Thursday, November 19, 2009

It's all about the blocks

I've made seven blocks for the Joseph's coat quilt along which is a good start but since this is a long term project, I will probably cut back to two blocks a week from here on in. You know how it is at the begining, you want to see how it's going to shape up. Part way into making the blocks, I decided to add some accents of pink or purple to stop it looking too uninteresting for me. I'm liking the emerald greens with the aquas as well so I'll carry on with that idea.

Today I recieved my nine patches from Christine's block swap. I have 72 blocks that I'm looking forward to playing with. I think I have a fairly simple setting idea for these but that will have to wait until next year. There is such a great variety, they are going to look great. A big thank you to Christine who organised this and put in a lot of effort and thanks a bunch to the swappers,
Leah, no blog
Jenny K, no blog
Deidre, no blog

I have a question about something that's been on my mind awhile. Feel free to tell me what you think.
I make a lot of my quilts from patterns or traditional blocks and settings that are in the public domain but sometimes I make a quilt that is my own design or from a mix of elements from quilts I've seen somewhere.

I'm happy for anyone who may be inspired by what I've made to feel free to copy my ideas, after all, I've put them in the public domain and I would feel flattered plus I'm a realist and like to share.

I have a hankering to make a quilt by a well known quilter that I saw on public display. I would purchase a pattern but there isn't one available. I love this quilt so much that making it would be the only way I could own it. I don't want to profit from it in any way or put it in a show where there are prizes. I have tried to contact the quilter to ask permission to copy it but have had no luck.

Do I......
A   Make the quilt and hide it away?
B   Make the quilt and share it on my blog, making sure I give credit?
  Admire the quilt and forget about making it?

What do you think? And I have to tell you, I have already drawn it out but done nothing with it.

Edit:  This is an excerpt from an information sheet on Australian copyright.
• Generally, you will need permission to reproduce a craft work, or a design or pattern for a craft work, though

you will generally be able to rely on an implied licence to make up a craft item from a pattern.

When words like generally are used, I find it very confusing.

57 comments:

Janet said...

I would make the quilt and on the label mention that it is a copy of name of quilt and designers name. I also would not hide it away but just let everyone know who the talented person is. BTW Love your quilt.

Anne at Film and Thread said...

I agree with Janet, but then again, I'm not a famous quilt designer! I would be flattered if someone liked something I had done and made their own version and gave credit to where the original design came from.

Christine said...

You can make the quilt, but mention where you got your inspiration.
It is the same as if you stand next to a famous painting, you painting it would be your interpetration of the original.
Go ahaead and make it.

cheers
Christine

Minick and Simpson said...

Just give credit where credit is due. Document everything you know about the original quilt on the label of yours. What you cannot do is sell this pattern or teach the design - that is owned by the original maker, even if she won't acknowledge your efforts. Good luck. I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Laurie

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

I think that this is a tricky issue, and it is a credit to you Janet, that you are thinking about this. Many others would dive right in and just copy.

I think it is OK to make a quilt that is a homage to a design you have seen, as long as when you show it (eg. on your blog) you give credit to the person whose work inspired it.

There my be no pattern at this stage - but who knows, the designer may publish one in the future. She/He may also want their quilt to be the only one.

I don't think there is any problem making a quilt strongly inspired by the original, but I do think there is a problem just copying.

My words may be coloured by the fact I went to Uni and studied Design, so I might care about this more than the average person.

I have also read the words of hurt by other designers who have discovered their work recreated online. The same people are usually flattered when they inspire others to take their designs in a new direction.

Good Luck with your descision.

Deb said...

Hi Janet Love your JC it's coming together beautifully.

I think your question is tricky and in the end everyone will have a different opinion.
A couple of thoughts:
1. If you have made every effort to purchase a pattern and none is available - or will be available, then you have exhausted that idea.
2. If you are drawing it from memory and using the inspiration of the quilt then I guess technically you are not copying.
3. If you are making it for personal use and won't be profiting from it - then what harm can it do?
4. If you acknowledge the original maker then the intellectual property is preserved.
5. There is no such thing as a truly original idea - you may find that the maker sourced their ideas from elsewhere.

Good luck.

Darlene said...

Your Joseph's Coat quilt is lovely, Janet. Oh, look at the great 9 patches - can't wait to see how you set them. :-)

I don't know what you should you do about the quilt that's given you inspiration. I'm wondering if you could just make the quilt and give credit where it's due. You don't plan to sell your version of the pattern so what would be wrong with that? I'll be back to read what everyone has to say.

Yuki said...

Without having the original right in front of you, there is no way to make a copy. I doubt that you would even be able to find the exact same fabric that was used in the original. You are making your quilt from memory, thus your quilt is your original which was inspired by someone else. I wouldn't worry too much about. Who knows, in the process you might deviate from your intended design and make something entirely different. In the end, you are making something for your personal use and don't intend to profit from another persons' effort.

ttfn :) Yuki

Cathy said...

I agree with the views expressed by Minick & Simpsom and Claire in their comments above. Acknowledge the original in any blog post or other public airing of your work, and on your label if you like. As long as you don't claim it as your original design or try to profit from it, I think it is ok. You will likely make at least some small change to the original design anyway, even if it is just the fabric choices, and there are practical limits to the protection of intellectual property.

Julia said...

Janet, I would make the quilt and enjoy it, share pics if you like....but you must give credit to the original maker / designer, acknowledge where your inspiration came from in public and on the label.
If it was in public dislpay, you may not be the only one to get inspired to make a similar quilt like it....we are all inspired by what we see!
Julia ♥

Beth Karese said...

You've really made great progress on the Joseph's coat, looks great!

As to your question, I've had the same thoughts about some quilts I've seen, so I'll be watching to see what others think.

I think you described it right, designers object if someone profits or wins a prize from their design or doesn't give credit. You're not crossing that line. Kajsa said, "When I see work inspired by my own work I get very flattered, especially when people give me credit for it." http://syko.typepad.com/syko/2009/04/the-highest-form-of-flattering.html. Janet, you're handling it with integrity and openness and should make it and share it with us. I wish you well.

wishes, true and kind said...

I LOVE your Joseph's coat blocks! Great colors! You're on a roll!

Ginger Patches said...

Your JC blocks are beautiful!! You have gotten some great answers to your question already. Since Laurie from Minick and Simpson is a designer I'd go with her answer :)

Mary said...

I never hesitate to make a quilt inspired by someone else but I do try to give credit when sharing my version on my blog.

Marls said...

What progress you have made with your JC-I love the accents of emerald and pink. It really lifts it.
I'm plodding with mine.
As to your question I think you have a consensus amongst the answers-make it but give credit where credit is due and enjoy it.

Melanie said...

I'm going with B. So long as you give credit to the origonal design and inspiration I think all is fine!

Anonymous said...

You make the quilt and enjoy it. When you tell about it you give the information that you were inspired by xxx quilt that you saw at xxx. I am not inclined to make a quilt just the way my inspiration quilt looks. I seem to change things as I go to suit me better and thus it becomes my quilt. If you are not going to make money on this, I don't see a conflict.

Bernadette said...

This is a really tricky issue and one I would look into very carefully. It is ok for people to say you should make it and give credit but who may get taken to court for breach of copyright? You and no one else. If it is an old pattern in the public domain no problem but if it is copying a pattern by someone else check out the copyright laws first just to protect yourself.I am sure they are available online somewhere and I know some designers can get very very touchy about "their" quilts and "their" patterns. Personally I agree with you, it is fortunate that recipes were never copyrighted! Good luck, and hopefully you can find the designer and get permission.

Kathie said...

ok, my feeling is you can make your quilt inspired by her/his quilt. the big question is was this quilt inspired by an antique quilt?
your not looking to make money on this quilt, teach it your wanting to make the quilt to enjoy and use.
I don't see a problem .
Kathie

Stephanie said...

I say B...make it, share it on your blog, give credit to the original maker. If the original designer doesn't reply...well she should be very flattered someone as talented as you got inspiration from her project!

Jessica said...

I think everyone has already answered your question, all have the same outcome just with different wording! We must all be on the same wave-length!
I do love your JC blocks. You are way ahead of me but who's counting?!? ;-)
Jess

Carol said...

Your Joseph's Coat is coming along amazingly! It's going to be just beautiful! I think you've gotten lots of great answers to your question.

Carrie P. said...

Your JC blocks are just gorgeous. I like the touches of the other colors in the blocks too.
I did a nine patch exchange in our quilt guild. Nine patch are always great blocks to work with.
You have gotten a lot of great answers to your question. Hope you can make a decision.

Jackie said...

Your Joseph's Coat is looking fantastic.
I think that you can duplicate the quilt as long as it is solely for personal use. I say this because there is no pattern available. I would also make sure that you give the maker credit on your quilt label. If you are not doing this to make a profit. I think that you are just fine. I have not read any of the other comments, so this is definitely an unbiased opinion.

Nedra said...

I think you should make the quilt, and then give credit for the designer. If you are not making it for profit, where is the harm? We show quilts all the time from quilt shows. They ask that we list the person who made the quilt.

Lori said...

I love how the JC blocks are taking shape. The use of lights and darks, and a few different colors is keeping it visually exciting. I love a 9 patch!! Woo-Hoo! Your pile looks lovely!

Linda said...

Am loving your JC, I looked at the diagrams Kellie gave and thought "oh heck" and gave up on the idea of sewing along. Compass's amd I don't get along together. I think your question has been well answered. Give credit to the designer. Looking forward to seeing your next creation come to life.

onlymehere said...

Janet said it best. You've tried to contact the designer too and haven't had luck so I would say you're free to make it. I myself have made things from others but usually tweak them a little to make them my own. I'm excited to see it when you're done! Cindy

Crispy said...

I love the green in your Joseph quilt too. As for the pattern, if you are unable to purchase the pattern or contact the designer, go ahead and make it, as you said, it's for your personal use. Just give credit where credit is due and enjoy.

Stina said...

Tricky question...and it have been a pleasure to read all the comments... because I think we all get to this point somewhere in life... and I cant come up with somethng else..(since you already made all the effort you have already done to get in contact and so on) than..Make the quilt and give as much credit you can!! Good luck!!

Karen said...

I find all the comments interesting in response to whether you should go ahead & make the quilt and share photos and give credit for the inspiration to the original. Is there a change you can make to the original that would make it more your own? And your fabric choices will most likely be different. I will be watching with interest.

QuiltedSimple said...

Lovely Josephs Coat and nine patches. As for the making the quilt question, I'd make it and give full credit to the original.
Kris

Barb said...

you make it and share it and give credit. If it's a traditional pattern I take offense to today's quilters calling themselves "designers" the nine-patch and log cabin were designed a long time ago.
I do, however, believe in sourcing the inspiration.
The JC looks wonderful and pretty
barb

Thimbleanna said...

I LOVE your "Kellie blocks" -- they're turning out great! As I had mentioned, blues and greens would be my choice, so it's so fun to see yours coming together! You have some great advice about the quilt you want to make. That kind of stuff drives me crazy. Especially when a designer takes traditional blocks and makes a quilt that looks a lot like something my grandmother would have made and then calls it her "design". There are new ideas out there, but a lot of them are just old patterns with new fabrics. Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox. I agree with the majority...just give credit for your inspiration. Besides, we want to see LOL!

KathieB said...

So much of quilting is derivative, one way or the other. Most of us, the Big Names in Quilting included, are working from some sort of inspiration, whether it's online, at a quilt show, in a book--whatever. There's very little new under the quilting sun.

This is why the very concept of packaged patterns for quilts seems kind of impossible to me--pretty hard to establish any kind of original rights to a Ninepatch or to an Ohio Star. And a combination of a Ninepatch and Ohio Star? Who can claim to be the first to have put those together? But that's MHO.

If I admired a quilt and wanted to make one like it for myself, I would have no qualms whatsoever about doing it. But I would be sure to give credit for my inspiration whenever I talked about it or wrote about it. It would also probably end up being a bit different anyway, as I always end up changing something.

If someone liked a quilt of mine and was inspired to take my design in his or her own direction, I would be delighted. Have at it, people!

Susan said...

I think there have been a lot of quilts made because the quilter was inspired by another quilt! I think you would be hard pressed to find one quilter anywhere who hasn't followed another quilter's design or color combination. As long as it is not a direct copy, you should have no problems. Make the quilt!

Doris said...

Your Joseph's Coat looks amazing! I have yet to start....

I think you could recreate the quilt for yourself and enjoy it, post photos on your blog giving credit for the inspiration quilt you saw.

Robin said...

Beautiful blocks for your Joseph's Coat so far!

As for the quilt... I would say B.-- Make it, share it, be sure to give credit for the inspiration/original idea. I don't think there is anything wrong with doing something like this if it is for your own personal enjoyment. Just don't go selling it or a pattern! Then you'd be asking for trouble. :)

Janet said...

Oh I hope you pick B!!! I love to see the quilts you are working on. What a wonderful assortment of nine patches! I'm looking forward to seeing what you make with them.

Quilt Hollow said...

Why not make the quilt, enjoy it, give credit where credit is due as far as where and who's you saw that inspired you to make your own.

Jeanette said...

Is there anywhere the quilt can be seen online? I would love to see it.

There was a quilt on a blog that I fell head over heals in love with, but alas, it's needleturn and I can't do it =0( She actually gave it away on her blog and I was so hopeful, but as expected, I didn't win it either.

I am just in the admire it and let it go because I can't do it myself, but if you can, and you decide to do it, I can't wait to see your quilt.

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

Your Joseph's coat is progressing beautifully! I am inspired to get going faster on mine!

Anonymous said...

Janet, I think you should make the quilt, give credit to the person but make a slight change (i.e., border or something) so no copyright law will be broken. kelley secrest

Rose Marie said...

I would make the quilt, show it on your blog and give credit to the designer and enjoy it. As you said, you are not selling it nor entering it into a show. It is for your own personal use.

You're doing great with the JC blocks. I'm still behind but working at my own pace and enjoying the process.

Cathy said...

Gorgeous Jacobs Coat blocks here Janet, and great questions, lovely to read the responses. I also think go ahead and make it then when you blog about it let everyone know where your inspiration came from. xo

Sherri said...

The Joseph's Coat blocks are stunning....absolutely stunning!

Jenny Bowker said...

Try again to get permission. Well known quilters sometimes travel to teach and she may not have received your request. Name the quilter in your blog - you have so many followers that someone is going to know how to contact her. Or just look up her name in the on line white pages and ring her.

I'm not that well known but even I miss emails when I am travelling.

Jenny Bowker said...

But tell us who made the one you want to copy as that is not really confidential. In law you do not have the right to make a quilt unless you buy a pattern - where the permission is implicit - or get permission from the maker if a pattern is not available. Most makers will happily give permission -and just a few will not and that you would have to accept.

You cannot just copy someone's original work and show it on your blog as that is the equivalent of publishing it.

Marielle said...

B Make the quilt and share it on my blog, making sure I give credit

I think that is the best if you realy can't contact the person who designed the quilt.

I love your DLN quiltalong blocks

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

I'd make the quilt and give credit to the inspiration. As long as you aren't going to sell it, seems to me there could be no problems.

Valentina said...

I strongly agree with Susan, besides, how did 'Quilting' as we now know it came to be? Wasn't it women coming together, teaching each other, encouraging each other? Sharing patterns, reinventing patterns, Making due? I always see this cyber-community of quilters as a natural progression from those olden times!

Give credit, since you know exactly who inspired you and Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your thoughts with us...
Your JC is an inspiration as I am struggling with mine...
Valentina from Cyprus

Anonymous said...

ANYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO MAKE WHATEVER THEY WANT FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL USE , YES EVEN IF COPIED ..IT IS WHEN YOU PLAN TO PROFIT THAT IT BECOMES A LEGAL MATTER...

Nadine said...

I totally agree, dear Janet : as long as you don't make profit on it, and mention your inspiration, then what's wrong ?
So, YOU GO, GO, GIRL ! And most of all: ENJOY !
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
NADINE

Rhondi said...

Hi Janet
I love the colors you've chosen for the Joseph's coat blocks and agree that the pink gives it an added dimension. Thanks for your sweet comments on my blogiversary.
Hugs, Rhondi

Juanita said...

I am loving the color shift in the JC blocks, beautiful!

I have often heard that the rule of thumb, when it comes to copyright, is that you must change at least 3 things in the design to call it your own, especially if you are planning on publishing and profiting from it. I believe that this also includes techniques.

I say, make the quilt your own, though heavily inspired by her work, and give her credit for the inspiration. I can't wait to see what inspires you!

virtualquilter said...

Janet,

It is great that you have permission to show us what you are working on, and that you were prepared to not publish your quilt without permission.

I do find it a little scary that so many people believe you can change a bit, and call it original, or go ahead and publish something on their blog without permission. I doubt that these people would steal from a purse because it is wrong and against the law, but are advocating breaking copyright law.

Bernadette is right, you would be the one who could have gone to court if the designer took exception to her design being shown without permission. And people who go to court can be fined, plus pay costs and damages, which can run into thousands of dollars.

Acknowledging the designer is not enough under our copyright law. The designer will often be happy for you to make and show a design, but you should protect yourself from prosecution by hiding away any copy of anything you make.without permission.
(Especially if it looks like a Disney character!)

Kathleen said...

What a great discussion and kind of eerie as I just had a bit of a problem on flickr with the quilting group I run. I awarded a quilt then took back the award temporarily as the quilt appeared to have been copied from Kaffe Fassett's book with no acknowledgement.

It turned out that both the quilter and Kaffe were influenced by the same tiled floor in a cathedral in Venice...so naturally the quilts would look similar!

I used the incident to make a new rule on my flickr group...Fabric Patchwork and Quilting...that says that work must be credited with the original inspiration.

I love that you got so much response here..I got very little response when I tried to discuss it in the group and on my blog. The apathy upset me somewhat but I see here that the issue is being discussed and that there are quilters out there with integrity.

It is weird but the new wave of quilters who sell their nine patches and one patches on etsy get really upset when they think people are copying them...but as people here have said that kind if block is in the public domain ...it is already out there... whereas Kim's quilt is not...it is a work of art and I am thrilled she is letting you make one for yourself.

Have you seen Kim's Turkish Tiles quilt?..it is magnificent! I saw it at the Sydney Quilt Show and kept coming back to look at it again and again. I actually have a quilting book i bought second hand that kim once owned...it was her inspiration!