These terms are essential if you plan to become a serious quilter. They will help you understand your quilting peers and be able to explain things a little more fluently. If I've forgotten anything, simply comment and I will add it ASAP!
Quilt - A 'true' quilt is composed of 3 layers, or a 'sandwich'. The
three layers are a decorative quilt top - usually pieced from smaller
blocks of fabric, a filler layer - usually some sort of batting fabric,
and backing fabric. The quilt is then held together using stitches that
are either hand-stitched or machine stitched. The quilt is then bound
using a thin strip of fabric wrapped and sewn around the edge. There are
pictures of quilts I have finished this year here.
Setting - This refers to the way the quilt blocks are arranged. They are
normally arranged in a straight or diagonal manner, but there are
variations. The above link shows a couple settings I chose to put in my
Fat quarter - This is an 18"x22" piece of fabric. Fat quarters are
especially helpful if you plan to make a patchwork quilt and need many
pieces of fabric, in many different colors and designs. Here is an excellent picture of the difference between a fat quarter, and a the same square inches in a strip of fabric.
Fat Eighth - This is a 9"x22" piece of fabric, so a fat quarter cut in
half. Like fat quarters, fat eighths are helpful if you plan to make a
Fat Sixteenth - This is a 4 1/2"x22" piece of fabric, so a fat eighth
cut in half. Like fat eighths and fat quarters, they are helpful if you
plan to make a patchwork quilt.
Charm Pack - This selection of fabric contains 5" squares of many
different fabrics from a particular line of fabric. They are priced
according to the amount of squares in a pack. Normally, there are approx
42 squares per pack, and are about $7-$10 on Ebay.
You can buy them in multiple packs, which is what I normally do if I
like a particular line of fabric, or if I plan to make a big quilt.
Jelly Roll - This is a selection of fabric that contains 40 2 1/2" x 40"
strips. There is usually one strip of fabric for every print that the
fabric line offers. They are approx $25-$35 on Ebay.
Dessert Roll - This is a selection of fabric that contains 10 strips that are 5"x45". They are approx. $7-$15 on Ebay.
Honey Bun - This is a selection of fabric that contains 40 strips that
are 1 1/2" x 45". There is usually one strip of fabric for every print
that the fabric line offers. They are approx. $10-$20 on Ebay.
Layer Cake - This is a selection of fabric that contains 42 10" squares. They range in price from $25-$35 on Ebay.
Turnover - This is a selection of fabric that contains 80 6" triangles
and contain 2 of each print in a collection. They range in price from
$8-$16 on Ebay.
Stash - Fabrics that quilters, crafters, and sewers have accumulated but
have not yet used. A good way to build up your stash is with pre-cut
fabrics (like I mentioned above). It's an economical way to get a lot of
fabric for little money, and it gives you a variety of fabrics to
choose from, for a scrappy quilt. Another way to build up your stash is
to buy a lot of solid color fabrics, because you will always need those
for backrounds, backing fabric, borders and binding.
Quilt Top - The top of the quilt, or the 'pretty part' of the quilt.
This may seem fairly obvious to most of you, but some people get
confused as to what is the top and what is the back. I like to do a
pieced back, so it's a reversible quilt (multi-purpose!).
Backing - The fabric that will be the back of the quilt. As I said
above, I love to do pieced backings of different fabrics, and a lot of
times the quilts can then be reversible.
Basting - This is the process by which you attach all three layers of
your quilt sandwich together. There are many ways to baste your quilt
(i.e. spray adhesive, pinning, etc.) and I will have a tutorial later
Sandwich - No, this is not a tasty delicious turkey with spinach and
mayo, although I do love a good sandwich while quilting :). This
particular sandwich refers to the three layers that make up your quilt -
the backing, batting, and quilt top. I like to think of it as the
backing and quilt top being the yummy, oven roasted cheesy bread, and
the batting the delicious turkey and mayo :).
Batting - This is the fluffy stuff that goes in-between the quilt top
and the backing to make your quilt soft and cuddly. The "meat and
potatoes" of the quilt, as I like to call it :). I recommend this
brand of batting. This is a large quantity, but they do have it in
smaller sizes. I have experimented with polyester batting, and I've
found that it's a big no-no in my book. Cotton batting just seems to
make things a lot...softer :).
I'll be adding to this post as needed, so if you want to add something,
feel free to leave a comment or send me an email at
- I'm just a new wife who has an obsession with my sewing machine! In Oct. 2010, my mother and I created my first sewing project - Euro pillow shams. I was hooked! I read everything I could get my hands on that had to do with sewing! Books, magazines, online tutorials. I experimented and found that I get so much enjoyment from making quilts, and that it's where I found my niche. I'm still a beginner, but I've learned so much in just 5 short months, that I want to share it with someone!