Glossary of Common Quilting Terms

Author: Abigail Kelly



Time to read: 1 min

Hello there!

I've wanted to create this quilting glossary for a long time, so I decided it would be best to start somewhere and add as I think of terms or get questions about quilting. So bear with me as I build it out!

If you are an experienced quilter, and you can think of something that should be on here, drop a comment below!

If you are a new quilter and there's a quilting term that's been baffling you, leave a question in the comments.

This will help us to grow this glossary quicker!


Quilting Glossary


Batik = A batik is a method of printing that involves using wax and tjaps to hand-print a pattern onto a tightly woven cotton fabric. Batiks are made in Bali, Indonesia. Click here for a video by Banyan Batiks that demonstrates the process.


FPP = Foundation Paper Piecing. You can find a tutorial on FPP here.


HST Abbreviation. HST stands for Half Square Triangle. This refers to a square made of 2 triangles that are each literally half of the square. For a tutorial on how to make HSTs, click here.


RS = Abbreviation, meaning right side. Referring to fabric.

Selvage = The tight edges of woven fabric.

Wide Backing = Wide backing refers to quilting cotton that is between 106/110 inches selvage to selvage. It is used for backing quilts, as it does not require a seam.

Width of Fabric = The width of the fabric is the distance from selvage to selvage.

WOF = Abbreviation, see Width of Fabric

WS = Abbreviation, meaning wrong side. Referring to fabric.

Yarn-Dyed = This refers to fabric such as true plaid, where the design/colour is determined by the yarn during the looming process.

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