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Thread: what is considered your own quilt pattern?

  1. #1
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    How do you determine what is your own quilt pattern? If you build on a pattern, how many changes or how different does it have to be so you can use it and not have to get permission? Can a person sell something to a friend without asking the creator of the quilt pattern? Hope this makes sense.

  2. #2
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    I have wondered this, too. Especially with the "traditional" patterns. How does someone say something is "theirs" when anyone can just make it?

    I am making a quilt right now using a tattoo for inspiration, but the tattoo is sort of ripped off from a logo. By the time I have the applique worked out it's not exactly the same, but still similar. (I am not selling it or anything, but am a little nervous about putting the picture on my blog. I don't want to get in trouble.)

  3. #3
    harleyquinn2323's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link! That was informative. I always wonder about this stuff, especially since I started a blog.

    After reading that, I am sort of taken aback. It makes it difficult to make a quilt. When I make a quilt I usually just wing it, and say, make boxes around boxes, or what have you. A lot of times I later see another quilt that is very similar. Would it then be a matter of who made it first? Can you only get in trouble if you sell or display it?

    Now I wonder about some of my quilts. When I made my Cherry Surprise quilt I used a cherry applique pattern out of a book and then just put strips around it. Well, other people have said they have that same quilt or one similar. Maybe I am not supposed to be putting pictures of it on the internet. I am sure someone else has made it first, plus I got the pattern for the applique from a Good Housekeeping book. I am going to have to do some googling on this! (Now I'm all worried.)

  5. #5
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    http://quiltinginharmony.blogspot.co...al-issues.html

    I found this blog, too, which seemed to put into layman's terms pretty well.

  6. #6
    Super Member DA Mayer's Avatar
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    so a log cabin, irish chain are a couple of the patterns that have been around forever and would be ok to make and sell, if I understood the sites posted correctly.

  7. #7
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    From what I read on that last link it's like it is saying that if I use a designer fabric to make a quilt, I can't sell that quilt without running into the question of whether the designer of the fabric is entitled to money from the sale.

    That could apply to anything! To any quilt or other product. I make teddy bears and I have sold them. Does that mean that the fur fabric I used, the material for the clothes I made, could be considered infringement on someone else's fabric copywrite? Can I not sell them because the original pattern for the bear body was a pattern that I bought?

    What about someone who makes doilies from a pattern and sells them?

  8. #8
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    thanks harlyquinn. did you check out the labeling site with your link too? great site !! another learning day from here !!

    Ell

  9. #9
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    I've been reading more and more about this topic. It's a hot one. Google it and see what comes up. It's crazy.

    Check out this page, or the whole website:
    http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/...edFabric.shtml
    I am not sure if I liked this website so much because it rings true to me, or just because I agree with it.

    You just can't stop people from being inspired by your work, and if you don't let them sell stuff using your pattern/fabric, why would they buy it from you? If you want to make the money from the end product, then don't sell patterns, just make them up for yourself, then make and sell the quilt/sweater/whatever. People are going overboard with it it seems to me.

    (I have not had anyoe accuse me of stealing their work, nor have I ever accused anyone. After I read what I wrote I realized it looked defensive, and I didn't mean it that way.)

    I will post more links if I find them. I really enjoyed the link I posted on this post.

  10. #10
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    http://www.tabberone.com/Trademarks/...Patterns.shtml

    Here is the link for the patterns page on this website.
    It's so hard to know what to believe. If it's on the Internet, it must be true, right? LOL!

  11. #11
    Lisa T's Avatar
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  12. #12
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Thanks for the posts. I agree that once I have bought the fabric I can do anything I want with it... drag it in the mud behind my SUV, cut it up into little pieces and put them back together in any way I want, even sell it.

    I am making a quilt from Civil War reproduction fabric and all along the selvedge are words like "copywrited", "Protected". Yeah, the fabric is copywrited and protected and I can't go out and start making the same. But, I sure can use the fabric that I purchased, and re-sell it, in any way I want.

    The CW quilt is a pattern that I purchased online. I could make 100 of them in all different colors and fabrics and sell them. Does that mean that the designer of the pattern is entitled to money from each of them? Does that mean that I have to buy a copy of the pattern for each quilt I make? I don't think so.

    It is ridiculous, IMO. What about a cabinet maker who uses designer hardware? A wedding dress maker that uses designer fabric? Does Vera Wang, when she purchases fabric for a dress, have to pay the fabric designer/manufacturer a percentage of the sales of the finished dresses?

  13. #13
    Lisa T's Avatar
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    I agree. And it sounds like we are right. When you really get into the wording some of the designers use, they're basically telling or asking you not to sell their designs and it's sort of silly to do that. (And kind of ignorant.)

    Now, I totally agree that you can't photocopy a pattern and, say, give it to your quilt guild, b/c that WOULD be copyright infringement. But if you make a quilt for each member of your quilt guild using a pattern, THAT is fine. And it seems like a lot of pattern designers are saying you can't do that. Some of them also say that you can't take a picture of a quilt made with their pattern and put it on a blog or whatever. (That looks to be a bit more of a gray area, however- the photo part is not covered by the "useful item" clause.)

    Interesting reading, huh? I hope nothing like that happens to me. It's unlikely, b/c I just have a small blog and I rarely use patterns anyway, but it's fun to read about all the drama that happens to other folks.

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