This information was reprinted courtesy of Fairfield
Acid-free tissue paper – A tissue paper made without chemicals that would destroy the fabric fibers.
Air erasable pen – A type of temporary marking pen which usually disappears within forty-eight hours.
Album quilts – Friendship quilts assembled from individual blocks, each executed and signed by a different person.
Align – To match raw edges, fabric pattern or matchpoints.
All purpose zig zag foot – Zigzag foot with a small indentation on the bottom.
Amish quilts – Quilts made by members of the Amish or Mennonite Community. The quilts are characterised by solid dark and bright colours with intricate, beautiful hand quilting designs.
Applique – Small fabric shapes placed on a background fabric and stitched on by hand or machine. Motifs include flowers, animals, houses or any rendering of a picture.
Arrow – Symbol on pattern pieces indicating lengthwise grain, direction of stitching, or direction for folding pleats and tucks.
Backing – The back or bottom layer of quilt.
Backstitch – A stitch taken backwards to reinforce the beginning and end of each seam.
Bar tack – Hand or machine stitch to reinforce areas of stress ( zipper, pocket opening, end of buttonhole).
Baste – To sew with long stitches to hold one or more pieces of fabric together, temporarily.
Bias – True bias is a line at a 45 degree angle to the selvage.
Binding – A long strip of fabric, usually bias, that finishes the raw edge of a quilt.
Butt – To match the edges or folds so they touch.
Calico – A 100 percent cotton fabric used for quilting. Usually a small floral design in the USA.
In Australia it is usually a cream/off white colour. Always wash before using.
Canned Air – Pressurised can of air used to clean sewing machines and camera lenses.
Casing – Hem or tuck through which elastic or ties are threaded.
Clapper – Wooden tool used in pressing.
Clipping – Cutting into the seam allowance so the fabric lays flat.
Coil – Narrow, synthetic coil that secures a zipper. Same as the zipper teeth.
Cording – Narrow, corded piping inserted into a seam.
Couching – Sewing a decorative cord, thread, or yarn to the surface of the Fabric by zigzagging over the cord with machine or overcasting by hand.
Crazy Quilts – Quilts made with random sizes and shapes of fabric, usually silk and velvets and finished with intricate embroidery to decorate the surface.
Crimping – Technique for easing fabric into the seamline.
Crossgrain – The threads that run from selvage to selvage.
Dart – Stitched fabric fold, tapering at one end, used to shape flat fabric to the contours of the figure.
Dominant colour – The main colour of a quilt.
Dropped shoulder – Design with shoulder extended over the top of the arm.
Echo quilting – Quilting stitches that follow the outline of the blocks’ basic design and are then repeated, like ripples, every 1/4″ in concentric lines.
Edgestitch – Topstitching 1/16″ from the edge or seamline.
Extended facing – Facing cut in one piece with garment section.
Eyelet – (1) Small round opening in fabric. (2) Small metal ring.
Facing – Piece of self-fabric or lining, generally folded to the underside of garment.
Fat Quarter – A 1/4 yard of fabric cut 18″ x 22″.
Feed Dogs – Pointed metal or rubber bars located under the presser foot that move the fabric backward and forward.
Flat finish – Finishes, such as overcast, zigzag, serged, raw edge, and seam tape which are flat.
Flounce – Circular shaped ruffle.
Fly placket – Any placket which conceals fasteners – zipper, hooks and eyes or buttons and buttonholes.
Fusible Web – A web like material which melts when you apply heat and moisture.
Gather – To pull excess fabric into a seamline.
Glover’s needle – Needle with a wedge point used for sewing fur and leather.
Gore – Garment section; usually larger at the bottom than the top.
Gorge line – Diagonal seamline that joins the collar and lapel.
Grading – Reducing bulk of seams by trimming the individual seam allowances at different widths.
Grain – The direction threads are woven in a fabric. The lengthwise grain runs the length of the fabric. Crosswise grain runs from selvage to selvage.
Grommets – Large metal eyelets.
Hawaiian Quilts – Quilts made up of one piece of fabric, folded and cut into a large overall design of leaves or flowers and then appliqued onto a background fabric.
Hemline – The lower edge of the garment.
Hue – The graduation or variety of colour.
Interfacing – Fabric placed between the garment and facing to add body, strength or shape.
Interlining Lap Quilt – Fabric layer applied to the wrong side of the garment or lining for warmth.
Join – (1) To stitch together. (2) A seamline
Lap Quilt – A small quilt usually under 60 inches square.
Lapel – Turned back facing at garment edge between the first button and neckline.
Lattice – A strip of fabric that separates and frames each block in a quilt. It can also be called sashing.
Loft – The thickness or puffiness of a quilt batting.
Log Cabin – A block that has a series of strips that are placed around a central square. One diagonal half of each block is coloured with light fabrics and the other diagonal half with dark fabrics.
Lone Star – This quilt pattern is composed of many small fabric diamonds assembled into eight larger diamonds that form a star.
Medallion Quilt Nap – A quilt assembled around one large central motif, with one or more borders to finish the quilt.
Miter – To join two edges at an angle (usually a 45 degree angle) creating a diagonal seam frequently located at a corner.
Mm – Millimetres.
Muslin – An off-white woven cotton fabric.
Nap – Fabric that has its fiber brushed in one direction causing a different coloration. Velvet and corduroy are two examples.
Notches – Matchpoints on cutting lines of the paper pattern.
Notions – Sewing supplies and equipment needed to complete a garment.
Parallel – Two lines evenly spaced.
Patchwork – The process of piecing or appliquéing various fabric shapes together.
Pattern Repeat – The vertical distance required for one complete design on the fabric.
Piecing – Joining two pieces together to make one piece wider or longer.
Piping – Decorative or contrasting strip sewn into a seamline forming a decorative edge.
Pivot – To turn the fabric with the needle inserted into it.
Placket – Any finished opening in a garment.
Ply – Used to describe number of fabric layers or thread strands.
Preshrink – To treat fabric before cutting by laundering or steam pressing to prevent shrinking later.
Quilt Stencil – A plastic sheet with grooves cut out in a specific design, for use in marking a quilt design on a quilt top.
Quilt Top – The completed patchwork design which is the top layer of a quilt.
Quilter’s Quarter – A plastic rod (1/4″ x 1/4″ x 8″) used to mark the 1/4″ seam line for quilting or cutting.
Quilting – The process of securing all three layers of a quilt together with small running stitches.
Quilting Frame – A free-standing rectangle on legs that holds a quilt, allowing several people to stitch a section, to roll the quilt to another section until the whole quilt is finished.
Raw Edge – Unfinished or cut edge of a garment.
Reinforce – To strengthen a section with short machine stitches, fabric tape or tape.
Rip – To remove unwanted stitches. Using a small seam ripper, clip the needle thread every fifth stitch, then pull the bobbin thread out. We prefer to think of this as “reverse stitching”.
Roller Foot – Special machine foot which grips top fabric and reduces underlayer creep.
Rotary Cutter and Mat – A cutting tool with a round cutting blade to be used with a mat.
RTW – Ready-to-wear.
Ruffle – Decorative fabric band, gathered or pleated at the edge or in the centre before it is sewn to the garment.
Sampler Quilt – A quilt that combines blocks of different patterns, making it a perfect quilt for beginners to learn both piecing and applique techniques.
Sashing – Another name for lattice, or the strips that frame each block.
Satin Stitch – Zigzag stitch of any width with a very short length.
Seam Allowance – The width of fabric between the stitching line and the cutting line.
Seamline – Stitching line.
Selvage – Finished edges on each side of woven fabric. Sometimes called self-edge.
Spot Tack – Knot made by machine at the end of the stitching line by setting stitch length to 0.
Stabbing – A stitching technique for quilting using both hands in which you insert the needle into your quilt, pull it out the bottom with your other hand under the hoop, and then push it up from the bottom to the top. The stitches are uneven and crooked on the underside when the stitching is done this way.
Stabilizer – Tissue paper, nonwoven materials, or water-soluble materials which reduce stitching problems.
Stay – Strip of lightweight selvage, seam tape, twill tape, tricot bias or bias tape to hold the seam or edge as desired.
Stitch-in-the-ditch – Technique of stitching inconspicuously from the right side in the well of a seam or next to a seamline.
Stitching line – Seamline.
Strip piecing – A method of creating quilts by taking long strips of fabric and sewing them together in a set sequence. This newly combined material is then cut apart and resewn to form a part of a quilt. A good example is Rail Fence.
Swatch – Small fabric piece.
Tack – Permanent stitches to hold fabric layers together.
Topstitch – To stitch on the right side of the garment.
Topweight – Lighter weight fabrics suitable for blouses and dresses.
Trim – To cut away excess fabric.
Wales – The lengthwise ribs on knit fabrics.
Warp – Threads parallel to selvage.
Well of the Seam – The seamline on the right side of the fabric.
Welt – Visible part of a bound buttonhole, bound pocket, or welt pocket.