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This is your personal story about your quilt that you want to appear on the quilt label. It can be as pretentious and artsy fartsy as you like – useful when submitting to juried shows like Quilt Canada:

“Her Majesty” is a commemoration to the iconic fashion style of Elizabeth Regina.  Her rainbow wardrobe and boxy hat worn at a stylish angle create an immediately recognizable silhouette .  The simplicity and spareness of this image creates a minimalist design without distraction, evoking her own preference for quiet service.

Or it can be much more personal:

“I made this quilt for my eldest grand-daughter to take with her to University to remind her of home.  It has an undersea theme because she is going to study marine biology. “


If I made a quilt or other object (a bag, wallet etc.) using a published pattern can I exhibit what I made at the Expo?  Can I sell what I made in the Pop Up Shop?  

Yes to both.  The pattern designer owns the design or pattern but what you make using the pattern belongs to you and you can do whatever you want with it.  

Having said that, if you are submitting an item for display you are required in the submission form to give proper attribution to the designer.  Entering an item for display in the show and not giving credit to the designer is NOT COOL!  

If you do this you may be asked to resubmit your entry with the proper attribution, or it won’t hang in the show.  

Proper attribution looks like this: “ I made this quilt using a pattern by Jane Doe called Beautiful Quilt.”  Or “I made this quilt using a pattern by Jane Doe called Beautiful Quilt, published in Issue 1 of The Best Quilting Magazine … or from her book entitled Best Quilts Ever.  

What if I changed the colours or made other tweaks to the pattern?  That does NOT make it your original design, you must still provide attribution. 

What if I don’t remember these details and don’t have the pattern or book anymore?  You still need to do your best.  Check NO to original design and tell us what you remember – “ I made this quilt from a pattern that I saw in Best Quilt Ever magazine, don’t recall the designer”.  

What if it wasn’t exactly a published pattern but a technique or a process that I learned in a workshop or saw in a book published by someone else? 

This can be an original design so long as it is sufficiently different from the teacher’s published work or the sample worked on in class to be your own.  This is subjective and difficult to answer.  Search your heart. 

Regardless, proper attribution for inspiration should still be provided and looks like this:  “ I made this quilt using techniques that I learned in a workshop called “Incredible Quilts” that I took at  Guild/Quilt Con with Jane Doe. “  or “ I made this quilt using the techniques for “…” in Jane Doe’s book “Amazing Quilts”.  

What If I made a quilt from a picture that I saw on Pinterest / Instagram or other social media?  

If you copied the design from somewhere else it is not your original design; even if you had to figure out how to “reverse engineer” to reproduce it.  Many of us can look at a quilt design and figure out how to make it without buying the pattern.  Again using different colours or making other small changes to the design does not make it your original design.

In that case proper attribution looks like this, “ I made this quilt from a photo of a quilt designed by Jane Doe that I saw on Instagram.”  Even if you don’t know who the designer was you could say “ I made this quilt from a photo of a quilt I saw on Pinterest, designer unknown”.  

What if I used some other source of inspiration, for example a famous painting or a photograph taken by someone else, a graphic design used in advertising etc.   

If you are replicating the painting or the photograph i.e. it is intended to look like it, reproduced as exactly as possible in fabric it is not your original design and you would attribute as follows:  This quilt is a fabric representation of “Sunflowers” by Vincent VG, or a fabric representation of a photograph of ….  taken by “Jane Doe”.

If the artist, photographer, graphic designer is alive (or dead less than 50 years) you should also obtain permission from the artist/photographer/designer or owner of the design or their estate before doing this.  

What if I used a photograph taken by myself. 

If you took the photograph – say of a person, pet or landscape – and reproduce it in fabric – that’s all  you!  An original design.  

What if I didn’t reproduce someone’s painting or poster or other design, but was just inspired by the style or colours of their work?  

The quilt you make can be claimed as an original design, however you should still attribute the source of inspiration if there was something specific.  Such as, “The design of this quilt was influenced by the paintings of Mark Rothko.”  Or “The design of this quilt was influenced by the Bauhaus school of graphic design”.  Or “The design of this quilt was influenced by the Gees Bend Quilters of Alabama.” 

What if I use traditional quilt blocks that have long been in the public domain?  i.e. log cabin, churn dash etc. 

Go ahead and if you have used them in an original way then that is your original design – not the block itself but the arrangement.  But if you used someone else’s pattern – say for example a sampler quilt made with traditional blocks you should still give attribution to that pattern designer.  

What if the pattern says “For Personal Use Only” or similar language?  Can I sell what I made using the pattern in the Pop Up Shop?  

The pattern designer owns the design or pattern but what you make using the pattern belongs to you and you can do whatever you want with it, including sell it. The short answer to the question is Yes.  

However, as always there is a question of proportion.  If you plan to go into production mode making baby quilts from a published pattern, open an Etsy shop or become a regular at craft shows or consignment stores selling those quilts that may invite legal efforts by the designer to stop you.  You have now turned this into a commercial venture.  Whether it is legally prohibited isn’t clear but it is NOT COOL.

If you plan to submit multiple items using the same pattern for sale in the Pop Up Shop it is best practice to look for a pattern that specifically permits this (many do – if it’s not on the pattern check the designers web-site – especially for bags and wallets and such), ask permission, or stick to public domain patterns with no stated restrictions.