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.
Medallion Quilt. A quilt with a central motif as the focal point, surrounded by multiple Borders.
Memory Quilt. A quilt Pieced from scraps of a loved one's clothing. May be made of children's outgrown baby clothes, or the clothing of a deceased relative or friend. More recently, memory quilts include transferred photographs of the loved one.
Miniature Quilt. A small-scale reproduction of a full-size quilt.
Muslin. A plain, undyed cotton fabric, available bleached or unbleached. A fine quality bleached muslin is used in quilting as a neutral background or as a foundation under thinner fabric.
Needle-Punching. The process of inserting a needle through the layers when hand quilting. It is done to prevent shifting and to help the Batting maintain its loft. Also called Needling.
Nine-Patch Block. A Block composed of nine units, joined in three rows of three units each.
Novelty Print. A fabric printed with small whimsical designs, often for a holiday or for craft use. Also called "conversation" prints and "craft" prints.
One-Patch. Any quilt pattern that uses a single shaped patch for the pieced top. May be squares, triangles, hexagons, etc. repeated in color patterns or different fabrics.
On Point. A Block arrangement in which a block is placed with its corners up and down and to the sides.
Paper Foundation Piecing. A method of piecing (particularly for Miniature Quilts) where fabric is sewn to a paper foundation with a printed Block pattern, in a specific order, to more accurately assemble a complicated design.
Paper Piecing. The use of paper Templates with the fabric basted onto the paper shape to retain accurate Piecing. This is typically used when making the hexagonal Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern.
Patch. An individual fabric shape joined with other patches to make a block or a quilt. Also known as a Piece.
Patchwork. The process of making a quilt by sewing many small pieces of fabric together. Also known as Piecework.
Pieced Border. A long strip of fabric made up of patchwork units to be joined to the inner quilt.
Piecing / Pieced Quilt. A quilt made up of many small pieces of fabric sewn together by hand or machine. Also known as Patchwork.
Prairie Points. Folded fabric triangles used as an edge finish.
Quilt Top. The top layer of a quilt Sandwich.
Quilting. In general, the process of making a quilt. Specifically, the small running stitches that hold the three layers of a quilt together.
Quilting Frame. A large free-standing floor apparatus made from wood or plastic pipe that holds the layers of a quilt together during quilting.
Quilting Guild. An organization of quilters which may provide opportunities to share projects, instruction and community service.
Quilting Hoop. A small circular or oval apparatus that is used to hold the layers of a quilt together during quilting.
Reverse Appliqué. Designs made by sewing on a patch to the underside of a Block and then cutting away and turning under the edge of the top fabric.
Rotary Cutter and Mat. A fabric cutting tool with a circular blade that cuts through several layers of fabric at once. It is best used with a clear plastic ruler as a quilting guide. A cutting mat is essential to protect the work surface and preserve the blade's sharpness.
Sandwich. Traditional description of a quilt: a sandwich consisting of a Quilt Top, filling or Batting, and a Backing.
Sampler Quilt. A quilt constructed of a collection of Blocks in different patterns, usually with no pattern repeated. Blocks may be the uniform or varying sizes.
Sashing. The fabric that separates the Blocks, framing them and making the quilt larger.
Scrap Quilt. A quilt, usually patchwork, made of many different fabrics, often left over from other projects.
Seminole Piecing. A method of cutting joined strips of fabric into sections and re-piecing them with either plain contrasting fabric strips in between, or in staggered rows similar to a checkerboard. Adapted from the bright patchwork of the Seminole Indians in Florida, this technique is often used in Borders and quilted clothing.
Setting. The arrangement of completed Blocks forming the Quilt Top. Blocks can be set side by side, or on point, like diamonds, with or without Sashing. Arrangements can also vary with certain asymmetrical block patterns.
Stippling. Very closely stitched background quilting that can be done by hand or machine to create surface texture.
Stitch in the Ditch. To sew your stitches in the "ditch" created by the joins of the pattern pieces.
Strip Piecing. A technique in which strips of fabric are cut and joined lengthwise to form a strip set of fabric strips that resemble striped fabric. The strip set is cut at intervals across seam lines to form segments. Joining these segments to form block units is also called strip-piecing.
Template. A cardboard or plastic shape used as a pattern for tracing either Piecing or Appliqué patches, or for tracing lines to be quilted.
Trapunto. A dimensional design created by parallel outlining stitches that are then stuffed with yarn or Batting.
Tied Quilt. A type of quilt in which yarn or thread ties are used to secure layers of the quilt, instead of quilting stitches.
Utility Quilt. A quilt made for everyday use, generally in a similar pattern involving no elaborate sewing skills.
Wall Quilt. A small quilt intended to be hung on the wall for decoration. Can contain specialty fabrics and embellishments that are not meant to be washed or undergo strain or wear.
Warp/Weft. The woven threads in the fabric. Warp threads are long and run from top to bottom in the length of the material. Weft threads run from side to side and are shorter.
Watercolor Quilt. A quilt made of small squares of floral fabrics that create a quilt pattern in the style of an Impressionist painting. Also called colorwash quilting.
White Work. A quilt in which the entire design is in the quilting stitches. Usually made up in solid white fabric as a display of the quilter's stitching skills.
Whole-Cloth Quilt. A quilt made from one large piece of fabric, usually a solid color, that is quilted only. Neither Patchwork nor Appliqué is used to decorate the Quilt Top.