Carolina Patchworks

Resolution to {An Interesting Read}

Posted on by in Misc

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.

Statement from Amy Marson (Publisher, C&T Publishing)

As Emily mentions below C&T Publishing has agreed to take on an education initiative encouraging our authors to give attribution to fabric designers when a fabric line is prominently featured in a book.  We all love and appreciate beautiful fabric.  Fabric designers take a great deal of time figuring out colors and patterns that will be pleasing to the eye, adding character and movement to a quilt.  And we appreciate the designer’s efforts and whenever possible we want our authors to give them credit.  We also know how much our readers want to know whose fabric is used in the projects. What we can not do is make giving attribution a requirement in our books because we believe it would nearly impossible to enforce due to all the different ways a person obtains fabric that may or may not have the selvage attached.

Our goal is to provide guidance to our authors when they are writing their books to include the designer’s name, fabric line, and manufacturer whenever they think it is appropriate, for example, when an author uses a collection of fabric to make a quilt, or when it is not appropriate, when the quilt is made from many different fabrics.

I believe we are in this business because we have a love of quilting and truly enjoy all the creative efforts that go into the process. I, for one, love good quality gray goods, a clear printing of the designs done by a talented designer, an easy-to-use, well-made sewing machine, great instructions from a graphically pleasing book, and the ability for the individual to make a personal choice about what fabrics are being included, what thread is being used, and how the quilt will be finished.  All of these creative efforts go into crafting a quilt that will be used and loved for generations to come.  So please join me in spreading the word that we want to give credit where credit is due.

Statement from Emily Cier (Carolina Patchworks)

A resolution to the issues detailed in {{this post}} has been reached.  In exchange for some agreements not directly related to the book, as well as the joint efforts I mention below, The Designer has agreed to withdraw their demands with regard to the book. I won’t go into the details of that process here, but I would like to comment on the issue that many folks are concerned about — the implications of this exchange on the use of fabric in published books and patterns.

First of all, there’s no need to panic: I think that everybody would like to make sure that it continues to be practical to use prints in published quilt designs. The way my books use fabric is in line with what I believe to be considered fair use by many in the quilting book industry, and is in line with common practice within that community. How a court would rule on that, naturally, isn’t entirely predictable. But that’s ultimately not the point: the point is that what we do benefits and is fair to everyone involved, and that includes the work of many very talented designers.

The Publisher (C&T Publishing) suggested, and I agree, that it would be worthwhile to launch an initiative to educate authors on how to best credit designers in their books.  Indeed, we all agree that a designer’s work can play a large part in our art, and it’s always a good idea to carefully consider how to best and most fairly make sure that everyone’s rights are acknowledged and respected.  So, C&T Publishing and I are working to put together guidelines on how and where it makes sense to credit designers and other indirect contributors whose work has factored into or even inspired some aspect of a beautiful quilt design’s conception or realization.

When I sat down to write Quilt Remix, there was very little information on what credits should be given where. I scoured every quilting book at the quilt shop and book store and got a feel for what is generally done in that regard, and found that credits were hit or miss, and most often specific fabric lines and designers used in quilts shown in photographs simply were not listed at all; more often just the fabric manufacturer was given.  So, I did what seemed right and matched this practice, and did the same again in Scrap Republic. This new initiative will give authors a fresh resource to not only make this process simpler, but to illustrate the range of ways that designers and other parties can be fairly credited, and help make sure that such considerations don’t slip between the cracks during the authoring process.

Note that this will not and cannot be considered a guarantee that nobody will take offense or even sue, it is merely an effort to make sure authors think about the issues and make every effort to be fair.  We all believe a great deal in our fellow creators’ creations and want to make sure they’re treated like human beings with their own value and concerns, so anything we can do to make sure we all keep that truth in mind can only benefit us all.

Amy Marson (Publisher, C&T Publishing) will have more to say on the details of this initiative in an upcoming Stash Books blog post and internally to C&T authors.

So, in closing, if you are an author with C&T Publishing and have *any* questions, please contact your editor or Amy and they will be able to help. If you’re an author with any other publisher, it’s probably worth talking to your editor about these issues as well.

23 thoughts on “Resolution to {An Interesting Read}”

  1. Thanks for the statement. Love the new cover for your book, by the way.

  2. lyn lewis says:

    Gosh what a traumatic time all round, well …. for all of you.
    Its been an interesting read through events, which I picked up on through a Craftside posting.
    As I said during my divorce…………once lawyers become involved, it can all become less about common sense and more about manouvering and posturing.
    Bring back face to face or direct chat to eachother and rational listening to both sides of each others concerns, as in ANY situation, not just this specifically upsetting event.
    Gosh we learn as we go along and often times, errors are just that..errors with no malicious intent, so great learning tools for us to take stock, rethink and adapt.
    Catty remarks are uncalled for and you hope that, adults should be able to agree, to disagree, with some integrity.

    I confess to rarely buying new fabric ( but not, never… lol ) though I buy lots of books, LOTS of books.
    I use predominently recycled fabrics in my stitching, which I dont sell large scale anyway, small craft fairs to offload some of my stitchings….most I give away or keep.
    So I might have no idea who designed the fabric on a dress bought at a car boot or jumble sale!
    And infuriatingly some folks cut out blessed sizing labels so you dont even know where the item had been bought in the first place!
    (Though as my size increases, maybe I can understand why sizing labels are cut out…lol)
    So you cant back track with the original store to find out whod esigned the fabric either, even if you wanted to.
    I wish all parties well over this and hope it settles but enables us all to rethink and value all the folks who go into the design and production of anything at all.
    And out of fairness I will post this elsewhere too………lol
    Good luck to you both.

  3. Sandra Henderson says:

    This, too, shall make you stronger. GOOD GIRL!~ Hang in there and keep on sewing! Glad you can breath and get on with things.

  4. The good thing that came out of this, is that we are more aware of copyright and how to deal with it. It is a pity it has to be done by threats with lawsuits and all, and that you have been the person to have to deal with it. It must have cost you a lot of sleep. I hope for you, you can take this as a credit to the quilting world, at least for me you have the credits.
    Your great way of communicating about it, no blaming, no shaming, just factual, is great. Kudos for that.

  5. Jane C says:

    While you do an admirable job of “educationing” us on what is happening anf the resolution. Prtsonally I would love to know the name of the designer, so I could avoid using those fabrics. I do understand that is not your position.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Surely, it is ridiculous on the face for a designer to become upset when one uses her product, in this case, fabric, in the manner it was designed to be used (in the making of a useful product, such as a quilt). If I knew who the designer is, I would not use her line of fabric, either. Anyone who has an integrity with such questionable values is not someone with whom I wish to deal.

  7. Rena Holma says:

    I am sick to death of the fuss and furor over copyright. Why are books sold, quilting and embroidery, and then feathers are ruffled when the patterns or designs are reproduced? I did a small quilt for myself and my sister loved it. I did one for her, tongue in cheek , knowing that I was doing something illegal. I do not buy magazines anymore and have enough knowledge to make blocks or design my own patterns so books are going the way of the magazines. I will answer copyright questions by withholding my dollars. When I have used patterns other than my own I have always given credit to the designer in indelible ink on a label–but when I buy a pattern and need to do more than one piece I am just plain disgusted with the stupidity of some third rate hack making money by suing makers of the designs or using fabric from a fabric designer. I have a question–I know of a ” so-called designer” who does embroidery designs from Japanese quilting books, so, is the copyright hers or the designer of the Japanese Quilts? The designs are done on canvas or congress cloth with six strand embroidery threads. Confused as I am?? Rena.

  8. Linda says:

    The fabric designer is Kate Spain and the fabric company is Moda

  9. Deb says:

    HMMM….Maybe Moda didn’t become involved in the case because they decided to take the designers name off of one of their other lines that has become a staple for them.

    There is hope that the designer will get theirs in the end……Moda may eventually do it…although it may be for another reason altogether.

  10. Shayla Sharp says:

    Despite all the hassle and ulcers of lawyers and legal yuck, I think that you and C&T have handled this quite professionally and in a way that will benefit future authors (which one day I hope to be). Having been a pro photographer (and being related to way too many lawyers), I do understand to a certain extent copyright and licensing issues–which is why these posts caught my attention. I would seriously doubt that a judge would uphold the designers view on this because her renderings were not the focus of the image being used, the quilt was–that would be like sueing over a photograph in a frame sitting on a desk in the background of another photo. Now if the tote had a huge image of one of her fabrics plastered across the front, that’d be a licensing issue. People can get ridiculous, and lawyers really help them get there bigger and faster. I am so glad you and C&T will have this educational opportunity for the rest of us to help everyone understand how to handle things prior to problems. I’m very impressed with C&T and glad that this whole mess is done for you–can’t wait to see your next designs!

  11. Cheri says:

    Wow, what a mess. Who’d have thought a fabric designer would object to her fabric being used in anything? Really? Okay, if someone neglected to mention her as the designer, there might be something due her, but the extremes listed in this situation were definitely NOT warranted. I guess I don’t see things the way the designers do…they call it “my fabric line”…and when *I* buy the fabric, *I* think of it as MY fabric in MY fabric stash. I don’t believe at that point that the fabric designer has anything more to say about what I do with the fabric that I bought. Along the same line, if Moda gives fabric for a book project, then that’s the end of what Moda OR the fabric designer have to say about the fabric….sheesh!

    I believe that manufacturers like Moda need to step up to the plate and write into the contracts of their designers…when you sell your fabric design and get paid for it, beyond whatever royalties are a part of your Moda contract, you’re done getting paid. Fabric designers definitely don’t deserve to ride on the coat-tails of the quilt designer who uses the fabric in his/her quilt….the fabric is a means to an end, a consumable commodity. It is nice when books credit the fabric designer, and perhaps they always should; but I also understand sometimes mistakes or omissions are made.. Surely this upheaval and likely demise of one *Kate Spain’s* career, isn’t worth it? I know I won’t buy her fabric ever again, no matter how much I like it….too much negative potential. Who’s to say one day one of my quilts won’t be a focus. Better safe than sorry!

  12. A says:

    I thought the problem was with the tote bags that C&T was selling based on your quilts that used her fabric line.

    I don’t think that anyone is quibbling about making quilts or using them in quilt book. Its the bags that are the problem. (Is C&T giving you money for the totes like they are for the books? If they aren’t & I buy the tote, instead buying the book then you don’t make any money off of your quilt – the fabric designer is in that boat.)

  13. Stefanie says:

    I am glad to hear that you have come to a resolution, and I know it must have been upsetting to receive the notice. I DO think it’s important that everyone be made aware that the real issue seems to be with the tote bags that were (and apparently still are) being marketed along with the book. Although it’s plain to see that the image is a close-up photo of the quilt, that is all that is pictured on the bag. What would attract a buyer is the pretty fabrics featured, which were designed by an artist who wasn’t being compensated for her work. If this was truly supposed to be about the book, I don’t understand why the publisher didn’t choose instead to feature the book cover as the art for the bag.

    We are all artists and it’s important to be respectful of the time, talent and effort we each put into our works. It’s very disappointing to see people making statements about no longer supporting the designer over this. She makes her living by licensing her art and she has a right to protect herself. The publisher would react similarly if someone were to scan their books as PDFs and resell them. I really would have expected them to know better.

  14. Meredith says:

    Credit fabric designers in quilt books where the quilt was designed by the author. What? Are you kidding. They got paid when they designed the fabric. Who will buy her fabric again? I have never bought it becuase I am not a “modern quilter”.

  15. Terry says:

    I heard all about this form you know who. I used to buy her fabric but will be avoiding her from this day forward. Nobody is going to tell me that some of these so called designers are getting a little full of themselves. I have noted in recent months that there are many of these designers who are not as popular as they one were. If they think we are not reading and talking about them, they have another thing coming. I would rather not know who made what, because now when I see their names on anything, even if I liked their product I just don’t buy. And I buy a lot!
    One more thing, if I hear one more time how much WORK they do I will barf.

  16. Monica says:

    There she goes, she is the queen of complaints. This person should win an award for complaining. I am glad I heard about it from a few bloggers. MRS Spain is on the war path. Clearly she does not realize that her outing you only belittles herself. I along with many others have had it with these prima donnas. Good for you for holding your head up high. I adore CT and will continue to be a devoted customer. As far as some of these designers and have you ever noted most come from MODA, must be the culture there, they all seem to be more interested in themselves than their customers. disgusted with them all

  17. Bernie says:

    Kate Spain is a class act. She has no problem with you using “her” fabric, even to sell items on Etsy, with or without credit. It is when mass produced items are sold without her permission, that it can interfere with other licensors she has contracts with, that it poses an infringement. Copyright laws exist to protect artists and their livelihoods. Saying you wont buy her fabrics is misplaced anger. C&T should have know better than to put you (Emily), and Ms. Spain, in this position.

  18. Janet says:

    Kate Spain is not a class act-I got quite a chuckle when she said she “loans” the design to the manufacturer. Obviously she neglects to mention that she was paid for it and from that point on I think a judge would consider it Moda’s. I certainly hope Moda drops her from their lines.
    If she “owns” it let her manufacture it and go through the hassles of finding the way to sell it herself. I think Monica’s comments were right on the nose and I too love CT and I use a great deal of Moda fabrics but I will never spend a dime on anything with Kate Spain’s name on or any other Prima Donna who might surface

  19. Kate says:

    I totally agree with everything Janet wrote above. I was quite a huge customer of this designer….but No more.

  20. Barbara says:

    I do not understand why the designer who initiated all of this is being granted anonymity. Personally, I feel I need to know the designer and the name of the fabric print so I can protect myself when buying fabric with such restrictive conditions attached.

    Has anyone considered how this affects quilts that win cash prizes? It seems to me that the same ‘argument’ that the designer made concerning the book could also apply to quilts that receive a cash prize.

    When I think of how many fabrics may be used in a quilt, how do you pick out which fabrics must be documented, if you even have that information.

    I thought quilting is supposed to be about having fun This one person has certainly cast a shadow over the fun.

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emily cier.

quilts. color. fun. life. seattle.


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