As quilters, we use a plethora of quilt terms, that to some "newies" to the craft, may find difficult to understand. So here's another article in the series "Quilt Terms Explained".
A quilt is made up of three layers. The quilt Top, The Batting and the Backing.
The quilt top is the machine pieced, appliquéd or hand sewn layer of fabric that is the main feature of the quilt. It is the top layer of the three layers that make up a quilt, and it is the surface that is usually facing upwards when the quilt is laid on a bed.
Batting is the layer of padding that is placed in the middle of the three layers that made up a quilt, between the Quilt Top or pieced layer and the backing. Batting can be cotton, polyester, blends, silk, or wool.
Backing is the layer of fabric that is placed as the final layer that makes up a quilt, and is usually a complimentary fabric to the quilt top.
Unfinished and Finished Size
There is much confusion regarding the terms “unfinished size” and “finished size”. In quilt instructions, when referring to unfinished size, it means the size the block will be before it is sewn together with other blocks.
In quilt instructions, when referring to finished size, it means the size the block will be after it is sewn together with other blocks.
For example an 8” finished measurement would be cut 8 ½” (unfinished) to allow for ¼” seams allowances.
The raw edge refers to the unsewn edge of a piece of fabric or a quilt block. In traditional quilting the raw edge is rarely seen. It is traditional to have all the raw edges sewn out of sight. In modern Art Quilts, raw edges are often left in sight, and used as a textural feature to the Art Quilt.
The sashing is cut strips of fabric that help frame blocks in a symmetrical pattern. Sashing is in integral part of quilt making and is used not only for visual interest but also to make the quilt larger. The sashing fabric is cut and used to separate blocks, giving them a framed appearance, and thus helping to make the quilt larger.
Stash and/or Collection of Fabric A Stash of fabric refers to the fabric a quilter amasses for use in the art of patchwork and quilting. A stash of various fabrics is gathered over time and then used as required by the quilter. The stash is often “topped up” with new fabric by the quilter at every possible opportunity.
A collection of fabric is also amassed by the quilter but there is one slight difference. While the quilter will collect this particular fabric, this collection will probably not get cut up and used by the quilter. These fabrics tend to be the “jewels” of the fabric collection and are simply admired by the quilter.
UFO is an abbreviation meaning Unfinished Projects. Quilters tend to have several UFO’s that are unfinished for various reasons. Loss of interest by the quilter, run out of fabric, run out of inspiration are just a few reasons for the building up of UFO’s. Please don’t feel special if you have a collection of UFO’s. You are not alone!!!!