Quilting Glossary

I guess this as a sort of glossary of  things that I didn’t know but have now found out such as tips/tools/abbreviations etc etc. no doubt it will keep growing as I learn more. Hopefully it helps and is useful! Honestly on some things I was/still am completely clueless.

  • Charm Packs – A bundle of fabric the same as Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes however these are 5″ squares and there should be around 40 in a pack all from the same collection so all should go together if you wanted to do that. Most fabric designers do this as a way to show off their fabric in sample form but they are also perfect for quilt making. MINI CHARMS are again the same but are 2 1/2 ” squares all from the same collection.
  • Fat Quaters – A fat quater is a 1/4 of a meter of fabric. So 1m of fabric with have four fat quaters in approx 18″x20″. I find the different names of all the different sizes of fabric so confusing! A lot of UK website if you order fabric sell it by the fat quater so if you put in the quantity box 1 you will get one fat quater if you want a meter of the material type in 4….but don’t quote me on that!
  • FMQ = Free motion quilting. The swirly lines that are stitched onto quilts to quilt it so keeping everything in place. People do quilting in loads of different styles and patterns but this one is literally where the there is a random line/swirl of stitching.
  • Jelly Rolls – These are strips of fabric 2 1/2″ wide and the the length of the material that come all bundled up…in a roll. They were originally started by the Moda fabric designers as a way for people to sample a new collection. Turns out they are really useful for creating quilts especially as they are already half cut. The Moda ones have 40 strips to a bundle but other designers may have less and each bundle will come from the same collection so will have a range of patterns/colours in them but are all complimentary.
  • Jodie Bissig’s blog http://www.sew-handmade.blogspot.com is lovely to look at. She seems super nice and friendly and shows you all the beautiful and I mean beautiful quilts she has made. She also does a lot of other crafty things if you are interested. I love the fabrics she uses!
  • Layer Cakes – The same as Jelly Rolls but these are a bundle of ~40 10″ squares that will come from the same fabric collection.
  • Long-arm = I kept reading this and had no idea what it was. Basically its a big sewing machine that can quilt your quilt far easier and in way more styles then you probably could on your sewing machine. People take/send their quilts all sandwiched together but not quilted to quilting shops where they quilt your quilt for you. Crikey how many times can I put quilt in a sentence?
  • Missouri star quilt company. – Jenny will help you out BIG time! I stumbled across a tutorial of theirs on youtube and they take you through all the steps bit by bit . Jenny who is the matriarch (its a family company) and boss does the tutorials and she seems so nice and lovely and explains it so clearly! I do believe they are quite a big thing in the quilting world espesh in the US. Their website is lovely and clear; they sell all quilting tools, fabrics anything you could possibly need as well as the tutorials and free patterns. Basically I want to go and work there why do they have to be in the US?!! Check it out http://www.missouriquiltco.com
  • Mitered Corner – A mitered corner is a lovely neat corner which has a ‘diagonal line’ going through it (it’s diffulcult to explain!) in quilting you will find on the corners of your binding. I to be fair am still trying to get my head around it and it seemed pretty scary at first though it’s getting better but watch some tutorials and hopefully you will pick it up easily.
  • Quitling gloves/gardening gloves ones with the rubber bits on the fingers will REALLY help when you are quilting. They help you get a better grip as you feed the quilt under the machine while you are keeping it moving at a steady pace. If you don’t keep a steady pace you will skip stiches and no one wants that!
  • Remember to TAPE your BACKING DOWN onto the floor/table when you are basting to try and avoid and bumpyness. Also when basting fold one half of the wadding and quilt top back and spray the adhesive on the backing, from the middle smooth and pull the wadding down and out to the edges do the same with the quilt top and then do the other half. Does that make sense? It’s an attempt at making the layers smoother and not bumpy.
  • Remember to put the FEED DOGS of your sewing machine DOWN when quilting. First quilt I did I forgot and got a nice hole in the backing.
  • ROTARY CUTTER/CUTTING MAT/RULERS – will be your life! After only figuring I may want to use these tools mid way through my second quilt well… god I don’t know how I managed not using them! This is an ultra basic and much needed stash of kit that everyone probably reading this is thinking how could she even think about making a quilt without using them?! Well I tell you, you can make a quilt not using all this stuff but it will be one wonky, uneven creation!
  • Stich the ditch – is a way to quilt your quilt. It sort of means what it says…you stitch a line through the join of each patch on your quilt. It doesn’t usually show up on the front of your quilt as it is sort of hidden by the seam that is if you can sew in a straight line but you will see the stitching on the back and it will follow the shapes of your patches.

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