Quilting A-Z (Part I)

Fake it ‘til you make it with this handy quilting lingo guide.

Applique – sewing one piece of fabric, usually a pre-cut shape, on to your quilt top.

Basting – temporarily joining the layers of your quilt together (by pinning or gluing) so that they’re ready to quilt.

Batting – the squishy, middle layer of your quilt.

Binding – quilt edging, ie the final finishing touch that ‘binds’ the layers together.

Block – quilt front designs are broken down into smaller, easier-to-get-your-head-around blocks.

‘B’ is for block

Charm pack – a pack of 5” squares of fabric. Usually a great (cheap) way to own a sample-sized print from a complete collection (also great for small-scale projects and EPP).

Design Wall – play around with the layout of your quilt by positioning the various blocks in advance on a design wall (or floor, in many cases).

English Paper Piecing – (EPP or Paper Piecing, if you prefer) – traditional hand-sewing technique using paper templates to stabilise fabric and create super accurate shapes, such as hexagons and diamonds.

Fat Quarter – quarter yard of fabric; a common measurement by which fabric is purchased. Some stores will let you purchase fat eighths as well 😉

Fussy Cutting – cutting specific design elements from a piece of fabric, common in EPP.

Guild – a forum for quilters to meet locally and exchange tips and ideas.

Hand piecing – sewing the elements of your quilt blocks/top together by hand.

Inches – yes, in Ireland we went metric in the 1970s (by and large), but quilting is most popular in the US where inches and yards still reign supreme. It’s way too confusing to convert patterns and tutorials, so why bother?

Jelly Roll – pre-cut strips of material which measure 2.5 inches by 44 inches.

Kits –a cost-effective way to make a full-size quilt, kits typically include pattern and fabric to make a quilt top plus binding (you’ll sort batting and backing yourself). Great if you’re not confident calculating how much fabric you’ll need for a particular project. The downside is you’re kinda stuck with specific colour/patterns.

Layer Cake – fabric packs sold in pre-cut 10” squares.

Still with me? Head on over to Part II, M-Z.

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