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The Webmistress' View on Copyrights

I am getting on my soap box right now. And, as I own the domain name this site sits at, and I pay a web host to rent the server space this paged is housed on, I have a right to do so.

Recently, I have really been getting into creating quilting and other sewable patterns. I get great enjoyment out of it, and the "oodles of praise" I get from others is far more repayment than I need for sharing said patterns.

Now, I spend many hours creating the graphics for said patterns, and the HTML code. Thus, if someone else were to come to my site, you will notice that I have not yet disabled right clicking, and take my graphics, and put them on their own site, and thus claim them as their own, then, yes, I would be quite mift!

However, if someone came to my "public" web site, saw a pattern I created, and decided, "hey, I really like that, so and so wants to commission me to do a baby quilt, and that would be perfect." Well, technically, they would have to ask my permission to actually use my pattern on a commissioned piece, as I specifically state that the patterns are for personal use only.

Do you think I would do anything or really give a rat's a** if they did this? No. And why you ask? Because I am a quilter. I live with a mindset of sharing and giving. Quilting isn't only about taking two pieces of fabric, putting some filler in between, and using thread to hold it all together. It is about sharing, caring about this thing that we do, and the whole creation process.

Would Frank Lloyd Wright have gotten as much satisfaction out of designing homes had he not earned the respect, and the big dollars, of the people who loved his designs? Well, maybe, but not likely. You see, positive reinforcement from our peers is what drives most of us who develop and design.

Copyrights serve a good purpose. If someone has slaved long hours, and poured out a lot of money, to develop a product, then they should be reimbursed for the process by copyright. They should be respected for this work, and another person should not be able to come along, take the product, and make it as their own, without reimbursement or permission of the Designer. This is part of our American belief system.

How this all equates to quilting is a very grey area. First, you have to consider, "How do you know that this design is really original?" I mean, as quilters, and designers, we bombard ourselves with visual stimuli. We read through tons of magazines and books. We peruse hundreds of web sites with patterns, and finished quilts and the like. So, how do we know that when we sit down with pen and paper, and create something "new" that it is really new, and not just a visual cue pulled from our long term memory in our brains? I don't have an answer for that, do you?

And even for that matter, who says that our representation of that item is even in our right to duplicate. I mean, I designed a pattern for an OutHouse block. Well, perhaps there is still a copyright protection on an actual OutHouse. I would not have been able to design an OutHouse unless I looked at one, or pulled an image of one from my memory, cause how else would I know what it looked like? So, let's say Mr. Crapper has a copyright on said outhouse. Well, generally, copyrights also protect the representation of said item. Thus, in all technicality, should I not have the permission of Mr. Crapper to publish this pattern?

Do you see where I am coming from?

Recently, I have seen many comments in regard to copyrighted quilt block patterns, specifically revolving one site. I will not mention that site, as I am not here to slam the author. However, it displeases me to see another person who is in the quilting community become so petty on such issues, claiming copyright for patterns that are not his/her own. I mean, he/she may have designed the graphics to the block, he/she may have published the directions for a block on his/her site, but, he/she did not come up with the original concept for the block. For example, if he/she has a pattern with cutting instructions and assembly for say, the Log Cabin block. Well, this block is in public domain, it has been found in quilts dating back several hundreds of years. Thus, nobody *owns* that block or the copyright to the pattern of it. So, the images on the site to describe the pattern may be copyrighted by the owner, if they are his/her own creations, but the actual Log Cabin block may not be.

{stepping down from soap box now...} Copyright

Now, after having my say, what is my personal copyright for
  • You are welcome to use any of my patterns for non-commercial usage. That means, if you wish to share with your guild, or use for a swap, have at it. My only request is that the pattern always have the actual web URL for said printed within.
  • Absolutely none of my ORIGINAL graphics may be linked to or "borrowed" from my site without my expres-written permission.
  • Use of my patterns for commercial usage is allowed for up to 100 items per year. Any commercial use of any of my patterns must explicitly declare that the original pattern comes from
  • Mass market production (greater than 100 items per year) is strictly prohibited without my prior written consent.
  • All written content, including items from the dictionary, quilt shop reviews, tips, may not be reproduced elsewhere without my prior written consent.
  • All code, unless otherwise noted, is my original work. You are welcome to borrow it for your own use provided you reference myself as the original writer.
  • Any links to should be done in open windows, and not framed within one's own site.
  • Questions? Email me directly via the contact page.

Page last modified:
All graphics and content 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 & Kimberly Crapsey, unless otherwise noted. See full copyright notice.

Thanks for visiting.