Bag Making Patterns Club

  • Some examples of our bag designs
  • Some examples of our bag designs
  • Some examples of our bag designs
  • Some examples of our bag designs

Glossary of Terms

Appliqué
Appliqué is a needlework technique in which pieces of fabric, embroidery, or other materials are sewn onto a bottom piece of fabric to create designs. Commonly, Appliquéd pieces may have their edges folded under and be slip-stitched in place - known as Needleturn appliqué, or they may be glued or fused on first and the neat edges sewn to the bottom fabric by a machine satin stitch, or by a hand, or machine Blanket stitch.
Backing
The name given to the bottom layer of fabric in a quilt. It is most commonly either a single piece of fabric in the correct width, or often narrower pieces of the same fabric joined by a single seam to fit the required with of a quilt. The quilt wadding is placed on top of the backing, and then the quilt top, and the 3 layers then stitched together, or quilted, to finish.
Baste
To Baste or Tack is to sew a straight stitch with long stitches and unfinished ends to act as a temporary stitch to hold something in place, or the layers of a quilt together, for quilting. The basting stitch is removed after the stitching or quilting has been completed.
Batting
Batting or wadding is the middle layer of a quilt. It is made from cotton or wool, or a polyester blend, and adds the layer for warmth to a quilt.
Binding
Fabric strips that are usually cut on the bias and sewn together to form a strip long enough to fit around all edges of the quilt. It is usually ironed in half widthwise and the raw edges sewn to the top of the quilt edge, then the binding is turned to the back and slip stitched into place, mitring the corners as required.
Blanket Stitch
A simple embroidery stitch often used in appliqué to attach the pieces being appliquéd to the fabric behind.
Block
A defined segment of a quilt top that forms part of the overall pattern or design that when combined with other blocks creates the finished quilt top. Blocks can be of a single fabric, a pieced design or appliquéd or embroidered, and quilts are made with either a repeated series of blocks, or a collection of different ones.
Block of the Month
A creative program for making a quilt, where each month a new block is sewn according to the pattern, and they are all put together in the final month's instalment to build the whole quilt.
Borders
Usually strips of fabric of various widths that is added around the outside edges of the completed quilt top. Borders may also be made up of repetitive pieced blocks that are stitched together into a row, before being added to the quilt top.
Broderie Perse
Broderie perse is a traditional form of appliqué from the 18th Century where motifs were cut out from printed fabric and appliquéd onto a solid background.
Charm Quilt
A quilt made using one single repeated shape such as a triangle or hexagon, where every shape is cut from a different piece of fabric. No fabric is repeated in the quilt.
Charm Square
A square of fabric collected or swapped by quilters who are making a charm quilt. Fabric sizes may vary, but a 5" square is usually the most common size.
Colorwash or Watercolor Quilting
This is a non-traditional method of scrap quilting which uses small blocks of color cut to the same size and pieced together to create a picture or design with the look of a watercolor painting.
Cornerstone
Cornerstone is the name given to the small square pieces of fabric that join the sashing strips together to surround the perimeter of a block in a quilt top.
Cross Stitch
Cross Stitch is an embroidery technique with a simple crossed stitch, or half, or quarter crosses that is primarily used to create sewn pictures. Multiple colours are used, and either Aida cloth or linen is preferred as the fabric to stitch on.
Echo Quilting
Echo or Shadow Quilting is a technique where quilting is done around the outline of an appliquéd piece on the quilt top, then the quilting is echoed again and again around the previous quilting line.
Embroidery
Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with designs stitched in strands of thread or yarn using a needle. Embroidery may also use other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins. Sewing machines can be used to create machine embroidery.
Fat Eighth
Half of a Fat Quarter - see Fat Quarter definition.
Fat Quarter
Is the term given to a quarter of a yard of fabric that is cut as half of half a yard, to produce a "fatter" more square block of fabric rather than cutting the full width of fabric from the bolt. Dimensions are usually around 18" x 22" rather than 9" x 44". Many prefer this fat quarter cut, as the squarer piece of fabric provides more options for its use.
Foundation Piecing
A method for joining together small pieces of fabric to form a (usually) more complicated pieced pattern or design. It is done using foundation paper rather than templates for the construction.
Hand Quilting
The process of using a needle and thread to sew a running type stitch by hand to bind the three layers of a quilt together. The stitching can be made with a variety of techniques and patterns across the area being quilted. See Stab Stitch, Rocking Stitch and "loading the needle".
Heat and Bond
A heat fusible product for use with appliqué. See also Vliesofix.
Layering
Placing the quilt top right side up on top of the batting and the backing, which is placed right-side down in preparation for quilting.
"Loading the needle"
One of the hand quilting techniques, which involves the quilter doing four or more stitches together before pulling the needle and thread through the cloth.
Longarm quilting
Longarm quilting involves placing the layers to be quilted on a special frame. The frame has bars on which the layers are rolled, keeping these together without the need for basting or pinning. These frames are used with a professional sewing machine mounted on a platform. The platform rides along tracks so that the machine can be moved across the layers on the frame.
Machine Quilting
The process of using a home sewing machine or a Longarm machine to sew the layers of the quilt together. With the home sewing machine the layers are tacked together before quilting, where with Longarm Quilting the quilt layers are rolled onto a special frame and kept taut together, negating the need for basting.
Medallion quilts
Medallion quilts are constructed around a central panel. The center is usually either a single piece of fabric like a toile or a Tree of Life, or an appliquéd motif or a large pieced star or other pieced pattern. This central panel is then surrounded by two or more borders. Although some borders may be solid, most are pieced or appliquéd and continue the theme of the central panel. Antique medallion quilts are among those most valued today.
Mitring
Mitring is done on the right angle corners of quilts when the binding is attached, so that the binding makes a neat and sharp corner.
Motif
A repeated idea, pattern, image, or theme. For example, Paisley designs are referred to as motifs. Motifs may have iconographic significance within a work of art.
Needleturn appliqué
A technique for attaching a piece of fabric to the backing piece by positioning it in place, then turning the cut edge under with a scant seam allowance before slip stitching it in place.
Patchwork
A Patchwork or "pieced work" is a form of needlework that involves sewing small pieces of cloth into patterns, called blocks, that are then sewn together to make a finished quilt top. These blocks are usually based on repeat patterns built up with different colored shapes. These shapes are carefully measured and cut, straight-sided, basic geometric shapes such as squares or triangles, which makes them easy to piece together. Precise joining makes for patchwork that lies flat without puckers.
Quilting
The process of sewing the three quilt layers together, using stitches in decorative patterns as motifs, or in utilitarian patterns, such as straight lines, with bigger stitches. Quilting is typically done by hand or machine and serves three purposes: (1) to secure all three layers to each other, and (2) to add to the beauty and design of the finished quilt, and (3) to trap air within the quilted sections, making the quilt as a whole much warmer than its parts. Quilting is usually completed by starting from the middle, and moving outward toward the edges of the quilt.
Ralli Quilting
Indian quilting, often associated with the Gujarat region.
Redwork
The name given to the embroidery technique where pictures are "drawn" with a series of joined stitches. Preferred stitches are usually backstitch or stem stitch, and the picture is embroidered in a single red colour. Often this will also be stitched in all black, or blue for a variation. See also Stitchery.
Rocking stitch
A technique used in hand quilting where the quilter has one hand, usually with a finger wearing a thimble, on top of the quilt, while the other hand is located beneath the piece to push the needle back up.
Sashiko quilting
A traditional Japanese quilting method. Traditionally used to reinforce points of wear, or to repair worn places or tears with patches, this running stitch technique is often used for purely decorative purposes in quilting and embroidery. The white cotton thread on the traditional indigo blue cloth gives sashiko its distinctive appearance, though decorative items sometimes use red thread.
Sashing
The name given to even strips of fabric sewn between the blocks of a quilt top. These strips are usually joined together by cornerstone blocks.
Shadow Quilting
Shadow or Echo Quilting is a technique where quilting is done around the outline of an appliquéd piece on the quilt top, then the quilting is echoed again and again around the previous quilting line.
Shadow Trapunto
This involves quilting a design in fine Lawn and filling some of the spaces in the pattern with small lengths of colored wool which produces raised, softer coloured areas.
Stab stitch
Stab stitch is the name given to the hand quilting technique where the quilter makes one running stitch at a time.
Stack and Whack Quilt
Stack and Whack Quilt is one where blocks of fabric are stacked on top of each other so that the patterns are aligned, then they are cut in such a way that when pieced together properly, the sewn blocks will form a kaleidoscope pattern.
Stipple or Stippling
Stipple or Stippling is a quilting technique used in both hand and machine quilting to flatten an area of a quilt and create texture. Stippling is continuous closely spaced waving and curved line that never makes a sharp turn or crosses itself.
Stitchery
Stitchery is the name given to the embroidery technique where pictures are "drawn" with a series of joined stitches. Preferred stitches are usually backstitch or stem stitch, and the picture may be in multiple thread colours, or in a single colour - see Redwork.
Stitching in the ditch
Stitching in the ditch is when stitching is done directly following along the existing seamline.
Tack
To Tack or Baste is to sew a straight stitch with long stitches and unfinished ends to act as a temporary stitch to hold something in place, or the layers of a quilt together, for quilting. The basting stitch is removed after the stitching or quilting has been completed.
Tessellations
Tessellations are complex repeated designs that interconnect to create striking patterns when used as a quilt top pattern.
Traditional Quilting Processes
Traditional quilting is a six-step process that includes: (1) selecting a pattern, fabrics and batting; (2) measuring and cutting fabrics to the correct size to make blocks from the pattern; (3) piecing (sewing cut pieces of fabric together using a sewing machine or by hand to make blocks) blocks together to make a finished "top"; (4) layering the quilt top with batting and backing, to make a "quilt sandwich"; (5) quilting by hand or machine through all layers of the quilt sandwich; and (6) squaring up and trimming excess batting from the edges, machine sewing the binding to the front edges of the quilt and then hand-stitching the binding to the quilt backing. Note: If the quilt will be hung on the wall, there is an additional step: making and attaching the hanging sleeve.
Trapunto quilting
A stuffed quilting technique often associated with Italy as it is believed to have originated there some time before the sixteenth century. It is quite decorative in that it utilizes at least two layers, and is padded from the underside, which produces a raised surface on the quilt.
UFO's
Otherwise known as Unfinished Objects, or Projects. Many quilters often have several things on the go at once.
Vliesofix
A heat fusible product for use with appliqué. See also Heat and Bond.
Watercolor or Colorwash Quilting
This is a non-traditional method of scrap quilting which uses small blocks of color cut to the same size and pieced together to create a picture or design with the look of a watercolor painting.
Wadding
Batting or wadding is the middle layer of a quilt. It is made from cotton or wool, or a polyester blend, and adds the layer for warmth to a quilt.
Whole Cloth Quilts
The name given to quilts made of a solid piece of fabric. The three layers of top, batting and backing were quilted together. The quilting itself became the decoration.

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