Love in the Middle


































this is one of those quilts that's been sitting on the almost finished pile for at least six months.  it's made using a pattern by Tula Pink.  and this one makes me think of a very interesting topic which i've been reading on a couple blogs lately.  you can check out the conversation at StitchedInColor, and also over at Maureen Cracknell Handmade.  

ok, are you back?  i think you'll agree that it's a thought provoking topic.  it's one that goes round and round in my head somedays.  and i really don't know if this question has a right answer.  Overall, it needs to be about fairness, kindness, love and all those good things.  But when it comes to the logistics, there's not a chance we'll all completely agree.

So this quilt is just a small example of my viewpoint.


i remember waaay back when i first saw this quilt pattern.  i believe it will have been in photos of Tula Pink's booth at quilt market where she will have had a sample made up to sell this pattern.

of course i thought it was great, and obviously a lot of other did as well.  it definitely was not the first time i had seen letters free pieced in a quilt, but it was a unique configuration which i had never seen before.

so, as time goes by i see quite a few quilts made with this layout, and i love them all.  so the time comes when i'd like to make one myself.  now, it would be quite possible for me to make this quilt without a pattern.  i have Tonya's book after all, which shows you how to make every letter of the alphabet in many fun ways.

somehow though, i knew that i would not feel good about making this one without a pattern.  this was just my own personal feeling, but i knew that i would likely never have thought up this configuration.  so i bought the pattern because that's just the way it felt for me.  like i was directly inspired by Tula's idea, and because of that, i wanted to support her.


































now that does not mean that every time i make a quilt, i go searching for a similar pattern that i can spend another $10 on.  it just means that i knew very well within my little heart of hearts that i was 100% inspired by that quilt.  and in all honesty, i wasn't anywhere near coming up with that idea on my own.


































so that was a lot of unneccesary info, but just a little practical take on how i see the whole issue of selling quilt patterns.

23 comments:

  1. I like the different gray prints on the front...

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  2. However this quilt came to be, it's beautiful. I might have to make one of my own, too, someday :)

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  3. I think it's very interesting that you liked the Tula Pink pattern enough that you felt compelled to buy it. I will often do the same thing, buy a quilt pattern that I might be able to figure out because I want to reward the designer for doing the work of coming up with the design. However, in this case Tula Pink is clearly copying, in quilt form, the very famous Christmas card, US postage stamp and derivative sculptures by artist Robert Indiana. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Love_(sculpture) the original Christmas Card was designed in1964, the postage stamp was originally issued in 1973 and the derivative sculptures have been mass produced for almost 40 years becoming part of our cultural landscape. Did she credit Indiana with her inspiration? Does knowing that Tula Pink copied/drew inspiration from the work of another artist that she did not credit, change your mind about buying the pattern? I think the subject of credit and inspiration is a very interesting one from a legal and moral standpoint. It isn't often that one is able to so definitively pin point the origin of an idea, most inspiration is much more etherial.

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    1. Well, I find this interesting too! Guess maybe it's partly because I'm Canadian that I was unaware of this artist. Just shows that this issue is very personal, since we all have different viewpoints!

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  4. The quilt is beautiful. I love the colors you chose and the quilting you did really makes it look gorgeous!

    I am in the US and had totally forgotten about the artist BijouxBaby mentions above, but after reading her comment I do see the obvious resemblance. Either way, I think it's a great quilt and if that is where the inspiration point started for you, I think buying the pattern was how you responded to seeing it in another's work. Even if it's not the first place that design may have been.

    I think this is a very interesting topic and I like hearing your take on it!

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  5. I never buy patterns, and often make direct and deliberate copies of quilts that I see on the internet, including from photos on patterns for purchase, sometimes using exactly the same colours. And I have no qualms at all about this! I'm trying to put my finger on why it does not bother me one tiny bit - perhaps because I can't see any loss of income, just a small (tiny) spread of influence.

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    1. I agree with your comment. I am not in the 'business' of selling anything that I have made so I see no harm in copying something inspiring that I have seen out there in some way, shape or form. Isn't imitation supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, or something like that? Well, I love quilting and sewing so I won't be put off by hateful comments about 'copying' things.

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  6. I think maybe that we could call the stamp and sculpture: Tula's inspiration for a cute quilt, couldn't we? It's certainly not an exact copy. I personally am looking for inspiration everywhere. I can tell that you are a woman of integrity, Jolene! Well done!

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  7. I'm pretty capitalist on this issue. Go copy, fashion industry!

    But that's really nice of you to buy the pattern.

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  8. first -- love the quilt... Nicey Jane is my favorite, and I love the mixed neutrals effect...
    I just started writing quilt patterns to sell (in hopes to support this crazy habit!), and as I was researching, with quilt patterns, you are actually just copyrighting the instructions/diagrams/images, and not the actual design... because it's all been done before! I see buying a quilt pattern as paying someone for their time... because most things I can figure out on my own, should I feel so inclined.

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  9. Very interesting and timely post as I have thought about this. I completely agree with traceyjay, it all has been done before! Years and years ago or yesterday. There are so many that would buy the pattern for the same reason, to support the pattern writer...more so maybe are those that buy so they didn't have to figure it out, but would rather just sew...and the opposite who are curious if they could come up with a version of their own. I say either way is good as it benefits many, from fabric and machine retailers all the way back to the creative soul who spent some hopefully wonderful time sewing, and lest we forget the many lucky recipients of these creations who (again hopefully) love what was made just for them :D

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  10. You have strong ethics, Jolene. I think you handled the situation very wisely. I don't think we can go wrong with kindness and courtesy.

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  11. I also agree with traceyjay, buying the pattern is really just about giving gratuity to the person who spent a long time doing all the math and laying out the instructions. Sometimes, after spending 20 minutes to an hour figuring out a pattern and doing my math an estimating yardage only to realize I made one small number error, I bow my head in shame and curse myself for not just speding 2 minutes online to buy the pattern.

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  12. This is a lovely quilt! And the backing is just perfect!

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  13. Very timely, as I was just inspired by you! I went back and forth on how to word that I copied you to make it clear that the quilt was not my idea, hope you think I did you justice: http://www.lifeincolorphoto.com/2012/07/the-new-baby-blanket.html And hopefully I directed some new people to your blog and etsy. I figured it was fair to put my quilt up on my blog since I made it for myself, not to sell. What do you think? It's always such a hard call. And sometimes I do forget where I find ideas. But I'm like you, I buy lots of patterns/books. Though I rarely use them for anything more than inspiration.

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  14. Beautiful quilt and lots of thought-provoking thoughts...

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  15. Lovely work, Jolene! One thing I love about this post is that you chose to share a real example of your ethics in action, kind of like me with the wall art. It's a great way to start a friendly discussion because you've already put yourself out there personally.

    I don't have more opinions to share, just wanted to thank you for continuing the conversation so nicely =)

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  16. I love the quilt, it is beautiful. I try to buy the pattern because it supports someone who inspires me, even when it is not at all hard to figure out how to make it myself, and then I sometime follow it or sometimes use it as a starting off point.

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  17. I just recently found your blog. Am I ever inspired! I just love, love, love this quilt. Oh, and your placemats. Thank-you.

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  18. Do you by any chance remember the name of the floral on the back.

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    1. It's from the collection Hunky Dory by Chez Moi for Moda fabrics.

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  19. Hi Jolene - Would really like to know the name of the fuschia/pink/gold medallion print. Really pretty!

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  20. This post reminds me of a Maura O'connell song called "Love you in the Middle"...Look it up!

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