Today, I would like to review the very important topic of copyright for quilters! It is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive!
NOTE-This is an updated post from August, 2017.
My Copyright Information
Have YOU ever read to the end of any of my blog posts? If you have, you will see this:
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thanks!
Copyright is Serious!
In 2017, there was a huge hullabaloo in the online quilt world over the subject of copyright for quilters.
The backstory- the administrator of a large Facebook group made copies of books and online instructions from several quilt bloggers and combined them to create a group project.
The problem — The administrator did it without asking the quilters and without linking to their sites or attributing to them in any way. When a few of the quilters pointed out the copyright infringement, things got rather unpleasant….The authors were berated–their blocks were not original (wonky log cabins) and they were just being bullies. When the authors defended their position, more rude comments followed. Shortly thereafter, the authors were blocked from the Facebook group.
In light of this conversation and the frequent questions I receive, I would like to clarify a few points…
What You Can Do…
I have spent hours (hundreds and hundreds of hours) creating original motifs and providing free tutorials here at Lori Kennedy Quilts. If YOU like the tutorials, the nicest thing you can do is PIN on Pinterest, Share the LINK with your friends, talk about Lori Kennedy Quilts ( (or my books and Bluprint/Craftsy videos) with your guilds, small groups, internet connections, and LIKE and SHARE on Facebook.
Frequently Asked Questions
May I use the motif on my quilts?
May I use the motifs on quilts I make for others?
YES–have fun adding personal touches!
May I use the motifs on quilts I sell or on quilting I do for payment?
YES–be my guest!! You do not need my permission to use any motif at any time.
May I copy the photos and step-by-step tutorials offered free here for my quilt guild?
The photos and the step-by-steps instructions are protected. Copying them in any form and sharing them without attribution (direct link) would be stealing. Contact me if you would like to use a photo or two–Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com.
Copyright for Classic Motifs or Patterns
It seems to me the greatest confusion about copyright is related to quilt patterns and quilting motifs that are classic or very common. For example, I did not invent Spirals -so why should I claim a copyright?
After years of teaching, I came up with a way to describe Spirals and troubleshoot common errors making it easier for some people. I went to the trouble to put it into words and to augment the description with step-by-step photos that make the process clearer–that is what I am copyrighting.
It is the same for the quilt instructors who wrote out the step-by-step to the wonky Log Cabin. They don’t claim to have invented anything. They do cry foul when someone copies their photos and their instructions. After all, the person copying recognizes the description and photos have made it easier to explain–that’s why they copied it!
If you remember that the step-by-step instructions and the photos are what is copyrighted, it makes more sense. Please do not share without attribution.
What about the Quilt-a-longs, Quilt Notebook, posts like Six Ways to Ruin Your Quilt or Twelve Essential Skills Every Quilter Should Know?–you offer them free here. Does that mean we are free to share them?
Share Sources not Patterns
You may freely LINK to any blog post, tutorial or photo. You may use any photo as a LINK–with the watermark–, but printing them for anything except personal use—- no, thank you.
If you would like to print an excerpt in your guild’s newsletter, check with me first. Permission is allowed on a case-by-case basis (and has never been denied)–as long as attribution is given.
All in all, I don’t want to overstate the case. I love to share here at Lori Kennedy Quilts and I’m delighted when I hear you used a motif or an idea or a process and then told your guild to try it too!
But for all the websites you visit….Please recognize the time required to plan, stitch, photograph, process photos, write, and re-write every blog post (not to mention the technical aspects and expenses of maintaining a blog).
If you like something, LINK to it!!!
Be careful and thoughtful about attribution.
For patterns and books — sharing copies is stealing from the author.
We wouldn’t steal fabric from a quilt store…
Share sources, not patterns.
The Soapbox Jaunt is signing out,
PS…LOL—All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy Quilts and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ! For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thanks!