Appliqué attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.  These pieces usually have edges, which are turned under, except for the process called raw edge appliqué.  Raw edge appliqué can be seen in primitive designs or in art quilts.  Finished edge appliqué can be turned under around freezer paper, turned under with the needle as you sew, can have its edges glued down or it can be lined. These pieces are usually curved and often are representational, such as depicting flowers, birds, faces.
Asymmetrical a design in which there is balance but the elements are not duplicated on each side.  A block such as maple leaf is asymmetrical since all four of its corners are not the same.  In a block, this makes for interesting possibilities since different design elements appear depending on how the blocks are rotated.  Any block divided down the middle by a diagonal line, such as Log Cabin, is asymmetrical.
Auditioning fabric Choosing one fabric over another for your quilt.
Backing this is the fabric on the back of the quilt.
A style of piecework in which fabric is first sewn in horizontal strips, then cut and arranged in vertical steps to produce undulating designs.
Basting After you layer the back, batting, and top of your quilt, it is then temporarily held together using large stitches, safety pins, or basting spray. This "quilt sandwich" is now ready to be quilted. Once the quilting is complete, the large basting stitches or pins are removed.
Batting This is the stuffing that goes between the top and the back of your quilt. It can be polyester, wool, cotton or a cotton/polyester blend. Also called wadding.
Bearding Batting fibres which migrate up through the quilt top. They look as if they can be brushed away, but are actually still attached to the batting layer. This most often occurs with polyester batting, especially when used under dark fabric. A good way to avoid this on a dark quilt is to use a dark batting
Bed size You should always measure your own bed but here are some measurements for the tops of standard mattress sizes:
Twin mattress       39x75
Double mattress   54x75
Queen mattress    60x80
King mattress       76x80
Bias binding this binding is cut on the bias of the fabric (see Grain Line below) and has a lot of stretch in it, allowing it to go around things such as scalloped edges with no problem.
Bias The diagonal grain of a piece of fabric. It has more stretch than either the lengthwise or crosswise grain, and should be handled carefully.
Binding The final step in making a quilt, these are the strips that enclose the raw edges of your quilt.
Bleeding finger pressing
Block Several pieces of fabric sewn together to form one unit or block of a quilt.
Butted seams two border seams that meet in the corner by simply butting up against one another.
Chain Piecing When sewing many pieces of the same size and shape, you can save time and thread by feeding the pieces into the sewing machine one after the other, without even lifting the presser foot. They can then be pressed in one long string, and then cut apart into the individual pieces.
Calico / muslin A plain, undyed cotton fabric, available bleached or unbleached.


this is the term used to refer to the square patches of fabric that form the connection when two pieces of border fabric meet at the corner and a separate square is inserted instead of having the borders butt or mitre together.  A cornerstone can also be used in the sashing. 
Couch a technique used in embroidery to stitch down one thread with another.  In quilting, this method allows you to zigzag over thicker threads, thereby attaching them to the surface without putting them through the needle of your sewing machine.  It can also be done by hand.
Crazy Quilt This type of quilt is made using all different sizes of scraps, rather than utilizing individual blocks. The seam lines are often intricately embroidered and embellished with buttons or charms.
Crosswise Grain This is the grain line that goes at a right angle to the selvedge's (ie, across the width of the fabric). There is usually some stretch to the crosswise grain.
Darning Foot Used for free motion quilting, this sewing machine foot is usually round or oval and made of plastic so you can see through it.
Design wall it can be as simple as nailing a piece of flannel to the wall behind your door, but it allows you to put up pieces and see them in relationship to one another.  Batting also works as a "self-sticking" medium.
Echo quilting To make repeating outlines of the block pattern, radiating out from the design, like ripples in a pond.
Flying Geese unit this is one of the most popular of the small shape groups that exist in quilting.  It consists of a centre triangle and two right angle triangles attached to it on either side.  There are many different ways to construct a flying geese unit.
Friendship quilt A quilt made by friends (who make friendship blocks) as a gift or remembrance to someone who has moved.  The blocks may  be signed, dated, or contain verses.
Fussy Cut taking a clear template for a particular shape in your design, then isolating a single motif and cutting it out. 
Mitred corner Corner (usually of a border) that is joined at a 45* angle, like a picture frame.
Fat Eight One-eighth yard of fabric that is usually cut to measure 9" x 22" rather than the typical one-eighth yard cut of 4.5" x 42".
Fat Quarter On quarter of a square yard (or Metre) of fabric
Fat quarter A half yard or meter of fabric, cut along the middle fold line to make a "fat" or wide quarter, as opposed to a regular quarter yard or meter which is long and skinny! A fat quarter measures 18x22 or 20x22 (depending on whether you are in a country where yards or meters are sold), whereas a quarter meter/yard of fabric measures 9x44" or 10x44", ie the full width of the fabric.
Grain line fabric has three grain lines (the direction of the threads). The lengthwise grain runs the entire length of the fabric as it comes off the bolt.  It is the absolute straight grain of the fabric and has no give or stretch.
The crosswise grain is also straight and runs from selvedge to selvedge. Most instructions have you cut strips that are on the crosswise grain.  This has slightly more give that the straight grain.
If you pull a piece of fabric from the two diagonally opposite corners, you see the bias grain. Some clothing is made this way because it drapes better. Quilts that end in curved treatment will use bias binding. The bias has a lot of give and stretch.  This can cause distortion in your quilt unless you are careful.  Raw bias edges quickly stretch out of true.
Graph paper just like the stuff you remember from school, this is paper that is divided up into equal smaller units so that you can draw accurate shapes.
Half square triangles this is the most used pieced unit in quilting. It is a square with a diagonal seam line.  Two different fabrics are on each side of the line, usually forming a light/dark configuration.   Log Cabin blocks are basically complex half square triangles.
Hand Piecing Sewing with needle and thread rather than a sewing machine.
Hanging Sleeve A tube of fabric attached to the back of a quilt in order to hang it on a curtain rod or dowel.
Loft The thickness or amount of puffiness of your batting. Polyester usually has a higher loft than cotton.
Memory Quilt A memory quilt is usually made up of photographs transferred onto fabric and used in a quilt. They are particularly great for a special occasion like an anniversary or a special birthday. Scraps from the recipient's clothing or curtains or other "memorabilia" could be incorporated as well.
Mystery Quilt There are many mystery quilt sites on the internet. It is a mystery because you are given the "clues" for fabric purchase, cutting instructions, and then step by step clues to assemble the quilt -- WITHOUT EVER SEEING THE FINISHED PRODUCT!! It is a mystery to the end. How much fun is that?!! Try it!
Novelty print A fabric printed with small whimsical designs, also called ‘conversation' prints and ‘craft' prints.
Paper Piecing English Paper Piecing is a method of piecing which uses paper as a stabilizer. First, by hand, you baste the fabric to the paper (it is a little heavier than writing paper, but not as sturdy as cardboard). You hand sew right through the fabric and the paper, then you use a whipstitch to sew the sides together. When you have finished your block, then you can remove the basting and the papers, and reuse the paper.
Quillow A specially designed quilt which is actually a cross between a sleeping bag and a quilt and also a pillow. A Quillow folds up into a carrying bag. A popular gift for children and teens.
Quarter inch foot A ¼" presser foot which assists you in sewing a perfect ¼" seam.
Quilt Retreat The most fun!!!! A group of quilters get together and go away for a few days of sewing and fellowship without all the distractions of home.
Quilt top

The top layer of your quilt, usually but not always pieced from lots of little bits of fabric.

Rotary cutter rotary cutter - Olfa style
Reverse appliqué Designs made by sewing on a patch to the underside of the block and then cutting away and turning under the edge of the top fabric.
Sampler Quilt This is a quilt in which each block is different. As well as being beautiful, it is a good way to learn to quilt. Because each block is different, you learn a variety of piecing methods. Like a block library to refer back to at a later stage.
Sashing or Lattice The strips of fabric surrounding the blocks in a quilt, for an example, see my beginner sampler quilts. Not all quilts have sashing.
Seam allowance Refers to the width of a seam line. Quilters generally use a ¼" seam allowance.
Self healing mat cutting mat
Selvedge The warp (long) edge of the fabric, finished and usually thicker than the rest of the fabric.  Cut off when being pieced into a quilt.
Stash Your fabric collection! This can be small enough to fit into a plastic bin, or it can fill the whole sewing room.
Stitch in the ditch When you quilt in the seam lines of the quilt. Sewing your stitches in the ‘ditch' created by the joins of the pattern pieces.
Straight of Grain The lengthwise straight of grain on fabric runs parallel to the selvedge. It has very little stretch, if any. The crosswise straight of grain is perpendicular (or at right angles) to the selvedge and is a bit more stretchy. In quilting, we are usually cutting along the crosswise grain.
Strip Piece Instead of cutting long strips into squares and then sewing squares together, you can sew the whole long length of the strips together and then cut them into smaller units. This method saves time as well as thread.
Trapunto Additional stuffing in certain portions of your quilt to make those parts stand out. In my "Romantic Hearts" quilt, the hearts have been trapuntoed by placing an extra layer of batting underneath. If you want flower stems to stand out, you might insert cording. Its very effective!
UFO A UFO is any unfinished object and most quilters have them stowed away somewhere. It could be a quilt top that has not yet been quilted, or it could be blocks unassembled, or just pieces of fabric that have been cut for a project. Until it is finished, it will remain a UFO!

Walking Foot

A special presser foot which assists in the machine quilting process. It feeds the fabric from the top while the feed dogs feed from the bottom, thus helping to prevent tucks and puckering on the back of your quilt.
Whole Cloth Quilt The quilt top is made of one piece of fabric, often muslin with a quilting design printed on it. After quilting, you wash the quilt and the marked design lines disappear. You could also call a pre-printed panel (eg. for a baby quilt) a whole cloth quilt as it is one piece of fabric. Some people call this a "cheater" quilt, but I like the term whole cloth quilt so much better!
WOF Many quilting patterns tell you to cut strips across WOF (width of fabric). This means you fold your fabric with the selvedge's together, just as it came from the store, and then cut your strips.









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