Do you know your WIP from your FPP? How about QAYG? When you learn to qulit, there’s also a whole new language and series of acronyms to learn! All these letters strung together can be a little bit confusing, so we’ve put together a helpful guide to de-mystify some of these terms.
BOM – block of the month. Pattern designers, retailers and online shops often run BOM programmes, where you make a block per month along with a community of people, as a fun way to complete a quilt.
DSM – domestic sewing machine. This is the standard sewing machine that quilters have in their homes (compared with an industrial sewing machine.)
EPP – English paper piecing. This is sewing fabric over papers by hand, then sewing the fabrics together before removing the papers.
FMQ – free motion quilting. This is a type of quilting that uses a free motion foot on the sewing machine. You have to drop the feed dogs and use the needle to ‘draw’ on the quilt top to create decorative quilting patterns. Yes, it takes a lot of practice!
FPP – foundation paper piecing. This is when you sew fabric onto a foundation with your sewing machine, to get maximum accuracy and detail in your piecing. You then remove the paper afterwards.
FQ – fat quarter – this is a piece of fabric measuring 18” x 22”, and a great way to purchase fabrics so that you get a good selection of patchwork prints for your quilts.
HST – half square triangle. As the name suggests, this is a square made up of 2 triangles.
LAQ – long arm quilting. This is when a quilt is put on a frame and the ‘long arm’ of the quilt does the quilting. This is often offered as a professional service and you will hear quilters refer to getting their quilts ‘long-armed’.
LQS – local quilt shop. This is your local bricks and mortar store.
LV – low volume. Low-volume fabrics are pale, lightly colored or muted in tone. They are a great alternative to solids as they add a little more interest. You can read more about them here.
QAL – quilt-along. A quilt-along is when a community of people work on their own version of a quilt at the same time.
QAYG – quilt as you go. This is a technique where you quilt individual blocks and then sew them all together. The advantage of this is it’s easier to quilt small blocks, compared with quilting a large quilt.
QST – quarter square triangle. This is a square made up of 4 triangles.
RST – right sides together. Often used in quilting instructions, this is when the patterned side of the fabrics are facing one another.
SA – seam allowance. The seam allowance is the distance between the stitching and the edge of the fabric. The standard seam allowance in quilting is 1/4”.
SAL – sew along. A sew-along is very much like a quilt-along, but it might not specifically be a quilt that you’re stitching, it could be a sewing project such as a zipper pouch, bag or cross stitch.
UFO – unfinished object. Some quilters refer to UFOs as projects that they are mid way completing.
WIP – work in progress. This popular term is another way of referring to projects that are mid-completion, particularly ones they are working on right now.
WOF – width of fabric. This is the distance of the fabric from one selvedge to the other. Instructions might tell you to ‘cut six strips, WOF’ for the binding, for example.
WST – wrong sides together. This term is often used in quilting instructions, where the wrong sides of the fabric are facing.
We hope that helps you make sense of all the quilting content that you’ll come across! You’ll be dropping in acronyms in your own sentence before you know it and speaking like a pro.