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Quilt Definitions
Backing Fabric The material that makes up the backing (or lining) of the quilt. This can be one piece using the wider fabrics made for backing or it can be pieced by using regular cotton fabric with one, two or three seams.
Batting
The material that is added between the quilt top and the backing fabric to add dimension to the quilt. Batting comes in cotton, cotton/poly blends, wool and it is bleached or unbleached. There is dark batting made for dark quilts.
Basting
Stitching to hold the quilt top, batting and backing together for hand quilting. Stitching across the quilt with a large meander that does not cross over any other basting lines using 4 stitches per inch.
Binding (Front)
Binding that is sewn only to the front of the fabric and then the customer can turn the binding to the back and hand stitch (or machine stitch).
Binding (Complete)
Adding the final step in completing the quilt. A narrow strip of fabric (doubled) is sewn to the front then folded over the edge of the quilt and hand or machine sewn to the backing fabric.
Echo quilting
Outline quilting that is repeated over and over to echo and emphasize a quilt pattern or appliqué pieced pattern. Usually stitched about one quarter inch outside the pattern.
Mitered corners
When the binding is sewn on the front of the quilt a technique is used to create mitered corners.
Muslin
Bleached or unbleached cotton fabric that is sometimes used for backing or for quilt top backgrounds.
Sleeve
A sleeve is a long strip of fabric (doubled) that is sewn to the top of the backing fabric (can be inserted under the binding) and hand sewn to the backing fabric only. This is used when a quilt is planned for display in a show or when it will be hung on a rod for display in a home.
Stay Stitching
This is stitching that is done to prevent stretching. When the outside quilt edge has some bias and could stretch you will want to do stay stitching one-eighth or one-quarter inch from the edge of the quilt.
Squaring up
A quilt top may need to be squared up prior to quilting. Adding borders and then trimming them to make the quilt square can square up a quilt top. A quilt can also be squared (if it is only a little "out of square" by stretching and pinning then dampening the top and stretching it again with pins – this is called blocking. This will ensure the quilt will hang straight.
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