Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pondering or ruminating

How many quilts live at your house? Here's my pile, it doesn't include the finished tops or the works in progress, the kits I have stashed or the ones I've given away. What about all the quilts on my list that I want to make one day? I won't be the old woman who lived in a shoe, I'll be the old woman who had so many quilts she didn't know what to do! I'll bet money that many of you have a load more than I do so when someone says to you "what do you do with all those quilts?" What do you say? Would you ask an artist who has done X number of paintings for pleasure, what are you going to do with them all? That's after you've given them as gifts, to adorn the walls etc.
I've been thinking on this and after much thought, I've decided I'll keep doing what I love to do and I'll have something tangible to show for my time besides memories. I was feeling slightly defensive over this question but as long as I know why, that's good enough.

The piggy has been fed for sometime with golden coins and now it's time to swap them for notes and head of to the quilt show in Sydney this weekend. The show started today and the winning quilts are up for viewing here. Click on the pink bars near the top to view the quilts in the different categories.

I'd love to take photos for you but on the Guild website it states that photos are for your own use and that they must not be shared or copied electronically unless you get permission from the quiltmaker. Shucks! That's not likely to happen, for a start, how are you supposed to do that? I do understand the rule that you must not take pictures of stalls, on the threat of being thrown out.

And I'm getting on my soapbox to ruminate on another subject.
If I'm making a quilt from a pattern, which is what a lot of us do, am I breaching copyright if I post my progress or the quilt when I've finished on my blog? Most designers are thrilled because it gives them exposure and they get added sales from their designs. Some of them even encourage it and approve of yahoo groups for people wanting to share the experience. If a designer of a quilt doesn't want photos posted of their designs that have been done by students, I guess the'd say so and I guess we'd respect it. It's so hard to know what is allowed these days.

I don't want to go into the whole copyright thing but this is a subject that can get a bit touchy. If that's going to be the case, I might as well delete my blog and hide away my quilts. I like to share and I love what I do. Your thoughts are welcome.

37 comments:

Kate said...

I am comfortable with the position that this is my hobby - compare it to other pastimes such as fishing, sailing model boats, socialising - the pleasure is in the doing, in the friendships and the memories. As quilters we have the added advantage of having something tangible to show for it. But really, if we are enjoying it, then that should be enough.
BTW - lucky you for getting to got the Show - I have just seen the images of the winners - they look great.

Nedra said...

I'm with you. I understand the copyright rules. Designers want credit and to receive payment for their hard work. But, if the pattern can be found on the internet (and what cannot be found on the internet today?), then why can't it be shown in any other forum? To me, showing a pattern on my blog ALWAYS sends sales to the person. I try and list who the designer is, and their web site if possible. The designers who are open seem to draw more business, and those who are so negative tend to drive people away. At least that is my take.

Janet said...

While I understand the desire to protect copyright, I think the quilt designer only has copyright of the design. She doesn't, and can't, have copyright over a photo that you take.
I've also seen some designers get a bit antsy over designs that are really very basic, simple block in basic cot quilt, for example. I think that if quilters are going to claim copyright over a design, there should be something original in it - not a rehash of traditional or basic stuff.
At the Textile Craft Show, one stall holder got a bit shirty when I wanted to take a photo - so no free publicity on my Flickr or blog for her!

Brenda said...

Interesting question. I think if the quilt is in the public domain it's OK to show pictures of progress and the finished product. However if a design is being only offered to class participants who spend a lot of money to take the class I feel it should remain private - while it is being taught.

Rosa-Munda said...

Hi Janet,
Your quilts are beautiful - I would find it very difficult to part with such treasures. Enjoy them! Ros

Kathie said...

love the pile of quilts
ahhh, have thought of this too
I quilt because it makes me happy
I am not sure what I will do with every quilt I make , I have learned to make the quilts for me. and normally if someone says they like the quilt they get it!
sometimes they claim it as I am making it!
Enjoy the show! Hope you will tell us all about it!
Kathie

Crispy said...

I have one quilt a couple of pillow shams and place mats and one wallhanging...all from 20 years of quilting. I make 'em and give 'em away. I do have 3 UFO's that are MINE and several projects on my to do list that will be mine. The designer has a copywrite on the pattern that you can't sell it or share the pattern with anyone. What you do with YOUR copy and the resulting quilt is fair game as long as you don't say it's your original design. You don't even have to mention the designer but most quilters do out of courtesy.

Crispy

Carol said...

Love your pile of quilts...people ask me all the time what I do with all my quilts or what am I going to do with them...I sometimes give them away, I decorate with them and I love them. As my husband says "It's what I do".

Stephanie said...

I got a nastygram last year from someone (anonymous) because I put quilt show photos on my flickr NOT CLAIMING THEM AS MY OWN and stating on every photo they were from the NQA Show in Columbus. Flickr says you can share photos of the work of others as long as you don't claim them as their own. I think that's the biggest issue. Giving credit where credit is due. I'm always happy to share my work but give a little love back!

Jackie said...

I also have many quilts like you. I also love to share like you. I also share the same opinion as you when it comes to sharing a quilt photo. I think that as long as you are crediting the source, I think you are okay. If you are selling it and not crediting the source and are claiming it as your own design, that is where it becomes an issue.

broderie said...

i am always amused with the questions . . . . how long did it take you? and what are you going to do with it? the answers to both really don't matter, it is the doing and the pleasure along the way that are important. love your stack!!!!!

ranette said...

I love your stack of quilts and have one of my own that's somewhat similar. I also have many quilts over furniture, the banister and on beds. I make them because I want to, end of story!

I always try to give credit to a designer, but I really don't give copyright laws much thought. It's not like I'm selling my quilts or the pattern.

Fiesta said...

I love how all your quilts look like that.
I have not been asked yet what I do with them but I do get asked "Can you make one for me?
Then I have to go into the speech of where I buy my fabric, costs of quilts, etc... and you would be surprised to know how many people think quilting is an economical hobby! Once I give them the tally, they kind of shy away.

alobsiger said...

I love seeing your quilt stack, Janet! My quilts are pretty much just in stacks. When someone asks what I do with all of my quilts...well, I put them in stacks. I could safely say that I've never made a quilt to "go with" my decor and, while I try to match up the tastes of the recipient when making a quilt for someone else, I make them because I love to play with fabric and color. As another commenter said, "it's what I do." And it's fun! :-)

Lynda said...

Well said Janet - I agree with everything.

Emptied my piggy bank and went to the Quilt Show today - fabulous.

Karen said...

Copyright is a sticky subject for sure. I do see that a quilt or a pattern posted on a blog generates sales for the designer. More than once, I have made a purchase because of what I saw on a blog or was recommended by a blogger. I do like to give credit to the pattern designer when I can.
Love that pile of quilts! I have given away many, many quilts and quilt tops over the years. I just can't keep all that I have made. The need to create is great in me!

Magnolia Bay Quilts said...

That's such a wonderful stack of quilts! Lots and lots of work -- all piled up and looking beautiful.

I don't really understand all the copyright issues, either. A lot of quiltmakers would probably be flattered to see photos of their work posted on the Internet. Maybe one solution would be to have a card on the quilt saying it's okay to share pictures. I attended a quilt show recently and took photos of several interesting quilts, but I'm hesitant to post them. The makers weren't standing beside their quilts, so I couldn't ask for permission.

Thanks so much for the link -- I'm going to check it out now

Darlene said...

I love your pile of quilts! And, yes I have similar piles. I even have a huge pile of flimsies that need to be quilted - that pile is ridiculous. LOL!

When I'm asked why I make so many quilts and what do I plan to do with them. I just smile sweetly and explain that it's my passion and I just plan to own them and love them. They all make me smile!

Oh my the whole copyright issue causes me to just sigh! When I post something on my blog I usually give credit to the designer - it's simply out of respect. I don't understand quilt stores that don't allow picture taking, etc. One big SIGH!

Enjoy the quilt show, Janet!

Vivian said...

I found a great solution to the dilemma of having a lot of finished, unappreciated quilts. At the same time I found a perfect solution to what to do with a quilt that just didn't make me happy when it was done.
I've given away about 35 quilts (or sets of small quilts) in drawings at work.
My coworkers were envious of my relatives who were going to receive quilts that I'd take to work to show. I decided that my coworkers were family too. I set up some "rules" and started giving them away. It was a JOY! a BLAST! I loved every minute of it. Some day I'll post a link on my blog to photos of 35 happy ladies.

QuiltedSimple said...

Love your pile of quilts - very pretty! Have fun at the show! And as for copyright issues? I haven't a clue:)
Kris

Thimbleanna said...

Boy, look at the can of worms you opened! It's such a touchy subject with lots of different sides. In general though -- I think much ado is made of nothing in many cases. I mean after all, much of what is out there isn't really new -- our grandmothers and their grandmothers were making beautiful quilts and many of them are still the same. It always drives me nuts to see simple or traditional patterns with some sort of copyright stamps all over them. The original artists are LONG gone!!!

momtofatdogs said...

Laws are different in different countries, but the way I understand copy right laws in my country is that the designer ONLY has rights to the pattern. You can't sell the pattern, but you can sell what you make from the pattern. The designer can SAY that you can't do that, but in the U.S. that simply is not so. You can't copy the pattern and give it away or sell the pattern. But you can make all the quilts you want too from the said pattern. Copy rights are always a huge issue & it is most talked about on the about.com quilting forum.

Sam in Middle TN

Janet said...

I sure enjoyed looking at the award winning quilts - thanks for the link! I recently put a quilt in a show and on the entry form we had to sign saying pictures could be taken of our quilts. (it was not a juried show) I love it when people post pictures from quilt shows they have gone to - that way I can "go see the show" too. Lovely stack of quilts!! We pretty much use all the quilts I have made.

Janet said...

If you haven't been willing to share, I wouldn't have made the quilt on your header. I agree with you all the way. Even if a quilt is posted on the web, those who buy patterns will continue to use patterns because that's what they do. I have more quilting friends that feel they need to buy a pattern (even if its obvious) than the few who like to figure it out themselves.

Kellie said...

I love seeing my things or bits and pieces of my things around the traps!
I don't particularly like it when someone copies a design, without purchasing a pattern, then blogs about how to do it or presents a tutorial about it ... that leaves a bad taste.

Wendy said...

I love seeing your pile of quilts. I make quilts because it makes me happy and I feel happy to own them as well. I try to give the designer credit and I know this gives them more sales.
I hope the copyright thing doesn't get out of control and we can't show our quilts.

Julie in the Barn said...

I love your beautiful stack of quilts. I make quilts because it is a creative hobby for me. I make them to give away, to decorate my home, and more often just to "play." I garden for the same reason. It's fun and creative, a satisfying hobby.

I have no qualms about posting photos of my quilts to share on my blog. If I found inspiration from another blogger,I provide a link but never post an actual copy of their quilt. I seldom use commercial patterns but if I do I provide my source and the designer's name. Since I don't intend to sell designs or my quilts I have no fear of copyright infrigement.

Meredith said...

I purchase patterns. I do not steal from a quilter online. I created a Pat Sloan quilt from her pattern I purchased. Then I emailed her and she had the photo and a link to my blog. She did email me back and everything went well. I deleted my blog then started blogging agin so the post is gone now.

As far as having too many quilts. I do not feel that way. I put time in on most of my quilts and my DH would be really upset if I stopped. I had just bought a lot of fabric and am going to stop buying and start working with what I have. Like you I have a few quilts on my must make list and now I have the fabric needed for a few specific quilts.

I do find interesting how may quilters are copying directly from antique quilts and publishing the patterns or books and selling them. How can a classic block and setting be "yours" ? Many of the quilt books I have seen recently I can trace the "new" quilt pattern to an old quilt. So I do purchase patterns but now with EQ and my own dreams I wont be buying anymore. Just making what I love and using what I have. That should keep me busy for the next 5 years. I have a want to make list and I am focusing on that. I love the photo of your stacked quilts.

Sue said...

I don't understand a lot of the fuss about copyright, either. I have heard of a case where someone took pictures of someone's quilts and made them into mugs & cards to sell, of course that's not right.
But I have bought quite a few books and patterns for quilts, dolls, etc. after seeing pictures on someone's blogs, great free advertising in my view.
I don't understand not letting people take pictures at quilt shows, if someone wanted to try to make a copy of my quilt from a picture I'd tell them to go for it, that wouldn't be worth the hassle.
It REALLY bugs me when people try to claim a right to quilt patterns that have been around forever and haven't been altered to make them unique.

Heidi said...

I have an idea for future blog posts for you. Open up each of those quilts in the stack and show them to us. Your quilts are stunning. I am inspired each time I read your blog.

tami said...

That is a beautiful stack of quilts. It is nice to have them all ready if you need to finish one up for a present.
I agree with you about the copyright issue. I would never redistribute a pattern or post the instructions, but other than that it's hard to know what to do. I have finally taken the attitude that while the pattern might be someone else's as long as I give them credit for the design anything I make and any pictures I take are mine and I am free to post. I think most designers are more than happy for the advertising. The ones who aren't are usually skating pretty close to the line of trying to copyright public domain patterns that have been around for years. Most times quilters don't even realize that they have copied something someone else feels is theirs.

Vivian said...

I love to see a stack of quilts like yours. One of my motivations as a quilter is to one day have a stack like that...preferably displayed in a lovely antique cabinet or armoire.....

Barb said...

I think that we should have the right to post what we have made and yes, you would think they would be happy for free advertising....so keep on a posting...and I do not have as many quilts as you. I give just about everyone away or try selling them...either way....it is all good.

Kaaren said...

As a retired published designer in the decorative painting industry, please allow me to add a bit of insight here.

Unless it is specifically written in the copyright disclaimer that appears in the pattern packet, book, etc., then you may reproduce the items in a limited quantity and for your own personal enjoyment. What that means is that you cannot mass produce them for profit but can make one, two or three to sell at craft shows or on your Etsy site for pin money, and that credit is given to the designer.

The same holds true for posting your completed quilts or WIP's on your blog. Unless it states specifically that you cannot do that, then you can!

My personal take on this...once again speaking as a retired published designer...why design and publish if you do not wish people to show or sell their work for pin money if they so desire? Simply don't publish and keep all the designs to yourself if those kinds of restrictions are placed on them.

Most copyright disclaimers should be in plain view. I would suggest reading them and if you dont like what you read in that there are too many restrictions, then don't buy the packet or book and write to the designer telling them why. This is their bread and butter and they should be made aware as to why they lost a sale.

Have a great time at the show, Janet and make sure to tell us all about it when you return!

Lea said...

You have such a lovely pile of quilts.
To me, Making a quilt soothing me, take my mind off from the difficult time that I have to face some time. :-)

Sarah said...

If the designers dont want us to show the pics of our creations from their patterns really they should not be selling their patterns really!! I always show pics on my blog and close up's too.....
x Sarah
www.patchworksplus.com.au

Mary said...

I have lots of quilts too and give lots away...the only problem I have right now is I don't have the storage space for them that I used to have. I never feel guilty about keeping too many -- if I make one that I want, I keep it.

I try to always give credit if I use a certain pattern or if a pattern inspires my quilt even if I didn't use the instructions.

I can't imagine not being able to share my quilts on the internet and you can bet if a designer claimed copyright and refused to allow a quilt to be shown, I wouldn't use any of her/his patterns. They certainly have the right to refuse to allow photographs but I also have the right to not make quilts that I can't share with other quilters via the internet.