Quilting Terms Glossary

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Here is a great e-book featuring various quilting terms and their meanings.

Text of Quilting Terms Glossary

Quilting Terms Glossary

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The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.Psalm 23:1

AAlbum Quilt- Quilt made of many different blocks. If the blocks are signed with embroidery or ink, the quilt is an autograph orsignaturequilt.Anchor Piece- Small piece of fabric used when chain piecing to move the machine easily from piece to pieceAppliqu- Sewing small pieces of fabric onto a larger background fabric in a decorative design.BBacking- The back fabric of a quilt, generally plain as opposed to the pieced top.Batting- The cotton, polyester or wool filling in a quilt between the top pieced layer and the backing.Basting- Temporarily holding the three layers of a quilt (top, batting, backing) together while quilting. Basting can be done with running stitches in an easily-seen contrasting color, curved safety pins (pin-basting), spray adhesive, a tacking gun, or fusible batting.Bearding- The movement of batting fibers through the weave of the fabric in the quilt top, resulting in a fuzzy look on the surface of the quilt. This most often happens with cheaper polyester batting. To help prevent batting, coat your thread with beeswax or use coated/mercerized thread. This is also help to prevent breakage and knotting in the thread. You can also use silicon spray on the fabric.Betweens- Shorter, thinner needles used to in hand quilting or to finish quilting. They come in sizes from 8-12, with larger numbers shorter and thinner.Block- These are the most basic units of a quilt and can be appliqud, pieced, or plain.Bias- Direction running diagonally across the fabric grain or at a 45degreeangle to the straight grain. Bias cuts provide more stretch in the fabric.Binding- A strip of fabric folded double and sewn over the edges of the quilt layers. The binding provides stability and is often also a decorative accent. This is the most common way to finish a quilt edge. Bias binding or French Double Fold binding is done with fabric cut on the bias and is especially useful for binding curves.CChain piecing (assembly piecing)-Continuous machine stitching of each piece of the quilt without cutting threads between each seam. This method is faster and saves thread.Cheaters cloth- A pre-printed fabric which mimics the look of appliqud or pieced quilt top.Charm Quilt (scrap quilt)- A quilt made of many, many small pieces of different fabric, ideally with no two pieces alike. Charm quilts are often accomplished through quilter exchanges.Clamshell- A kind of quilting filling pattern with overlapping circular shapes, reminiscent of fish scales.Crazy Quilt- A quilt made from blocks with no set pattern or design and irregular or scrap fabric pieces. They are often heavily embellished with embroidery.Cross Hatching- A quilting filling pattern made by diagonal lines an equal distance apart in one direction and then in the opposite direction to form square or diamond shapes.DDarning Foot- A sewing machine attachment that is especially useful for free motion quilting as it holds the fabric down only when the needle is coming out of the fabric.Directional Print- Fabric with an obvious direction, such as stripes.EEase- To seam together two different sized pieces by stretching or bunching slightly.Echo Quilting- Type of quilting where repeating, radiating stitches run around and mirror specific shapes in the quilt.FFat Quarter- A unit of measurement in quilting made by cutting a half yard in half again vertically, yielding a piece measuring around 18 by 22, instead of the normal 9 x 42 quarter-yard cut.Feed dog- The teeth under the plate of the sewing machine that help move the fabric while it is being sewnFinished size- The final size of a sewn block without seam allowances. For example, a 6 finished size would be cut to 6.5 to allow for seam allowances.Foundation Piecing- Assembling a block by sewing pieces onto a muslin or plain fabric foundation, which adds bulk to the quilt. In foundation paper piecing, tear away paper is used to make quilting easier but reduce the bulk.Fussy Cut- to target and cut a specific motif that's printed on fabric, rather than randomly cutting yardage as we normally do. GGlazed Finish (Bonded Finish)- This thin resin often applied to thread helps to prevent bearding or shifting of the fibers when used on fabric.Grain- The warp (lengthwise) and weft (crosswise) threads of a fabric. The crosswise grain, the weft, perpendicular to the selvage stretches more.HHanging Sleeve-A 3-4 sleeve or tube sewn on the back of a quilt to facilitate hanging.(Quilting) Hoop- Like an embroidery hoop but larger, this pair of plastic or wooden rings helps to keep the layers of a quilt taut during quilting.IIn-The-Ditch-Quilting stitches at the edge of appliqu or close to the seams of a block (the ditch)JKLLap Quilting- Assembling a quilt by completing all three layers of a block one at a time by hand and then joining all the blocks together.Lattice Strips (Sashing)- Strips of fabric between blocks in a quiltLoft- The thickness, resilience, and height of quilt batting. Lower loft batting better shows off the quilting stitches.Log Cabin- A popular block pattern in which narrow rectangles of fabric surround a center square.MMeander Quilting- Random quilting stitches moving fluidly across the quilt but not overlappingMedallion Quilt- A quilt with a large, central motif surrounded by many bordersMiter/Mitering-A method to create asmoothquilting corner with a diagonal, 45 degree seam from the corner point to the inside seamNNeedle-punched Batting-To prevent bearding of the batting within the quilt, this type of batting is punched through with barbed needles to lock the fibers in place (much like in needle felting).Needleturn Applique- In this type of hand appliqu, the seam allowance of the appliqu shape is turned under with a needle as the piece is being attached to background. .OOn-point- In this arrangement, the blocks of the quilt are turned 45degrees, so that corners are pointing up and down and the square seems to be sitting on a point (like a diamond).PPaper piecing- Using paper templates of shapes to assist you with cutting and piecing accuratelyPiecing- Sewing pieces together to make a whole quilt. The quilt is called a pieced or patchwork quilt.Prairie Points- These are fabric triangles (squares of fabric folded over into triangles) used as a decorative finish for quilt edges.QQuillow- A special kind of quilt that serves as a sleeping bag with pillow, and folds up into a carrying bag. Quillows make great gifts for kids.Quilting Feet- Offered with most sewing machines, these special feet measure from needle point to inner edge of the foot, making it easier to sew a seam in quilting.Quilt Frame- A large, free-standing frame that holds the layers of a quilt in place. Some can be used for basting.RRaw-Edge- The un-sewn edge of fabricReverse Appliqu- Instead of sewing on the top of a fabric in traditional appliqu, this method sews on the underside of the background fabric. The top fabric is then cut away and the edges turned under and sewn.SSalvage/selvedge- Woven edge of fabric with manufacturer information or other informationSandwich- Describes the three layers of the quilt: top, batting, and backingSashing- See Lattice StripsSatin stitch- a tight zig zag stitch with very small stitch lengths (just above 0)Sawtooth Edging- See Prairie PointsSeam Allowance- amount of extra fabric added to allow for a seam or the area between the seam stitching and the cut edgeSetting- The arrangement of blocks and borders to form the quilt top.Sharps- Short, thin needles with a very sharp tip primarily used for piecing.Stash- A quilters collection of fabricStay-stitching- a stitch 1/8 inch from permanent line of stitching on a curve to keep the curve from distortingStippling- Irregular quilting stitches set very close together to create texture and fill background spaceStitching-in-the-ditch- See In-the-DitchSummer Quilt- A quilt with a top and backing but no batting or fillingTTacking/tack- temporary stitching to hold material until final stitching is completedTacking gun- A tool for basting which inserts a plastic piece into the three quilt layers to hold them together.Tied Quilt-Instead of quilting stitches, knotted strings or ties hold the three layers of the quilt togetherTrapunto- Closely sewn lines of stitching are stuffed with batting to make them appear raised from the surface of the quiltUUFO/WIP- Un-Finished Products/Works in ProgressVWWadding- See BattingWalking foot- a special foot for your sewing machine that assists in moving several layers of fabric or slippery fabricWarp(lengthwise grain)- Threads running the length of a woven fabricWatercolor Quilt- In this style of quilt, small floral squares build up a subtle, varied designWeft(cross grain)- Thread running perpendicular to the warp, from selvedge to selvedgeXYZZinger- Small border added just outside the assembled quilt top to add attention to the center