Monday, April 19, 2010

Quilter's Glossary

A Poem for Patchworkers

Patchworkers are a different breed
The things we hope for, the things we need,
We wish for fabric to finish that row
we sometimes wish our guests would go.

We wish all day for that time to be
that special time - that time for ME.
Each needle is threaded, the colors arrayed,
Scissors and pattern have been carefully laid.

Now we relax, this is our pleasure,
stitching this piece of soon-to-be treasure.
We always ignore that mental warning,
Stitching all night makes it rough in the morning.

But time's unimportant, we don't heed clocks,
We just need fabric and a sewing box.
Our project awaits us, now we proceed
this must be heaven - what more do we need?

Every good blog needs a reference page, a glossary of frequently used terms. So, I put this one together with a lot of help from QuiltBug. As a matter of fact, I copied most of it directly from there. So, feel free to do the same! If you think this would be helpful or fun to have on your blog feel free to copy and paste directly from here. I'll be updating this as new or overlooked terms are discovered so if you noticed I missed something, please leave a comment and I'll add it in.

¼" Foot: foot designed to measure exactly ¼" from needle point to the edge of the foot, which helps create a perfect ¼" seam. Also called a quilting foot. If your machine didn't come with one, get one!

Appliqué: a piecing process using small amounts of fabric which are then sewn onto a background fabric in a decorative design such as curved floral or animal motifs. Appliqué can be done by hand or machine, with or without fusible web. It is often combined with pieced blocks or placed in the border to frame a pieced quilt. Appliqué is a great technique to cover stains, rips or other problem areas.

Bare Feet: device for finding pins in a carpet.

Batik: fabrics made by covering a design area with wax or other substance to prevent dye from penetrating into that area. Batik fabric is tightly woven, yet thinner than other cotton quilting fabrics and tends to fray less.

Bias: the diagonal direction across the surface of a woven fabric at a 45º angle to the line of the warp and weft. Fabric cut on the bias stretches easily and must be handled with care. A 45º angle is called a true bias - fabric cut at a 30º or 60º angle can also be considered a bias cut.

BOM: Block of the Month; a set of instructions for a quilt given out block by block on a monthly basis.

Border: a strip of fabric sewn to the outside of a quilt top to serve as a frame for the interior, to enhance the design or to make a quilt top larger.

Chain Sewing: feeding block pieces into the sewing machine one right after the other, without snipping threads in between each seam. This allows you to sew many pieces without stopping after each one, saving both time and thread.

Charm Pack: produced by Moda, a package of usually 40 pre-cut 5" squares, all within the same fabric line.

Crazy Quilt: a block assembled from irregular and often scrap pieces, with no set pattern or design overall. Can be made as small blocks and assembled into a larger piece, or sewn as one complete quilt top. A popular pattern during the Victorian period, it was made with silks and velvets and embellished with much embroidery.

Desert Rolls: produced by Moda, a selection of usually 25 pre-cut strips from the same fabric line rolled together for packaging. Strips are 5" wide x width of fabric.

Dining Room Table: also known as a quilting studio, this piece of furniture can also be used to serve a meal.

DSM: Domestic Sewing Machine; machine used by home quilters.

Ease: to make two pieces of different sizes fit together in the same seam. On piece may have to be stretched a little, or bunched up slightly in order to get both pieces the same length. See also, Fudging

Fabraholic: a non-word. No one can have too much fabric.

FART: Fabric Acquisition Road Trip. See also, SEX

Fat Eighth: Fabric measuring 9" x approximately 22". It is half of a fat quarter. Also called Quilter's Candy.

FQ: Fat Quarter. No, this is not a body part. A fat quarter is a half-yard piece which is then cut in half vertically. It measures 18" x approximately 22". This allows for cutting larger pieces than a regular quarter yard, which is 9" x 44".

Finger Pressing: not what happens when you iron over your fingers. Instead, you use your fingers to press a seam instead of using an iron.

Foundation Piecing: A method of assembling a block by sewing pieces to a foundation of muslin or plain fabric. See also, Paper Piecing.

Frog Stitching: Rip it, rip it, rip it! For further details, see this great tutorial. See also, Reverse Sewing.

Fudge: the resulting action when, despite your very best efforts, a project just doesn't quite work out as it is supposed to. So, you 'fudge' it to make it work. Also, chocolate, a quilter's staple.

Grain: The lengthwise and crosswise threads of a fabric, along the warp (length) and weft (crosswise) threads. The lengthwise grain parallel to the selvage stretches the least and should be used for borders whenever possible. The crosswise grain perpendicular to the selvage has slightly more give. Selvage edges are created as the weft threads are tightly woven through the warp threads.

HST: Half-Square Triangle; created by cutting a square from corner to corner at a 45º angle, resulting in two triangles.

HTS: Half-triangle square; the resulting square when two half-square triangles are sewn together.

Honey Bun: produced by Moda, a selection of usually 40 pre-cut strips of fabric from the same fabric line rolled together for packaging. Strips are 1½" x width of fabric.

Intentional Mistake: The reason quilters give when their quilt is not perfect. Also called "only God can make something perfect," "creative sewing" and "oops". It's a myth that Amish people always deliberately include a mistake in their quilting.

Jelly Roll: produced by Moda, a selection of usually 40 pre-cut strips of fabric from the same fabric line, rolled together for packaging. Strips are 2½" wide x width of fabric.

Label: Fabric attached to the back of a quilt giving the name of the quilt and the name and town of the maker as well as the year made and pattern used. The more information you can include about the maker, the recipient and the reason it was made, the better. Quilt in the label if possible so it can not easily be removed. Take the time to write your name in the seam allowance of the binding, too, as a surprise to future quilt historians.

Layer Cake: produced by Moda, pre-cut 10" squares from the same fabric line.

LAQ: Long Arm Quilter; uses a very long bed (commercial) quilting machine to do the overall quilting.

LQS: Local Quilt Shop

MAQ: Mid-Arm Quilter

OCD: Obsessive Creative Disorder; the compulsive need to start a new project because it is so amazing, even though you haven't finished the last dozen or so you have in progress.

On Point: a square block that is turned 45º, with the corners on top and bottom, side and side, set by triangles in each corner to bring the block back to a square.

OPAM: One Project A Month; every quilter's desire is to finish at least one thing every month.

Paper Piecing: Method of quilting whereby the design is sewn directly to the pattern paper, enabling elaborate and intricate designs otherwise not possible using traditional piecing methods.

Patchwork: an older term, still used in England, for piecing quilt squares together to make blocks. Sometimes pieced quilts are referred to as patchwork.

Piecing: cutting up large pieces of fabric into small, geometric shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles) and then sewing them back together to create a design.

Prairie Points: A simple folded fabric triangle made in multiples and attached as a decorative edge finish on quilts with the point facing out. Also called picots.

PhD: Project Half-Done

PIGS: Projects in Grocery (or Garbage) Sacks

PIP: Project in Progress

QADD: Quilter's Attention Deficit Disorder; the loss of interest in a quilting project at some tedious stage of assembly followed by moving on a new project (possibly fueled by OCD) only to have the discarded project become suddenly and intensely interesting at a tedious stage of assembly in the new project.

QST: Quarter-Square Triangle; created by cutting a square from corner to corner on the 45º and then repeating for the opposite 45º angle, resulting in four triangles.

QTS: Quarter Triangle Square; the resulting square when sewing four quarter-square triangles are together.

Quilt Sandwich: A top layer of fabric, usually pieced, a layer of batting and a backing placed together in that order to make a quilt. Also referred to simply as a sandwich.

Reverse Sewing: removing stitches, i.e., unpicking. For further information see this tutorial. See also, Frog Stitching.

SABLE: Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy; She/he who dies with the most fabric wins!

Sampler: a quilt made of different block patterns, usually as an exercise by the maker in piecing techniques.

Sashing: strips of fabric sewn between pieced blocks to separate and frame them as they are joined into a quilt top. Sashing can be continued around the outside of the quilt top to act as a border.

Scrap quilt: any quilt made with fabrics leftover from other quilts, your stash, or from salvaged fabric from clothing or other items.

Selvage: A tightly woven edge that runs along both outermost edges of a fabric's lengthwise grain. The selvage is formed when the warp threads turn to go back across the loom. You will usually find manufacturers information in the selvage.

SEX: Stash Enhancing eXperience (or eXcursion). For safe SEX, leave the credit cards home. See also, FART.

Spoonful: produced by Moda, pre-cut 8½" squares.

Squaring Up: term used to describe the use of a ruler and rotary cutter to center and trim a block to an exact size, whether the block was distorted during construction or made larger than necessary for trimming later.

Also refers to returning a piece of fabric back to the straight-of-grain. Sometimes the manufacturing process pulls fabric off-grain as it is rolled onto the bolts. Wash, dry and press the fabric with starch. After pressing, fold the fabric with the selvage edges together (like it was on the bolt). If the fabric puckers at the fold in the center, it means that the fabric is not on-grain. Slide the selvages opposite of each other, but keep them parallel with each other until the pucker at the fold disappears and the fabric hangs straight. If the fabric was cut off-grain, the raw edges will not line up with each other anymore and one layer of fabric will be longer than the other both ends. Cut perpendicular to the fold and selvage edges, and this will put the fabric back on grain.

Squishy: An envelope full of fabric, especially one that comes in the mail as a result of an exchange or mail-order purchase.

Stash: Special Treasures All Secretly Hidden; a supply of fabric and notions used for quilting. Quilters love to have SEX (Stash Enhancing eXperiences) whenever possible. The goal is to leave a SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy) to your fabric-loving heirs.

Stippling: closely spaced quilting stitches following an irregular design that does not cross used to fill background space and create surface texture. Also referred to as a meandering stitch.

SID: Stitch in the ditch; quilting done in the seams of the quilt blocks. Done properly on the machine, the quilting is unnoticeable, yet accents the piece work in the quilt. Also known as ditch quilting.

Straight of Grain: Fabric has three grains, the lengthwise, the crosswise and the bias. The lengthwise grain follows the the warp thread parallel to the selvage. It has very little give which makes it ideal for long borders. The crosswise grain follows the weft thread and has slightly more give. The bias is a 45º angle to the selvage and has lots and lots of give. Quilt blocks should be cut on the lengthwise and crosswise grains.

TGIF: Thank Goodness It's Finished!

TOT: Tone-on-Tone

Turnover: produced by Moda, pre-cut 6" half-square triangles

UFO: UnFinshed Object

Walking Foot: this foot helps to feed the top layer of a quilt sandwich evenly through the machine as you quilt. It mirrors the motion of the feed dogs feeding the bottom fabric and helps prevent puckering when machine quilting.

Warp: The warp is made up of threads that run parallel to the length of fabric as it comes off the bolt. In other words, parallel to the selvage edges. Also known as lengthwise grain.

Weft: The weft is made up of threads that run perpendicular to the length of fabric as it comes off the bolt. In other words, perpendicular to the selvage edges. Also known as: crosswise grain.

WHIMM: Works Hidden In My Mind

WIP: Work In Progress

WISP: Work In Slow Progress

WOF: Width of Fabric

WOMBAT: Waste of Money, Batting, and Time

WOW: White On White


coley said...

ROFL- for safe SEX leave the credit card at home!! HAHAHA I love it!

Wanda said...

I've been working on perfecting my Frog Stitching! I think I've gotten to the point that I can move on now. :)

Shay said...

My favourite is PIGS....I have plenty of those.

Some of these made me laugh so hard!

Anonymous said...

I just found you. This is hilarious! I am SO OCD! =)

NancyL said...

I so glad I found you. You have a great blog. I love sunflowers.