Learn the Lingo

comments (0) April 5th, 2008     

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MaryRay Mary Ray, contributor
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In quilting part of the joy is in watching how all of these different materials come together.

In quilting part of the joy is in watching how all of these different materials come together.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Every discipline has its own jargon. Here are some familiar words that have new meaning when applied to quilting.

APPLIQUÉ: From the French meaning applied. When you sew a smaller piece of fabric on top of a larger one. Can be done by hand or machine. Quilts that are entirely appliquéd with floral motifs are called Baltimore Album quilts.

BACKING: The bottom layer of fabric in a quilt. Can also be called lining.

BATTING: The padding, or material that forms the middle layer of a quilt.

BINDING: A strip of fabric that finishes the outer edges of a quilt by encasing the raw edges.

BLOCK: A unit of patchwork design that can be used alone or repeated throughout a quilt to form a pattern.

BORDERS: Solid strips or pieced strips of fabric that frame a quilt.

CRAZY QUILT: Patchwork made from random-size pieces. Typical crazy quilts from the Victorian era were made from silks and velvets and embellished heavily with decorative embroidery stitches and had no batting.

PATCH: A patch refers to each individual piece of fabric in a quilt. Blocks are made up of patches. Some quilts are one-patch designs that repeat the same piece throughout the quilt.

PIECE: A verb meaning to sew the pieces together.

QUILTING: The process of sewing the layers (top, batting, and backing) together by hand or machine.

SASHING: Strips of fabric sometimes used in a quilt to separate the blocks.

TOP: A quilt top is the top layer of the quilt that’s usually pieced but can be a solid piece of fabric, in which case the quilt is referred to as wholecloth.

TEMPLATE: The pattern used to cut the individual pieces. Often made from stiff paper, cardboard, or plastic so it can be traced around on the fabric.

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