Cast of Characters
Depression Era Art
Double Exposure
Keeping Us in Stitches
Pieced Quilts
Applique Quilts
Whole Cloth
Activities & Resources
Matter of Style
Making Connections


Amish quilt [n]   quilt made by the Amish, a religious group of immigrant Germans. Amish quilters used plain wool or cotton cloth and certain traditional patterns emphasizing black and a limited palette of fabric colors.
appliqué [n]   construction technique of applying fabric motifs to background fabric by using invisible stitches
backing [n]   the piece of cloth that forms the underside of a quilt
baste [v]   to make temporary stitches
batting [n]   a type of filler used between the quilt top and the quilt back. It may be cotton, wool, or polyester.
binding [n]   a strip of cloth that wraps the edges of a quilt 
block [n]   a unit of quilt-top construction. A block can be made up of smaller pieces or a square of appliqué. 
central medallion [n]   a large central quilt block or motif sometimes surrounded by borders 
circa [adv]   approximately; abbreviated c. or ca.; used with dates when the exact date is unknown
Classical urn [n]   a vase-shaped container in a style that originated in ancient Greece; appears often in nineteenth-century decorative arts 
Crazy Quilt [n]   a quilt top made up of irregularly shaped and sized pieces sewed down to a foundation fabric; sometimes the edges of pieces are covered by ribbon or embroidery stitches. 
embroidery [n]   decorative stitches (here used to decorate bedcovers and Crazy Quilts)
English paper piecing [n]   construction technique of basting over a paper foundation to hold and support the fabric pieces while sewing them together 
foundation piecing  [n]   the technique of covering a background cloth with overlapping pieces of cloth
hexagon [n]   an equilateral, six-sided geometric shape 
motif [n]   an easily recognized single design, sometimes repeated, such as a flower or a star
patch [n]   a single cut piece of fabric for a pieced quilt or an appliqué quilt 

patchwork [n]


the sewing together of fabrics by piecing or appliqué techniques

patriotic symbol [n]   a symbol that represents one's country; An American eagle is a symbol of the United States.
pattern [n]   1) the name for a setting of a quilt or for a block design, 2) a commercially printed design for a quilt with instructions
piece [n][v]   noun. one cut-out shape of fabric meant to become part of a pieced quilt; verb. to sew cut-out pieces of cloth together to form a quilt top
pieced quilt [n]   a quilt that is constructed of small pieces of selected fabric stitched together 
quilt [n]   a hand made or machine made bedcover consisting of three layers of textiles: a quilt top, a batting, and a backing layer 
quilt top [n]   the top layer of a quilt. It may be one large piece of fabric or patchwork. 
quilting [n]   1. the process of sewing the layers of a quilt together with lines of stitches 
2. the general name referring to the art or craft of making a quilt 
seam [n]   the line made when two fabrics are sewn together and opened flat 
seam allowance [n]   the fabric between the stitching line and the edge of the fabric. In quilting this usually measures 1/4 inch. 
setting [n]   the arrangement of blocks in a quilt top 
skewing [n]   causing to move in a diagonal direction 
stiletto [n]   a thin pointed object, such as a knife, letter opener, or awl 
stipple [n]   closely spaced, random quilt stitches used to create textured background areas of quilting -  popular in the nineteenth century 
stuffed work [n]   quilted work in which stuffing creates a three-dimensional look to areas on the quilt surface
stuffing [n]   a batting material used to stuff areas of a trapunto quilt 
swag [n]   a classical design featuring an ornamental hanging draped in a curve between two points; could be formed of leaves, drapery, vines, flowers, or shells
template [n]   a pattern piece, like a square or circle, used as a guide for piecing or appliqué
tessellated [adj]   arranged into a group of identical shapes forming an interlocking pattern
textile [n]   something made of fabric, cloth, or fiber 
trapunto [n]   original Italian name for stuffed work or Italian quilting.
upholstery [n]   the cloth covering on padded furniture such as sofas and armchairs
warp [n]   in weaving, the threads that run the length of the fabric and are threaded through the loom
weft [n]   in weaving, the threads that run through the warp threads from one edge to the other
whole cloth [n]   any solid-color quilt without patchwork or appliqué or printed fabric. 
wrong side [n]   the wrong side of a fabric is the back side, unprinted side, or in case of shaped quilt pieces, the side that was down when the shape was drawn or cut


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