Quilting Acronyms: Our Secret Code

How well do you know your quilting acronyms? Let's have some fun and crack the secret code so you can speak quilter's lingo like a pro!

Acronyms make communicating quicker, but who can keep up with all the abbreviations? 

They're a great memory tool because you only have to remember the acronym and then each of the letters serve as a prompt to fill in the blanks. But cracking unfamiliar acronyms can bring you out in a cold sweat!

Our son (22) sends texts that are absolute letter gibberish, and it's a brain workout trying to decipher what he's saying. His generation has a very unique way of communicating but did you know quilters have their own secret code too - so how well do you know your quilting acronyms?

Let's have some fun and crack the code!

There are common quilting acronyms you'll need to know for reading and understanding quilt patterns and quilt tutorials etc. and others that are just for fun and allow you to join in with fellow quilters and our secret lingo - don't worry you'll be a pro in no time!

The chart above includes most of the commonly used acronyms for piecing methods, fabric cuts and terms used by quilters in groups and forums. They'll help you communicate with other quilters, quilt shop owners and long arm quilters.

You've likely heard many of them before, and use them yourself, but if you're new to quilting it can be daunting and all sound a little strange. 

Quilt blocks have their own acronyms as well and it's useful to know these when reading patterns, blog posts or tutorials. 

As a pattern writer, acronyms make my life so much easier as I'm not typing half square triangle (HST) or foundation paper piecing (FPP) a gazillion times throughout the pattern. The abbreviations are time saving and its efficient when both you and I know what the acronym means.

Would my son know our secret quilters code? Maybe I should reply to his texts with quilting acronyms and see how he fares. ;)

And of course, there are lots of acronyms just for fun!  They're witty, relatable and perfectly express the ups and downs of our quilting journeys.

My personal favorites would have to be MAFIA (Men against fabric accumulation) and WIWMI (Wish it would make itself) - I think the later on many occasions ;)

You'll see a lot of these acronyms on social media and in blogposts or forums, and once you understand this secret code you can join in the conversation with confidence.

One of the easiest ways to remember these acronyms is to use them. 

Last year, a friend and I hosted a Quilt Retreat, and we had some amazing women join us. To break the ice and to start a weekend with a fun activity, we played some acronym games.

It was a great way for the women to bond, and after a few glasses of wine, some of the acronyms took on a whole new meaning ;) - it was hilarious!

I've put together a Quilting Acronyms: Our Secret Code Booklet for you to download and print. It includes all three charts and the Bingo sheet and Word Search sheet for you to keep.

You can print these up for craft days, retreats or to decorate your sewing space - seeing them and using them will make them familiar to you!

To download the free booklet, simply click the link below:

If you're a new quilter, I hope these charts help make sense of some of the acronym's quilters use. When weird words and terms are thrown around, it's all a little confusing but the code is easy to crack, and you'll be speaking quilters lingo in no time.

If you can think of any other acronyms, please share them in the comments - let's help each other and share our knowledge!


Happy quilting :)

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