Sunday, September 23, 2012

Patterns From my Books

Women of Design
by Julee Prose
Several quilters have recently asked my permission to enter quilts made from my patterns in contests and shows. Julee Prose was kind enough to ask permission for the Woman of Design basket quilt she did from the book I did a few years ago.
My thinking on permissions and copyright on published quilt patterns is that Julee's use of my pattern is fair use. She doesn't need my permission to enter the quilt in any contest or show, but it is reasonable to assume she give me and the book credit for the design.
There are a few things that do not seem to be fair use.
One is to photocopy the patterns and use them in a class or for a guild.
We never give permission for that, even for nonprofits like guilds. We publish books so that everybody in the class buys a copy of the pattern.
Another item we will not give you permission to do is to make the quilt and sell multiple copies of it---say in an Etsy store.
Both those uses seem to be copyright infringement.
But you are always welcome to make quilts from my patterns and show them and win prizes---please do.
Barbara Clem
Symphony of Roses
The good thing about people asking me permission is that I get to see what they are doing with my books and patterns. Barbara Clem used my Encyclopedia of Applique for inspiration for this prize winner.

The block is indeed sketched out in that book #41.99, indexed as Democratic Rose from the Nancy Cabot column in the Chicago Tribune in 1935. I'm glad to provide inspiration but I would say this quilt is 99.5% Barbara Clem. Nancy Cabot and I can take credit for the rest.

Helen Williams Butler
 Turkish Delight
The same with Helen's quilt which was also inspired from a sketch in the Encyclopedia of Applique---maybe one of the variations of this traditional Coxcombs and Currants pattern on page 84. She asked permission, but in my opinion it's all Helen.
It's always fun to come across a familiar quilt in shapshots of a show.
Many years ago Terry Thompson and I did a line of reproduction prints for Moda called Remember the Ladies. Here's the project---a medallion with a toile in the center.

Remember the Ladies
 by Annemarie Yohnk
I found the photo posted here:

And Polly Mello sent a photo of a quilt inspired by my Prairie Flower book. You may have seen it at the International Quilt Festival in Long Beach recently or at one of their show venues.

Deep Within My Heart Lies a Melody; A Memory of Texas
by Polly Mello & Illona Hull
She used the blocks representing prairie wild flowers from the book.
And added a lot of her own ideas. She wrote me last year:
"My quilt has a Texas theme. I grew up on the Black Dirt Prairie of North Texas, Irving, Texas, so as I made the blocks, I began adding all of the animals, birds, snakes, insects that I grew up with there. It has been nine years since I started the quilt.
There is, 1 amphibian (toad), 3 prairie animals ( Jackrabbit, Prairie Dog, Armadillo), 4 Longhorns (they have the registered brands of my family), 4 lizards.b 5 snakes, 6 birds, 7 buffalo and 50 insects.
I lived in San Antonio many years and visited the Alamo often. It is, of course, sacred to Texans. I wrote a story about all of the critters. It is with the quilt and it has a micro recorder in a pocket on the back that plays prairie bird songs with permission of the ornithology Lab at Cornell University."
See more photos of Polly's quilt here:


  1. Hey Barabara! Long time fan. Was hoping you would clarify something. Im not sure I agree it is copyright infringement to make 2-3 quilts from a pattern sell them on Etsy. I would not think that was mass production and unless you are making the quilts to sell it would not be hurting your business. Im talking at a craft level. Maybe Im missing something.

  2. I'm not a lawyer but I don't feel it is a fair use to market objects in someone else's design without getting their permission and paying them a royalty. Has anyone else any experience with this?

  3. These Quilts are spectacular, what an honor to be the inspiration for such great works of art.The basket quilt curls my toes!

  4. Really wonderful quilts and love their interpretations of your designs from the block book. Yesterday I walked into an antique store and they had quilts hanging from the banners in the rafters, not sure if they were for sale, but you could see the damage. Wish I had my camera on me to take photos of them.


  5. What a surprise to see my version of "Remember the Ladies" posted on your blog. I LOVED that fabric line and happy to have it seen by your readers!
    Annemarie S. Yohnk
    You can see more of my quilts on my webstie...

  6. I'm curious about the picture with the Dard Hunter Rose. Dard Hunter made books the old-fashioned way, and lived near me here in Ohio. He is very highly regarded for his craftsmanship. He has offspring who still know the craft. I actually had one or two when they were in high school in the 1980's. Perhaps I have missed any earlier references you've made to Dard, but this sure caught my attention.