Glossary Of Quilting Terms


We have provided this glossary to help you get to grips with common quilting terms, this list will be updated frequently to keep this up to date.

Appliqué: The process of combining small amounts of fabric, to create floral or decorative designs.. This type of quilting is perfect for both machine and hand quilting. This method is also very good at covering small rips or tears to your fabric.

Backing Layer: The layer of fabric, which is often undecorated and is often used as a whole piece of material to cover the back of your quilt. If you label your quilt, this layer is where you place your label.

Basting: This is process of fixing your three layers of quilt together. Long stitches are used and removed when the quilt is finished.  Pins and Self fusing basting are available.

Batik: Wax is used to cover parts of the patchwork quilt to stop dye from running. This technique is found frequently in Indonesia

Batting: This layer of your quilt is designed to provide insulation. There are many kinds of batting, ranging from wool to man made Polyester. Batting is the middle layer of a quilt.

Betweens: Small needles which are very thin.

Big Stitch: Quilting that uses embroidery to create highly decorative quilts.

Binding: Uses various lengths of fabric to provide finishing touches to a quilt. Can also add strength to a patchwork quilt. Often used at the edges to tidy up the edges.

Blind Stitch: A sewing technique, which hides the stitches from view and is often used with Appliqué.

Blocks: See quilting blocks

Border: Fabric is sewn to the outside of the quilt to help provide decoration and strength. It creates a framed effect on your quilt.

Chain Sewing: Sewing many pieces of fabric, using a sewing machine. Threads are not cut which says thread and more importantly time.

Charm Quilt: A quilt made from different fabrics, no piece is the same as any other quilt block.

Corner Setting Triangles: Material cut into triangle shapes and used to cover the corners of a quilt.

Crazy quilt: A patchwork quilt made up from off cuts. No design and irregular shapes are used in this method of quilting.

Directional Prints: A print which is added to the quilt. The fibres of the print all head in the same direction.

Ease: The process of making two different lengths of material fit on one single seam..

Fabric starch: Used during pre washing to help material become crisp.

Feed dogs: The teeth that help a sewing machine to pull the fabric through.

Filling layer: Also called batting or insulation layer.

Finger pressing: Use your fingers to press along seams.

Fusible: Material which can be ironed onto the top layer of a patchwork quilt. Often designed to add extra detail or decoration. 

Grain: The threads of a fabric, includes both horizontal and length ways threads.

Hand Quilting: The process of sewing a quilt by hand.

Hanging Sleeve: A loop added to the top of a quilt to allow it to be hung on the wall.

Labelling: Adding your name and details to a quilt.

Layout: The arrangement of quilting blocks.

Long-arm Quilting: Professional sewing machine used to make quilts.

Muslin: A cheap material used for backing layers.

Motif: An Appliqué design patch.

Needles: Used for hand quilting, vary in size and thickness.

Needle and thread: adding thread to a needle.

Patchwork: A term used when making a quilt. It is a older term.

Patchwork quilt: A quilt made from separate patches or quilting blocks.

Quillow: A quilt and a sleeping back combined. These quilts also have a pillow sewn into them.

Quilt top layer: The top of a quilt, often made from various materials and quilting patterns.

Quilters: People who enjoy making quilts.

Quilting: The process of making a quilt.

Quilting block: Pieces of material, which are sewn together to form a quilt.

Sample: A test piece of fabric. Often made prior to making whole quilt.

Sashing: small strips of material used to separate quilting blocks.

Template: a quilting design pattern, which can be followed or traced.

Thimble: Metal protective covering for fingers.

For more information on quilting for beginners please click here!

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