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Coverlet and Quilting Terms

What is the definition of applique? How about for a coverlet? If these bed linens (especially quilts) mystify you with their depth of terms and lingo, skim through this glossary for simple definitions. You'll make reaching your final bedding decision that much easier—and get exactly what you want on the first try!

Applique Bear
A type of decoration where pieces of fabric are sewn directly onto a quilt.

Bound Quilt Edges
Bound Edges
A decorative element where all four sides of a quilt or coverlet are finished with a short trim of matching fabric.

An ornate, raised design featured on a coverlet.

Buffalo Check Pattern
Buffalo Check
An allover check design that generally features two colors.

Cable Stitching
Cable Quilting
A pattern that involves a series of stitches criss-crossing in a figure-8 pattern along the length of a quilt.

Cathedral Window Quilting
Cathedral Window Quilting
A pattern that features interlocked, diamond-shaped pieces of fabric stitched together in a colorful array.

Channel Quilting
Channel Quilting
A horizontal or vertical stitch design that holds fill in place.

Bedding that resembles a shorter version of a bedspread; it may feature two fabric layers with fiberfill stitched in between, or it may be a single layer of matelasse fabric.

Grosgrain Ribbon Trim
Grosgrain Ribbon
A stiff ribbon with a ribbed quality that is often used to trim the ends of a quilt.

Hand-Guided Stitching
Hand-Guided Stitching
Machine-quilting that is controlled by human hands (not the machine itself); allows for intricate patterns and designs.

Irish Chain Pattern
Irish Chain Pattern
A pattern in which blocks of fabric are sewn in diagonal strips that resemble chains; the negative space between chains forms a white or cream diamond.

Log Cabin Pattern
Log Cabin Patchwork
A pattern in which blocks are formed by light strips of fabric on one diagonal half of the block and dark colors on the other side.

Machine Stitched Quilting
Machine Stitched
Quilting that is controlled by a machine to create ornate patterns and designs.

Matelasse FabricMatelasse Fabric Close-Up
A single-layer, lightweight coverlet that is woven or stitched so it appears quilted or padded.

Mitred Quilt Corner
Mitred Corners
A type of square quilt corner created by sewing a side and foot panel together in a diagonal seam.

Pieced Quilting
A feature of a quilt where the top layer of fabric is composed of multiple pieces of different fabric all stitched together.

Prewashed Quilt
Prewashed (Preshrunk)
A feature of a cotton quilt or coverlet where the bedding has been washed before purchase to prevent shrinkage in future washings.

A type of bedding that was traditionally made of multiple pieces of fabric stitched together with fiber fill locked inside.

A quilt or coverlet design where the bedding can be displayed facedown or face-up to show off the differing colors and patterns on either side.

Scroll Quilting
Scroll Quilting
A pattern in which stitches form curved, tendril-like motifs which resemble curling vines.

Seam on a Quilt Corner
The line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together anywhere on a quilt or coverlet.

Stitch in the Ditch Quilting
Stitch in the Ditch Quilting
A technique in which stitches are sewn as closely to the seam line of pieced fabrics as possible to allow the individual designs to shine through without "allover" quilting.

Super King Size Quilt
Super King
An oversized version of a King quilt that is at least 118"x102" in dimensions; Super King quilts will fit up to a 16" deep mattress.

Vermicelli Quilting
A stitch pattern that involves a continuous, meandering design; the pattern never crosses over itself.

Wedding Ring Quilting Pattern
Wedding Ring Pattern
A pattern formed by circles in different pieces of fabric sewn together in an interlocking pattern.

Whole Cloth Quilt
Whole Cloth
A term that describes a quilt that is not composed of several different pieces; rather, it is simply two layers of fabric stitched together in an allover pattern.