Common Quilting Acronyms

Aug 3, 2021

Common Quilting Acronyms for Beginners

If you're looking to learn how to speak quilter lingo, you've come to the right place. Learning common quilting abbreviations is a rite of passage for all new quilters. While the jargon might feel confusing at first, once you've got your head around it, you'll love being part of a skilled and exclusive club.

You might think you already know what UFO and B2B stand for — read on to find out if you're correct.

Common Sewing and Quilting Acronyms

Over the years, quilting has become a universe unto itself, with its own dictionary of quilting acronyms. When you visit forums online, attend quilting classes, go on quilt retreats or speak to fellow quilters, you're likely to hear these quilting acronyms all the time. Once you're an expert in popular quilting terms, you'll feel like a member of an exclusive club — except everyone who loves all things quilt-related is invited!

AOD (All Over Design)

The first in our list of quilting acronyms is AOD. An all-over design covers your entire quilt.

B2B (Border to Border)

No need to use fill or trim functions with a B2B design because all patterns fit snugly within the edges.

BOM (Block of the Month)

You can sign up for block of the month programs at a quilting club to make new quilt tops in a specific time period.

BSS (Basic Sewing Supplies)

Your basic sewing supplies are the quilting tools you'll need to be stocked up on at all times.

DSM (Domestic Sewing Machine)

A domestic quilting machine is similar to a sewing machine but has a wider throat space and a generally larger working area.

DWR (Double Wedding Ring)

The double wedding ring is a specific pattern that's long been associated with marriage, with grandmothers and mothers creating these quilts to celebrate weddings and anniversaries.

EPP (English Paper Piecing)

While English paper piecing might sound fancy, it's actually pretty simple. It involves using paper and acrylic templates to sew complex shapes by hand.

FART (Fabric Acquisition Road Trip)

One of the cheekier quilting terms, FART isn't what it sounds like — in this case, a FART or fabric acquisition road trip is when you hit the road to find that perfect fabric.

FFO (Finally Finished Object)

When you conquer your first challenging quilt block, you'll get the sense of relief that only comes along with an FFO.

FMQ (Free Motion Quilting)

FMQ is a specific type of machine quilting that requires a darning foot that lets you create free patterns by moving the quilt in all directions.

FPP (Foundation Paper Piecing)

FPP is simply the act of stitching fabric to paper or muslin cloth using a sewing machine.

FQ (Fat Quarter)

What is a Fat Quarter?

An FQ is a piece of fabric that has a chunky, square-like shape. A fat quarter is made by cutting half a yard of a full piece of fabric, then cutting it in half vertically.

HST (Half Square Triangles)

An HST is a square that's fashioned from two 90-degree triangles. Half square triangles require two squares of fabric.

ITH (In the Hoop)

Quilting in the hoop is when you finish the quilting stitches and embroidery simultaneously.

LAQM (Long Arm Quilting Machine)

A long arm quilting machine ranges from 10 to 14 feet in length and lets you focus on large, singular areas at once.

LC (Layer Cake)

Layer cakes are packs of 10-inch precut squares of matching fabric that make quilting quick and easy.

LQS (Local Quilt Shop)

Every quilting enthusiast should be personally acquainted with their local quilt shop.

MQ (Machine Quilted)

Machine quilting lets you stitch in patterns or rows in the same style as hand quilting, but much faster and more efficiently.

OBW (One Block Wonder)

A One Block Wonder is made from a single block across the whole quilt, with attractive kaleidoscopic designs.

PIGS (Projects in Grocery Sacks)

As you make more and more quilt blocks, you'll soon realize that PIGS come with the territory. Also known as WIPs and UFOs, you will eventually find time to complete these challenging quilts — promise!

QST (Quarter Square Triangles)

What is a Quarter Square Triangle?

Quarter square triangles are made from four 90-degree triangles of equal size. The straight grain is parallel to the sides that are longest.

SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy)

Another tongue-in-cheek quilting abbreviation is SABLE, which describes how most quilters are such fabric enthusiasts that they have enough to last for centuries.

SQST (Split Quarter Square Triangle)

To make an SQST, cut four slightly oversized squares and then trim them as needed.

UFO (Unfinished Object)

Don't get down on yourself if you end up with a few UFOs tucked away in your quilting drawers. Sewing projects have a habit of piling up! Sometimes it's great to leave a tricky piece and come back to it later.

WOF (Width of Fabric)

There are two definitions to describe the WOF: the usable width and the overall width. It's typically cut by folding the selvages together and cutting strips.

WOMBAT (Waste of Money, Batting and Time)

Unfortunately, once in a while, you'll come across a fabric WOMBAT. These pieces just won't work, no matter how hard you try, so cut your losses and start a new project.

WST (Wrong Sides Together)

When you sew the right sides together, you should end up with invisible stitching on the outside of the quilt. The wrong side is the side with the stitching visible.

Now that you're familiar with the most widely used acronyms in quilting, why not join Stitchin' Heaven's quilting cruise and get to know a group of fellow beginners and veteran quilters? In our opinion, there's no better combination than traveling in style and quilting!