Tag Archives: Thank you

Follow-Up: I Love Blogs That

I’m still digging through all the great recommendations in comments from my last post! It’s fun to see what you’re interested in, and how these blogs are quite like some of my favorites. After all, they

* tell stories
* tell about process, if the blog is about making
* use words thoughtfully
* inspire the reader
* show the writer cares about the reader.

Also, several of you commented about preferring blogs that don’t emphasize sales, and those that are (at least mostly!) grammatically correct. I AGREE with both of these points!! It is hard to read posts that haven’t been edited. And while I cheer for those who can make a living with their quilting and writing, their blog pages are often messy with advertising and affiliate links, or their posts are too centered on advertising and products.

I’m on the road AGAIN, so will leave it here for now. Thanks again for all the great ideas. Feel free to leave more, here or on the prior post.


Thank you!

This week I had the great pleasure of presenting to a quilt guild elsewhere in Iowa. It is an honor to be invited and a privilege to share my enthusiasm for quilting.

I have done presentations for groups and had not a single person thank me afterwards, not even the person who booked me. It feels odd, and awkward, and a little disconcerting, to walk away like that.

However, I’m happy to say, that did NOT happen this week. Instead, I had the most lovely reception and expressions of thanks afterwards, from many people! Truly, it was very gratifying. And I just want to say publicly “thank you” for the thank yous! I left feeling great about our day together.

(If you liked the person who presented at your meeting, be sure to thank the person who booked them, as well! They like to know they’re doing a good job, too.)

While I’m at it, I’d also like to thank all of you, my readers. Some of you have stuck with me for as long as I’ve been here, and others of you are new. Some of you comment and others don’t. Maybe this is the first post you’ve read here (or maybe it’s your last!) Thank you. Thank you all. It means a lot to me.



Giving Credit and Avoiding Copyright Violations

There’s a new skirmish in the quilting community. Apparently the admin for a Facebook group used tutorials and patterns created by other people, without attribution. When challenged on it, she kicked the complainers out of the group and made the group private.

Stealing is wrong, and though I don’t know the details of this story, it sounds like the admin did the wrong thing.

A couple of bloggers/quilters I respect have written about the incident and how to avoid copyright infringement. (See Sam Hunter’s post and Lori Kennedy’s post.) I’ve written about it, too, with some different links and thoughts. Since the last time I posted about it was a couple of years ago, I’ve updated that information below to provide it again.

Do you remember Robert Fulghum’s famous essay? “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” begins like this:

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The essay was published in Robert Fulghum’s book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I am using this excerpt based on “fair use” rules for copyright.

Honestly, we don’t share everything, but I know bloggers and crafters are incredibly generous. Mostly we don’t hit. And as to messes, what happens in your studio should stay in your studio!

But there are three things here I think we should take seriously. One is playing fair, and one is not taking things that aren’t yours. And when we do mess up, we should apologize.

I see two separate areas of trouble when it comes to playing fair and giving deserved credit. One is for bloggers, and the other is for quilters and crafters. Obviously the two groups overlap.

Sometimes, in enthusiasm to share cool stuff and brilliant thoughts, bloggers use work that is not their own. Using information from other people might include photos, words, charts, tables, logos, or illustrations. The easiest violation is with photos. I wrote some about this earlier this year.

Are you sharing photos of someone else’s work? (This happens a lot after quilt shows.) Did you give them credit? There are both ethical and legal concerns on this. Legally there are copyright rights to the photo itself, and also to the creative work being photographed, such as a quilt. I am not the best person to speak about the legal issues, but I know enough to be very careful about sharing photos of anyone else’s quilts. In fact, unless I am linking directly to a picture someone else posted, I pretty much don’t do it anymore. (Some photos are in the public domain, meaning there is no copyright protection. Those can be shared freely. Still, information about the creator and the owner of the work should be included.)

Ethically, using someone else’s work without crediting is taking something that’s not yours, and it’s not playing fair. Ask yourself how you would feel if a photo of your quilt appeared in various blogs, but the bloggers didn’t have the courtesy to credit it with your name, or a link back to where they found your glorious quilt. Or even to ask permission to use the picture.

If you’d like more information on posting other people’s content appropriately, see a really helpful post from HubSpot Blogs. It is on citing sources and not stealing other people’s work on the internet.

When it comes to creating tangible (rather than digital) work, there are other ways to take things that aren’t yours. Here again, there are obvious (I hope!) examples of wrong-doing, as well as others that might seem more grey.

First, a lot of people see no harm in copying a pattern that someone else purchased. If your friend buys a pattern and you want to make the same thing, you can just make a photocopy or scan of hers. In fact, your whole bee or swap or small group can have copies, too, right? But there is harm, as it deprives the creator of pay for their work. Imagine working — many hours of effort — to create a product for sale. Imagine someone taking it without paying for it. That is stealing, plain and simple.

Sam Hunter wrote about this better than I can. When a friend-of-a-friend stole one of Sam’s patterns rather than paying for it, it created a sticky situation, to say the least.

And remember, this isn’t true just of patterns that you buy one at a time. It also counts when you didn’t buy your own book or magazine patterns, but photocopied someone else’s instead.

Now comes the harder part, the grey area. Now also comes the caveat. I am NOT an attorney and am not providing legal advice. Most of the information provided below is based on two posts by Jen Bernstein. [Links below.] She is an attorney, but she also is not providing you legal advice. If this is an area of concern for you, please retain your own attorney. 

The design (what a quilt or project looks like) and the pattern (instructions of how to make it) are separately copyrighted. So let’s say you see a quilt and don’t want to buy the pattern. Instead you spend time figuring out how the block is made, how many of them there are, and how big they likely are based on the size of the original. You draw it all out in EQ7 to get your layout and fabric requirements. Ta-DAH! It’s all good, huh? Well, maybe not.

Depending on how closely “your” design matches the original, you may have infringed on a copyright. For more information, see Jen Bernstein’s guest post “Can You Copyright a Sewing Pattern?” on Abby Glassenberg’s While She Naps blog.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours. That’s the legal part of this. Now I’ll return to the ethical part: play fair. To me that includes acknowledging others for their inspiration and contribution.

That might mean literal acknowledgment in blog posts and Instagram and pins, or on labels. Some people say when you label your quilts, you should include the pattern and designer’s name, or the source of inspiration. I’m not likely to put that stuff on labels (I design my own quilts), but I agree with the intention.

Or it might just mean having an attitude of gratitude when we create. None of us is the first ever to make a quilt. That happened thousands of years ago. Regardless of how original we think we are, how fresh our designs, we were inspired by something.

Even if we are “self-taught,” likely that means learning from online sources or books, which someone else wrote and made available to us. We should be proud of ourselves and our work — we do amazing things! But we can be humble enough to feel gratitude for those who came before us, and for those who work by our sides.

Some of My Favorite Posts from 2016

Carousel kaleidoscope

When trying to figure out why last year seemed so darn weird, I reviewed both my photos and my blog posts. (Sense of weirdness explained here.)  I also checked my stats to see which posts had the most views. As it turns out, only two posts from last year finished in my top 10. First was the aptly named How to Finish UFOs. The other one was Carousel,the Kaleidoscope Quilt. The quilt is pictured above. My all-time most viewed post, including last year, was Economy Block ANY Size! (With Cheat Sheet).

There are a few other blog posts I think are worth highlighting, though they are not necessarily about quilting or quilts.

Things I’ve Learned From Blogging
Thoughts on Work and Play
Green Quilting
Body Armor
Too Much

The posts I most enjoy writing are those that teach me something. Whether it is by articulating process on my own projects, discussing design principles and elements, or considering how we limit ourselves with labels, these posts push me farther in understanding how and why I create.

As we go into this new year, I thank you sincerely for reading. If you follow this blog, thank you for that, as well. There are so many ways you can spend your time, and I’m touched that you choose to spend some of it here.

P.S. WordPress just notified me this is my 500th post on this blog.

One Lovely Blog Award and Some Things You Didn’t Know About Me

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This week I was honored to be nominated for One Lovely Blog Award, by my new blog friend Sola of Alice Samuel’s Quilt Co. Thanks, Sola!

Please take a look at her blog. She is a new quilter doing impressive things in a challenging quilters’ environment. As a Nigerian, she doesn’t have an abundance of resources some of us enjoy, like local quilt shops, library shelves full of quilting books, or even many other quilters around. Occasionally she even deals with the challenge of electrical black-outs, making it tough to either quilt or blog.

Check out her most recent quilt top. As a medallion quilter, my heart filled with happiness to see this beautiful piece!

Sola says the award rules are the following:

The Rules:
  • Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Display the image of the award on your post.
  • List seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them.

I’ve been nominated for awards in the past and truly appreciate the props. However, I don’t blog for awards. My rewards come from having the venue to express myself, the opportunity to get acquainted with others in the bigger world, and the chance to share some information and inspiration.

Here are few facts about me, for those who are interested.

  1. The things I think about most, other than my family, are quilting, writing, hiking, and politics, not necessarily in that order.
  2. I don’t have pets. I really like cats, but I’m allergic to them, and to the responsibilities of caring for them, especially while traveling.
  3. Cooking! And eating! I should add cooking and eating to #1 above, things I think about most!
  4. I (not-so-secretly) wish to live in a much smaller home than I currently live in. At the same time, I have no desire to move for a few more years.
  5. My academic and career background is in finance and economics. If you wonder about my analytical bent in my quilting, consider that.
  6. I usually make a quilt from start to finish in a relatively short time. This habit probably comes from being goal-oriented in quilting for my first few years. If I was making a quilt, it was for a specific purpose, often with some kind of a deadline (even if an artificial one.) It’s a good habit for me, though, and leaves me with very few UFOs.
  7. If you want to know even more about me, you could look at this post from early 2014. Some things in my life have changed since then, but the core of me has not.

Thanks again to Sola for nominating me! Thanks to you for taking a look at her blog, and also for reading here.