Glossary

Acrylic Ruler
A thick acrylic ruler used with a rotary cutter and cutting mat to cut fabric.
Applique
Putting a decorative patch on a piece of fabric without a hole. Can be either needle-turn, fusible, or raw edge. (There's also reverse applique, but we're not going to go there.)
Batting
The soft material used between the quilt top and the quilt backing. Can be made of cotton, polyester, cotton/polyester, wool, silk, bamboo, corn, recycled milk bottles... or anything else you can imagine.
Binding
The strip of fabric sewn to the edge of a quilt.
Block
A typically square piece of a quilt top that has been pieced or appliqued together.
Bobbin
A small spool of thread that fits into the lower part of a sewing machine. The kind of stitch a typical sewing machine uses two threads — one of the top and one on the bottom.
Chain-stitching
A technique that saves both time and thread. After sewing two pieces of fabric together in your sewing machine, you proceed to feed the next two pieces of fabric to be sewn together without cutting the thread first.
Charm Pack
A term used by Moda for a collection of 5" by 5" squares.
Crazy Quilting
Popularized during the Victorian era, it is characterized by its excess and exuberance. Unique fabric scraps, flamboyant embroidery, and bits of ribbon, lace, or beads... or anything else that could be attached... were used. The crazy quilt motto is — Too Much Is Not Enough.
English Paper Piecing
In this applique technique, fabric is basted around a small piece of cardboard the size and shape as the desired unit. It is then sewn to similiarly prepared pieces of fabric. The cardboard is removed and may be reused as needed.
Fat Eighth
A 9" x 22" piece of fabric
Fat Quarter
An 18" x 22" piece of fabric
Foundation Piecing
An interesting method of piecing blocks together on a foundation. The foundation can consist of a sheet of paper, piece of fabric, or anything else the quilter deems suitable. Lines are drawn on one side, and the spaces between numbered in order of attachment. Pieces #1 and #2 are positioned on the blank side, and sewn together with the foundation using the drawn lines as a guide. It is pulled open, pressed, and repeated until the block is done. Paper foundations are usually removed shortly before the block is to be pieced to a sashing or adjacent blocks. Cloth foundations are usually left in place. The foundation serves as a stabilizer, and allows the quilter to not worry so much about the grain of the fabric.
GTP
The Gone to Pieces small group
Half-square Triangle (HST)
The kind of triangle you get when you cut a square in evenly in half, corner to corner. Two HSTs make a square.
Honey Bun
A term used by Moda for a collection of 1½" strips of fabric cut selvage to selvage (40" to 44" long)
Jelly Roll
A collection of 2½" strips of fabric cut selvage to selvage (40" to 44" long)
Layer Cake
A term used by Moda for a collection of 10" by 10" squares of fabric.
Loft
A term used to describe how fluffy or thick batting is.
Long-arm Quilting
Machine quilting done on a sewing machine the size of a car and costing as much.
Omaha Quilts
The Omaha Quilters' Guild annual quilt show
Opportunity Quilt
The quilt raffled at the annual quilt show
Paper Piecing
A term used to describe two different piecing techniques — foundation piecing and English paper piecing.
Piecing
The act of sewing together multiple pieces of fabric together, typically in straight lines on a sewing machine.
Quarter-square Triangle (QST)
The kind of triangles you get if you cut a square in half from corner to corner twice. Four QSTs make a square.
Quilt
Typically a bed covering made with two layers of fabric sewn together with batting in the middle, and binding along the edges.
Quilting
A highly addictive and fun activity.
Rotary cutter
A cutting tool consisting of a round, VERY sharp blade attached to a handle. It is typically used with an acrylic ruler and self-healing cutting mat to cut fabric.
Sashing
Strips of fabric pieced between or around blocks on a quilt top. If a different fabric is used where sashing intersects with other sashing, those intersections are called corner stones.
Seam
The line between two pieces of fabric that have been sewn together.
Seam Allowance
The flap of fabrics along a seam, usually hidden inside a quilt. Quilters typically use a quarter inch seam allowance, where the raw edges of the fabric measure a quarter inch away from the line of sewing.
Seam Ripper
A tool used to break apart thread in a seam. The un-sewer. Useful for fixing piecing mistakes. Be prepared for some chiding if used openly around your quilting friends.
Selvage
The edge from either side of a bolt of fabric. It is usually a good idea to cut off selvage from your fabric because the difference in weave makes it stretch and iron differently then the rest of the fabric.
Shop Hop
An event (usually sponsored by quilt shops) in which quilters visit multiple quilt stores in the span of a few days.
Spool of Thread
What the British would call a reel of cotton.
Stripping
Making a quilt top out of strips of fabric.