Tuesday 31 January 2012
Wednesday 25 January 2012
we now see wind farming too.
It's been fascinating to watch these giant structures being hoisted into place by Sprott Power, melding an old tradition with a new technology.
It gives a progressive look to our windy marsh.
Sunday 22 January 2012
If you'd like to make one, you will need:
Small amounts of 7 colours in gradations from light to dark. I used the following colours in these sections of the foundations: white (A2, B2), silver (A3,C6), grey/blue (C5,B1), light blue (C4), medium blue (C3,A1), dark blue print (C2, B Centre Circle), and dark blue solid (B3, C1).
9" square of batting
9" square of backing
30" bias binding
Quilting and sewing thread to match
Here are my fabrics laid out with a full-sized sketch of the mug mat.The white has iridescent snowflakes in the fabric which shine as the light hits.
The block is easy to foundation piece; you just follow the numbered sequence on the foundations. In the interest of brevity I have decided not to show all the foundation-piecing steps but if you need help with this part, I'd be pleased to supply it. There are 3 foundations supplied. You piece A, B and C separately. The A and B star sections are joined together first (which forms the wide point on the star) and then those foundation papers are removed. The previously-pieced outer band C also has the foundation paper removed and then it is added to the top of the star. It's a very gradual curve and not a bit scary to sew, but it is much, much easier to do if the papers are removed first. Otherwise it's difficult to get a smooth seam.
You make 4 blocks and join them in pairs as shown below. The pairs are then joined together across the centre seam to form the star.
The centre circle is appliquéd. To do this, cut the circle from cardstock and trace around it on the back of the fabric. With scissors, cut approximately 1/4" outside the traced line.
Sew a line of hand stitches around the outside edge and place the cardstock template in the centre. Pull up the stitches, give a spritz of starch and iron the circle before removing the template.
Pin the circle on top of the star and blind-stitch with matching thread. I used very fine Invisifil so the thread would not show.
Layer the pieced top on the batting and backing and pin baste to hold it secure. I machine quilted pebbles in the white background, continuous loops around the outer sections and outlined the star points and centre. I also did a little feathered wreath in the centre, which you can see here from the back.
Trim the outside edges even with the patchwork.
It came out looking very much like my original sketch!
As the piece is round, it requires bias binding. I cut my strips 2" wide on a 45 degree angle. I had to join 2 strips to get the required 30" length. And yes, that is a very narrow binding once it is folded in half, but it it proportional to the size of the mat.
And that's all there is to it!
It's just the perfect size to hold my two favourite mugs.
If you would like to make your own, visit Craftsy to download the template and instructions for free. (Please email if you have problems with the download and I'd be happy to help.)
The Brooklyn Revolver works great and Polly is happy to be back at the sewing machine.
Saturday 21 January 2012
Friday 20 January 2012
I watched this video on You Tube before I got it.
It is marked in 1" grids with 45° angle lines. The rubber feet hold it firm on the table and it spins lazy-susan style. To trim this rectangle into a 2" square, I make the first cut along one side...
...and then rotate the cutting mat to make the final cut. I didn't need to disturb my fabric, or try to cut backwards which I previously would have done. These now less-than-nimble fingers aren't as cooperative as they once were so this will make rotary cutting easier for me.
The Brooklyn Revolver will be great to take to class for demos, or to have beside the machine for trimming blocks. I just wish my whole cutting table would turn like this!
Monday 16 January 2012
Ahhh...those long-awaited words, "and in conclusion..." :) This has been a lot of writing and a tremendous amount of reading - for me and you. If you would like to view my posts on copyright in order, begin here and read forward by clicking "newer post" at the bottom of each page. Now...close your eyes and think back to that Fabergé shampoo commercial which began with a small picture of a woman in the corner of the TV screen. The narrative goes, "I told 2 friends, and THEY told 2 friends, and THEY told 2 friends, and so on, and so on, and so on..." as the picture splits and replicates in a mitosis-like fashion across the screen. I encourage YOU to tell 2 friends what you've learned about respecting copyright, and perhaps they will tell 2 friends, and those 2 friends will take it up at their guild meeting, and so on, and so on, and so on...
If you would like more information on copyright, here are some worthwhile links to follow:
- WIPO: The World Intellectual Property Office
- The full text of The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
- Kathleen Bissett's excellent and concise article: How Copyright Affects The Quilter.
- A wonderful string of Copyright Copper articles from Virtual Quilter (thanks for this, Jennifer!)
- Copyright Laws And The Quilter on Red Dawn
- Demystifying Copyright by Kellie Cullihall & Brian Perry
Sunday 15 January 2012
Continued thanks for all the comments and emails. Maria from Quilts For Sale has kindly suggested I add a button to allow folks to easily subscribe to this blog via email. If you are interested in receiving updates this way, you can find the button in the left side bar of this blog marked Follow By Email. Simply type in your email address. Thank you Maria for noticing that I did not offer that service.
Thursday 12 January 2012
We’ve all chuckled over the quote, “my only purpose in life is to serve as a bad example to others” Well, some wonderful folks on this earth also serve as good examples. This post will be a “catch them doing something right” and showcase the correct way to assign design credit.
We’ll start with some bloggers. Here’s a link to a post on Ouvrages d'une Acadienne blog, where author Joan properly displays and credits a quilt made from one of my patterns. Note that she has listed the designer name, the original name of the quilt, and provided a link back to my site. Well done, Joan J On this post Scrapmaster Linda shows a picture of a Maritime Beauty she made, along with the name of the quilt, the designer, and contact info. Thank you, Linda; it’s always a pleasure to see your beautiful work. Way over on the other side of the world in Australia, this recent Christmas post includes credit and contact information on the book in which this small apron was patterned. Jennifer from Bronze Wombat did all the leg work for you, and linked the exact page pertaining to the book on my site, not just the general website address. (Perhaps it is no coincidence that Jennifer ends her posts each time with a quote from a book on etiquette! She has good manners.) There are lots more examples I could share, but in the interest of brevity we’ll leave it there. Thank you to all the bloggers who respectfully and creatively present material for our enjoyment. Here is a gold star for you!
There are also a couple of commercial quilt sites which stand out as deserving mention. One is the Quilts For Sale site; this message greets you as you arrive, and is posted as a reminder on the bottom of each page: “The designers hold all copyrights to their work. Artwork may not be reproduced in any form without the designer's permission.” From first-hand experience of being contacted, I know that the quilters selling their work on this site DO indeed ask the designer for permission to sell a quilt made from their design. Business owner Maria Hrabovsky tells me that it’s the responsibility of each quilter to secure permission and send her a copy of the letter before the quilts are shown on her website. With Maria’s permission, here is a sample of how she lists a quilt for sale. If you click this link, you will see a picture and name of the quilt – in this case, the 12 days of Christmas. The quilter’s name, June Messenger, is there with a link to more information about June. Next is quilt designer Michele Crawford’s name and website address, and affirmation that the quilt is being sold with the designer’s permission. On The Quilter’s Net site you will see the same thing. Clicking this link shows a quilt made and offered for sale by Deanna B. Owner Bev Crouse ensures that the original name of the quilt is kept intact, and design credit is properly assigned. “Weaver Fever quilt made is made from a pattern designed by Jackie Robinson of Animas Designs. Permission to sell this has kindly been granted by the designer.”
Maria and Bev both get a gold Feathered Star for showing us how professionals assign credit correctly.
Saturday 7 January 2012
It's a pretty quilt, unusual in that it is sewn using all solid fabrics. I decided to submit the design to a magazine, and Quilt World purchased First Rights of Publication (First Rights, because I had not yet published the pattern). They featured the quilt on the cover of their July 2000 issue.
About a year after this, I decided to offer the pattern for sale myself, and had it printed and packaged for sale. It is available in stores and on my website.
In 2003, Leisure Arts contacted me to ask if they could include Starry Night in a book they were doing, entitled Through The Year Quilts. They wanted to purchase All Rights, but I didn't want to do that, so we agreed on One Time Rights Of Publication. This meant I could continue to sell the pattern on my own, and if their book went into a second printing, we would need to sign another contract for One Time Rights. I am glad I did this, as they featured the quilt on the book cover.
Here's another example of how things work. House of White Birches published Scrap Quilting Made Easy and included 3 of my designs in this hardcover book. (Two of them are pictured on the back cover) I sold ALL RIGHTS to these designs. Several years later, they decided to do a "best of" soft cover version (shown on the right) which included all three of my patterns. Because they owned ALL RIGHTS they didn't need my permission to do this, but they were kind enough to offer a royalty payment for use of the material. A royalty is a payment made by one party (the "licensee") to another (the "licensor") for the right to ongoing use of an asset. They determined that using the designs a second time constituted ongoing use. We mostly hear about royalty payments made to actors for TV shows which go into reruns, and it's the same idea - ongoing use.
In addition to selling off various aspects of a copyright, one can also sell a license to use a design. The Disney characters you see printed on fabric are an example of a license. Disney has not sold the copyrights to the character to the fabric company, they have awarded them a licence which permits the characters to be used without penalty. On the other side of the table, I had to purchase a licence to pattern my Anticipation quilt. The Anne Of Green Gables Licensing Authority keeps tight control (rightly!) over the usage of Anne and one needs approval and a licence.
There is a cost involved in all of this; I paid a flat fee upfront for the license and am required to submit royalty payments on the sale of each pattern (an ongoing activity). This is why the pattern retails higher than the others...and why that fabric with Disney characters costs more. The licence fee is reflected in the price.
Book publishers do not always obtain control of Rights; sometimes they seek permission to print the material on your behalf without purchasing the copyright. Diane Shink and I continue to hold the copyright to the material in our book Canadian Heritage Quilting. Like most book authors, we receive royalty payments from the publisher.
Wednesday 4 January 2012
Studying piano in my younger years, I often encountered “theme and variation”. The main musical motif (tune) is laid down in the first few bars followed by numerous ways to vary that theme – changing the rhythm, the harmony, the key, etc. It is a popular technique employed by major composers such as Bach, Handel and Haydn. Note that I am not suggesting the composers copied and varied each other`s work - each did his own. Those who began sewing with Simplicity or McCalls clothing patterns will remember that often there were several options given from which you could choose. View A, View B, View C might present different sleeves or necklines but still use the same main pattern pieces. The variations are derived from the original and because of that, these derivatives are covered under the same copyright that protects the original design. Quilters do the same thing. Often a pattern will have a couple of choices of how your finished piece may look, perhaps as a bed quilt or a wallhanging or with different borders. Let’s use my Maritime Beauty pattern as an example of derivative designs. Here is the original Maritime Beauty – the first version which I made, and copyrighted.
I liked it a lot, so for fun I sewed it in miniature. These blocks are only 2" finished, which is vastly different from the original but not enough to make it a new piece. For the photograph, I also gave it a quarter turn clockwise...but again, that's not enough to make the piece new :)
Christmas came, and I sewed it in my favourite red and green fabrics. Although it gives a different look, changing the colour does not change the quilt in any significant way.
Then it was my niece Christina's birthday and I wanted to make her something splashy for her table. She has bee dishes. I changed the centre and alternated the colours from black to white under the spikes to give it a dramatic effect...but it's still my Maritime Beauty.
As the copyright holder of Maritime Beauty, I have the exclusive right to create derivative copies of my design. Making minor changes does not qualify the work as new under copyright law.
Here`s another example from my own experience, and I will be referring back to this quilt in a subsequent post on licensing. Because Anne of Green Gables is a copyrighted entity, anything which uses the Anne name or an image which evokes Anne requires special permission from the Anne of Green Gables Licensing Authority (AGGLA)- which I secured when I designed this quilt. Had I not done that, I would be infringing on the copyright held by the heirs of Lucy Maud Montgomery. I entitled my quilt Anticipation. It features the signature straw hat and red braids we have come to associate with Anne.
Shortly after I made this quilt, there was a call to entry by the Kindred Spaces Textile Show in Charlottetown looking for quilts to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Anne. I decided to enter the show, but my Anticipation quilt was too large. I took the main elements used in my original quilt - namely the hat and braids - and incorporated them into a wallhanging which was meant to resemble a portrait of Anne in a gilt frame. This derivative quilt was chosen to tour Japan the following year.
As I held the copyright on the original design, I was fully within my rights to do this. So...does this mean that no one can ever improve upon a design that's already out there? Nope. But you need to obtain permission to do so. Look back to this post; I was asked and gave permission for my New York Roundabout design to be translated into a hooked rug. It's beautiful, and I can't wait to see it finished. I am delighted that Kate shared her work and had the good manners - and even better sense! - to ask. A copyright holder can grant permission (usually as a license or assignment) for you to use their original idea in your work. If you do not get permission, you are infringing on the author's copyright. It gets tricky deciding what's a derivative and what's a brand new design. I've often heard it said that something must be 10% new to qualify as copyrightable...but in the stacks of articles I've read in the past few weeks, I have not come across anything that says that at all. I expect that's unsubstantiated rumour, so don't trust that thinking. Often guilds making raffle quilts as fundraisers will take part of a quilt design that they've seen in a magazine and change the border, claiming it's their own design and not needing to be credited. This is untrue. That constitutes a minor change and credit for the original designer's work must be given. Frankly, I never understand why that's an issue; is it so hard to say "inspired by..."? Inspiration is wonderful - it bespeaks creativity and thinking outside the box - so embrace it, and run with it...just as soon as you are given the ok to do so. In my mind, stating the source of your inspiration shows good manners if nothing else and certainly creates goodwill within the quilt community. Giving credit where it is due is a good thing.
In order for your derivative work to receive its own copyright, it must be different enough from the original to qualify as a new piece of work. Simply making minor changes to an original, copyrighted work does not constitute a new derivative work under copyright law. In February, I discovered a quilter in Australia had made my Oriental Beauty in a different colourway and changed the name to "It's Not Christmas". She claimed design credit for the piece, sold the patterns, and taught it at workshops around her country. If you look back to the examples of Maritime Beauty above, you will see that changing the colour does not change the piece. As for changing the name, this is also an area of concern for designers and something quilters need to be aware of. Many designers will write in their terms that the name of the quilt cannot be changed - it has to stay as published. Why is that? It goes back to the Moral Rights discussed in yesterday's post. Moral rights allow the author to take certain actions to preserve the personal link between himself and the work. I encounter this issue often when someone makes one of my patterns and renames it to give personal significance; let's say they made Farrago and renamed it Aunt Jane's Biscuits. They (correctly) post a link to my site but when the person arrives looking for the pattern for Aunt Jane's Biscuits they don't find it because I have no quilt named that. Renaming a quilt does not allow the designer to preserve the personal link between him/herself and the design. More and more I am seeing designers add a note to their copyright rules insisting that the name be kept intact. For myself, I would be fine if the quilt made from the pattern was give a by line such as..."Farrago: Aunt Jane's Biscuits." I think that would satisfy both the need for the link and yet allow the maker to add a personal and meaningful stamp to the quilt.
For the variation of my New York Roundabout quilt which I found on the website of Fabric Stash in Mass. before Christmas, the maker had changed the block slightly using 5 spikes instead of 6. She told me on the phone that was how she was making it her own design (nah ah - you were making a derivative design, Lois...) She also confessed that she had photocopied the New York Beauty block she used from a book and was distributing that photocopy with her pattern. Eeek...double no-no. That's where tomorrow's post will start: using what is published in books and magazines.
This was a very long read; if you've made it this far you've done great, and I thank you. Each of these posts takes more than a day to write so sadly there is no quilting happening here. Polly isn't very happy about this.