Quilting Acronyms & Glossary

Acronyms collected from various sites over the years

BOB = Beginner’s Only Block (swap)
BOM = Block of the Month
CRAFT = Can't Remember A Flipping Thing

DH = Dear (or Darn) Husband
DIY = Do it yourself
DSM = Domestic Sewing Machine
DWR = Double Wedding Ring

F8/FE = Fat Eighth
FART = Fabric Acquisition Road Trip
FFO = Finally Finished Object
FIU = Finish It Up
FLIMSY = Finished top, not quilted
FMQ = free motion quilting
FQ = Fat Quarter
Frog Stitching = ripping out stitched seams (rip it, rip it)

HP = hand piecing
HQ = hand quilting
HST = Half square triangle
HSY = Haven't Started Yet (pronounced hussy)

LAQ= Long Arm Quilter
LQS = Local Quilt Shop

MAQ = Mid-Arm Quilter
NQR = Not Quilt Related (an alternative to OT)
OSMG = Old Sewing Machine Guy

PHD = Project Half Done
PIGs = Project In a Grocery Sack
PIPS = projects in process
PITS = Project In Totes
PIW = project in waiting (waiting to grow up to be a WIP)

OBW = One-Block Wonder
QIMM = Quilts in My Mind
QST= Quarter Square Triangles
RTFM = Read The Flipping Manual (last resort!)

SABLE = Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
SEX = Stash Enhancing eXperience (or eXcursion)
SID = stitch-in-the-ditch quilting
Siggies = Squares of fabric with signatures and often other info written on them
Squishie = Envelopes filled with swap fabric/blocks (squishy is the way they
STASH = Special Treasures All Secretly Hidden

TBQ = To Be Quilted
TGIF = Thank God It’s Finished!
TOAD = trashed object abandoned in disgust
TOT = Tone-on-Tone

UFO = UnFinished Object
USO = UnStarted Object
VIP = Very Important Project

WHIMM = Works Hidden In My Mind
WIMM = Work in my mind
WIP = Work in progress
WISP = Work In Slow Progress
WIVSP = Work In Very Slow Progress
WIWMI = Wish It Would Make Itself
WOA = Work of art
WOF = Width of Fabric
WOMBAT = Waste of Money, Batting, and Time
WOW = White On White
WWIT = What Was I Thinking  

A Glossary of Quilting Terms
(from Megan, copied from this website)
Appliqué – A method of covering up mistakes. Not foolproof, however, as there is no method for covering up the mistakes made while appliquéing. Beer helps, though.

Backing – The material used for the back of a quilt. If a friend is doing longarm quilting for you, it must be 2 inches bigger than quilt and batting on all sides. If a quilt shop is doing it for you, expect to be asked for at least 8 inches.

Batting – What you do with your eyelashes when someone starts complaining about all the fabric you’ve been buying. Warning: may lead to unintended sexual obligations.

Bias – The irrational inclination to believe that holding down a job or cooking some food for once is a more productive use of time than quilting.

Blog Tour – A walk down my street. Marcella next door blogs about organic gardening and Bob over there blogs about his Star Wars collectibles. We have about 18 mommy-bloggers at last count, and between you and me, Louise and Harry on the corner blog about their “alternative lifestyle” at nakedsuburbanites.blogspot.com.

Design Wall – What Sheila has. You know—Sheila. Don’s wife. He made it for her. He, apparently, knows how to use the tools in his garage. I get to use an old flannel sheet that looks like the cat yakked on it.

Electric Quilt – What you see after you eat the funny sugar cubes someone gave you at that last Grateful Dead show. Not that I would know.

Fat Quarter – The section of New Orleans where the happy quilters live. Nobody tells them to lay off the potato salad. Also, the name of my future fabric shop/Cajun restaurant.

Flying Geese – Quilt pattern comprised of repeating blocks made from three triangles. Also known as Completely Impossible and Are You Freaking Kidding Me?

Fussy Cut – What results when you whine like a big baby because the fat quarter you got at the guild swap isn’t “quilt shop quality” and Tille Henderson pulls a switchblade.

Grain Line – No, not what you stand in to get free Jack Daniels. You’re not funny, you know.

Gray (see also White) – A colour that apparently only becomes a neutral when paired with one wonky star and straight line quilting. Until then, I don’t know, it’s green or something.

Half Square Triangles – Triangles cut from a square of fabric which, when they are sewn together, miraculously form a trapezoid.

Miter – The cool hat you get to wear when you are elected Bishop of Quilters. No, really. There’s a ceremony every year in the Fat Quarter during Mardi Gras.

Modern Quilting – If you are under 40, it’s a fresh, bold new way to quilt. If you are over 50, it’s something you’ve been doing for ages and nobody made a big deal over you so you don’t see what all the fuss is about. If you are between the ages of 40 and 50, you just want everybody to shut up and let you quilt in peace.

Quarter Inch Seam, Accurate – What quilt books and patterns are always harping on, like the world’s gonna end if your seam is a little off.

Quilt Sandwich – Yeah, lettuce and tomato. That’s hilarious. Would you please go somewhere else? Go ask Don to show you how to use a nailgun or something.

Rotary Cutter – An instrument with an extremely sharp, round blade used for dyeing fabric with blood spots. Be sure to have plenty of extra blades on hand as they tend to chip if they hit bone.

Seam Ripper – a cocktail made from one part this entire bottle of tequila and a jigger of Red Bull.

Self-Healing Mat – What you sit on while you dial 9-1-1 after hacking off the end of your finger with the rotary cutter.

Selvedge – The part of the fabric that they always say you can’t use, but which just gets hidden in the seam allowance so what’s the big deal?

Squaring Up – The process of making sure that a quilt block, or a quilt, has straight edges and right angles at every corner. Failure to do so will result in a hefty fine and/or jail time, as determined by the longarmer who is holding your quilt hostage.

Strip Piecing – What happens at Mardi Gras after you’ve had one too many Seam Rippers and you see the cameras for Quilters Gone Wild.

Wonky – A method of making a traditional quilt block, such as Log Cabin or Ohio Star, look like somebody kept handing you Seam Rippers until your eyes crossed.

Y-Seam – No, not what’s on the front of your Fruit of the Looms. Look, if you’re gonna keep hovering, why don’t you go get a Red Bull out of the fridge and come join me and José Cuervo here for a little early Mardi Gras? Maybe we’ll check up on Louise and Harry while we’re at it


  1. Just what every quilter needs to know.....along with some laughs to go with it. Enjoy!

  2. I've got another one for you.. SEX - Stash Enhancing eXpedition, some people call it a shop hop.

  3. this is toooo funny, I didn't know what most of this meant !!hahahaha

  4. Some of this I knew - now some of it - I'm glad to know....lol

  5. I cannot believe you haven't received any comments regarding this amassed list of acronyms and glossary of the quilting world. This is just awesome. I will be linking this post to my blog. I don't have a large readership, but those that do read my blog will appreciate reading it. Just wonderful!


  6. Replies
    1. Thank you Roz. Sorry but you are are no-reply commenter and I can't find your email so I can't reply direct. Thanks for visiting and commenting x

  7. These terms always throw my daughter-in-law for a loop.

  8. Hi Nina: thanks for visiting and commenting. I can't reply direct as you are a "no-reply" blogger

  9. It is great to find all these in one place. I had heard a lot of them but there were some new ones too. I am still smiling. Thank you.


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