Episode 149: Whose Quilt Is It?

mosaic borderThe Mosaic quilt with one side of the HST border. Currently trying to figure out whether to add another border. Thoughts?

photoHexies, threads and all!



Let’s start out with a very funny link, courtesy of Quiltin’ Jenny, particularly apropos after my unquilting problems of a few weeks ago:



Some links related to Quilts and Copyright:



A good, clear explanation of copyright law (whether you agree with it or not):


Leah Day’s blogpost about copyright:


The John Green quote I found relevant to all of this copyright talk:

“My novels are novels based on novels based on novels. Almost all novels are. But they change in the retelling. Novels change to stay relevant, so that their hope might be less flimsy, so that they remain honest and relevant. It’s a slow process — millions of writers and readers working together across generations to make stories that can be a light in the way-down-deep-darkness-which-is-you. Writing and reading are not about a singular mind emerging from isolation to create unprecedented art. It’s a massive collaboration spanning millennia.”


Quilts from the 1971 Whitney Exhibit:



The latest news about what’s up with us quilters:



Jaye’s HST method she’s begging me to try:



Sign up for Meg Cox’s newsletter!



Fabric Recipes:


Have a great week! Don’t forget to comment!

20 Replies to “Episode 149: Whose Quilt Is It?”

  1. I use the same HST method Jaye showed you, but I trim with Eleanor Burn’s Triangle Square Up Ruler. Using that ruler, you can trim them up before pressing them open with just two cuts instead of all four sides.

    I agree with you about the copyright craziness. What if you are inspired by a quilt but don’t buy the pattern (figure out the math yourself)? A lot of patterns out there are so simple I don’t need to buy the pattern. A lot of patterns are just old fashioned blocks you can find for free online. Who owns the copyright to a quilt you come up with on your own but resembles a quilt pattern by someone else? Craziness!

    When I show a quilt on my blog, I give a designer credit if I’ve used her pattern. I also tell where my inspiration came from if it is similar to someone else’s quilt. I’m not great at labeling my quilts unless they are gifts. What will future quilt historians have to do if everything is labeled for them? Assuming the internet endures, quilt research shouldn’t be as hard as it is now. (I also don’t label my photographs and don’t feel guilty about it.)

    How much is a three paragraph comment worth?

  2. DITTO to Laura … I agree….

    I will not buy fabrics that have a restriction printed on the salvage…. I will no longer buy KATE Spain fabric because she prints such restrictions. I have no idea what I will do with my quilts … if I ever do one that is good enough to put into a show …. I do not want fabric restrictions prohibiting the showing. I believe fabric is made to sell and be used … putting restrictions on it regardless of the design is STUPID.

    As to patterns I usually find that I have to make modifications to the pattern… in part because I do not read patterns correctly and find I go off on my own tangent. I recently made a quilt in which I started making the quilt from a picture as I waited until the pattern which I had ordered to arrive. I found I had up-sized the pattern to twice the size of the original blocks. I will give credit to the pattern designer if I ever put the quilt picture on my blog …. but I will NOT put in on my quilt label. It is my quilt and I do not put information such as that on my quilts. I figure quilt historians can earn their money and figure it out for themselves. In a show I would put all information on a sign / card on the quilt…. ie pattern source, machine quilter etc as they deserve credit … but NOT on my quilt.

    MY LABELS READ …. MY name and date , general location, who the gift was given to and what occasion. I am tired about the quilt by the time I get to the label.

    Guess I am getting crotchety in my old age.


  3. I enjoyed hearing your voice again!! The Discussion on copyright was interesting. If the designer didn’t want anyone else making and displaying her pattern, she should have displayed it herself.

    She offered her pattern for sale and assumably received consideration (payment) for same. Did she really want to keep the design to herself?

    I do think the quilter should have acknowledged the designer, and I will endeavor to do better about that as you mentioned. I have shown pictures of my quilts on Twitter and I know there are times that the quilt comes from a pattern and I forget to mention the designer (sometimes I don’t even remember where I got the pattern.,but I should say so.)

    As you can see from the tone of this comment, I’m not as nice as your other commenters. I do tend to get a little snarky.

  4. You are right about my jumping in and saying that the Mosaic was great the way it was. I Didn’t, and never do, consider the mechanics. I Definitely would have lost all my points if I put a binding on the way it was. I don’t usually find a quilt with any exposed seams. Because I usually flip them over. Good catch, Laura!

  5. ABOUT your NOVA quilt…. I went to BONNIE HUNTER’s workshop and lecture this past month …. Her philosophy on borders is that you make your components as LEADERS and ENDERS as you piece the main units of the quilt. In that way you have your border already to assemble and attached to your quilt when the main body is completed. This allow you to put a pieced border on your quilt rather then just slapping on a plain fabric border. I plan to try this with the next quilt I make.

    I am thinking this is how you assemble the units for your border. I think you should be really proud of your accomplishments with this quilt.

    Happy Quilting

  6. Regarding your border: what do you plan to use for binding? I could see adding a narrow dark blue border so you don’t lose the points, and then a dark blue binding. It is beautiful, by the way. And who will get the credit for designer on this one? It is an old block but you picked the fabric, setting, border, quilting, etc – so I say it is yours. I see lots of discussion on copyright on Ravelry as well. Happy Halloween!

  7. I haven’t listened yet, but just wanted to sneak in a comment in case I don’t have time after I listen. Great big long list of links that I’m looking forward to perusing. And I’m always interested in copyright discussions, ever since I started writing my own patterns so I looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

  8. LOL Francis I love to comment but I’m not always where I can. I listen while sewing so I can’t always get to my computer.
    I so agree about the price of our quilts. But, I don’t have to tell people how much I would charge for a quilt, my husband does it for me! His friend asked if I would make a quilt for his wife that I had posted on IG and he said sure but the minimum price will be a thousand dollars. He said that’s o.k. I’ll tell her no she doesn’t have time. HaHaHa I laugh but I would not make a quilt for money. Too much pressure for it to be perfect. And as we know I am Not perfect so why would a quilt I made be perfect.

  9. Jay’s HST method is the very best for when you need to make a boat load of those little things. You do need to trim for accuracy but, at least for people such as myself, that’s necessary no matter the particular method. I am one of those girls who makes them a fair bit larger on purpose then trims down because I just hate blocks that are too tiny. AGGH! This is so much better than one or two at a time. I use a similar mass production thing for flying Geese that results in four at a time.

    I was imagining your Mosaic quilt with the HST in my head while listening to your podcast. When I saw it in the photo after getting home, I do think a border would be helpful and here is why. Without it, your binding will be of a width that is, frankly, not too much more narrow than that sweet blue border before the HST. I think that might be a mistake. So adding another border, binding it with the same or different fabric, might jazz it up a bit and prevent the binding from competing with your dark inner border. Just a thought.

    Don’t get me started about copy right control freaks. Your comments are spot on. And, although I rarely buy patterns, I think I will, from now on, screen them for this. If a designed says their design cannot be displayed or sold, I think I will pass on the purchase just out of spite. Some designers are just getting too big for their britches and that particular designed is the biggest one. (IMHO)

    Donna Lynn Thomas’s ideas on color are awesome. I think she combines a bit of structure for the control freak in many of us while allowing for a real scrappy result. Awesome. I think I might pick up her book. It would be really interesting to read through it.

    Halloween baby! How fun! We have several “eve” babies and one “day after Halloween” baby. Having a birthday close to Christmas, Valentines, Halloween, New Years, can present challenges but it’s also rather special. Happy Birthday to your awesome young man.

  10. I haven’t listened yet but I want to weigh in on the mosaic quilt. I think a blue final border, perhaps the same size as the inner blue border would look terrific and keep the quilt squarer than HSTs will.

  11. I think another border on your beautiful quilt will make those HSTs pop on the border. Great job. Love all your podcasts. Keep up the good work. Thanks for the links – enjoyed the HSTs one. Very helpful.

  12. Thank you for this episode. I really enjoyed reading Leah Day’s post on the copyright madness. I simply do not want to give my business to folks who want to limit how I use fabric or other items. Leah is right–people will simply move on to another hobby where they don’t have to fear legal action. Really–who needs those worries?

  13. Thank you for linking up my Copyright Terrorism post and sharing this perspective with your audience. The ultimate point is answering the question – what do we want our quilting world to look and feel like? A place where people can create with abandon and feel excited to try new things? Or a place where we live in fear of being threatened with lawsuits just for displaying a quilt picture on a blog?

    We create this world every day with what we say and how we teach.

  14. Frances–I left a comment on Leah Day’s post letting her know that I heard about the post from your site. Thanks for bringing more attention to this subject.

  15. Greetings, As for more borders. Have lived in Texas for 40 years and the first 20 I lived on an island. So my mantra is, “Don’t border me in”. (aka fense)
    Dealing with the copy write issues I agree with you and Leah Day. I have stood in a Gallery and watched folks take pictures of my fiber work. I say nothing as I know I am not the first or last do what I do. Only G___ can get credit for original works of art, the rest of us interpret, enjoy and mimic his works. This is my humble 1/2 cents of opinion on copy write as it concerns me. BUT, I do not post my work on the internet unless I am tired of the subject or it pertains to class I teaching. If it goes on the internet you are gifting the world with your doings. Thanks for doing your doings. I enjoy hearing about your boys, mine are grown and the pleasant reminders of motherly rants and ravings brings
    me pleasure. shelly beth

  16. I loved the quote about novels based on novels based on novels. And I loved the concept of quilt designs based upon a progression of quilts. That sounds like a terrific exercise for a quilt study group.

    One thing you mentioned in passing I could fully understand. You said you stopped enjoying scary stories once one of your boys were born. I used to devour every thing that Stephen King wrote until my daughter was born. Then I could no longer tolerate the horror stories I used to love. It’s taken me about 25 years, but I’ve started to pick up his books to read again. I’m glad to hear that someone else had that same experience.

  17. To clarify, I am not drinking while listening to your podcast (or while driving); I simply suggested the possibility of a drinking game which would render me unconscious in the first five minutes. I’m a pretty cheap date.

    Second, the whole copyright thing makes me crazy. I agree with you and I agree with Leah Day and I especially agree with Shelly Beth’s comment above and I agree with John Green. I think it’s fair and important to recognize the pattern designer in any kind of show or other public display, but I don’t think I need to put it on my label. My label is personal, and my quilts are well documented.

    That’s part of the reason I almost never buy patterns. I don’t want to deal with someone telling me what I can or cannot do with something I poured my heart and time and resources into. It’s MY quilt. Honestly, I wish someone who had the time and money would accept the legal challenge and go to court so it could be settled once and for all.

    Hope your boy had a marvelous birthday – so much better than last year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.