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Are you new to quilting and finding it difficult to decipher popular quilting abbreviations?  Have you become frustrated when reading a quilt pattern or blog because the terms are unfamiliar to you?  Maybe you already have some sewing experience, and have come across some of these terms before but others are a mystery.

As with any craft, they all come with their own lingo.  What does it all mean?  Don’t worry, I’m going to break down some of the more popular terms in this post.

HST – Half Square Triangle – A square made up of two 90 degree triangles.  Each triangle is a different color.

QST – Quarter Square Triangle – A square made up of 4 equal 90 degree triangle units.

HRT – Half Rectangle Triangle – A rectangle, made up of two triangles.

WIP – Work in Progress

UFO – Unfinished Object

RST – Right Sides Together

WOF – Width of Fabric.  Quilt cotton comes in 44-45” widths.  When reading a quilt pattern, it may state that the WOF = 42 inches of “useable” fabric.  This means the width of the fabric, not including the selvedge, must measure 42 inches.  If it does not, you run the risk of not having enough fabric for your particular project.

BOM – Block of the Month.  A quilt project that is broken down into monthly increments.  A different quilt block is sewn each month.  These are often done on a subscription basis.  However, many companies offer free BOMS on their website.

QAL – Quilt Along.  Like the BOM, however, the QAL is broken down into weekly segments.  A full quilt top is made within the specified time frame, usually 6-8 weeks?  Each week a different portion of the quilt is made.

LQS – Local quilt shop

FMQ – Free Motion Quilting.  The process of stitching a quilt sandwich on your machine in order to achieve a desired design and secure the layers together. On a domestic machine, you use your hands to guide the quilt under then needle.  On a longarm, the quilt is put into a frame, and you move the machine around the quilt.

Quilt Sandwich – When the quilt top, batting and backing all layered together to prepare for basting.

Chain piecing – Sewing quilt blocks together, one after the other, without cutting the thread in between, thus creating a “chain” of pieced blocks.

Finger pressing – running your finger tip or nail along the length of a seam to press the seam open or in one direction.  Usually a pre-cursor to ironing.

This is just the tip of the iceberg on quilting terms.  But these are what you will hear most frequently when you begin quilting.  I hope this helps!

Happy Quilting,

Mary Davis
Creator, Mary Go Round Quilts


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