Quilting Acronyms Explained

Listen to two quilters talk, and it may sound like a foreign language to the uninitiated. Quilting has its own set of acronyms and terms that are commonly used in discussions, patterns, and tutorials, but that can confuse anyone new to the quilting world.

But worry not, here's a list of some common quilting acronyms along with their meanings. Soon enough you'll sound like you've been quilting for years ;-)

This is the first part of a two-part series. The second post all about common quilting terms can be found here.

  1. WIP - Work in Progress
    • Refers to a quilt or quilting project that is currently being worked on. Mind you, "currently" is a rather loose term.
  2. UFO - Unfinished Object
    • A quilting project that has been started but not completed. There is some overlap between UFOs and WIPs.
  3. HST - Half-Square Triangle
  4. QAL - Quilt Along
    • A collaborative online quilting event where participants work on the same project simultaneously, often involving the posting of progress pictures on social media.
  5. BOM - Block of the Month
    • A program where participants receive instructions and materials for one quilt block per month. This can be online, or run by a quilt shop.
  6. WOF - Width of Fabric
    • Refers to the width of the fabric as it comes off the bolt, selvedge to selvedge. It is typically around 42-44 inches.
  7. FQ - Fat Quarter
    • A quarter-yard of fabric, cut into a rectangle that measures approximately 18x22 inches. This is half a yard of fabric that is cut across the width, as opposed to the "regular" quarter yard of fabric, which is also referred to as a "skinny quarter" and measures 9" x 42"
  8. RST - Right Sides Together
    • Instructs to place the right sides of fabric together before sewing.
  9. WST - Wrong Sides Together
    • Instructs to place the wrong sides of fabric together before sewing.
  10. FMQ - Free Motion Quilting
    • A technique where the quilter moves the fabric freely under the sewing machine needle to create intricate designs.
  11. LOF - Length of Fabric
    • Refers to the length of the fabric as it is cut from the bolt, parallel to the selvedge.
  12. FPP - Foundation Paper Piecing
    • A quilting technique where fabric is sewn to a paper foundation to create precise and complex designs.
  13. SITD - Stitch in the Ditch
    • Quilting along the seams or "ditches" between pieces of fabric to hide the quilting stitches.
  14. RJR - Rotary Cutting, Join, and Repeat
    • A method of cutting fabric using a rotary cutter and ruler for accuracy and efficiency.
  15. BDS - Border Design Syndrome
    • The indecision or struggle in choosing a design for quilt borders.
  16. LQS - Local Quilt Shop
    • Refers to a (usually independent) brick-and-mortar store that sells quilting fabrics, supplies, and offers quilting services.
  17. WOMBAT - Waste of Money, Batting, and Time
    • Used humorously to describe a project that didn't turn out well.
  18. PhD - Projects half Done
    • These can be found somewhere at the intersection of WIP and UFO
  19. WHIMM - Work Hidden In My Mind
    • This is a project you are planning to do, have dreamed about, probably bought all the materials required (and more) but not yet started …

Did I miss anything? Leave a comment if you know of other acronyms I should include in the post!


  • Love this resource, thank you Monika!

  • Thanks for those, I’ll add them to the list :-)

    Monika | Penny Spool Quilts
  • PhD——projects half done

    Sarah Craigen
  • WHIMM – Work Hidden in My Mind – this is a project you are planning to do, have dreamed about, probably bought all the materials required (and more) but not yet started …



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