Carolina Patchworks

An Interesting Read

Posted on by in Books, Life

3/22/12: In light of recent developments… a statement will be issued shortly.

Statement here.

3/26/12 — Todd Hensley, CEO of C&T Publishing makes a statement.

Original Post: 11/17/11 @ 2:06pm (pacific)

As much as I love designing and sewing quilts, it isn’t all rainbows-and-ferry boats.  Some days, it’s hard to justify and remember why I do Carolina Patchworks at all.

Last week I received a letter from a lawyer threatening to sue me for $150,000 (or more) plus legal fees and removal of one of my books and… well, you get the idea.

Let’s back up.  You know all those awesome fabrics in my patterns and books?  Yup, I love fabric.  Well, those fabrics are given to me by the fabric manufacturers who love to see their fabrics in new patterns and books.  Makes sense, right? I get to use the fabrics I want; folks see the patterns, then buy the fabrics; the manufacturers end up with advertising, and you get to see (and make) new quilts in the latest fabrics. All the prints are created by designers and over the course of Carolina Patchworks’ existence I’ve become friends with a number of these designers. I am huge fans of what they do, love to see their latest designs, and they love to see them used in my quilts, so we’re all happy.

Well, not all of us, apparently. One designer — one that I’ve been a fan of since their first collection and I’ve come to respect over the years —  decided that I’d violated their rights by including photo(s) of a quilt made with their fabric to demonstrate a pattern in one of my books. This particular fabric was sent to me from The Manufacturer — actually, it was their suggestion. Well, The Designer’s lawyers sent a Cease and Desist letter threatening to sue me if I don’t pay tens of thousands of dollars, plus lawyer fees, destroying all copies of the book, etc.

The presumed trigger for the whole kerfuffle has been taken care of by the responsible party. The lawyers responded that that’s not enough, and the lawsuit is still going forward full-steam based on the photos in the book.

I have not named anybody in this post (and please don’t comment or email asking me to), because I have no wish to point fingers. I didn’t go into more details on select matters in hopes of keeping this as anonymous as possible. But as for my week, it’s pretty well already ruined. Here’s hoping it doesn’t destroy Carolina Patchworks altogether.

Anyhow, thought you might want to hear what’s going on at the moment. Next week I promise to try to get back to rainbows-and-ferry boats. On the blog at least.

Update: 11/18/11 @ 9:33am (pacific)

Just to address some comments:

The Publisher was also named and they are vigorously supporting me and handling this on my behalf.

The Manufacturer was contacted and has “elected not to get involved in this legal matter.”

There was an attempt to talk to The Designer and that was referred to The Designer’s Lawyers. As a result of that, I have not attempted as I’m figuring the result would be the same.

Many thanks for the support from everyone. Seriously. I’ve got a lot of emails to get to, a massive amount of information to gather plus a cute little Liam to snuggle with.

I will update again when necessary. Many thanks to everyone for your support.

Clarifications: 11/21/11 @ 12:05pm (pacific)

There have been quite a few comments/tweets wondering if this was a “Seuss-like fabric.” It is not. There are no fabrics in that genre in either book.

There is also some talk wondering how the fabric was used. Like I said — and I can’t really elaborate on it anymore and keep anonymity — there is another issue which I expect was the initial concern which has already been dealt with. The Lawyer/Designer is/are still going after the book which contains a picture of a finished quilt (made from The Designer’s fabric) demonstrating one of the quilt patterns in the book.

Many thanks for the continued support. Sorry I can’t elaborate more right now.


Resolution to {An Interesting Read}

174 thoughts on “An Interesting Read”

  1. I am so sorry you’ve had such a terrible kerfuffle. Seems if the manufacturer provided the fabric to you and if the designer has a problem with the book, then the designer should be ticked at the manufacter not you. But I’m sure you’ve been down that road.

    Thank goodness you are a smart cookie to decipher the situation and hopefully this nonsense goes away quickly. HUGS!

  2. Lesly says:

    That is just madness. Let’s hope cooler heads prevail – I will be keeping fingers crossed for you.

  3. Kim says:

    That is terrible! I can’t believe that there is anything that they can even sue you for? For using someone’s fabric? Isn’t that the idea? So sorry that you are having to deal with this mess! Just sucky! 🙁

  4. Hilary says:

    What an unfortunate situation. Sending positive energy your way. XO

  5. Oh, Emily, that’s awful, I hope that the whole thing blows over real soon!!

  6. kelly says:

    what a senseless situation. i’m so sorry that you’re in this situation and i truly do NOT understand where the problem lies.

  7. I’m so sorry this is happening to you! I can’t for the life of me figure out why someone would think this is a viable approach to business. Best wishes for sorting it out with as little pain as possible.

  8. Becky M says:

    That’s terrible. I hope the situation just blows over. Your books are fantastic and I’d hate to see you shut down by a ridiculous lawsuit!

  9. julie says:

    thats just nuts. and i hope it all sorts itself out before the $$$$$ goodluck!

  10. Ann B. says:

    This lawsuit is bogus! What if you BOUGHT the fabric, instead of it being given to you by the manufacturer? Once the manufacturer gives you the fabric to showcase in your original quilt patterns, it is the same as if you bought it–the person who drew the pattern has sold it and/or given it away. Maybe the designer has a dispute with the manufacturer, but it shouldn’t involve you. When I buy fabric I don’t keep track of the manufacturer, and I rarely, if ever, know who the designer is. Does this wacko person expect you to give him/her control over how you use the fabrics in your “stash” to create your patterns? This lawsuit is going to discourage independent pattern designers (like you) who rely on the generosity of manufacturers for fabric. Maybe the legal action is being funded by one or more competing manufacturers trying to discourage “independents” in an attempt to bring all pattern designers in-house to corner a larger share of the market? This is very sad, and I hope you can enjoy rainbows, ferry boats and your beautiful family very soon! Be strong and don’t give up!

  11. Ann says:

    I am saddened to read your post. I hope this works out for you, but in the meantime, what a bummer. Sending positive thoughts your way.

  12. angela says:

    Wow Emily! I am so sorry…..that just doesn’t make any sense to me. Hope it gets figured out soon! Hugs

  13. Shea says:

    Oh, Emily! This sounds insane on so many levels. I hope you (and C&T) fight this and that you win. I can’t imagine that they have much of a case, based on … oh, I don’t know… the *hundreds* of quilt books out there that use designer fabrics.

    Just think of the amazing things that could be accomplished if people put their energy into doing something positive with their time. Like a previous commenter, I can’t imagine how this is a smart business move on their part.

    I am also sorry that this is coming from someone you respect(ed). Learning who people *really* are is never pleasant.

    Wishing you a much better week ahead. A little retail therapy never hurts… and luckily there happens to be a great shopping day around the corner!

  14. That is just ridiculous! Of course you can use someone’s fabric in your designs. How else are you going to make quilts? And if you are showing your designs, you HAVE to have pictures. Even photos of just the fabric are fair game. It’s not as if what you are selling is the fabric design itself. People love fabric and want to see how to use it. You’d think the designer would be happy to have lots of exposure so more people buy the fabric…

  15. Katrin says:

    Have you reached out to the designer? I know of several similar cases of supposed infringement of copyrights where the designer did not even know about someone suing. Sometimes it is best to talk from one artist to the other and leave the lawyers aside. I keep my fingers crossed for you.

  16. Vivian says:

    The thing I don’t understand is why the designer is suing YOU. You are not self-published but have a PUBLISHER. I would think that they would be the ones responsible for knowing or would have knowledge of the legal ramifications of the fabric use and would be expected to make reasonable efforts to make sure that what ever attributions or credits need to be given are given as part of the vetting process for the book being published.

    In addition, given the nature of quilting, are quilt designers (and even us regular folks) expected to keep track of the designer of every single piece of fabric we use if we have any plans to showcase the finished quilt beyond our own homes or own use (specifically in situations we we may financially gain from showing the quilt)? What happens if you are using a scrap or cut with no selvedge edge identification in a quilt? Does that mean the whole quilt can’t be published?

    Although that would explain why just about every quilt I see today in magazines are designed from one fabric line — that makes the whole attribution issue easier to deal with but if so, it sure kills the traditional make-do spirit of patchwork.

  17. Tammy says:

    Oh dear Emily, I’m so sorry you are being put through this legal mumbo jumbo by a fabric designer. It makes me shake my head and wonder what the bleep is wrong with some people these days. I think the fabric designers should be delighted that you are using their fabric in your quilt designs. I love your quilts, blog and your books. I’m sending positive energy your way and sincerely hope this lawsuit gets thrown out of court and tossed in the trash where it belongs.

  18. elsa says:

    So so sorry to hear about this kerfluffle. I’ve heard about another designer who had something similar going on ~ silly stuff ~ if you ask me. I know that you asked not to be asked who it is but I’d just like to know so I can be sure not to buy this particular designers fabric. Stuff like this just irritates the heck out of me. So pointless.
    Hope this gets resolved soon and you can get back to what you do best ~ being a wonderfully creative designer! Sending good thoughts your way.

  19. Jacquie says:

    I’m so sorry that this is happening to you. I hope you and C and T will stand strong against this designer. Sad. Just sad. Chin up and know we support you!

  20. Alissa says:

    Emily I am so sorry that you are dealing with something so difficult. I should add that as a fellow author, this is terrifying! We all use designer’s fabric. It’s just what is done and I can’t get my head around how this one time a designer has legal standing?? I agree with the commenter above that this designer’s name should be released so that we can all stand with you and also know not to use their stuff in future books!! Good luck and again, I am so sorry you’re having to deal with this.

  21. anon says:

    I’m thinking that even if this designers name doesnt come out publicly, people in the industry will still find out……that will not bode well for them! Stay upbeat and positive, you will win this fight!

  22. Holy crap!
    I can’t even imagine the stress for you.
    Like Alissa, said, as an author this is very scary. What a horrible precedent to be set. You’ve got backing from the rest of us in the community and don’t be afraid to call on us. Hang tough.

  23. lusummers says:

    as a fabric designer of 4 years and more recently a new moda designer, i’m absolutely flabbergasted that any designer would go to such lengths. i personally would feel honoured for my fabric to be used in any book – preferably with a credit, but if not, so be it. i certainly wouldn’t go on a witch hunt. unbelievable, and i hope this gets sorted out quickly for you. what a nightmare. chin up!

  24. Tacha says:

    Wow. As an author as well I find this really frightening. We are definitely all behind you. I can’t understand the motivation behind this at all.

  25. Katy says:

    I can’t imagine how (unless possibly a fabric is a licensed one, like Seuss or something) legal action could even begin to go ahead. It’s terrifying and ridiculous.
    What is the point of designing fabric if it isn’t to be used, and if one of those uses is to demonstrate a quilt pattern in a book then surely that’s fantastic for the designer and manufacturer as (like you say) additional advertising.

  26. CaraQuilts says:

    That is absolutely terrifying because of the patterns I do. The Manufacturer has to have some role in all of this. I can’t imagine they don’t have it in the contracts that they can use the design works for advertisement etc, which is what that would fall under.

  27. Something I just thought of, if this course of legal action continues, wouldn’t that legal action become public record and then we’d all know who the designer is? After this, what pattern designer would want to use their fabric and any end consumers aware of the situation wouldn’t either. Surely this action would be suicide to their business.

    Seems like a lot of success in this business lies in the cooperation of fabric and pattern designers and manufacturers.

  28. John Adams says:

    Wow. I can’t do much more than agree with many of the comments above and also let you know that we’re all supporting you. Clearly, this is something both interesting and scary for those of us that work on things like Fat Quarterly … things which, quite clearly, are highly valuable as (free, BTW) marketing vehicles for fabric designers. I’m sure it’s more complex than I am grasping right now, but I simply can’t understand what this Designer’s endgame is — that nobody showcase and promote their fabric anymore? How does that help anyone?

    Chin up. Your peeps In Raleigh have got your back.


  29. Valerie says:

    Completely ludicrous! Hang in there, fingers crossed that the “Designer” gets her head out of her derriere ASAP!

  30. Cathy A. says:

    Wow…this is so short sighted and greedy on the fabric designer’s part. And I am afraid to know who it is because what if I never want to buy his/her fabric on ethical principals and not the beauty of the fabric–how sad that is. Everyone has already said it all, so “amen” to their thoughts.

  31. Camille says:

    What everyone else said. I am honestly still in shock that anyone would do this. Not to mention terrified. What are they thinking?? Know that we are all supporting you and cheering for you!

  32. Rashida Coleman-Hale says:

    Okay, just caught wind of this and I AM STUNNED! As a designer and an author, I’m completely blown away. I can’t even fathom why a designer would basically commit quilt industry suicide and create such a absolutely ridiculous spectacle of themselves. This industry is nothing if not warm and inviting and I’ve always felt so much support coming from fellow designers and authors and I’ve felt it only right to do the same…….I’m just so disgusted by this! Mean people suck. I’m SO, so sorry that you have to deal with this Emily. You have my support 100% as well as the rest of the community’s and I’m quite confident that C&T will help you pull through this. Sending good vibes your way.


  33. Lynne says:

    We are all in stunned shock. What does this mean for quilt book publishing and magazine publishing and tutorials on blogs and quilt designs on flickr. What on earth can this fabric designer be thinking to turn on someone within their own industry and threaten them with something like that. I assume that, by hook or by crook, the name of the designer will filter out, not from you clearly but from somewhere somehow. If litigation has been started then it will be a matter of public record. If that designer comes here and reads the reactions of the quilting community, I hope she or he has the sense to apologise profusely for the upset this has caused and to withdraw all legal action immediately. For what it’s worth, the quilting community is going to be behind you on this.

  34. I am so confused on this matter. The fabrics are MADE to be used yes?! There are so many battles that we as artist have to fight to protect our work from people who actually mean harm, that I have a really hard time understanding what is motivating this designer in this instance. This is really unfortunate, and I am certain you will come out of this on the right side of what is fair. Wishing you the very best, and I hope this will be resolved swiftly.

  35. Carol says:

    E-gads! Now, more than ever, I’m glad I declined an offer to do a book. I can only imagine your worry and frustration over this foolishness! What has the world come to anyway? Now, we can’t use designer’s fabric in our own designs without giving credit? Crazy!!

  36. happy zombie says:

    Like Rashida, I just caught wind of this and I AM STUNNED TOO! And very, very saddened by it. I can’t even fathom what the designer is thinking. If you were ever to use my fabric – I’d give you a heaping cup of gratitude and thanks. I’d probably even offer to wash your car, mow your lawn, and what ever else I could do to show you my appreciation!

    I’m sad this is all happening to you – and hope (actually – I’m confident!) that this lemon turns into one tall, sweet, delicious glass of lemonade for you! Know that you have a huge community of people supporting you!

  37. Faith says:

    This is absolutely c-r-a-z-y! I’m so sorry you are having to endure this, so wrong. I actually am speechless.

  38. Jan DiCintio says:

    I am so sorry for this debacle. I hope you have your original documentation from the manufacturer, whether it’s in the form of a casual email or a formal letter. Sounds like the manufacturer is the one in hot water, not you, for acting as the legal authority. But maybe they are: wondering if the designs are copyrighted to the designer (naturally), and if the actual fabric is copyrighted or something to the manufacturer? I know recently I had to give permission to my old printer to sell off end cuts left from production of my designs… to protect themselves from a potential lawsuit from me.

    My hope is that this is resolved amicably, where you get to continue doing what you love and so does the designer. Without any harm to either’s reputation or brand. Just be careful what you put in writing – don’t want to see your words used against you. 🙁

    I love your work and your vision – these things will never leave you. Remind yourself of this as you summon the courage to deal with whatever happens. xo

  39. Mary says:

    I am absolutely speechless. I’m sorry you are having to go through this. 🙁

  40. Heather says:

    Wow. I’m speechless. I’m sending strength and fortitude to you!

  41. Jen says:

    This boggles my mind and I sincerely hope that it works out strongly in your favour. It is especially stunning that a designer would do something like this in the age of the internet and social networking where nothing stays secret and information is quickly and widely disseminated. It might end up being career suicide for the designer. I wonder if he or she didn’t consider the consequences of filing this lawsuit — did he or she not consider that you might mention something on your blog and/or twitter and then how quickly the news would spread? Again, mind boggling.

  42. amandajean says:

    I’m so sorry! My tummy hurts for you. I’m praying that justice and fairness prevail….rather than greed. Hope you are hanging in there.

  43. tula pink says:

    Hey Emily,

    This is ridiculous. I am blown away by the whole situation. As fabric designers we rely on pattern designers, authors and publishers to use our fabrics in their publications to help us promote our products. It is mutually beneficial relationship. This is why so often the fabrics are given to authors for free or at a discounted rate at the very least. We all win when you use our fabrics in your book and patterns. Senseless lawsuits like this can ruin this relationship for all of us. It’s unfortunate that a work made in the spirit of creativity can be so easily torn down by the misguided greed of another.

    Love & Support,

  44. Megan says:

    This is beyond crazy and I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. I hope this designer will rethink his or her stance once they have heard that virtually the entire crafting world is in complete disagreement.

  45. Pam says:

    This is just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!! I worked in a quilt shop pt for 5 years and I can’t imagine any of the design gals that I knew who would be greedy enough to do something like this. But who knows what people do behind closed doors. I really hope this goes away but if it doesn’t I wish you would be able to name names because that designer will have shot themselves in the foot! I would definitely refuse to purchase anything they design or for that matter anything from the fabric company since they obviously bailed on the issue! Makes me wonder if it’s someone who’s gotten too big for their britches, OK my Missouri hick is coming out. With the influx of designers from other industries licensing to the fabric companies I guess this shouldn’t surprise us, not saying they are the one but does make me wonder?? Look on the positive side, your exposure on Twitter is probably doubling as we speak, new followers for your blog! LOL Keep a smile on your face & don’t give up on everyone, we’re not all greedy cowards! Good Luck!

  46. Kelly says:

    This is absolutely amazing. I love love love the support coming from not only the quilters but from the actual fabric designers and I can honestly say that I’m way more in love with them now then I was before. I’m following all this on twitter and itching to know who it is just so I don’t spend one penny on their stuff. It amazes me how greedy and beyond stupid someone can be. Yes, stupid for destroying their career and name by being so friggin’ greedy.

    I hope that this gets resolved and the lawsuit dropped. Good luck!

  47. Catherine says:

    I so don’t even know what to say other than I am appalled. It sounds like the designer needs to talk to the manufacturer who prints her designs. I really can’t even believe it’s happening, seems completely counterproductive. As a designer, I want my stuff out there, I want people to use it, the more avenues that get it out there the better! If people don’t see it how can they want to get it for themselves. Okay, sorry, those are my ventings on your behalf.

    So sorry this is happening. If there is anything that we can do for you, please let us know!

  48. Pam says:

    One more thought . . . We all need to purchase your books so we can figure this out, one more positive spin to this! LOL

  49. Amy says:

    So sorry to hear this is happening to you. I cannot imagine what this designer is trying to accomplish by suing you and your publisher. I can guarantee the second I find out who this designer is I will never again purchase anything from them or their manufacturer and I’ll make sure my quilting buddies hear about it too.

  50. Michele says:

    Utterly stunned. I hope common sense prevails and this gets sorted out quickly.

  51. Shelly says:

    Emily, this is so ridiculous, I can’t even fathom it! If I were a fabric designer, I would be so delighted that you used my fabric, I’d be dancing around my shack screaming and jumping for joy — not suing you! And as a pattern designer, it makes me afraid to publish a new design using someone’s fabric; meaning, in other words, how can we pattern designers feel comfortable putting ANYthing out there anymore? How is anyone supposed to publish a quilt pattern without making a quilt out of FABRIC to show how it’s done? I guess I’m not completely clear on what her issue is. And why aren’t the designers of the fabrics in all the other quilts in your book suing you as well? Wouldn’t it make sense that they all have a case, too, if this one designer does? I really do hope we find out whose fabric it is, so that none of us uses any of that fabric so we can avoid the same problems. I hope that this case is seen for what it really is — utterly ridiculous — and doesn’t cause any lasting repercussions throughout the quilting industry in the future because of the greedy actions of one designer . . . good luck and keep us posted . . . do NOT quit doing what you love . . .

  52. this is really alarming, so sorry you are having this stress to deal with. as a fellow c&t author, i’m relieved to hear the publisher is getting involved. it’s rather late in the day for an established fabric designer to become precious about how their fabric is used. what’s next?, will everyone who has purchased their fabric have to email images of what they have made for approval?

    fabric designers and crafts designers need to work hand in hand, not against each other. it’s like the creator of detergent saying they don’t want their washing powder used in washing machines!, how else is it going to get used??

    might be worth posting something about this in the c&t author log in forums so all the authors are alerted to the issue. hope it gets resolved soon.

  53. Kate says:

    I am so sorry this is happening to you and I can’t believe it is happening at all. I echo all the sentiments above, what are we meant to use to make our quilts for quilt patterns from. Absurd.

  54. Emily, I hope this resolves quickly! I’m a so sorry about this whole situation. Fabric kerfuffle indeed. Good luck!

  55. Dawn says:

    I’m very sorry to hear of this whole situation. It saddens me that some people can not just let “things” be. If I was the designer I would have been doing the Happy Dance that my fabric was being seen by everyone who purchases the book!
    So, does this mean that every designer is going to sue someone for using their fabric in a design and putting it on the web, too. Should everyone be shuddering in their boots? Pretty stinkin’ scary!!

  56. Jona says:

    This is just appalling and distasteful. Way for a designer to say “please don’t buy my fabrics”! I know this will all be ironed out for you so don’t be fretting too much. This is such a wonderful, sweet community and you are not alone! Better tell C & T to start that second run because everybody is going to want your book now!

  57. Kristen says:

    Eee gahds!! I fully support you! I’ll buy two and give one away! So sorry this happened. I regularly make quilts in lines and love doing it. Books and their quilts inspire me and make me want to buy more of the designers fabric. Apparently she doesn’t want me to see hers?

  58. andrea says:

    Oh my gosh! I am so sorry that this is happening! It makes me as a fabric lover have second thoughts before buying any for fear of the designer. I’m sending positive thoughts your way and praying for you. Hopefully this gets resolved quickly and without bloodshed. Keep your chin up! You’re one of the many reasons I’m trying my hand at quilting and hate that this is happening to you

  59. Erin says:

    I’m sorry you’re having to go through this – I can’t imagine the stress! I know it will all work out in the end – you have a lot of support behind you!

  60. Quiltjane says:

    It will all be in the contract between the designer and the manufacturer regarding the distribution rights of each party. I cannot believe a designer would take legal action against another designer who is showcasing fabric that is readily available to the public. It’s free advertising for the fabric designer. What a waste of everyones time, emotions and bank accounts.

  61. Sorry to hear that this kind of thing is happening in the fabric world. Hope everything works out in your favour. Jacinta

  62. Emily, this seems bizarre! I wonder if the designer is even aware of the suit? We were sued once by the couple who bought our home, but upon investigation discovered it was their lawyers who had exposed an error in paperwork made by our realtor. The couple knew nothing about it and the lawyers acted out of greed for their ‘cut’. As soon as I called them directly and told them about the letter they were mortified and directed their lawyers to withdraw. I am so hoping that is the same situation here. It just defies explanation! Especially when one considers how small your personal gain is from authoring a book in the first place!!! The suit amount is so ludicrous.

    I hope, like everyone else that there is a rational resolution soon.

  63. Shruti says:

    This is so bad! Emily, I hope things work out for you. I have had a lot of positive experiences in this industry. And I am sorry for your bad one. But I agree with those who say, you should tell us the name of the designer so that we can avoid using their fabric altogether – now how much fun would that be?

  64. Carrie says:

    If someone had told me about this, I wouldn’t have believed it. I had to read it here, from the source, to believe that someone could be so petty, stupid and utterly ridiculous as to file a lawsuit like this. From the designer who thinks they should be getting money for your work to the lawyers who think they can actually win a lawsuit like this, these people should be embarassed.

    What happens next? Quilter buys fabric, makes quilt, wins Best in Show at huge quilt show, wins big money prize and quilt is photographed… do they now get sued by designer? If I make a quilt and sell it, does the designer get a portion of the proceeds because it was their fabric that “made” the quilt?

    You’re a far better person than I am because I would be naming names. If this designer feels that their claim is fair, let them justify it in the court of public opinion. I honestly can’t think of any reason or claim that would support their demands.

    Good luck to you and stay strong. Anybody who has ever been involved in any kind of a lawsuit will tell you that it is the worst experience of their life. I am so sorry that you are going to have to learn that lesson firsthand.

  65. Brandy M. says:

    My goodness…. I’m so sorry you’re going through this! I hope it is cleared up quickly and without further incident. I’m really glad that the publisher is working to defend you, too.
    I’d also be curious to know the book. I’d like to see it & possibly purchase one, just in case it’s not available later! But hopefully that won’t be an issue!

    Keep your chin up – you’ll come out on the higher road!

  66. alice says:

    I have mixed feelings.

    I feel for you as you have to go through this. This must be stressful for you.

    I also feel for the designer who must be under some kind of unusual or severe stress to take such an inappropriate action.

    I thought once the fabric design was made it was owned by the fabric manufacturer and the designer gets rights … and maybe some percentage or whatever the contract with the manufacturer has with the designer.

    Rely on your publisher … and your own ‘good faith.


  67. Sherri says:

    I honestly can’t imagine this happening…sounds just like you said…a nightmare of an experience. So glad to know your publisher is behind you 100%. My best to you…and for those of us who love to design and purchase other people’s designs…hoping this gets straightened out quickly!

  68. This is something each and every one of us needs to worry about.

    I remember a fabric line some time back which had copyright protection on the selvedge and some statement along the lines that it could not be used commercially in any way. Even charities refused things made of that fabric to sell at fund raising events.

    The only other thing which might cause this sort of action in the past is when copyright cartoon characters are used on fabrics and the designers hold copyright to the image from other media.

    I wish you the very best in fighting this action and would happily donate to a fight fund on your behalf.

    Can you imagine a world where all quilt books and patterns only published designs in plain fabrics? I am gobsmacked and so angry on your behalf about this.

  69. Birgit says:

    I’m very sorry to read about what has happened to you and what you are having to deal with right now. But I feel that I have to thank you for making this public. I have always considered any book project to be a win-win sort of thing for the authors/fabric + tool designers/fabric + tool manufactueres and who else might be involved as well…
    Here’s hoping that this ugly case will be brought to a satisfactory ending for all parties involved really soon. Please keep us updated…

  70. karen says:

    Emily, this is absolute nuts! As a relatively new fabric designer, I would be absolutely thrilled if someone used my fabrics int heir book. What better advertising and accolade is there? Preferably with a link. In fact I have just been asked to supply some of my fabric to someone for a book and they straight away said it will have a link…so free advertising for me! I really hope this ridiculous lawsuit gets sorted asap and with the right outcome.

  71. Sorry about the stress. My take on this is that this designer is concerned about having the design “ripped off.” Usually those are new designers, just starting out, and not knowing that causing this kind of uproar doesn’t work to her advantage. Yes, we have to worry about copyright, but she should have worked that out with the manufacturer when she sold the design. It has nothing to do with you–you just used the product with the manufacturers blessing I presume. I worked in publishing and scrapping a book is a major no-no because of the costs involved–that’s not usually the solution. The designer not only gets a black mark but also people will shy away from representing or using her designs in future. I’ll be interested to see how this works out.

  72. The Stencil painting industry has been like this for years. This is why I don’t use commercial stencils to paint on my quilts.

    I hope fabric companies don’t end up like this. It would be unfortunate for the industry if fabric manufacturers had to print a notice on the selvage of their fabrics stating that “This fabric cannot be used for any commercial product without express written permission from the designer.”

    When I worked for a fabric company, designers were paid a royalty based on number of yards sold. I don’t know who owned the design rights to the product.

    If this happens, quilters could only buy the fabric for making their own quilts or they would have to do custom quilts where the customer purchased the fabric and hired the quilter as the labor.

    How can we make a difference? We could boycott the fabrics from designers who have this deal thereby reducing the sales and forcing the fabric companies to negotiate better deals or quit producing fabric by that designer.

    Since so many quilters either make a living or supplement their household income by selling their work, we don’t want the industry to remove that option for us.

    If this suit proceeds, it could ruin many lives – those of fabric manufacturers, book publishers and quilt shops not to mention individual quilters.

  73. Kris Garst says:

    I’m so very sorry you’re dealing with this!

    I’ve had to deal with my work being stolen before, and I could see them contacting you if you were claiming the designer’s work as your own, but your situation with this designer is universes away from that, and the designer’s actions don’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

    I’m as protective of my creations as the next person, but I would be doing backflips of joy if someone featured a fabric I designed as part of a tutorial or pattern, much less in a book! Not only is it free publicity, but it’s a direct path to people buying my fabric, so I fail to see why this wasn’t a win-win scenario for the designer in question.

  74. Renee says:

    Ok I am not an author, fabric designer, pattern maker, etc… In fact I usually design all my own quilts using batiks or almost solids, BUT this is ridiculous!!! Just like the girl who started the online petition against fees by BoA, if this prevails we quilters are a pretty big community. A social media blitz could end this designers career. I don’t understand why someone would do something like this. But I am praying that cooler heads prevail!

  75. Liz Hawkins says:

    Wow. Just wow. This is so sad and outrageous all at the same time. I can’t even comprehend what this designer must be thinking! And I’m trying to imagine a quilt world where peeps no longer use “designers” fabrics for fear of being sued….what a terrible and unhappy world that would be.

    Stay strong. Don’t let this ruin your creative spirit! Hoping for a quick and positive resolution.

    All the best,

  76. Yvonne says:

    You were wise not to let this designers name be known at this time, but it will get out and I can assure you that they will never design anything that I will ever purchase. I will gladly burn any of their fabric if it is in my stash. The world does not need this sort of crap.

  77. lawana says:

    I admire your decision to not “name names”. I agree that this is the most senseless bit of rubbish I have heard in a great while. I guess if I were to make something, quilt or craft, using their fabrics and sell it, I would be sued?
    So when you can release the designer’s name, it would be appreciated, as many of us would not want to get sued for using their fabrics, which is basically what I see is happening here. Meanwhile, our thoughts are with you and yes I will pray that this goes away soon and that you are vindicated and your company survives this. And shame on the manufacturer for not have the b______ to stand behind their decision to encourage you to use the fabric.

  78. This is such bullshit! As a fabric designer, I have always felt it was an honor that my designs are used in projects in various books and magazines. So much so, I promote the projects on my blog, radio show,, lectures, classes, etc. Feel free to use my stuff whenever you like, and liberally. By the way, you know me, I’d be naming names, sister. xoxom

  79. Nurseli says:

    That is just awful and sounds like greed at its best. So sorry. Have you thought about incorporating your business so that no one can go after (sue) you (protects your personal assets). I know my ex-husband did this for his business because there are just too many crazies out there. I wish I knew more about it (incorporating) and the law to help! Hang in there, greed never gets anyone anywhere and maybe the backlash will be enough to make them stop. I’ll pray this goes away.

  80. Joy says:

    The Manufacturer elected not to get involved?? It seems the whole issue was caused by them. Wouldn’t they have an agreement with designers that they will do whatever they can to gain some free advertisement of their designs? It would seem having a fabric in one of your books would be a win/win…for ALL involved. So odd.

  81. I am a textile designer who is aspiring to have my designs picked up by a major manufacturer. What I would give to have someone use my designs in a quilt or other item! I would be so proud that someone would want to use my designs and it would give me the exposure I so badly want! I’ve always found everyone in the quilting world to be so supportive and giving. I cannot imagine the person who initiated the action has been a part of this world for very long. (I’ll give him/her the benefit of the doubt.) In any case, I am purchasing your books as a show of solidarity! They look great! I am surprised I hadn’t seen them before. I already see something that will fit an idea I’ve been gathering fabric for.

    I wish you the best throughout all of this!

  82. Kari Ramsay says:

    I am so sorry this has happened. I simply don’t understand how this has happened. I want you to know you are always welcome to use my fabric for your books and patterns. I welcome it as a matter of fact because it is a huge compliment. I wish it had been taken as a compliment by the other person.
    I will pray this issue gets dropped in a hurry. Good luck my friend.

  83. Jaye says:

    I guess we all need to go out and buy the book really quick before it gets removed (not that I wish that!). That would provide support for you. 😉

    OK, seriously (though buying the book is a serious comment), this could have serious implications for future books. Will all quilt samples be made with solids only or all muslin or hand-dyed fabrics? If publishers have to get permission for use of all fabric in books, it will really increase the price of quilt books. Also, it could be that fabric designers will be required to give up more rights for their designs (such as allowing manufacturers to send out fabrics for whatever project or book they wanted).

    Good luck. Take it easy and I am glad you are being supported.

  84. kathy says:

    Wow Emily, I’m completely shocked at this news. I don’t believe the designer has any legal footing for a lawsuit based on all the cases I’ve read. Even the NFL and Disney have been unsuccessful in attempting to keep people from making things and selling them with fabric that contains their licensed designs. Unfortunately, the reality is an expensive and stressful situation for you as a designer regardless of the merit of the case. Thank goodness C&T (and their lawyers!) are part of this as well.

    Will be waiting like everyone else to see the public record of the parties involved and the detail of the claim. It really is shocking and something all of us who design & publish patterns want to understand. Good luck and hang in there!

  85. Karen Fridy says:

    Ditto what everyone has already said. It’s outrageous!! I’ve started self-publishing patterns…I guess I will be remaking everything in my own hand dyes before I put anything else out to market. But then, will I have to credit the manufacturer of the dyes? The company who wove the fabric? The mill who made the threads from which it is woven? The farmer who grew the cotton? God for the earth in which the cotton grew?

    I hope the whole industry is taking note of this. You can’t expect to sell fabric if this is what’s going to happen to the purchaser…And as much as I love going into quilt shops and ooohing over all the choices, those shops won’t keep their doors open if people don’t buy the fabric.

    Hang tough and fight this! I can’t imagine how they have a legal leg to stand on.

  86. Thank you for writing about your situation. Big coping hugs to you. Sadly this kind of thing makes me want to stay away from buying fabrics, from creating..I believe in copyright, but where does it all end. Again hugs and hang in there!

  87. Aubrey Packham says:

    This is craziness! This designer must not be able to see very far down the road, because having your fabric in a book means free advertising, which leads to sales, which lead to fabric/designer popularity, which leads to more opportunity, which leads to more money… you get the picture. It seems obvious to me that this is part of the desirable cycle any designer would want to be in.

    Your designs are awesome! You can get through this! 🙂

  88. Kristin L says:

    Ditto what everyone else has said about the craziness of designing fabric but seemingly not wanting anyone to actually use it. On top of that, I don’t get the point of “protecting” the designs from publication since fabric collections come and go at the speed of light these days. By the time a book hits the stores, half the fabrics used for samples are already sold out. Case in point, a book that just came out with a quilt in a fabric that’s been out of print for nearly two years. Suing an author or publisher for using a fabric that’s. O longer available is like closing the barn door after the horse has run out. This whole thing is crazy all around.

  89. Oh my. I am SO sorry you’re dealing with this. I know how much work I put into my tutorials, and how much work it is to just write the book proposal, let along the book. You poor gal, that just SUCKS.
    What a sad, sad world we live in where a Designer’s first instinct is to hire lawyers and start suing the shite out of the little guy WITHOUT DOING THEIR HOMEWORK FIRST (i.e. contacting the Manufacturer and finding out the story behind it & dealing with it in an appropriate manner.)
    Well, I hope it turns out well for you and soon. We’re all behind you!

  90. Linda S says:

    Whoa. Now we’re supposed to design all of our own fabric? This is insanity. Does the designer not realize that, instead of seeing your lovely project and being excited about buying his/her fabric to make the project, that if the name were to be made public, most of us would never buy one thread of said-designer’s fabric again, just because of their sheer meanness? It’s a sad day when bickering (involving lawyers) breaks out amoungst quilters.

  91. Melissa says:

    (A) Mark’s first sentence was awesome. 🙂 You know all of us agree, right?

    (B) I think that instead of burning any of this designer’s fabric we have (once we know who it is), we should all MAIL IT BACK to him/her!! Thereby proving, without a doubt, that we choose to not sew with that fabric. We choose to not have it in our stash. We choose to not even let it touch our fingers. Ever. Again.

    (C) Can’t wait to see how this plays out. You know it will end in your favor, it’s just super crappy that you’re having to go through this at all.

  92. Diane KNott says:

    Um…I’m a fabric designer. And I thought that is what fabric is designed FOR! To use in the creation of a quilt. If someone used my fabrics in a quilt and published it in a book or magazine (which they have, numerous times!), I’d be SO GLAD that the quilt designer loved my designs so much that they would want to use it. It would stimulate sales of my fabric, help my manufacturer, and I’d feel very complimented by the quilt designer and hope she would choose my designs again.

    I welcome opportunities to have my fabric designs used in this manner. If I didn’t, what would be the purpose of designing fabric? The reason is to create things from it, not hide it away. Everyone wins when designs are used in this manner.

    I am so sorry to hear that you are having to meet this challenge.

  93. Holly Knott says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. Your stomach must feel ill. So why is it acceptable to use their fabric in products like tote bags, clothing, etc., and sell them *for profit* on a small scale but using them to illustrate a pattern in a book is not? As a book author, also with C&T, I feel for you. My mother, Diane Knott, posted above, and I LOVE seeing her fabrics included in products in quilting books and magazines. Plus, aren’t there fabric mfgrs selling solids and basic prints like stripes? Maybe they’ll all sue us for using “their” color in a pattern shape.

  94. Katie says:

    First, let me say that I’m a new fan of your work, but I love your patterns and designs!

    Second, I think it’s ridiculous that this designer has made the decision to sue. I own plenty of quilting and sewing books, and the fabrics aren’t listed one-by-one, not even the designers! It would be tedious to do so. I’m sure this designer’s work is featured in other books as well; are those authors to be sued as well? I think that this designer, if and when they’re made public, has a lot of explaining to do – I doubt anyone would buy their fabric to make anything, even a pattern they provided for purchasers of their product. The quilting community is close-knit for sure – and I’m pretty sure they’re all behind you on this one!

  95. Kirsty says:

    It’s hard to imagine what the designer thinks they could possibly achieve with this insanity! Nuts. Just nuts.

  96. Jan says:

    This is INSANE! My best response to this is to buy both your books….I saw this on FB, so I hope the word spreads and the folks in your corner increase exponentially.

  97. Sandi says:

    This is just so sad. You created a quilt that showcased a designer’s fabric and now that designer doesn’t want to be showcased? This makes me wonder……..just what did she think people would do with her fabric? She simply must have no clue. Now that said……..I have no idea who the designer may be, but I had an interesting experience a few years ago when I showed another pattern designer a quilt I was working on. When they saw who the fabric designer was, they warned me that I should not use that designer’s fabrics in a cover photo for a pattern. This pattern designer vended at Market (something I’ve only attended once) and had heard this fabric designer did not allow her fabrics to be used in others designs for patterns. I decided that the project I was working on would be for my own use and started another one in Mark Lipinski’s fabrics. And his message on this thread assures me that he will be just fine if I use his lines on my pattern cover. 🙂 I hope this gets settled in your favor.

  98. bill selles says:

    looks like a case of greed overtaking common sense

  99. Khris says:

    This is just craziness…what in the world is wrong with the fabric designer to want to do this to you….doesn’t make sense that she wouldn’t want her fabric promoted in a book like yours….I know that many quilters would be and will be disgusted with this and if we knew who it was we would choose not to buy their fabric….best of luck to you with this issue.
    Hugs Khris

  100. Stephanie H says:

    Wow! I know there are a lot of authors and designers that are just stunned about this, as this is such a warm and inviting community.

    Just as they are so stunned at the thought of this, what does this mean for the average quilter like me? I use many different fabrics from many designers and I create my quilts happily with patterns and sometimes I design my own patterns. Now, while I don’t have a book or anything, does this also mean that I can’t take photos of my quilt and post pics on my blog or flickr or FB or give a tutorial on how I made it? I may not be making money on it right now or at anytime in the future, but would someone sue me for having it online? LOL I pose these questions, because I think this is SO riduculous!

    I am soooo sorry you are having to go through this and I do hope it all ends very soon with a good outcome for you! Please stay positive!

  101. Sandra Henderson says:

    Wish we could play ” Get the guest” ! I am sure we all will….
    Money, money, money….that is what everything comes down to. Hope in the end that this person is haunted by their own actions, via folks from their past tracking them down and holding them accountable for where every one of their photos were taken and not given credit, people who helped them and never were acknowedged, etc, etc. They are truly opening Pandoras Box here.

  102. As a designer who also uses fabrics provided by manufacturer’s augmented by fabrics from my stash, I would like to know the name of this fabric designer so I can take ultra-care not to use any of their fabrics in quilts I design for my books. I hope the fabric manufacturer is also having a serious discussion with this fabric designer. How will they promote the designer and her fabrics if they cannot be used for publication?

  103. As a children’s book illustrator and a fabric designer, I am flabbergasted at this. Doesn’t the designer understand the meaning of great exposure and PR and increased sales? As many of us know, sometimes our collections are out for a relatively short time and then go out of print. Having that fabric used in a book of quilt designs gives it added life, as well as name recognition for the designer. I hope this ends well for you!

    BTW, how is this different from when someone uses our fabric designs in articles they photograph and sell on Etsy? I am always thrilled to see my fabrics used!

  104. PLEASE – use my fabric next time!

  105. Jan Krentz says:

    As a fellow C&T Author and quilter, I am upset for you to have to go through this tension, uncertainty and legal wrangling. Frequently the world of publishing, pattern designing and fabric use leads us all into a tumultuous world. I am praying calm minds will prevail, and all of this will be sorted out. The fabric designer IS getting great exposure by having their designs featured in your quilts. You have a great following, and many loyal customers.

    I, for one, own all of your books! Thank you for your youthful enthusiasm! Please use MY fabric line – Hollyhock Garden (Timeless Treasures Fabrics) too!

  106. happy zombie says:

    I have given a lot of thought to this post, and my initial reaction (and response) was that this post is about a fabric being used in a quilt. If that is the case, I’d be totally on board (and thrilled) with my fabric being used in quilt(s) for a book. I stand by my offer to mow anyone’s lawn and wash their car if they’d like to ever use my fabric in a quilt for a book.

    Since it’s not said what actually happened and what the suit is about (honestly, I feel like this isn’t any of my business to begin with) – I was completely wrong to assume the worst about the unknown designer. And I feel like total crap about it. I was wrong and I am deeply sorry, and I sincerely hope all parties involved come to quick and happy resolution. I feel bad for all of you.

    For the record, I don’t know who it is or what this is all about… but I do know that if my artwork (that is mine, and copyrighted, and only licensed to the fabric company I design for to use for a limited time) is used in a way (like on a commercial products like, clothing, stationary, bags, lunch boxes, etc.), that I have not given permission to, or credited for, or will reap any sales from… that is something entirely different. Just want people who are commenting that if they’re worried about using designer fabric in their quilts and patterns to know the difference and not to worry, and know it’s a heart swelling thrill to see something you’ve created used in a quilt, especially when it’s made with love and often given to someone with love.

  107. Jeanell says:

    As Rashida said “I can’t even fathom why a designer would basically commit quilt industry suicide…” Since that is exactly what will happen when and if the name becomes public. Glad I have my books already :). I hope you consult with a lawyer and that it is the best money you ever spent. Hope you have a speedy and favorable resolve.

  108. Kerry says:

    Craziness! If you can’t use the fabric, what are you supposed to do with it? Hang it on the wall? Just crazy…
    Good luck and I hope you soon have a positive outcome. I also hope someone on the bench (if it goes to trial) has the good sense not to set such a stupid legal precedent as this!

  109. Bari says:

    Hi Emily. I’m so sorry this is happening. I would sure like to know how the fabric was used, like Monica was saying. Clearly on a quilt or in a pattern it would be totally acceptable and I’d be thrilled to pieces for my fabric to be used in that way.

    I do hope this comes to a resolution quickly! Lots of love,

  110. Linda Pearl says:

    Hi Emily…

    I just read about this, and I wanted to add my voice in here. I’m sorry that you have been sued, and that the designer has taken this route. I’m also astonished that the fabric manufacturer has the option of ‘not getting involved’. I hope this is resolved (in your favor) quickly.

    Best encouragement, and I hope to hear closure soon


  111. Linda says:

    Depending on how your lawsuit comes out I will NOT be purchasing any fabric that says “NOT FOR COMMERCIAL USE”. This is truly crazy!! Praying for you that it is resolved in your favor! Which will also be OURS!


  112. Megan says:

    This is so completely bogus, Emily! I know it’s a designer that also designs patterns. However, THIS time they’ve screwed the pooch! I was on the phone with a well known Illinois designer last week and a very similar thing has happened to her. She is livid! Hang in there!

  113. Belinda says:

    This is indeed a nerve wracking situation for you to be dealing with. I’m so glad that your publisher is supporting you. Since you’re saying the fabric was used in a quilt and therefore the purpose for which it was designed, I’m totally flabbergasted.
    Hang in there and know that everyone supports you.
    I think Mark’s right, name before they gag you.

  114. Amy says:

    What in the HECK is this world coming to?! SERIOUSLY!!

  115. Pam says:

    I’m praying for you and the manufacturer … it is unreasonable for the designer of fabric to dictate how and when we use the fabric itself. Copyrighting the design on the fabric is entirely understandable; however, dictating the use for the fabric is like being told that the car I just purchased cannot be painted or that ownership cannot be transferred. Arggghhhh! praying you will prevail in any case!

  116. Stephanie says:

    The manufacturer that sent you the fabric presumably has a deal with the fabric designer. I fail to see how the manufacturer can ‘decline’ to be involved. They ARE involved. And I really cannot imagine how you, using lawfully obtained fabric, can be liable for your use of that lawfully obtained fabric. I know you don’t want to name the designer, but….it’s kinda like a rape victim who knows the name of her attacker but won’t give it up, leaving other potential victims available to him. If any of us were to use this designer’s fabric, we could also be victims of these baseless lawsuits. And it’s clear to us all, you have been royally scr#@ed.
    Really now, if I write the great American novel, do I have to pay Microsoft AGAIN for the use of my word processor, the computer and printer manufacturers, as well as the maker of the paper used in the printer? They were already compensated when I purchased the items.
    Stand up and fight. I’m with you.

  117. cheri c says:

    U-N-R-E-A-L… had NO idea that could even happen… sending good wishes your way!!

  118. Caron says:

    Wow!!! Now I’m nervous, as I just started on my third book! I hope this nightmare clears up for you soon.

  119. David Haynes says:

    It seems everyone assumes you’ll lose. I’m sorry that Lawyers are involved and the basis of the suit seems to be greed. However I think they will lose and have to pay damages, as they are wrong in the assumption that they own the rights to image after it is sold to the Manufacturer. Once it is released to the “public” it becomes public. If you were fobbing it off as your design they’d have a leg to stand on, as is this is a white collar thug, trying to extort money of you. A Judge will listen, and then rule against the designer’s Lawyer and award you damages. Take heart, have courage.

  120. When all is said and done, I hope you can name said designer. We can then boycott said designer and she/he can see their profits disappear. Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face—s/he and attorney are seriously shortshighted. Hugs!

  121. Pam says:

    So sorry this happened. You may want to do research on this particular line of fabric and see what other publications (incuding e-publications) have had this fabric in their publication. I’m wondering if your publisher has had this issue before. It is sad that they feel the need to pursue this matter. I know a good intellectual property attorney in Seattle (have used him before) if you need one. I’d be happy to help in the research, I’ve done that before as well.

  122. Pam says:

    I was wondering how the designer’s contract with the manufacturer reads regarding marketing of “their” fabric. Perhaps this is something that new designers/designers renewing their contracts should have added so as to forestall any future issues.

    I hope this works out well. I love your Scrap Republic book and will be out to get any others you have also.

  123. EEEEEEK!! Emily – this is awful and I can’t believe this would not be throw out as a frivolous lawsuit. My first book not using only my own hand-printed cloth has just come out and I am horrified that this kind of thing can happen — and more horrified that it has happened to you! I am sure it will be sorted out but if this kind of thing can happen once, it is frightening. I have never heard of such a thing.

    So sorry you have to go through all of this – and know that I am with you, too. Thank goodness C&T, who are so terrific, are behind you. But they don’t need this aggravation, either. Shame on the manufacturer for not getting involved. It is THEIR designer, after all!

    Count me as one of your strong supporters – and will stay tuned for a happy ending to this disgusting situation.

  124. mary tabar says:

    Occupy Quilting! We are the 99% and will get some action for you Emily! Keep us posted please.

  125. Leena says:

    Is she/he expecting to give permission everytime some quilt designers wants to use her/his fabric in their design….even if to put on a blog even? This is utterly ridiculous!!! I am so apalled with this lawsuit….it’s already enough we’ve heard about ridiculous lawsuits with the celebs and to include this… another thing altogether….And to even say that the current remedies is NOT ENOUGH …and demanding more $ .. I think the objective here is not protecting the IPR…but more of trying to rip you off ur $ so that she/he could get fast profit….

  126. Jen Eskridge says:

    Oh wow! It makes me so nervous that this is even a possibility- especially when the manufacturer SENT you the fabric. And then does the designer go through every book/pattern that has ever used their fabric and ask everyone to stop? Insanity. Good luck and I’m pullin’ for ya! ~jen

  127. Bert in Rice, WA says:

    I see several famous names adding their comments of support. Maybe your next book should focus on their fabrics — The Legal Defense Fund Collection.

    Seriously, I’m rooting for you.

    I’m confused how the manufacturer can choose non-involvement since they are [presumably] contracted with the designer AND sent the fabric to you.

  128. Melissa says:

    Wow, just, wow. I can’t believe this, and I hope the judge throws this crap out the window if it does go to court. Ridiculous.

  129. Ellen Ban says:

    Emily, I’m so sorry you are having to deal with this! Really ridiculous & unbelievable!! Please don’t let this destroy Carolina Patchworks and your creative spirit. You are an amazing designer and your sense of color has so inspired me! Love both your books and will continue to support you wholeheartedly!

  130. Judy Knox says:

    This dingbat designer seems to have forgotten about the power of the internet. There is the chance that a tsunami of ill will and/or ridicule could come crashing down on the dingbat’s head once his or her name becomes public knowledge.

  131. I am very sorry to hear that you had to open such a letter and the shock it must have given you. I do hope this has not affected your health.

    It is common for litigators to sue everyone that can be remotely involved in a dispute even if there is little chance of them getting anything out of them if it went to court. There must be more to this than is obvious at this stage and it is possible that the whole process has been set in place by business management, lawyers, agents or some such that are supposed to look after the designer’s copyright. The publishers will have experienced lawyers to deal with this. Hopeing all goes well but it certainly takes the joy and charm out of quilting and life.

  132. Anymart says:

    If I understand this correctly, this is incredible. Fabric is designed to be used, the manufacturer gave you the fabric, and you used the fabric in a quilt for a book.

    These kinds of lawsuits is exactly what we’re afraid of in the Netherlands: outrageous extreme law suits about cases that are so obviously logical. Fabric is to be used, and when the manufacturer and designer are mentioned in the book, what more is needed? And when the lawyers come in, reason is out.

    I do not know whether you win or lose, I hope this can be arranged in a normal way and the manufacturer will stand up and help you out. Sending good vibes your way.

  133. Jessica says:

    I really, really, hope that someday I know which designer is doing this, so that I can promptly pitch any fabric I have from said designer, and never ever buy any more.

  134. Bill Kerr says:

    Emily, I’m saddened that this has happened to you. While I have no doubt that you will prevail, it is a colossal waste of your wonderful talent to spend time this way. I hope that it does not undermine your faith in the industry as a whole because I’m sure you’re feeling burned right now.

    Know that you’ve got legions of supporters who are behind you. I admire you for handling the matter both civilly and professionally in the public forum of your blog. It speaks highly of you and is yet another reason I know you’ll prevail.

  135. Sheila says:

    I can’t even remotely understand what the problem is with what you did. I hope that this goes away quickly. Lawsuits are so stressful, and expensive, and are so often about harassment rather than actual justice. 🙁

    And I hope that you can elaborate a little better at some point. Not in the “pointing fingers” sense, but in the “how to protect yourself” sense for us aspiring designers. This sounds like a minefield that others could easily step into.

    I’m sending positive thoughts your way. 🙂

  136. Andrea says:

    If you mention the desginer, we can rally together, collect all said designer fabric and mail it back to said designer – if s/he has a problem with you using it, well, we all have a problem using it – s/he can have it alllll back!

  137. Oh Emily! I just want to run over and give you a giant hug. I heard through the blog grapevine about this dust up and I’m just so saddened that you’re having to go through this. The logic of the manufacturer and the designer simply escapes me and I can’t fathom how he/she thinks this course of action is either logical, fair or good for their business.

    An absolute gi-normous ‘shame on you’ to the designer who’s putting you though this. The greed and callous treatment of another member of the creative community is really quite revolting. As a fabric designer who actually as one my fabric collections featured in your LOVELY book, I can speak from direct experience that I was absolutely OVER THEMOON excited and honored to be a small part of your truly wonderful labor of love. My blood is just boiling for you and I’m just sickened knowing that you’re having to go through this.

    Stand firm and know that we are ALL behind you 150%. And if there is anything at all that any of us can do to support you, just ask. We’re all here to support you! Sending you nothing but the best wishes for a speedy resolution to all this ugliness.

  138. Jeanell says:

    If enough designers end up posting here I suppose by process the of elimination we will know who it is.

  139. Mary says:

    WOW. I really hope the name comes out. I will vow right now not to use that designer’s fabrics anymore if the name comes out (and since lawsuits are court records, I’m willing to bet it will). If I were you, I would also not want to promote the manufacturer if they cannot stand with you since you were doing them a favor including their fabrics! I am a fledgling pattern designer (Thank goodness I have mostly used just solids!!!).

    I’m really sorry this is going on. It’s a terrifying prospect for all. Best of luck.

  140. Kyla says:

    I hope they are going after all the blogs that will have used pictures of the fabric as well. Why even produce the fabric if you don’t want it used. jerks. I hope you release the name as well!!!

  141. Vanessa says:

    Wow SERIOUSLY!?!?! As a fellow designer, I am perplexed. I wish you could say who this designer is because I would love to boycott their fabric.

  142. Susan says:

    We are missing a BIG point here…. this is not about designer, manufacturer or publisher…. this is about MONEY and LAWYERS….. someone will not back down as it means the lawyer will be out of work…

    I can open any book I purchased this year and name “lines” of fabric in various pictures. I guess one is suppose to get a letter from anyone who designs fabric that says yes their fabric can be used in projects / publications.

    You know at church any song that is sung has to have been given permission by the artist for us to sing??? Some “assistant” does this for hours and hours at a time as you know “follow up” takes forever.

  143. j. says:

    Wow. I suppose it was only a matter of time something like this happened. I’m kind of late to the story, having been linked to it from another blog, but I suppose the next ridiculous thing will be that as a pattern designer, you have a few choices:

    1. Use God awful 1980’s Boogie Fever fabrics from now on, or old linens, etc., to continue with your process.
    2. Dye or create your own fabric utilizing blank bolts.
    3. Create your own disclaimer that requires signatures from the manufacturer, the designer, the designer’s children and future grandchildren and the family dog before ever accepting free bundles to use with your patterns and FREE promotions of their products.

    I’m sorry you’re going through this. Nothing like a bit of unwarranted stress to accompany the usual holiday fervor.

    Best wishes.

  144. Nelly Kelly says:

    Just wanted to add my belated concern and hugs… It’s especially hard when creative people don’t support one another, let alone attack one of their own, which is how I see this. Your restraint in keeping the other party’s name confidential is admirable. Although I know it would make things worse, I don’t think I could make myself keep quiet. Your classiness is yet another inspiration from you! I keep thinking that the whole idea of designing fabrics is to have them sewn, and not only did you sew it but you inspired others to use it in future projects. Maybe this designer should be working in a different medium. I’ll keep you both in my prayers. I was glad to see that your focus has remained on your little snuggler, no one needs this kind of stress eating at them. God bless!

  145. Tim says:

    I would like to know the name of the designer and the name of the manufacturer. I will not use any of their products again ever! You can e-mail me privately if you like.

  146. Jo Hull says:

    Does this mean that fabric is not to be used any longer for quilts or to make clothes? We all love our stash so I guess all we can do now is just love it and not use it. What a worthless suit by the designer. Does she/he not wish their fabric to be used in anyway.

  147. LinneaMarie Quilts says:

    i am voting with my $$$, and won’t EVER buy any of her fabric!!! You are a doll Emily, and I am so sorry this has to happen to nice people!
    Quite a few of the long arm chat groups are talking………..and naming!
    I am another admirer in YOUR corner!

  148. Nicola says:

    I wonder how you would have felt if the fabric designer had used one of your quilts to publicise her designs without attributing it? I feel your publishers have really let you down, Emily. Yours is not the first quilting book they’ve ever published!

  149. Maeve says:

    This is incredibly ridiculous! Emily, I absolutely LOVE your Scrap Republic book and your work. I just have fun quilting, sometimes for family, sometimes for charity. In thinking about this entire issue, I just can’t see how any quilt artist could in the future use any designer’s fabric for projects in a quilt book – and how boring would THAT be? We quilters love to see how the fabrics are being used and that gives us inspiration. If we visit blogs and online fabric stores enough, we know whose fabric line is being used and we are ready to run right out and buy it so our project will look like the one in the book. I just don’t get it – what can this designer get out of this? I for one will eliminate her fabric from my stash AND not buy any of her future fabric lines, period. She has ruined HER future as an artist, and I support you 100%. You are so creative and I truly admire your work!

  150. Sandra Beck says:

    Downright jealousy on anothers part. God will be there to protect you and never worry leave it in His hands. Love you lady. Continue the good work.

  151. Brenda says:

    I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous!Hope everything works out for you. As my Mom always said you’ll have to “Rise above it.”Thoughts are with you.

  152. TexasQuiltLady says:

    I applaud the designers who have spoken up in your defense. They are paid for their designs and should not be compensated again by whatever the consumer chooses to do with fabric after they “buy” the fabric. If that is allowed, potentially ever item ever purchased (fabric or otherwise) could be the cause of a lawsuit if it is repurposed….which just doesn’t make sense. If I “BUY IT”, I think that should give me the right to do whatever I want with that purchase. Stand proud, keep your head up and know that most of the quilting world is behind you.

  153. ruthiequilts says:

    Wow! I am amazed that this has happened. Does this mean designers can’t use anyone’s fabric to demonstrate their patterns? This is just crazy! I’m with everyone else! Stay strong!

  154. Lori says:

    That is just crazy. I say you name the designer so we can all benefit by not purchasing their fabric lines. Maybe that will prevent any other designer from doing such a stupid act and put the designer that is sueing you out of business. I certainly would not buy their fabric lines.

  155. Linda Clark says:

    I’m with the rest of the group on this. If this is not resolved quickly (speaking relatively of course, since this is already heading into 5 mo.), I hope you publish her name from the rooftops. That $150,000 will be the last money she sees from anything related to quilting. And I agree with the commenter who brought it all back to the lawyers. Unfortunately greed has taken over the hearts of many. But, ultimately, the designer is the one with the power to end this all…TODAY. I would send her a link to this blog and all the comments and see if it can’t shake some sense into her. If she calls an end to it now, she may be able to save face, and after proper apologies, may receive forgiveness from the quilting community…heaven help her if she doesn’t.

  156. VChang says:

    I guess we need to start checking for the “personal use” mark on fabric if we are going to make a raffle quilt and try to get permission, just like we get permission from the pattern maker. I think, though, in the case of fabric that most quilters will just opt to use other fabric. This is totally out of hand. Wow.

  157. Z Albert says:

    I am not one to read the selvedge before purchasing fabric ~ at least that is till our group had a problem. We purchased yardage of a particular fabric after which we noticed that the selvedge stated ‘License required for any use beyond personal consumption’ We had not decided the eventual use of the quilt we were making and decided that using this fabric was far too restrictive. Some individual members purchased bits of the fabric so we recouped some of our expense. It was a lesson learned and we will never purchase fabric by this designer again.

    I think there is something about wills that you can’t designate beyond the grave and I believe the fabric industry needs a similar law – designers who market their fabric have received payment and should not be designating how it is to be used.
    They may not like it if I make a horse blanket out of it and my horse wins the Kentucky Derby but I don’t think they deserve a share of my winnings. Maybe I should state horse blanket made from fabric designed by “`Bridle, a product of ….., Jockey’s shirt fabric designed by…. etc, etc,
    This whole thing has gotten completely out of hand~
    In my opinion Fabric manufacturers need to establish regulations for their designers and have them sign off before they go into production.

  158. A Wong says:

    This whole “kerfluffle” could have been avoided by not taking short cuts and being careful about listing designers names and fabric line names, and contacting the designer before going ahead with plans for publishing and marketing the book. The comments which say that the designer should be happy for the additional publicity miss the point that there is none if the designer’s name and fabric line are not mentioned. Especially if the two parties “know” each other, this seems to be simply a matter of common courtesy.

    Many lawyers and patent/trademark/copyright attorneys make their livings dealing with issues of intellectual property. It is a complex and grey area. But to impugn a designer for efforts to protect her intellectual property are ignorant and counter-productive.

  159. Jessica says:

    It’s interesting that as part of the designer’s contract with the manufacturer of the fabric that consent for distribution & use wasn’t addressed in some way. This should’ve made it very clear that since the manufacturer sent the fabric on the suggestion of the designer of the fabric that it would be ‘assumed consent’ that the fabric may be used in a project that would appear in a publication. Otherwise why in the world would they allow or request the fabric to be sent.
    It’s not a judgement on whether a fabric should or shouldn’t be used but if it’s sent then you’d think that it’s might be used (common sense). From the publishing company standpoint, I guess that means that anytime a fabric is used then the designer will need to give specific consent to appear in a certain publication, or maybe in the future there will be a blanket consent form to be signed. To bad there has to be so much attention paid to CYA type contractual items, instead of a common sense approach, but so it goes in our sue happy society.

  160. Wilma says:

    Bleepin GREED and human nature should be stuffed into a garbage bag and floated down the river. We buy fabric, we make things from fabric—WE BOUGHT THE FABRIC!!! and so WHY do we have to look over our shoulder to see who is lined up in the Sue department.
    Just let us be who enjoy this line of productive hobby!!!!!!!!!

  161. Shannon says:

    I believe that once your purchased the fabric, it is yours to do with as you wish. I’d check the legal aspects of that. After all, its not like you were trying to pass the fabric off as your own design, or mislead anyone. What about the other thousands and thousands of quilt books out there.. what is the legal precedent for this kind of thing.
    If the designer or her lawyers are reading this blog at all, and I’m sure they are following it, shame on YOU!

  162. Deb in AZ says:

    Perhaps the designer is looking for an easy BIG payday?

  163. Dana says:

    I have read over some of these comments, I think we are missing something here. What is so different than a company called ABC who wants a product launched on -television. They- the product company must pay the media to do that, isn’t that correct? The way I see it, Emily, Kate Spain should be paying you, instead of trying to coward you into a corner. You brought attention to her fabric, albeit you did not mention it, but if we the consumer like it, wouldn’t we have asked? I am quite aware of other publishing companies who never mention the fabric lines the pattern designers create, does this mean if any of them used Kate Spain’s, she would go after them too. I think the problem with the United States is we are all to quick to sue. So Deb in AZ I think you are dead on, Big payday, perhaps!

  164. GA Quilter says:

    Good thoughts and prayers to you Emily.I think Kate Spain has commited fabric suicide.I read her blog and sounds like she is trying to backpedal now.I wiil check all the selvedge labels now and will not buy hers even if it is.50 cents a yard,which it may be after this.

  165. Barbara Manchester says:

    I am so sorry for the whole situation. I don’t think the fabric designer took into consideration just how many quilters would go looking for her designs after seeing a completed quilt in a book (with a pattern to make it). It is unfortunate that this person is so shortsighted. I know you have no intention of revealing this person (so I won’t ask), but I personally, would STOP buying her designs and would let her manufacturer know why. If all quilters did the same (Just over this legal matter) , I think the message would get through!

  166. oh dear! says:

    Personally, I would name names! There is power in social networking and dis a beloved pattern designer and ruin her reputation? Seriously… that fabric designer should be held totally responsible for the kerfuffle and receive the full backlash of the consumer!

    I have no respect for designers who think their designs and behinds should be worshiped! Egads… there are enough potential fabric designers out there that we can shove the “diva’s” out of the way and make room for new ones!

    There isn’t any fabric pattern that is out there right now that I couldn’t live with out! So.. do tell!

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emily cier.

quilts. color. fun. life. seattle.


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