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• glossary

Quilting Glossary: A-E | F-L  | M-P | Q-Z

Album Quilt.   A quilt in which each block is different. Many are friendship projects, in which friends sign blocks of the quilt either in ink or in stitching. A sampler can be referred to as an album quilt. Also known as an Autograph Quilt. (also see Baltimore Album Style)

Amish Quilt.   A quilt style originating in the Amish communities of Eastern Pennsylvania and the Midwest. These quilts are usually made from dark, solid colors with ample use of black as a background and simple geometric patterns with wide Borders.

Appliqué.   The process in which small pieces of fabric are sewn onto larger pieces of fabric by hand or machine. The French word for "to apply."

Assembly Piecing. Piecing identical units of several blocks at the same time, as opposed to piecing each unit and completing one block at a time.

Autograph Quilt.   (See Album Quilt)

Background Fabric. The foundation material on which Appliqué is sewn.

Backing. The fabric used as the bottom layer of the quilt Sandwich.

Baltimore Album Style.  A form of hand Appliqué which reached its height of popularity in 19th century Baltimore, Maryland. It is worked in traditional shades of red and green on white.

Bargello.   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.  Large stitches made to hold fabric layers or seams in place temporarily, before final seams or quilting is done. Basting can also be done with straight or safety pins.

Batting. The filling in a quilt; the middle layer of a quilt Sandwich. May be made of cotton, wool or polyester.

Bearding. A problem associated with synthetic Batting that causes the fibers of the batting to work their way out through the spaces between the threads in the fabric. This forms balls or pills on the quilt.

Bias.  The diagonal of the fabric weave. Fabric cut on the bias stretches.

Binding. The straight-grain or Bias strips of fabric used to cover the raw edges and batting of a quilt.

Block. The design unit of a Quilt Top, usually square. It can be made of Patchwork, Appliqué or a combination.

Block-to-Block Set. A Block arrangement without sashing, set straight on the diagonal.

Border. A strip of fabric or pieced strip of fabric joined to the edges of the inner quilt and used to frame it.

Broderie Perse.   "Persian Embroidery". An Appliqué cut from a printed fabric picture, such as a flower or animal.

Calico.   Any small repeated print design on cotton, usually a floral.

Charm Quilt.   A Piecework quilt, usually One-Patch, made from many different fabrics, with no two identical.

Clamshell.  A Filler Pattern in the shape of interlocking circle tops.

Crazy Patch.  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 in the late 1800s, made with silks and velvets and embellished with much embroidery.

Cross-Hatching.  A Filler Pattern made of parallel quilting lines that run in two directions, forming either a grid of squares or of diamonds.

Directional Borders.  Borders that flow in a particular direction.

Directional Prints.  Fabrics printed with distinct up-and-down motifs.

Echo Quilting.   A type of Free-style Filler consisting of multiple lines of quilting stitches that run parallel to the edges of a shape, "echoing" the shape.

English Paper Piecing. A method of hand Piecing in which fabric shapes are Basted over paper templates and whipstitched together along their fabric edges.

Filler Pattern.   The quilting design, stitched either by hand or machine.

Finger Pressing. A technique for forming guidelines using Appliqué or making seam allowances lie flat by pinching fabric between your fingers to form a temporary crease.

Finished Size.  The measurement or dimensions of a completed Block or quilt without seam allowances.

Four-Patch Block.   A Block with two, four, or multiples of four units per row.

Foundation Piecing.  Assembling a Block by sewing pieces to a foundation of Muslin or plain fabric, adding strength and stability to delicate or stretchy fabrics.

Free-Style Fillers. A Filler Pattern that does not follow a specific grid or pattern.

Free-Motion Quilting. The process of quilting curved and intricate designs using a machine.

Friendship Quilt.  A quilt made as a group project for one member of the group, with each participant making and signing a Block or more for the top.

Glazed Finish.  A light resin coating applied to the outermost layers of the Batting to prevent Bearding. Also known as a Bonded Finish.

Grain. The lengthwise and crosswise threads of a woven fabric.

Griege.  From the French "grege" (raw silk) and the Italian "greggio" (grey). Also called "gray goods," it refers to woven textiles as they come from the loom, before they are dyed or printed and sold as finished goods. Also spelled greige.

Hand-Quilting Stitch.  A small running stitch that is made through all three layers of a quilt.

Homespun Fabric. A loosely woven fabric, usually of wool or linen, hand-loomed from hand-spun yarns.

In-The-Ditch Quilting. A type of outline quilting done alongside a seam or an appliqué edge. No marking is needed for this type of quilting.

Lap Quilting.  A method of completing the finished quilting one Block at a time and then assembling the finished quilt from those pre-quilted squares. Squares are quilted in small lap frames rather than large ones.

Loft.  Thickness and resilience of Batting. A high loft batting is thicker and fluffier than low loft batting.

Log Cabin.  A quilt pattern in which narrow fabric strips, or logs, surround a center square to form a Block.

Quilting Glossary: A-E | F-L  | M-P | Q-Z