Common Quilting Acronyms

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If you’re new to quilting groups online, you may have noticed that quilting sometimes has its own language! To help you out, I’ve put together a list of quilting acronyms and abbreviations to know. From WIPs to BOMs, this list will have you speaking quilting jargon in no time!

Why do we use so many acronyms? The less time typing equals more time to quilt!

If you are new to quilting, or maybe just having a hard time keeping up with all the different quilting terms and acronyms while reading through forums and groups this post is for you!

Here’s every different quilting acronym and what it means that I could think of (over 100+) – and if you have any others to add to this list I might have missed let me know in the comments below!

201K: Singer Model 201 Sewing Machine made at the Kilbowie factory.

401F: Fabric Retirement Plan – When you have enough fabric to last you through your retirement or are planning to quilt after you retire

401P: Pattern Retirement Plan – When you have enough quilt patterns to last you through retirement

4P: Four Patch: A block made up of 4 squares

9P: Nine Patch – Quilt block made of 9 squares

AOD: All Over Design – A design that is all over

ATC: Artist Trading Card – The equivalent of a business card for artists that are often traded at quilt shows – for quilters it is often made in fabric!

BAB: Buck-a-Block: It costs only $1 per block to make, common for quilt shop monthly promotions

BDNQ: Bad Day, Not Quilting

BOB: Block on Board – When you can cut all the pieces from a quilt block from one single fabric dye

BOM: Block of the Month – Common promotion or class at quilt shops for a block to be featured that month

BSK: Basic Sewing Kit – Needle, seam ripper, scissors, thread, etc.

BSS: Basic Sewing Supplies – See above

CIU: Curve It Up Pattern – A type of pattern with lots of curves by Sew Kind of Wonderful

CQ: Crazy Quilt – A type of quilt with random blocks + elaborate embroidery + embellishments. We love all things CQ – Learn how to start crazy quilting!

D4P: Double Four Patch: Type of 4 patch pattern where 2 of the blocks in the 4 patch are made up of smaller 4 patch blocks

DFN: Done For Now – When you might add or change things later but you’re happy with how it is for now.

DIC: Double Irish Chain: A type of quilt pattern

DIY: Do-It-Yourself – When you create your own materials or tools (ie: DIY sewing machine table!)

DJ: Dear Jane quilt: A quilt block made by Jane A. Blakely Stickle that features over 225 blocks. This is an amazing quilt story – Get the Dear Jane book by Brenda Manges Papadakis – you won’t regret it!

Dear Jane: The Two Hundred Twenty-Five Patterns from the 1863 Jane A. Stickle Quilt

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DQ: Dragon Quilt (as in the quilt has been dragged along to many different places while you work on it)

DSM: Domestic Sewing Machine – Standard sewing machine

EPP: English Paper Piecing – When you use paper to hold your pieces in place to get nearly perfect seams when sewing by hand. We love EPP! See our post on How to English Paper Piece.

EQ: Electric Quilt Software: This is a popular software for designing your own quilt patterns, often followed by a number for the version of the software (ie: EQ7, EQ8, etc. etc.)

F8: Fat Eighth – This is an eighth of a yard of fabric that is cut 9″ wide by 22″.

FG: Flying Geese pattern – Popular quilt pattern

FHS: Free Hand Sewing – Sewing without any sort of plan or direction, usually by hand but can also be done by machine

FM: Free Motion – Free motion is when you lower your feed dogs to be able to move your fabric in any direction + sew various patterns and designs.

FMQ: Free Motion Quilting – Same/Similar to free motion

FOB: Fear of Binding – When you are afraid to bind a quilt because mitered corners are intimidating.

FPP: Foundation Paper Piecing – This is when you sew on top of paper to create intricate designs – similar to English Paper Piecing but done by machine.

FQ: Fat Quarter (18″ x 22″) – This is a quarter yard of fabric that is cut 18″ x 22″ rather than 9″ x 44″.

FW: Fusible Web (A type of interfacing for various projects) or Feather Weight (a type of portable vintage sewing machine)

GFG: Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt Pattern – Popular quilt made of hexagons that create a flower design

GOOB: Going Out of Business – It’s always sad when a quilt shop goes out of business – at least there is usually an amazing sale!

HBQ: Half Baked Quilt, a quilt started but will likely never be seen through to finish

HIPS: Hundreds of Ideas Piling Skyward – When you can’t even decide what quilt to make because so many options to choose from!

HP: Hand Piecing – When you join quilt pieces together by hands

HQ: Hand Quilting – When you do all of the quilting between layers by hand

HST: Half-Square Triangle – This is when you combine two triangles to make a square

HSY: Haven’t Started Yet – When you have supplies + ready to make project and are planning to begin at some point in the future

IFYKYK: If You Know, You Know – Usually used for situations/jokes only quilters will understand

IMHO: In My Honest Opinion – Often used when someone asks for feedback + you want to break the truth to them gently

IQ: Impromptu Quilting – No plan, no pattern, just joining blocks together.

JR: Jelly Roll – a set of 2.5 x 42″ fabric strips

LA/LAQ: Long Arm quilting which is typically done with machine in perpendicular direction and a quilt frame to give you lots of space!

LC: Layer Cake – a set of coordinating 10″ x 10″ fabrics stacked together

LFS: Local Fabric Store – If you are lucky this is a small quilt shop but can also be chain store if it’s the closest one near you

LOF: Length of Fabric – The length of fabric is how long a piece of fabric is along the selvedge edge, usually measured by the yard.

LQS: Local Quilt Shop – Support your local quilt shop!

MAQ: Mid-Arm Quilter – This is a machine with a deeper throat than the standard machine that makes it easier to quilt but is not as big as a long-arm machine.

NB: When a quilt is nearly finished but still needs binding or not bound yet (NBY)

NESTY: Not Even Started Yet – You wanted to do the project, but life is crazy so haven’t been able to start yet!

NFQ: Netflix + Quilt – When you put on a movie + quilt while you watch it.

NQR: Not Quilting Related – Usually used in message boards + forums + groups when you’re randomly going off topic.

OBW: One Block Wonder – This is a technique of making a quilt by stacking fabric to create a kaleidoscope design that is always impressive + stunning when you see it!

OOAK: One of a Kind – This is a one of a kind, as in it’s completely original and unique and would be impossible to duplicate again.

OOP: Out Of Print – Usually related to patterns that are hard to find + are no longer being offered by the designer or company.

PhD: Projects Half Done – When you start one project + move onto another, and then another + before you know it have multiple projects started but not completed yet

PFC: Professional Fabric Collector – When you probably have more fabric than you could ever possibly sew with, or you have fabric that’s so pretty you can’t bear to actually use it.

PIP: Project in Progress (PIPS is plural) – Often when you have lots of PhD’s (half-done projects) in the works.

PP: Paper Piecing – Can be done as English Paper Piecing or Foundation Piecing – the paper acts as a temporary stabilizer for more intricate designs.

Quilting Pillow
Quilting Pillow

QAL: Quilt Along – When everyone quilts along to do the same pattern

QAYG: Quilt As You Go – When you do the quilt top with the binding at the same time.

QCR: Quick Curve Ruler – This is used for the Curve-It-Up Patterns (CIU) by Sew Kind of Wonderful

QUIMM: Quilt In My Mind – an Idea or Vision for a Quilt

QR: Quilt Related – In case you got too off topic on something else

QOD: Question of the Day – When you have been asking a lot of questions lately or want a conversation starter between quilters

QST: Quarter Square Triangle – This is like a half square triangle, but halves of halves

R2D: Ready To Dye – When you are doing Batiks or dyeing other fabrics + have prewashed the fabric + set a mordant if need be.

RST: Right Sides Together – When you sew the two right sides together to flip them over later

SA: Seam Allowance – The distance between the edge of the fabric and where you sew them together. Most quilts want a 1/4 inch seam allowance but some projects may need a 1/2″.

SAS: Steam a Seam: Type of fusible interfacing often used for collage quilts, applique and other projects.

SABLE: Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy: You are a professional fabric collection with a 401F.

SID: Stitch in Ditch: When you quilt the top and backing together and follow the seams you’ve already sewn.

SIY: Sew It Yourself: Similar to DIY, often used for sewing something in particular you want that doesn’t have a pattern

SOG: Straight of Grain – When you follow the grain of the fabric

SMG: Sewing Machine Guy – Any Sewing Machine Repair Person – guy is gender neutral

SQ: Simply Quilts – Quilting show from 2003 that still gets talked about lovingly today!

SQUID: Sewing a Quilt Until I Die – Often a challenging quilt that is taking a long time

SS: Slow Stitch – A type of hand sewing that has no plan or pattern + is more about the process than the final product.

Common Quilting Acronyms
Common Quilting Acronyms

SUI: Sewing or Shopping for Fabric Under the Influence – When you partake in adult beverages or other mind altering substances that may cause you to have lack of judgement + make questionable sewing + fabric purchasing decisions.

STASH: Special Treasures All Secretly Hidden – When you don’t want someone else to know just how much fabric you have.

TAG: Touch and Go – Quilt pattern that creates an airplane design

TBQ: To Be Quilted – When you have the quilt top done but still need to add the backing or you have materials + fabric cut ready to start a new quilting project.

TGIF: Thank God It’s Finished – When a large or challenging quilt is done

TOAD: Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust – Sometimes our quilting projects just don’t go as we want! Thankfully fabric is very forgiving so can almost always use in a different project. As the saying goes, if you think a fabric is ugly, you just haven’t cut it small enough!

TOT: Tone-on-Tone – When you use fabrics that all have the same tone without a whole lot of contrast, such as making a quilt in multiple hues of blue.

UFO: Unfinished Object: A quilt you haven’t finished

VIP: Very Important Project – A project that gets priority above all others, usually used in instances of making gifts or special occasions or creating for someone very special.

WDL: Will Do Later – When you are showing someone your project before its finished

WIP: Work in Progress – A project you are still working on + haven’t finished yet but you are optimistic about it being finished

WISP: Work in Slow Progress – The optimism is wearing thin on how fast you are progressing in this quilt, but you will persevere!

WIWMI: Wish It Would Make Itself – When you’re ready to quit a project but you’re going to do it anyways.

WOA: Work of Art – When your quilt is either absolutely stunning or maybe it’s even wonky – everything is beautiful when it’s art!

WOF: Width of Fabric – This is the width of the fabric as it is on the bolt – so for example a yard of fabric is often 44″ wide, although many are also available in 60″ and even 96″ widths.

WOMBAT: Waste of Money, Batting, and Time – You don’t like the results or a lot of mistakes were made + wish you hadn’t made it.

WOW: White on White – This is a style where designs are made with only white fabric.

WST: Wrong Sides Together – When the right sides of the fabric are facing on the outside and the wrong sides are facing each other.

WWIT: What Was I Thinking? Often used when sewing or shopping under the influence. I had a WWIT moment when I bought 5 yards of orange fabric because it was only $1 a yard – I’m still trying to use it all up!

YOLO: You Only Live Once Which means you might as quilt what you like or go to that fabric retreat you’ve been dreaming of!

YOYO: Not actually an acronym – the term for a puffy circle of fabric that is gathered and drawn and often used as an embellishment or you can even sew multiple yo-yos together to make a quilt.


Phew! What a list! Are there any quilting abbreviations you use more than others? Have any favorites? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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