Quilting Terms

 Double chevron pillow basted | Quilting Terms | Shannon Fraser Designs

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Quilting Terms

1/4" - the standard seam allowance used in quilting.

1/4" Foot - a sewing machine foot that has an edge running along one side to help you stitch a perfect 1/4" seam.

Basting a Quilt also known as the Quilt Sandwich (yes! It’s true!) – is the act of joining the quilt layers. First by laying out the quilt backing wrong side up. Securing that in place so the fabric is nice and taught without any wrinkles or puckers. Lay your quilt batting on top followed by your quilt top right side facing up. Baste together either with:

My go-to is pin basting as the pins can be re-used which seems more earth friendly. Although, I am tempted to try spray basting as it looks so quick and painless. If you love it, I’d love to hear more, Send me a note.

English Paper Piecing "EPP" or "EPPing" - the art of forming fabric around paper templates and then hand stitching the pieces together. Sounds crazy, but it’s kinda addictive! You can see some of my first attempts here.

Foundation Paper Piecing - the art of sewing fabric to thread to create a quilt block. I walk you through how to tackle this quilting technique here and here.

Free Motion Quilting - when you are the one moving the fabric to create the quilt design instead of the machine doing it for you. Allows you to create more intricate quilt designs.

Free Motion Quilting Foot - used for free motion quilting.

Half Square Triangle (aka HSTs) – this is where my quilt journey started, just playing with these fun and versatile quilt blocks. There are lots of ways to make them, but the simplest is by placing two squares of fabric right sides together and draw a line diagonally from one corner to the other. Then stitch ¼” on either side of the drawn line. Cut on the drawn line and press open. Yields two HSTs. And just try and say that’s not addictive 😉 

Needle Turn Appliqué – when you use the needle to turn the fabric under as you hand appliqué to another piece of fabric.

Piecing - the act of joining two pieces of fabric with a ¼” seam allowance either by hand or machine sewing. These pieces are stitched together to form a quilt top.

Quilt Batting - the fluffy stuff that goes in between your quilt top and backing. I've only worked with 100% cotton batting. My current go-to is Quilter's Dream Cotton Batting and I love the Select style which is a little thicker than Request.

Quilt Label - a label to identify who made the quilt. It's a small item, but one that shouldn't be overlooked in the quilt making process. I share tips on how to make your own here

Quilting - the act of quilting the backing, the middle layer of batting and a quilt top together with thread either by machine or by hand.

Sewing Machine Oil – my Juki is quite thirsty, so I make sure to keep her well oiled. I'm currently using this type, but have my eye on this one.

Snowballing - to create a different coloured triangle on the corner of a quilt block. Achieved by simply drawing a diagonal line on the back of a small square. Then laying the smaller square on the corner of another larger square. Stitch on the line. Trim ¼” away from the stitched line and press. Fun, right?!

UFO - Unfinished object - meaning an unfinished quilt lurking in your stash ;)

Walking Foot - a sewing machine foot that helps evenly feed several layers of fabric through the feed dogs. Especially helpful in quilting! Don't attempt it without one!

WIP - stands for Work in Progress and, let’s face it, we all have several of those kicking around!


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Have a quilting term or notion you would like more info on? Send me a note and I’ll look into it for you! 

Be sure to stop by and see the patterns and tutorials to make your own quilty goods!

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