Quilting Vocabulary

Initialism and Acronym Differ

Could you explain how initialism and acronym differ?   You may remember acronyms from school.  Did you ever hear the term initialism?  Acronyms are the first initial of each word in a series put together and read as a “new” word. An example would be NATO.  Initialism is shortening a phrase or collection of words to the first initial of each and read as the full word of each initial.  RST is a common initialism. Read it as “right sides together”.  WST would be read “wrong sides together”.  In the next section, I will demystify the initialism in quilting.

Initialism – Read as…

BOM – block of the month

EPP – English Paper Piecing – a method of combining fabric with seam allowance secured around a template. EPP has been around for many years and traditionally stitched together by hand. Because hand sewing is not for everyone, along came an innovative approach to get the same finished look possible with a sewing machine.

FMQ – free motion quilting

FQ – fat quarter – a cut of fabric measuring 18″ x 22″; two FQ equal one-half yard

HST – half square triangles – a square divided corner to corner with each side of the line different fabrics

LOF – length of fabric – length refers to cutting parallel with the selvage

PHD – project half done – sometimes referred to as a UFO. PHD is most often referring to an unfinished project set aside to work on something else.

PP – Paper Piecing – a method of piecing a block on the back of a printed paper block pattern. This system allows for sharp points and matching seams. It is possible to do the technique for the same preciseness without sewing on the paper. I wrote a post on the paperless way to get the same perfect points! Begin with this post https://www.sewingwithstitcher.com/foundation-paper-piecing-a-different-approach/. Beneficial to watch are YouTube videos on this subject. I suggest you start with a straightforward design, like a square in a square.

RS -right side of the fabric, more distinct in color and definition. Dyed solids and batiks do not have RS or WS.

RST – right sides together (referring to fabric)

UFO – un-finished project

WOF – width of fabric – width is from selvage to selvage

WS – wrong side of printed fabric; solids and batiks do not have wrong sides if dyed

WST – wrong sides together (referring to fabric)

Difference Between Acronym and Initialism

Acronym and Initialism each focus on the first letter of each word in a phrase. They view them differently when using them. Acronyms use the first letters to become an unfamiliar word used in place of the original words. Initialism, however, uses the letters as an abbreviation, however read them as the words they came from.