Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Rose by Any Other Name

I've been thinking about quilt designs and copyrights. 
There is a persistent myth among quilters and other crafters that if you like a design, you can change it ten percent and then call it your own, publishing, exhibiting or selling finished work, etc.  In reality, this is theft, and actionable under copyright laws.  We like to say "It is only ninety percent theft."

In the literary world, copying someone else’s work and putting your name on it is called plagiarism, even if you change it a little.  When a writer or any artist makes his own work and signs another’s name, we call it forgery.  In the case of translations, the currently accepted and legal way to market a literary work in translation includes a prominent acknowledgment that the work is indeed a translation and the translator’s name not only goes on the cover and title page, some contemporary translators receive royalties from sales in addition to a translation fee.  A translation marketed without the translator’s name is a forgery, as it is not the work of the original author.  If a translated play is advertised, performed, or published without a prominent statement that it is a translation, that too is a forgery, as the buying or viewing public is not informed that the purchase, whether a ticket to a play or a script, actually is not entirely the work of the original artist.   

It seems unlikely that anyone else will attempt to market a design with Jinny Beyer's name on it.  It would be far more reasonable to say "inspired by Jinny Beyer."  As quilt designers, we expect that people will make quilts from our designs, selecting different fabrics, and enlarging or reducing the size. (My sister calls this smallinating and biggifying.)  However, we don't expect quilters to publish our patterns as their own, or to photocopy patterns except for their own use.

This issue is sometimes confused by the fact that individual traditional quilt blocks cannot be copyrighted.  What we can do is insist that the instructions, photographs and drawings, and presentation is unique and therefore cannot legally be reproduced or sold by another designer or quilter.  So, make my quilt, but acknowledge that the design is mine.  If you want to sell a quilt made from my pattern, please make sure the label and sale materials clearly state that it is a Victoria Rose design.  If you want to teach a class using one of my designs, you cannot legally photocopy the pattern instructions.  Legally, you must purchase a pattern for each member of the class.  You will find that quilters in general are perfectly willing to pay for their patterns. 

So, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but this statement will forever belong to Juliet in WIlliam Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, however many times I type it.

And yes, I am working on a Wild Rose quilt.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sneak Peak of Row X Row

The 2016 Row X Row Experience theme is "Home, Sweet Home."

  Here's a peak at part of the 9" x  36" Row for the

Send-It-Home Yarn and Quilt Shop.

The complete strip  has more "Home on the Yellowstone" motifs.

The finished strip has been sewn and we're chosing fabrics for kits.  If you are new to the Row X Row Experience check out the website:  It's a great traveling quilt adventure.  Free patterns will be available in the shop from June 21 to September 6, 2016.

Spring Fever

This is the view just outside my back door, which faces south.

The sun is shining and the plum trees are in full bloom.  I've just weeded my perennial container garden, and I have some quilts to share.  For many quilters, Quilt Season is Fall and Winter, but for me, the pleasure of designing new quilts and patterns peaks when the summer quilts for the Send-It-Home Yarn and Quilts Shop in West Yellowstone, Montana, are ready to have their portraits taken and the patterns printed. 

This is one of the quilts I've designed using McKenna Ryan fabrics from Kauffman.  First, the fabrics:

There are two prints with moose, the light at the back and the darker at the front in the photo. 

This was my first design, but it was too much like the Yes Deer quilt we did last year. 
The final design mixes two different 12" blocks.  The light, medium and dark greys in the corner blocks and corner 4-patch blocks are all cut from one length of fabric with ombre shading from very light to almost black. 

Here's the quilted but not bound finished quilt,  Moose in the Mist.  The binding will be the same dark blue-green as the 1/2 inch inner border.  Finished size is 45 inches. 

The patterns and kits for this quilt will be available this summer, along with a Bear quilt made from the green colorway of these fabrics.  It looks pretty good thrown over the back of my rocking chair, but would be striking as a table cover, on a wall, or, my personal favorite, waiting on a bed for a sleepy baby. 

And this is the Pig of Spring, in the grape hyacinths under the apricot tree under my kitchen window.  Yes, I bought it for my sister who involuntarily collects pigs, but it will sit in the garden until she comes to fetch it.  Piggy is about 8 inches tall with wings.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Quilt Bucket list grows

February 2016  New Year's Resolution:  Actually write about all the things I think about. 

2016 Quilts to Make list is long and getting longer.  Join me for the adventure!

Grand Teton National Park "Cathedral Group"

This is a photograph that represents my first home.  Among my adventures-in-the-wings, I am designing the 2016 Row X Row quilt row for the Send-It-Home quilt and yarn shop in West Yellowstone, Montana.  The format is a little challenging:  9" x 36" but when the theme was announced it suggested lots of options.  "Home Sweet Home." 

I wonder how many quilt shops across the continent will have bird houses on their row.  At the moment I am thinking about "Home on the Range."  Wait and see!  I may drop hints occasionally.

Today my home town quilt group met, and my task was to teach a class on foundation piecing.  We wound up with too little time, and I think I need to post my instructions and the photos that go with them.  Look for that here later this week.

If you are a quilter who purchased a Victoria Rose Quilts pattern last summer which did not have all the template patterns, please contact us at