Tuesday 30 August 2016

Credit where credit is due!

This is my swap item for the Modern Quilters Ireland Summer swap. This year we are making baskets for each other based on the free pattern by @KelbySews called The One Hour basket. Full disclosure, this little basket took me quite a bit longer than 1 hour!

It’s funny the way things come together in your head or maybe the universe is practicing synchronicity but I was working on a talk for our guild on trends in online quilting and jotting down notes on how popular pieced animals are, some animals never seem to go out of style like deer and butterflies (I was thinking of the Tula Pink butterfly quilt in particular) when I stumbled on a paper pieced butterfly on Instagram called Take wing. So much happens on IG that I feel I blink and I miss things so I never deliberately look for blocks or patterns there, preferring instead Pinterest and google images. But this one caught my eye and clicking on the hashtag it took a bit to find the designer and the pattern and eventually I ended up here on Craftsy where I could purchase the mini version or the larger 24” one.

The one hour basket uses front and back pieces that are only 10 1/2” tall and this includes the bottom section too – reading through the pattern I found that the mini would still be too big so I reduced the print out and resized it to 6 1/2” tall by 10” wide and added background fabric to bring it up to the right size for the basket.

This little butterfly took all afternoon last Sunday to piece. I made 2 mistakes so he’s not quite symmetrical but I’m telling myself very little in nature is truly symmetrical anyway! This was a really good scrap buster and originally he was going to be blue and green and purple but the sun was shining so he ended up mostly red, orange, pink and yellow! There is a free pattern offered by the designer for smaller blocks if you want to make something smaller and quicker!

Having gotten the front panel made the rest of the bag went fast enough and I had a basket made in about 2 hrs! I’ve seen these used to hold fat quarters and WIP’s and I think they would make great scrap baskets too so can see myself making lots more of them!

So having made my basket and processed my photos, I set about writing this post so you could have the link to the basket and butterfly pattern if you wanted to make one. I stumbled into a war of words on copying between the butterfly designer and another quilter I much admire. I thought oh crap – hows that for timing? I’ll be posting links for everyone to click onto right into unpleasantness!

I thought about not writing this post, thought about ignoring the argument and then probably because I was watching Star Trek on Netflix, while making my basket, thought about how similar designs do pop up from time almost as if there is a collective consciousness like the Borg that we all tap into. In a previous post pondering where quilt ideas come from, I wrote about my triangle quilt and how I noticed when tidying up files on my computer, how similar it was in a much simplified way, to Anna Maria Horner's free pattern. I didn’t remember seeing AMH’s pattern but I must have because I had downloaded it to keep for later.

Colouring in the blank triangle template, the Sassy Quilter gave us for the QAL, I must have been influenced by it, then again it is based on a rainbow and rainbows quilts are everywhere and I am really drawn to that colour scheme so who knows? Favouring the side of caution I am attributing the incluence to AMH! She has a really fun lesson on Creativebug about selecting fabrics and choosing a colour scheme if you are interested!

Another link I wanted to share with you is this one from Craftypod, a hexie quilt influenced by the traditonal Grandmothers Flower garden but simplified so as not to take years of your life to make it! That was the exact same thought going through my head when last year,  I was making something out of our guild’s 2 1/2” squares swap last June. I was on a hexagon kick last year (lots of people were making the La Passacaglia and New Hexagon patterns). I was making snowflakes for hand quilting demonstrations and heavily influenced by the Flowers for Eleni quilt, I had made 3 flowers with black centres -idea by Jodi@Tales of Cloth and I loved how they looked) and wanted to make more, but use them differently so as not to make the exact same quilt.

Around the same time Quilt Now gave away some hexagon templates perfect for 2 1/2” squares so mum and I settled in for the night watching TV and sorted the 375 swapped squares into colour families. The challenge deadline was January, I ordered beautiful green, white and pink woodland fabric by Dashwood Studios from LoveFabric.ie thinking I’d use the green or white as a background and scatter the flowers onto it. I made a mistake and didn’t order enough of either so I had to rethink my plan. I ended piecing the three colours to give the white fabric bordered by grass at the bottom and a pink sunset sky at the top. I had two really strong lines going across the quilt where the colours met so needed to camouflage them a bit.

I had bought this lovely grey from the Limerick Quilt shop to make a Jen Kingwell quilt with a box of Modern Solids but ended up using the grey in Flower power to hide the join lines.  Then it made sense to echo that in the rest of the quilt!  Stumbling on Craftypod's pattern they are so very similar, I wonder if I had seen it before but them again geometry is geometry, so who knows?  The backgrounds are different, one is vertical the other horizontal, one uses 1 size flowers, the other 2 different sizes, one is a double bed quilt the other a lap quilt. Even so, I bought the pattern, partly curious as to how Diane made hers and partly because they are so similar maybe I did see this or something like this before and it stuck in my head, buried way down there with AMH’s triangles! Favouring the side of caution I paid the 9 dollars! We are all sponges and maybe somewhere down in the spongey part of my brain obsessed with quilts all these ideas bang into each other until one floats to the top! 

Someone left a comment on the blog of one of the designers in the dispute that if you are going to release a pattern, you should check it’s not been done before. Sure the pattern instructions might be written differently and you can’t copyright a technique but if someone else got there first then fair enough! So I won’t be writing up Flower Power but if anyone wants information on how I made my quilt just drop me a line and I am happy to answer any questions or the link to Craftypods pattern is here if you want to download step by step instructions and templates.

Hope this didn’t ramble too much, second wordy post in row!  Thanks for sticking with me – amazing what happens when all you want to do is make a butterfly!


  1. Beautiful basket, the butterfly is a perfect addition!

  2. Yes it is a beautiful basket. Your discussion around influence is really good. It's interesting how our brains work and I'm impressed that you've chosen to share what may or may not have been influences on your work in this post.

  3. I'm off to check out these links ! I love both your basket and your flower garden . My take on it is there a completely original idea or concept . There are only so many

  4. There are only so many to go around and we all influence each other and stamp out our own version , each slightly different but all from the same vein . And there us always a phase in vogue wether it be epp or sheep or whatever

  5. I chuckled when I saw your 'one hour' basket with the paper pieced butterfly. It wouldn't even have been a one DAY basket for me! It's beautiful! And I enjoyed your post on how we might be influenced by what we're seeing, at times even forgetting what we've seen. Thank you.

    1. Hi Laura I couldn't get past google plus to find an email to send you a message so I hope you see the response here. Just the paper piecing alone took a day but the basket itself went together quickly enough! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  6. oh how pretty. Worth the work, makes me want to make one...

  7. The butterfly basket is beautiful Ruth! Two hours is still great time in my book. I love the butterfly and the fabrics you made her with.
    It's so true about how much creativity can overlap. There are so many thousands of quilters and designers, all coming up with so many wonderful ideas. You can't possibly find every similar pattern, although of course we should try to make sure we are duplicating. Especially with the more basic stuff. There must be hundreds of ways to use Grandmother's Flower Garden style hexies. So i feel that since you came up with yours, then it is original. If someone else thought of something similar, then they too were influenced by the quilters who came before them.

  8. Your basket is beautiful! Like the way colors gradate smoothly in some places and contrast in others. The topic of originality in design seems a perpetual and a really sore one. Juliet at Tartankiwi recently posted about basing quilt images on photos, which is related I think. The idea that you should check if a pattern had been done before is a sound one, but where is the definitive database of "patented" patterns or designs and how should you search for "a quilt with hexagon flowers and lines", for example. I've recently drawn a very simple curve-pieced butterfly (butterfly again!) block, tried searching for "butterfly quilts" on pinterest and on google, didn't see any like mine, although plenty of different ones to be sure, but how can I be sure that my butterfly is a unique one?

  9. I always wonder how accurate an estimated time on a project really is. It will probably go faster the second time you make it. Your butterfly looks fabulous. I always try to give credit, but it can be hard to remember everything.

  10. I definitely followed you all the way through, Ruth. So much so that I have now read this 3 times. Sure, a designer can go to their best efforts to make sure something hasn't been made before, but not everything is on the internet and indexed by Google, either. It's all a best effort and honestly I find value in someone adding their own voice and flavor to something. I seem to recall (but have yet to find) that Lee @Freshly Pieced and someone else released patterns within days of each other a few years ago that were strikingly similar. Lee's was paper pieced and the other was traditionally pieced, and the two designers acknowledged one another and moved on amicably. It happens. I really appreciate that you are so considerate and supportive of the community, but I hope it doesn't stamp out your creativity, verve, and inspiration. It can be such a fine line to walk, can't it?

    Oh, and lovely works, all of them. The butterfly is stunning on the side of the hour basket and the person who receives it is very lucky!

  11. This whole attribution side of pattern creating is a minefield isn't it Ruth? I think it is extremely difficult to come up with a completely original design but definitely achievable to come up with a variation on a theme. I understand designers trying to stop blatant misuse of their work but some people are a bit too protective of what they perceive to be their work.

  12. I xertainly wouldn't have paid 9 dollars for the pattern! Coincidences happen, designers do come up with similar ideas at the same time. I think the MQG article on derivatives has made a lot of people antsy when there is no need.

  13. You know they have a feature on CBC Radio 2 every day called "Distant Cousins" and it is where they play you a part of a song someone has sent in that resembles another song, and then they play the second song. They say was it influenced by the first song? Was it intentional or not? And they've also had much discussion around this very idea, that you can't copyright a bass progression, much like you can't copyright a technique or a hexagon flower or a rainbow pattern in triangles. My only feeling is that one can't copy another's pattern and then sell it as her own idea, nor sell quilts made using that pattern (unless she's bought the pattern) without acknowledging the designer. And I DO so believe in tapping into a Creative Consciousness! Anyone who has listened to or read interviews with authors or poets or musicians will know that they OFTEN say how it was 'given' to them, often in a dream, and they just wrote it down. Subconsciously as well as consciously we ARE influenced when we are passionate about our craft and look at many many images of quilts, patterns, online, in books and in magazines.
    Really love your 2-hour plus tax LOL basket. Have to try one.

  14. A really terrific job! Thanks for sharing.

  15. Your butterfly is beautiful and hopefully not tainted by association - I think people will have the same or very similar ideas from time to time because we're all influenced by what we take in, and the internet and social media gives us a bigger appetite for creativity. It's a shame if someone has really flat out copied someone else's work, but I can easily see how similar patterns come about.

  16. Love the basket, Ruth! And as for copying or being influenced, I think people should honestly acknowledge designers whose work they are using or being influenced by. But equally designers should accept that others may have come up with a similar idea all by themselves. There is a fine line, but I hope we are able to keep the quilting world as friendly and sharing as it mostly is.

  17. Love the basket, Ruth! And as for copying or being influenced, I think people should honestly acknowledge designers whose work they are using or being influenced by. But equally designers should accept that others may have come up with a similar idea all by themselves. There is a fine line, but I hope we are able to keep the quilting world as friendly and sharing as it mostly is.


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