Stealing isn't Cool!

Posted by Ruth on 9 March 2017 | 34 Comments

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It's taken me a little time to write this blog post because I am still in shock-horror of what has happened to me. The purpose of this post is to make my fellow quilters, teachers, and colleagues aware of what is going on. When nothing is said, nothing changes so my hope is that you will spread the word so this sort of behavior doesn't continue. 

stained glass rose designed by Ruth BlanchetThis quilt is one I designed in 2012. I have it published as a pattern and I teach my technique online at academyofquilting.com. A couple of weeks ago it was brought to my attention that a certain person - a so-called quilter, teacher and quilt shop owner, stole my design by making copies of it and giving it out to her students at one of the biggest quilt shows in America. The thing is, she priced it with her own shop details and barcode. How many did she sell or simply give away in class (not to mention her shop), no one knows except her, but for all those she copied, were stolen from me.

What baffles me is, she had the audacity to include my copyright infringement notice, something she totally ignored herself. How can one do that? It's straight out stealing!

And what's more, she couldn't even make her own sample. She gave my photo to the show to advertise her class! 

Yes, I'm upset. My business in quilting is my only source of income and anyone in the quilting business knows how hard it is to make a living from this, but that's no reason to steal. Any honest person would have asked permission to use my design and purchased the patterns. This sort of thing happens way too often and it's time some of the big guns like quilt shows and distributors, stepped in and helped put a stop to it. 

There is nothing wrong with teaching someone else's pattern, but do it the honest way please. Purchase the patterns first, don't steal them.

By the way, I notified the show and I'm yet to hear back from them. I'll update you when I hear more.

UPDATE: I have been able to make contact with the said person and been compensated for the stolen patterns used in her class.

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Comments

  • Had a similar issue, a number of years ago. A guild printed my pattern, including copyright, in their newsletter. I found out quite by accident and sent them a bill for the wholesale price of the pattern times their membership. Received a check in the mail.

    Posted by Barbara, 30/03/2017 1:06am (10 months ago)

  • This is truly terrible. I used to take a lot of classes at Quilt University. It was posted for all to read NOT to give or sell the patterns and/or classes and NOT to teach some one else's class. You are a honest and kind person since you did not tell us the name and shop name that did this. I would have encouraged people not to do business with that person/shop. It is a lovely pattern. Life does not have to be this way. Dishonestly should not be the norm and should not be accepted. I'm glad you spoke out.

    Posted by Peggy Evans, 21/03/2017 8:59pm (10 months ago)

  • Sadly this is the way of life these days. People steal things to make a living, sad that they did not even do all the work. I do not understand how they can live with themselves after they had done it. Obviously they have no conscience. It is a beautiful piece, I commend you. Hope that you find closure with this.

    Posted by HelgA, 13/03/2017 5:07pm (10 months ago)

  • Seems that imitation etc is rife within the handmade community. So incredibly disappointing and heartbreaking for the original maker. And so hard to prosecute or stop them :(

    Your quilt is amazing and originals will always stand out.

    Posted by Lesley, 12/03/2017 1:22am (10 months ago)

  • I hate it when that happens! How awful. I'm not a lawyer, but I have a little knowledge about copyrights from my photography days. The burden is on you. If you do nothing to protect your pattern, you will lose your copyrights. It is a civil matter, this person won't go to jail, but she will have to destroy all copies of the pattern and samples, teaching guides etc at the very minimum.

    Posted by Pat, 11/03/2017 6:52pm (11 months ago)

  • How many other designs has she stolen? Maybe you could band together and sue her.

    Posted by Tillie, 11/03/2017 11:55am (11 months ago)

  • It appears the lady has a bit of a history with "problems" - google her name and business https://www.facebook.com/Bella-Fabrics-214210971923656/

    Posted by Va Steel, 11/03/2017 11:50am (11 months ago)

  • I tested this pattern for you and love it. So sorry to hear this has happened to you.

    Posted by Patty mitchell, 10/03/2017 6:30pm (11 months ago)

  • Several comments suggest that you publish her name and I totally agree with them! Publish her name and quilt shop. Have you contacted her at all? I would warn her that she most stop this "pirating" of your patterns or legal action will be taken. She is a thief!!

    Posted by Sandra Richardson, 10/03/2017 5:26pm (11 months ago)

  • Ruth, I hope that the "show" will investigate. Hope you have contacted this shop owner. It wouldn't cost too much for a legal cease and desist letter to be drawn up and sent to the shop owner, if not already done. Keep all copies of your communication with the show etc, as well. If she has done this with your pattern, how many more designer's patterns has she done this with in her shop?

    Posted by Barbara, 10/03/2017 12:57pm (11 months ago)

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