Education Quilting Words Defined

Quilting Vocabulary

Learning a New Craft Vocabulary

Quilting has a vocabulary all its own, including initialism.

When you decide to sew and/or quilt, you will quickly be aware there are terms you are not familiar with and you would like defined.  If someone said you will need to make a sandwich before you start to quilt, would you head to the kitchen?  How about borders?  And do you avoid bias?  Do you press to the dark side?  Sounds rather mysterious, doesn’t it?  So, put your RST and make HST by chain piecing!

Now you know why I felt compelled to define words and initialism familiar to quilters.  You will find these terms becoming part of your vocabulary before you know it.  This list will continually be evolving.  If you have words you feel should be added or encounter a word you aren’t clear on what it means relating to quilting and sewing, please leave me a note in the comment section.

Initialism and Acronym Differ

Could you explain how initialism and acronym differ?   You have probably heard or remember acronyms from school.  Did you ever hear the term initialism?  Soon after googling the question online, I found the answer!  Acronyms are generally the first initial of each word in a series put together and read as a “new” word, such as 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. When read it is “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 combing fabric with seam allowance around a template of some kind, stitched together by hand (the traditional method), or by machine (a relatively new approach to get the same finished look)

FMQ – free motion quilting

FQ – fat quarter, a cut of fabric measuring 18″ x 22″; two FQ equal 1/2 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

PP – Paper Piecing

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 (generally referring to fabric)

UFO – unfinished project

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

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 (generally referring to fabric

Quilting Terms

Aa 

Applique: fabric shape(s) attached to fabric block or border by machine, hand or fusing.  Different methods may also be referred to as freezer paper applique, fusible applique, and needle-turn.

Bb 

Backing:  fabric layered under batting and quilt top; made of one or more pieces to size required

Baste: Stitch with long stitches to temporairly hold two or more layers together for permanent stitching, such as quilting.

Batting:  layer of cotton, polyester, wool, silk, bamboo, or a combination of two, placed between backing and pieced top to add warmth, body, definition, and drape to the finished product

Bias: fabric cut at a 45 degree angle from the selvage and will stretch more than across the width (90 degree angle from the selvage) or length of fabric parallel to the selvage.

Binding:

Block: a fabric unit sewn to other blocks to form a quilt top/design

Bobbin: the circular or cylinder on older treadle machines that the bottom thread is wound on and makes the bottom portion of the stitch with the top  thread.  Modern machine bobbins come in different sizes – 15, L, M – and fit different types of machines.  Bobbins are made of  metal, plastic, or pre-wound on cardboard bobbins.  It is important to use the style and size of bobbin recommended by the machine manufacturer.

Cc 

Charm: 5″ square

Charm packs: forty or forty-two 5″ squares from one fabric line and will coordinate in color and/or pattern

Dd 

Ee 

Ff 

Fat eighth:  9″ x 22″one of each print in a collection

Fat quarter: 18″x22″ one of each print in a collection

Gg

Grain of fabric: 

Hh

Ii

Ironing: moving a hot iron over fabric to remove wrinkles and direct seams to lay together and to one side of the stitching or open on each side of the seam.

Jj

Kk

Ll

Layering: backing, batting, and quilt pieced top with backing right side down, batting smoothed on top of backing, and quilt top right side up – basted for hand quilting or FMQ on home machine.  Long arm quilting requires each piece to be separately attached to the long arm frame.

Mm

Nn

Oo

Pp

Pieced Quilt Top:  patchwork blocks attached to form a design

Pressing: the up and down motion of the iron on and off the fabric avoiding movement with iron on the fabric; used to set seams and seam allowance to lie open or to one side of the stitching; preserves shape of fabric without stretching

Qq

Quilt (noun):  fabric backing, batting, and pieced fabric top secured together with stitches made by hand, machine, or tied

Quilt, quilting (verb): the act of stitching/tying layers of fabric and batting together for use

Quilting motifs:  the quilting design made by quilting

Quilt Sandwich: backing, batting, and quilt top layered for quilting

Rr 

Ss 

Tt 

Uu

Vv

Ww

Xx

Yy

Zz

*****************************More to Come***********************************

Bias

Binding

Borders

Charm Pack

Jelly Roll

Scant 1/4″

Iron

Press

Layer Cake

Yardage

Thread

Needles

Scissors

rotary cutter

Blades

Serger

Sewing Machine

mat

acrylic rulers

Fussy Cutting

Grain

Sandwich

Motiff

Focal Fabric

Applique

Seam Allowance

Hand stitching

Seam Allowance

Hanging Sleeve

Label

On Point

Piecing

Locking seams

 Scant 1/4″ – 

chain piecing

Sashing

Setting blocks

Rows

Nesting

On-Point

Square in a Square

Basting

Stabilizers

Stitches

Ironing

Pressing

Freezer Paper

Fusible Web

Foundation Paper Piecing

Tone on TOne

Value

Tint

Color wheel

Scrappy

Stash

Color

Value

Prewash

Dime

Nickel

Embroidery

Mitered Borders

Prairie Point

Batting Loft

Medallion quilt

Panel quilt

Reverse Applique

Flying geese

Sampler