Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jargon of the Week - Block defines block as:

1. a solid mass of wood, stone, etc., usually with one or more flat or approximately flat faces.
2. a hollow masonry building unit of cement, terra cotta, etc.: a wall made of concrete blocks.
3. one of a set of cube-shaped pieces of wood, plastic, or the like, used as a child's toy in building.
4. a mold or piece on which something is shaped or kept in shape: a hat block.
5. a piece of wood used in the art of making woodcuts or wood engravings.
6. Printing. the base on which a plate is mounted to make it type-high.
7. a projection left on a squared stone to provide a means of lifting it.
8. a short length of plank serving as a bridging, as between joists.
9. a stump or wooden structure on which a condemned person is beheaded: Mary Stuart went bravely to the block.
10. auction block.
11. Machinery. a part enclosing one or more freely rotating, grooved pulleys, about which ropes or chains pass to form a hoisting or hauling tackle.
12. an obstacle, obstruction, or hindrance: His stubbornness is a block to all my efforts.
13. the state or condition of being obstructed; blockage: The traffic block lasted several hours.
14. Pathology.
a. an obstruction, as of a nerve.
b. heart block.
15. Sports. a hindering of an opponent's actions.
16. a quantity, portion, or section taken as a unit or dealt with at one time: a large block of theater tickets.
17. a small section of a city, town, etc., enclosed by neighboring and intersecting streets: She lives on my block.
18. the length of one side of such a section: We walked two blocks over.
19. Chiefly British. a large building divided into separate apartments, offices, shops, etc.
20. a large number of bonds or shares of stock sold together as a single unit.
21. Computers.
a. a group of data stored as a unit on an external storage medium and handled as a unit by the computer for input or output: This file has 20 records per block.
b. a section of storage locations in a computer allocated to a particular set of instructions or data.
c. a group of consecutive machine words organized as a unit and guiding a particular computer operation, esp. with reference to input and output.
d. (on a flow chart) a symbol representing an operation, device, or instruction in a computer program.
22. Railroads. any of the short lengths into which a track is divided for signaling purposes.
23. Philately. a group of four or more unseparated stamps, not in a strip.
24. Slang. a person's head.
25. Glassmaking. a wooden or metal cup for blocking a gather.
26. an obstruction or stoppage in mental processes or speech, esp. when related to stress, emotional conflict, etc.
27. writer's block.
28. Geology.
a. any large, angular mass of solid rock.
b. fault block.
29. (in Canada) a wild or remote area of land that has not yet been surveyed: the Peace River block.
30. Automotive. cylinder block.
31. Falconry. a low perch to which a falcon is tethered outdoors.

–verb (used with object)
32. to obstruct (someone or something) by placing obstacles in the way (sometimes fol. by up): to block one's exit; to block up a passage.
33. to fit with blocks; mount on a block.
34. to shape or prepare on or with a block: to block a hat; to block a sweater.
35. to join (the ends of boards or the like) by fastening to a block of wood.
36. Theater.
a. Also, block out. to plan or work out the movement of performers in a play, pageant, etc.: Tomorrow we'll block act one.
b. to draw a floor plan on (a stage) in order to indicate placement of scenery, stage property, etc.
37. Pathology, Physiology. to stop the passage of impulses in (a nerve).
38. Computers. to group (contiguous data) together so as to allow to be read or written in a single operation.
39. Sports. to hinder or bar the actions or movements of (an opposing player), esp. legitimately.
40. Glassmaking.
a. to shape (a molten gather) in a wet cup of wood or metal.
b. to plunge a block of wood into (molten glass) to aid in refining the glass.
41. Metalworking. to give (a forging) a rough form before finishing.
42. Electronics. to apply a high negative bias to the grid of (a vacuum tube), for reducing the plate current to zero.

–verb (used without object)
43. to act so as to obstruct an opponent, as in football, hockey, and basketball: He doesn't get many baskets, but he sure can block.
44. Theater. to block a play, act, scene, stage, etc.: The director will block tomorrow.
45. to suffer a block.

—Verb phrases
46. block in or out, to sketch or outline roughly or generally, without details: She blocked out a color scheme for the interiors.
47. block out,
a. block (def. 36a).
b. Basketball. to box out.

48. put or go on the block, to offer or be offered for sale at auction: to put family heirlooms on the block.

1275–1325; ME blok log, stump (< MF bloc) < MD blok; perh. akin to balk

Not one of those 48 different definitions of the word block explains the way a quilter uses the word.

In the quilting world, we use the term block to define a portion of a quilt. In a traditional quilt, it's the basic unit used to make the quilt top. Each block can be different or the same on a quilt top.

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