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Quilting Lingo 101

Just getting into quilting and wondering what all the many acronyms and saying in the quilting world mean? Here's your guide to all things quilting explained!

  • WOF - "width of fabric". This is a term typically found in many quilting patterns referring to the width of fabric - salvage to salvage. Roughly 42" for most fabrics.

  • 108/Wide Backs/Backing Fabric - There are many names for this. Backing fabrics are typically the large expanse of fabric you put on the back of your quilt top when quilting it. Backing fabrics are typically 108" wide so that it can span the entire width of most quilts.

  • Batting - This is the cotton fabric used in the middle of your quilt sandwich. It comes in different types (wool, 50/50 blend, etc) and gives the quilt a different level of 'squish' to it depending on what type you choose.

  • Quilt Sandwich - We use this term in the Workshop a lot when describing the process of getting your quilt top quilted on our long arm machines! The quilt sandwich is build up of the quilt top as the top "bun", the batting fabric in the middle and the bottom "bun" being the backing fabric.

  • Binding - Binding is the final process in finishing your quilt top. It is the piece of fabric that is used to create a finished edge around the edges of your quilt.

  • Quilting Foot - This refers to the foot on the sewing machine. There are different size quilting foots and most patterns will specify which foot is needed. Ex. Walking Foot, 1/4" foot, etc.

  • Feed Dogs - These are the little teeth on your sewing machine that feed your fabric evenly through the machine.

  • Long Arm Quilting - This is the process of quilting your quilt top, batting, and backing (quilt sandwich) together on a long arm quilting machine. It can be quilted using free motion techniques or with a computerized digital pattern. When used with a digital pattern, the machine does most of the work to create the pattern on top of your quilt.

    • Here at the QSL Workshop we use Gammill long arm machines with preprogrammed digital patterns. Customers choose which pattern they would like to put on their quilt top along with thread. Check out our Workshop webpage at the link below for more details!

  • Free Motion Quilting - This is the process of quilting you quilt top, batting, and backing (quilt sandwich) together on a sewing machine or long arm machine without the help of the machine's feed dogs. It is when you move the quilt under the needle freely yourself to create a pattern of your choice.

  • Stitch in the ditch / Ditch Stitch - A free motion quilting technique which involves sewing down the channel of an existing seam (the "ditch") to secure fabric in place without the stitches being seen on the outside. By sewing down the seam line in matching thread to your fabric, the stitches are hidden and invisible to the outside.

  • Non-Batik Fabrics - This is a term specific to our store. It is how we describe screen prints, canvas, solids, aboriginals, and pretty much anything that is not a batik fabric.

  • Half Square Triangle / HST - This is a common block used in quilting and created by cutting a square in half diagonally to create a 90 degree triangle.

  • Flying Geese - refers to a patchwork shape used in quilt blocks and borders. Flying Geese include one large triangle, the "goose", and two smaller triangles sewn on either side of the "goose" called the "wings" or the "sky". Most often, Flying Geese are sewn into a series, creating the look of geese flying across the sky.

Hope you enjoyed! Next post we'll explore all things precuts... Happy quilting!

Links and References

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