low volume” seems to be rather complicated for most quilters. We’re taught to have a single background fabric, or use as one popular quilter calls it, “vanilla pudding”. There’s nothing wrong with vanilla pudding backgrounds, if that’s what you like. Personally, I like to use a texty background, or a solid white, or use some of these low volume prints.
Low volume is a term that refers to prints that read as light/white/cream. They have no defining color or standout pattern to them. Any small print on a white or cream background is a likely candidate for low volume. The overall resulting quilts seem soft and antique looking because of the liberal mixing of these prints. In other words, for a low volume work, I’m not using a single low volume fabric. I’m using a collection of fabrics, much like these.
I think it helps you all greatly to just see what I mean by low volume, to see actual prints that I’d consider for that role in my quilting. Note that these particular fabrics are somewhat wild, and I would use them in a quilt together, but not necessarily a quilt with other lights. If I were using these as my background, I’d choose some pretty saturated colors so that my pattern stands out, or I would use just these fabrics. They are definitely not vanilla!
Happy Low Volume Sewing!