There was a comment on my last post asking how I can sell the pattern for Wimbledon Squares when the same quilt has been around for ages and can be seen all over the internet? This raises an interesting point and so I thought that rather than replying by email as I would usually, I would put my reply in the form of a blog post so people can join the conversation if they want to.
I agree the block is not necessarily original, however, if you look at almost all patterns, you will see that they are based on traditional block designs that have been around for many, many years. As Harry S Truman once said “there is nothing new in this world, except the history we do not know”. However, what hasn't been around is my version of the pattern. A designer does her own calculations on fabric quantities, writes her own instructions and draws her own diagrams for how to make the quilt, from how to cut the fabrics and sew them together to make blocks, through to adding the binding to make the final quilt. All of this is in her own words, and has taken up her time, and that is what she is selling. In short, I believe that any designer who does this has the right to expect to be paid for her work.
I also think that quilting would stagnate if designers were only allowed to produce patterns using blocks that have never been seen before.
The commenter also stated that she has made quilts like this without a pattern, as have I and many other people, I am sure, but I doubt that a beginner would be able to do that. If we don’t help those beginners by giving them straightforward patterns with instructions, they won’t be able to increase their abilities and confidence and they might well lose interest and drift away and then there is a danger that the art of quilting will gradually die out.
I think my friend Nancy summed this up by saying “none of us ever got up on our legs for the first time and ran a marathon”.