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Thread: Am I stealing? Or just borrowing?

  1. #1
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    Since I am so new to quilting I want to find out where the line is so I'm not a bad quilter. :oops: If I see a pattern in a book or on a webpage or another quilt, and make the quilt without buying said book or pattern, is it ok? Or am I stealing? I know I can't use it to make quilts to sell. But for the quilts that I give to family/friends? I'm just very confused on where the line is on all this. :?

  2. #2
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    It is just my opinion, but if you aren't making them to sell and are giving them as gifts to your family and friends, I say go for it. If you can look at it and make it.........absolutely go for it. Again, that is just my opinion and besides.....you'll be putting your own spin on it when using colors that are to your preference, I would think.

    Linda D.

  3. #3
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    I agree. I have seen quilts or blocks that I thought "Hey, I can make that" without purchasing the pattern. I often get ideas from other quilts I see. I do not think it is stealing. I call it inspiration.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Karenmay's Avatar
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    Its strange that this should come up now as Ive got the same problem! I was having a look at some art posters on the internet a few days ago, and found a print that I would love to turn into a wallhanging. It's a modern style print, which i dont usually go for at all but this one just caught my imagination I think! I would only be making for my own pleasure , to hang in my own house....not to gift it or sell it, so I'd be very interested in your opinions on this!
    Thanks for bringing the subject up Shelly!

    Karen xx

  5. #5
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    I think it's perfectly ok. I do it all the time:) If you have the skills to reproduce the pattern on your own, go for it if it's for personal use.

  6. #6
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    Shelly, I am happy that you asked the question.

    There is a very fine line here. As a quilt designer and pattern maker, here is my take on the whole thing..

    There is a wealth of traditional blocks that are in the public domain.. Where these are concerned, you can use them however you wish...Make them out of the same fabrics...redraft them,,,

    What you cant do is take someone elses work to draft the pattern, and reproduce the pattern and distribute it in any way. That is their work.. they created the directions.. this is a definate no no. The law says that any creative endevor is owned by the creator and protected by copyright law even if it isnt registered with the copyright office.

    There are antique quilts that are unique. These are owned by someone.. It is not ok, in my opinion to copy them without the permission of the owner of that quilt.. You cant use the image of these quilts either...For instance, if you saw a picture of one of my quilts on the board, downloaded and reproduced it, without my permission, that would be a no no,, If you did it and never showed it, how would I know, so you would probably get away with it, but you should just ask first.. Most people are very forgiving when asked..

    Now, If you see an original piece of work.. my quilt for example, you should either ask for permission to copy, ask for a pattern you can buy, or go on to something else. Most people dont have the skills to reproduce anyway. But many people who produce original art work do not want it to be copied, and it is protected...

    Ok I have reread this and Im sure you are still confused....

    But I will tell you that even the professions abuse other peoples patterns and work.. So I suggest you just be as considerate as you can and dont copy a real original..

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karenmay
    Its strange that this should come up now as Ive got the same problem! I was having a look at some art posters on the internet a few days ago, and found a print that I would love to turn into a wallhanging. It's a modern style print, which i dont usually go for at all but this one just caught my imagination I think! I would only be making for my own pleasure , to hang in my own house....not to gift it or sell it, so I'd be very interested in your opinions on this!
    Thanks for bringing the subject up Shelly!

    Karen xx
    In this case it is a no no to reproduce without the permission of the creator.. However, you most likely can contact the artist and ask for permission to reproduce a version of it in your medium... fabric and most likely will receive permission,, but they will probably not want you to create and sell or give away a pattern without some commission.. It did come from their creativity...

  8. #8
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    for instance, I have done digitizing for embroidery..
    on the internet I found drawings by someone and I loved them..
    I sent the person an email saying how much I liked their work and could I have permission to digitize some of the drawings FOR MYSELF...
    I was granted the permission (which I still have on my old computer because - sigh - I still haven't gotten around to doing anything with the drawings)...

    in this case, I have permission for MYSELF, I do not have permission to sell or give away the FILES. I do NOT have permission to make lots of whatever and then sell them, I do have permission to make one and give it away, or make say for instance a shirt with one of the designs and wear it....

    he did say that if I wanted to SELL somethings with his designs we could possibly work something out.

    there are a blue gazillion patterns in the public domain, fabric manufacturers give away awesome patterns on their websites (free for the download)..


  9. #9
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    I wondered about the same thing... most of my chicken quilt blocks were sketched by me after looking at other chickens.

    I feel this way about it: If I saw an artist's work ( like a Picasso ) and decided I wanted to try and make something in his style, I wouldn't be doing anything wrong. So why is quilting different?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janeen
    he did say that if I wanted to SELL somethings with his designs we could possibly work something out.

    there are a blue gazillion patterns in the public domain, fabric manufacturers give away awesome patterns on their websites (free for the download)..
    I want to take selling out of the whole thinking. I know there is a thread on this board about copyrights and selling things. I'm just talking about making 1 or 2 things for myself, my family, or my friends.

    With that many patterns out there....how do I know that a design that I came up with isn't already out there somewhere? How do I know that its an original? I really don't. Whos to say that on one site its free but on a different site, in different colors (the ones I'd like to do), its a pattern their selling? This is where I'm totally confused!!!! :? :? :?

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