Saturday, March 25, 2017

A quilt that came with learnings ...

I know it's been a while ... sigh.

My T@b Window Awning business has actually done well and has taken up a bit of my time ... but the good news is has generated a little bit of money to fund my quilting obsession!

Many of you have seen this quilt before ... today is my 3rd (and final) version ...


This quilt, comes with a story that starts back in October 2015.

That month, a good friend turned 50 and John and I joined her and about 30 other friends in Palm Springs, CA to celebrate her birthday.  As I was still working, and living in a tiny apartment in Seattle, I hadn't been able to get any quilting done in advance for a birthday gift.  So when I retired, in the spring of 2016, one of the first things I did was start thinking through potential designs for a quilt for her.

Her house is quite eclectic and I didn't know where to start, so I decided to stick with the birthday theme (Palm Springs) and go with a mid-century modern approach.  I scoured the internet, looking primarily at mid-century modern blogs, hoping to get inspiration.  Ultimately, I landed on this image from this website.

There was no back link on the image and I assumed (perhaps hastily) that it was an "Eames inspired" image like the 50 Eames-inspired chairs that are ubiquitous.

I made the quilt, posted it and it's story on my blog and received an overwhelming response!

Because I was quite impressed with myself for having figured out the mental math gymnastics to actually produce this quilt and have all the lines match up ... I also created a tutorial for it as I made my second version ... again for a friends 50th birthday who has a mid-century modern home in Seattle.

I also listed the quilt in my Etsy shop as a custom option.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving 2016.  I received an communication on Etsy from an artist.  He shared his concerns with me that I was marketing his image that he had created and was selling in his Etsy shop.  I looked ... and sure enough, there it was, plain as day ...

I immediately took down all of my links, blog posts, IG and Pinterest photos and went back to figure out how this had happened.  Once I realized what I had done, I contacted him and shared what had happened.

Turns out he's a super nice guy, who was very understanding and considerate of what had happened.  He appreciated my pulling it down and offered to let me continue to make the quilt for my family and friends as gifts, just not in a manner where I profited from it or infringed on his copyright ... which was SUPER generous of him.

The one thing I can't fix, however, are the pics that people posted on Pinterest from my blog of the quilt.  So I continue to get inquiries from people who have looked through my blog and can't find anything on it.

Today, I completed the quilt for the last time ... it is, again, for the 50th birthday of a friend who actually lives in Palm Springs.  We will be visiting soon and I will take it with me on our trip.

So I thought it appropriate to post a few pics for Pinterest browsers who continue to look for it, to share the great shop of Thedor, the original creator of the image (he has tons of other beautiful images listed as well).  I also thought it worthy of time to share a little of my learnings.

  1. I looked on line for "inspiration".  But quite honestly, in the end, I didn't move that far off the image.  That may be fine for what my intended purpose was, a gift to a friend for her birthday.
  2. But, while it's not an exact "copy", I moved too far and too fast with an image to recreate and sell/market based on positive feedback from the crowd.  I still want to make a mid-century modern quilt for my shop ... but I need to take the time to make one that reflects my design ideas as they pertain to that period and isn't as reliant as this one was on a particular image that I had seen.
  3. I didn't do my homework.  I simply found an image I liked and when it wasn't back-linked, I went for it.  I now know that had I looked on Pinterest, I would have discovered that this was a well posted image and I would have quickly discovered who the rightful owner was.  
In the end, this quilt has gotten a good deal of well deserved attention -- it is a beautiful image and I encourage you all to look at the images in Thedor's shop.  It's also a lesson on how I need to be more focused on the artistry and originality of my work and take the time to do that properly.




I hope my learnings will help others as they navigate this "images are absolutely everywhere" world ... 

All the best,
Lisa






8 comments:

  1. I love the quilt. It's a great design. I have seen it on pinterest and admire it everytime I see it, whether it be as paper or canvas or fabric.

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  2. This is something I struggle with too. I am mid-century inspired also, the graphics just seem to lend themselves to quilting. I would really like to be able to come up with a design on the fly, but I often "steal with my eyes". Creative influences are many, and original ideas are more elusive for me these days.

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  3. Thank you for linking us to Thedor! I will be ordering from him very soon.

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  4. Oh, dear. It must have been upsetting to hear from Theodor originally. I'm glad to hear that he is letting you use the pattern for personal use and that you've shown us your final quilt. It's beautiful! I'm sure your friend will love it :)

    Inspiration is tricky, as is reverse engineering. I can usually tell how a block is constructed from a photo and so I don't need to purchase patterns. Should I? Sometimes I'm not sure...

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  5. I absolutely LOVE this design. But in all honesty, it's not the exact same. so it bothers me a bit as to what can be claimed as "copyrighted" and "mine". People get inspiration from all sorts of objects, images etc. At what point is everything "copyrighted"? so it's sort of frustrating. Anyway, just my thoughts. I've seen people make quilts that are like Van Gogh's paintings, that's ok. YOU are coming up with all the measurements and layout etc. of the actual design of the quilt. It isn't the exact same as his image. I LOVE the mid-century designs and if I see a starburst type design on dishes (for example) and decide to make a quilt based off that, that is not an exact copy of the original design, so I think claiming "copyright" is a bit too far. Again….just my opinion. It's a lot of work coming up with a pattern based on any inspiration…and that is all "your" work….

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  6. Can you tell me if this is applique or piecing? So beautiful!

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