Quilting Glossary


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Machine Piecing Sewing patchwork by using a sewing machine. It is faster than hand piecing.
Machine Quilting Quilting your quilt using your sewing machine.
Main Print

Main Print

A multi-coloured print fabric. Choose one you love, and then choose your other fabrics from the colours of this fabric.
Marking Quilt Top Temporarily marking the quilt design before quilting. Methods vary, but include chalk, light pencils, masking tape, etc.
Matching Points Pinning units together so the points that should align at the seam line are sewn that way.
Matching Straight Seams Pinning units together so the seams that should align at the seam line are sewn that way.
Medallion Quilt

Medallion Quilt

A quilt with a large center motif surrounded by blocks and borders, arranged to enhance the center. More info
Miniature Quilts Mini quilts made with traditional blocks in much smaller sizes. Block sizes are 4" or smaller. The quilt sizes are 24" or smaller. More info
Mitred Corner

Mitred Corner

Joining two borders, at the corner, with a 45° angle to make a 90° corner.
Motif The main element of the design. Usually in the center of the quilt.


A light to medium weight, plain weave, stiff, unfinished cotton fabric.
Mystery Quilt A quilt project, done in steps, without knowing what the final quilt looks like. A good group project.


A block design with 3 rows of 3 units to make up a nine-patch block.
Novelty Print

Novelty Print

A fabric printed with larger pictures in a theme.
One Patch Quilts Quilts made with a repeating single shape. More info


A quilt block place with the corners on the diagonal.
Outline Quilting Quilting done around a design, outlining it. The stitches are very close to the seam. It is also known as In-the-Ditch and Stitch-in-the-Ditch.
Paper Piecing Sewing the fabric to a block design printed on a paper foundation. The paper is torn away after the sewing is complete.
Partial Seam

Partial Seam

A seam, sewn part of the way and finished later.
Patches Cut pieces of fabric. These are joined to other patches or units to create a quilt block.
Patchwork The sewing of small pieces of fabric together, in a design to make a quilt top.
Perpendicular Being upright or vertical to the horizontal line.

Perpendicular Pinning

Perpendicular Pinning Tip

Place a pin in each seam of both the rows you are joining. Don't anchor them. Hold the pin perpendicular (90*) with your first two fingers (underneath) and your thumb on top. Now place an anchor pin (going in at an angle) beside it. Remove the perpendicular pin after you've anchored it. Do the same for the other seams along the row, aligning the raw edges at the top.
This pinning method keeps the seams from shifting out of place.
Piping A way of finishing or embellishing an edge of a quilt center or the quilt edge.
Prairie Points

Prairie Points

A way of finishing the edge of your quilt with triangles made of folded squares.
Pressing Using a dry iron, in an up and down motion only and using some pressure. This prevents stretching the fabric.
Pressing Sheet A sheet that protects your project and your iron.
Quarter Square Triangle

Quarter Square Triangle

Four triangles sewn together to make a square. A quick method is to start with squares.

Also known as QST.

Quick Cutting See Rotary Cutting.
Quillow A smaller quilt that folds up and into an attached pillow cover.
Quilt Design The pattern used to quilt the layers together to form a design.
Quilt Guild An organization of people who appreciate quilts and quilting. They inspire, teach and help.
Quilt Sandwich The three layers of a quilt. The middle batting is sandwiched between the quilt top and the backing fabric.
Quilt Top The top layer of a quilt. It usually has been pieced or appliquéd, but can also be a whole piece of fabric.
Quilting The stitches that hold the three layers of a quilt together. Quilting is done in a planned design to enhance the quilt top design further.


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