Quilting Glossary–T is for T-Square, Z is for Z Stitch

T-square ruler: As the name implies, a T-square ruler is shaped like the letter “T.” This tool is very useful for cutting perfectly square blocks.

Templates: Quilt pieces are cut using templates as pattern pieces. Because a quilt requires numerous pieces of the same shape, templates are made out cardboard or plastic. Cardboard templates are most common and can be made out any durable, easy to cut cardboard. When piecing a quilt by hand, the seam allowances are not included in the templates; if you are piecing the quilt with your sewing machine, the ¼” seam allowances are included.

Tops: The term top refers to the patchwork or embroidered pattern part of the quilt. Quilts also have a middle (the batting) and a back.

Tied Quilts; Tying quilts is a centuries old tradition and it is most useful for exceptionally thick quilts, which would be difficult to sew quilt stitches through. Instead of stitching, tied quilts are tied at evenly spaced intervals to hold the batting in place.

Traditional Quilting: Quilting by following the outline of the block’s design. The stitches are taken ¼” away from the seam lines of the appliquéd or pieced patch.

Tufted Quilts: Another name for tied quilts.

Walking foot: A special machine foot with rollers, used to help extra thick material feed evenly under the feed dogs of the sewing machine. A walking foot can be very useful when you doing the actual quilting and must sew through the top, batting, and back of the quilt.

Yo-yo: A small round piece of fabric which is gathered around the outside edge. Yo-yos are typically whip stitched together and placed on a background fabric.

Z stitch. The Z stitch is a series of long basting stitches, sew on the diagonal, parallel to each other. It is useful for basting batting together.