A Beginner Friendly Low Volume Quilt

A Beginner Friendly Low Volume Quilt

Quilting is a bit like running for me. I love the result but sometimes the process takes some perseverance.

I started quilting almost six years ago and haven’t stopped. Since I began this hobby shortly before getting married, my husband’s family gifted me almost all the quilting supplies I needed to get started for our first Christmas together. My sisters bought me my first sewing machine. Β Needless to say, this was not an all star sewing machine. BUT, it got the job done, and I loved it. I quilted many quilts on that little rickety thing…including my first queen size quilt. Sometimes it sounded like a train coming through the house, but alas, the needle continued going up and down as requested.

Beginner Friendly low volume quilt.My husband soon learned this hobby was going to stick around for a while. He started talking about buying me a new sewing machine. I hesitated for a long time; I follow a lot of quilting blogs, and these awesome and creative ladies have machines that cost thousands of dollars. I wasn’t ready to drop that kind of money on a sewing machine.

Well, he secretly started doing some research. Knowing me well, he found a sewing machine that was a good upgrade from the one I started on, but was still less than $400. I don’t regret the purchase one bit. This has been a great middle of the line sewing machine for me. I use it almost every week, but since I don’t make a career out of sewing, this one is perfect for me.

This is the second queen size quilt I have sewn. I’ve wanted to sew a low volume quilt for quite some time, but made myself finish some other projects first. Low volume means low color. Pastels. Soft. Nothing bold. Lots of white.

Beginner friendly low volume quilt.
A few things you should know about me when I quilt:

1. I don’t like using patterns. I’d rather look at a quilt I like and figure out something similar.
2. My corners don’t line up perfectly when I quilt…and that doesn’t bother me.
3. I like quilts because of the fabrics and the patterns. Not because of swirly ornate quilting.
4. I want quilting to be something I enjoy. If I had to be perfectionistic about it, I would quit.

Here is a short tutorial on a beginner friendly low volume quilt:

A Beginner Friendly Low Volume Quilt.
I sewed another quilt with this exact pattern and blocks, and you can see that one here! It’s a sweet one for a little girl’s room.

Like I said above, this is the PERFECT quilt to try if you are a beginner. It is made up of two blocks:

Beginner friendly low volume quilt.
The block on the left is a square 6 1/2 inch block. The block on the right is made of four 3 1/2 inch squares.

To make the block on the left:
1. Cut 6 1/2 inch strips of fabric.
2. Cut the strips down into 6 1/2 blocks.

To make the block on the right:
1. Cut 3 1/2 inch strips of fabric.
2. Cut the strips down into 3 1/2 inch blocks.
3. Sew the blocks into pairs. (for example, one white and one patterned gray block.)
4. Sew the pairs together to make a square 6 1/2 inch block.

Beginner friendly low volume quilt.
You may notice in the above pictures that I arranged the fabric squares to create a diagonal line going upwards to the right. Play with your blocks and use the fabric patterns and colors to arrange them how you like best.

A beginner friendly low volume quilt.
Even though I am not a huge fan of borders around a quilt, I ended up putting a row of white blocks around the perimeter. I was out of all my patterned fabric, and I needed the quilt a tad bigger. I learned with the first queen sized quilt I sewed to try it out on the bed before you get to the point of no return. πŸ™‚ The back of this quilt is solid Kona white fabric.

A beginner friendly low volume quilt.This is my favorite quilt I’ve made in the five or more years I’ve been sewing. I learned a few thingsΒ from making this quilt:

1. I didn’t try to copy anyone else. I didn’t look at too many pictures for inspiration. I created what I wanted to create..and I liked how it turned out.
2. I had a pile of fabric at home that I was afraid to cut into for fear of never finding any fabric again that I liked so much. Note to self: There will ALWAYS be new and adorable fabric coming out on the market.
3. I used multiple shades of white. Sometimes I feel I trap myself when I use all white or all off white. By using both, I think this quilt has a fresh and modern feel with a touch of vintage. Just the way I like it!

how to make a low volume quilt. beginner friendly. pez fabric. lotta jansdotter triange fabric.

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29 thoughts on “A Beginner Friendly Low Volume Quilt

  1. I LOVE this low volume quilt! One of my very first quilts was a queen size for my bed, and I wanted it to be calm and muted. I ended up needing to buy more fabric for it, and by the time it was finished it was much more colorful than I had planned. It is now on my 8 year old daughter’s bed. If I had not been afraid to just use lots of offwhite, it would have been perfect for me. I am wanting to do one like yours because it would be so “me”. Thanks for your inspiration and tutorial! And, BTW, I totally am with you on your four points. I also have a fifth point….My quilts are made to be loved AND used. I don’t freak out about a smudge or spill or dab of nail polish on one of my kids’ quilts. That is life!

    1. Hi Heidi, I love your comment and the fifth point you offered! We use our quilts too! Sometimes I feel a bit guilty, but I have to remind myself that I wouldn’t want it any other way. Just last weekend we dragged one of my favorites out for family pictures into the middle of a dirty field. I don’t know if the stains will ever all come out, but it’s okay!

      Be sure to send over a picture if you start a new low volume quilt! They’re still my favorites.

      1. Hi Kelli! About how many different fabrics would you say you used that weren’t a solid shade of white? What would you estimate your ratio of “white” and printed fabric is in this quilt? I am still in the cutting process for my queen sized quilt. I will need 720 pieces total….not ideal for a girl who needs immediate gratification, so I had to start sewing some of the blocks already…lol! I wish some little fabric cutting leprechauns would come to my house in the middle of the night and finish cutting for me!

        1. Hi Heidi, I counted some out here at home, and it looks like about a 1/3 of the blocks are a solid white or off white. I completely understand the looooooong process it is to cut the blocks!! I compare it to running…sometimes the process gets long and hard, but the end is totally worth it!! πŸ™‚

          1. Hi Kelli! It’s finished! I’d love to show you what you inspired me to do, but I can’t seem to post a photo here in comments.

  2. Your beautiful quilting projects have inspired me so much!! I am using this tutorial to make my very first quilt! It is for my daughter and I am so excited to see how it will all turn out πŸ™‚ Eventually, I think I will use this same pattern to make a somewhat low volume camping theme quilt for my baby boy who is on the way! I love love love all your fabric and pattern choices! Your projects are all so pleasant and refreshing πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Rachel, thanks for your encouraging comment! πŸ™‚ It makes my heart happy hearing that this tutorial is helpful. And, baby boy quilts are the best! Be sure to send a picture when you finish your quilts. I’d love to see them.

  3. I LOVE this! Looking at closeups of the quilt, you didn’t stitch in the ditch around each block as well as your other stitches did you? Also, did you stitch each individual square one at a time or all the way across your quilt? This is my next project!

    1. Hi Cindy! I did not stitch in the ditch. I sewed right across the entire quilt. I quilted a quarter of an inch of every vertical seam and then every horizontal seam.

      Be sure to send a picture if you end up making one similar!! I’d love to see it. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Very nice quilt but I especially love your four ponts about quilting. We need to keep that in mind. The process and finished product should be fun. Keep up the good (encouraging) work. Thank you

    1. Hi Denise,
      Thank you! Yes, the process must be enjoyable for me. πŸ™‚ While I try really hard to get all my points and corners to line up, they just don’t. And, I don’t want to spend all that time ripping seams just to get them to line up perfectly. Maybe someday I’ll have the patience (and skills!), but for now, I’ll sewing my imperfect quilts.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I love your quilt. It looks like many my Mother-in-Law did and before she past she was wining awards for her abilities. Sadly, I’ve gotten ahead of myself cause I can make just the patchwork tops I want a black and white quilt for my daughter. Most of my quilt blocks are 4 inch blocks. Excuse me on the Math but next to that block to even it out what should my blocks measure next to the 4 inch. Help, did I confuse you?

    1. Hi Diane,
      Sorry I took so long to get back to you. My quilting math is not good! But, if I understand your question correctly, your little blocks would need to be 2 1/2 inches each.

      In other words, big blocks are 4 inches. Sew four 2 1/2 inch blocks together to create pieced block.

      Hope that helps! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Cynthia, those are great questions. First note this is a very very large queen size quilt. We have a pillow top on our mattress so I needed it extra large. So before you sew one this large, make sure you have a good idea of how big this is.

      This quilt is made with 255 blocks total.
      17 blocks long. 15 blocks wide.
      Each block is 6.5 inches before sewn together.

      Considering seam allowances, the front takes roughly 8 1/2 yards. The back takes approximately 7 1/2 yards.

      The final size is 102 inches by 90 inches.

      So apparently this is falling into the king size range…

      Is that helpful?

      Thanks for stopping by today!!

      1. Kelli, Love this quilt so simple yet so chic. Love , Love , Love…. going to try this after I finish up my other wilting projects…. (Lots)….. I would like to know what you used for you backing? Is it a solid white, or a pastel print? Inquiring minds want to know. I love your work…. Thanks

        1. Hi Natalie,
          Good question, I used Kona Cotton White on the back of this one. I kept it pretty simple.

          Thanks so much for your encouragement! I always enjoy hearing from someone with similar tastes. πŸ™‚

  6. Kelli,
    You have inspired me to stop trying to be like my quilting friends and just keep being me, I hate patterns mostly because I can’t follow them!so anything I start ends up uniquely mine. Those who receive them love them and now I believe I will be able to see myself more as the quilter they all say I am because there are others out there like me that I didn’t know about!
    Thank you so much for your inspirational words! BTW: I have never made a comment anywhere before! But this is special

    1. Monica, you make me smile! Thank you for commenting! πŸ™‚ I have learned I just like simple patchwork. I love the fabrics too! So yes! There are others like you! I’m one of them. Keep sewing and quilting. Do what you love!

      I’m thankful you stopped by here today and brought me a ray of sunshine. It’s always fun connecting with someone kind of like yourself. πŸ™‚

  7. This quilt is absolutely beautiful. I love the soft pastels. I have been buying up fabric and sheets that are white with rose patterns, ( I hit the mother load at an antique shop) . I now know what I will do with it. Thanks for your post, and for the perfect idea to use my fabric on.

    1. Oh Sheila!! Me too! I have a stack of old sheets in my bedroom right now ready to be made into a picnic blanket. πŸ™‚ Please do send a picture if you end up using this pattern. πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Finally! A woman after my own heart! Yes, the consensus is that a quilt should be “perfect” but if it’s made with love who cares?! I’mjust starting my first project and your ethos is inspirational! Thank you! πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Nat, good job starting your first project! I hope you love the process and enjoy it! Yes, worrying about perfection can squelch a project for me. Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Hi Suzan, thank you so much for your compliment! I kind of compare quilting to running. It takes a little perseverance for me, but the end result is always worth it.

      I do hope you give it a try! From looking at your blog, I think you would enjoy it. πŸ™‚ -Kelli

  9. I’ve picked up a few quilts at thrift shops and I just love them, but I’ve always wanted to try making my own! I’m definitely a beginner on a sewing machine, but I pinned your tutorial for later so I can give it a shot. Yours turned out fantastic and I love the fabric you used.

    1. Thanks! I think quilts are often times easier to sew than people think. They can just get a bit monotonous…so you need some perseverance. I love seeing them used all over the house. Thanks for stoppying by! -Kelli

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