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What is a WIP? Quilter's Acronyms

What is a WIP? Quilter's Acronyms

We love seeing a new quilter walk into the shop! A tentative step into the door followed by a quick overwhelmed look then scanning the whole store - that usually means a first time visit, maybe ever, to a local quilt shop, or LQS. And all of a sudden, we're back at the beginning of our quilting journey, feeling a little lost as we choose fabrics and read the back of patterns. 

One of the most challenging moments, at least for us, was heading to our first guild meeting and hearing people talk in some sort of quilter code. When someone asked about UFOs, we thought we were in the wrong meeting. A month later, we were making HSTs for a BOM and practicing FMQ at our LQS along with the best of them. So here's a list of acronyms to reference when you're feeling left out of the alphabet soup.

BOM: Block of the Month - A program run through a pattern designer or quilt shop where you're provided the materials to make a block or small section of a quilt top at a time. Typically sold in 8-18 month cycles. Great way to learn new skills or stretch your quilting muscles.

EPP: English Paper Piecing - Hand piecing technique that utilizes compound shapes to create designs not easily created by machine piecing. Fabric is wrapped around paper or thin plastic templates and basted until sewn into blocks, then templates are removed.

FMQ: Free Motion Quilting - Quilting without templates, markings, or computerized patterns.

FPP: Foundation Paper Piecing - Sewing on fabric on to a paper stabilizer to achieve shapes and sizes not available in standard machine piecing. Paper is then removed from back of quilt before top is basted.

FQ: Fat Quarter - A quarter yard of fabric cut in a 18"x21" rectangle instead of a 9" strip across the 42" width of quilting fabric.

HST: Half-Square Triangle - Square block comprised of two equal rectangles at 45 degrees to the square. Typically used in groups to create other shapes within a quilt block.

LAQ: Long Arm Quilting - Quilting on a long arm machine, different from a domestic sewing machine. In a long arm, the quilt stays stationary and the machine is moved over the quilt to generate the quilting pattern.

LQS: Local Quilt Shop - Your neighborhood quilt shop. Also refers to small shops, locally or individually owned, around the country.

QAL: Quilt Along - Piece a top and/or quilt a top alongside a group. Typically run online with updates on social media and a hashtag campaign, but also done in guilds and quilting groups.

QAYG: Quilt As You Go - Technique that is used to create a quilted block individually. A alteration of foundation piecing where a quilt block is piece with batting and backing in place, then blocks are connected with sashing to create an entire quilt.

QST: Quarter-Square Triangle - Same as a HST, but with square made up of 4 equal triangles instead of 2.

RST: Right Sides Together - When piecing a quilt block, fabrics are typically placed right sides together, that is, with the printed patterns facing each other so that after a seam is pressed, both fabrics have the printed pattern showing.

SA: Seam Allowance - The amount of fabric lost into the seam. In piecing a quilt top, it is typically 1/4 of an inch.

SABLE: Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy - Our favorite acronym at Seams Like Quilting, by far. Self-explanatory and a dream of most quilters.

SID: Stitch in Ditch - Quilting or top stitching along previous piecing stitching.

SOG: Straight of Grain - Milled cotton quilting fabric is woven on the vertical and horizontal then printed. The straight of grain refers to a straight line along the warp or weft of the fabric.

SQUID: Sewing a Quilt Until I Die - What we call that one project that seems to drag on forever for whatever reason.

TBQ: To Be Quilted - A fully pieced quilt top, set and ready to be quilted.

UFO: Unfinished Object - Any quilting project, started and in any stage before finished. Distinguished from a work in progress by the length of time since progress was last made. Different quilters define this differently.

WIP: Work in Progress - A quilting project, currently being worked on (even if it's just in pieces next to the machine. No judgment!!)

WOF: Width of Fabric - The standard width of quilting fabric from selvedge to selvedge is 42-44".

WOMBAT: Waste of Money, Batting, and Time - A quilting project that didn't turn out to the quilter's satisfaction. We all have them!!

WST: Wrong Sides Together - The opposite of RST. Sewing pieces together with the wrong or unfinished sides of the fabric touching.

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