Quilt­ing Terms

Annie's Quilting for the Home - - News -

• Ap­pliqué: Adding fab­ric mo­tifs to a foun­da­tion fab­ric by hand or ma­chine (see Ap­pliqué sec­tion of Ba­sic Tech­niques). • Bast­ing: This tem­po­rar­ily se­cures lay­ers of quilt­ing ma­te­ri­als to­gether with safety pins, thread or a spray ad­he­sive in prepa­ra­tion for quilt­ing the lay­ers. Use a long, straight stitch to hand- or ma­chine-stitch one el­e­ment to an­other hold­ing the el­e­ments in place dur­ing con­struc­tion and usu­ally re­moved af­ter con­struc­tion. • Bat­ting: An in­su­lat­ing ma­te­rial made in a va­ri­ety of fiber con­tents that is used be­tween the quilt top and back to pro­vide ex­tra warmth and loft. • Bind­ing: A fin­ish­ing strip of fab­ric sewn to the outer raw edges of a quilt to cover them. Straight-grain bind­ing strips, cut on the cross­wise straight grain of the fab­ric (see Straight & Bias Grain Lines il­lus­tra­tion), are com­monly used. Bias bind­ing strips are cut at a 45-de­gree an­gle to the straight grain of the fab­ric. They are used when bind­ing is be­ing added to curved edges. • Block: The ba­sic quilt­ing unit that is re­peated to com­plete the quilt's de­sign com­po­si­tion. Blocks can be pieced, ap­pliquéd or solid and are usu­ally square or rec­tan­gu­lar in shape. • Bor­der: The frame of a quilt's cen­tral de­sign used to vis­ually com­plete the de­sign and give the eye a place to rest. • Fab­ric Grain: The fibers that run ei­ther par­al­lel (length­wise grain) or per­pen­dic­u­lar (cross­wise grain) to the fab­ric sel­vage are straight grain. Bias is any di­ag­o­nal line be­tween the length­wise or cross­wise grain. At th­ese an­gles the fab­ric is less sta­ble and stretches eas­ily. The true bias of a wo­ven fab­ric is a 45-de­gree an­gle be­tween the length­wise and cross­wise grain lines. • Mitered Corners: Match­ing bor­ders or turn­ing bind­ings at a 45-de­gree an­gle at corners. • Patch­work: A gen­eral term for the com­pleted blocks or quilts that are made from smaller shapes sewn to­gether. • Pat­tern: This may re­fer to the de­sign of a fab­ric or to the writ­ten in­struc­tions for a par­tic­u­lar quilt de­sign. • Piec­ing: The act of sewing smaller pieces and/or units of a block or quilt to­gether. Pa­per or foun­da­tion piec­ing is sewing fab­ric to a pa­per or cloth foun­da­tion in a cer­tain or­der. String or chain piec­ing is sewing pieces to­gether in a con­tin­u­ous string with­out clip­ping threads be­tween sec­tions. • Press­ing: Press­ing is the process of plac­ing the iron on the fab­ric, lift­ing it off the fab­ric and plac­ing it down in an­other lo­ca­tion to flat­ten seams or crease fab­ric with­out slid­ing the iron across the fab­ric. Quil­ters do not usu­ally use steam when press­ing, since it can eas­ily dis­tort fab­ric shapes. Gen­er­ally, seam al­lowances are pressed to­ward the darker fab­ric in quilt­ing so that they do not show through the lighter fab­ric. Seams are pressed in op­po­site di­rec­tions where seams are be­ing joined to al­low seams to butt against each other and to dis­trib­ute bulk.

Seams are pressed open when mul­ti­ple seams come to­gether in one place. If you have a ques­tion about press­ing di­rec­tion, con­sult a com­pre­hen­sive quilt­ing guide for guid­ance. • Quilt (noun): A sand­wich of two lay­ers of fab­ric with a third in­su­lat­ing ma­te­rial be­tween them that is then stitched to­gether with the edges cov­ered or bound. • Quilt (verb): Stitch­ing sev­eral lay­ers of fab­ric ma­te­ri­als to­gether with a dec­o­ra­tive de­sign. Stip­pling, cross­hatch, chan­nel, in-the-ditch, free-mo­tion, allover and me­an­der­ing are all terms for quilt­ing de­signs. • Quilt sand­wich: A layer of in­su­lat­ing ma­te­rial be­tween a quilt’s top and back fab­ric. • Ro­tary cut­ting: Us­ing a ro­tary cut­ting blade and straight­edge to cut fab­ric. • Sash­ing: Strips of fab­ric sewn be­tween blocks to sep­a­rate or set off the de­signs. • Sub­cut: A sec­ond cut­ting of ro­tary-cut strips that makes the ba­sic shapes used in block and quilt con­struc­tion. • Tem­plate: A pat­tern made from a sturdy ma­te­rial which is then used to cut shapes for patch­work and ap­pliqué quilt­ing.

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