Circles: English Paper Piecing

Inspired (always) by Mary, who blogs at Molly Flanders Makerie, I have had circles on the brain for several months now, hiding behind that other stack of things I’m always yakking about.


from *here*, which also includes a link to her tutorial

I searched through Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of quilt blocks and found quite a few circle blocks that interested me.  I have missed having a handwork project to keep myself busy while I watch movies or chat, so wanted to get one together before I start some of my summer travels.

I drew a circle block template in my QuiltPro program, but wanted a 12″ block.  Um, my printer doesn’t print that big.  So I took a screenshot of a quarter-circle, printed it out four times, then taped it together.  I then took it to my local copy center and had them copy it off at a little less than a buck–not bad, I thought.  Now I can draw a new block every time, experimenting with what I’ve found here and there and saved in my oh-so-old-fashioned paper files out in the garage.  The quarter circle pattern can be downloaded here: QuarterCircle

Circle Quilt Block #1 drawing_1

Notice that the 12″ line is the NOT the outside line, but just inside.  I did it that way to allow for seam allowances, but please don’t let it confuse you.  That curve ruler is leftover from my Clothing and Textiles college days, but you could use a large dinner plate, or other curved edge.

Circle Quilt Block #1 drawing_2

Circle Block #1 is done.  I plan to let this project wend its way through the next several months as I’m doing my part for the Slow Quilt Movement.  (Is there even such a movement?  So often I see someone talking about a block and whoosh!–there it is the full completed quilt two days later. This one won’t be like that.)

Circle Quilt Block #1 drawing_3

I cut it apart into its pieces.  I don’t know if I’ll paper-piece those outside quarter-circles onto the circle block, or appliqué the circle to a big 12 1/2″ square piece of fabric.  Stay tuned.

Barbara SMALL

Tomorrow is my mother’s birthday, and I’m visiting her and taking her out to lunch.  If you haven’t talked to your Mom this week, give her a call.  You may not be as lucky as I am to have a mother celebrate her 86th birthday, so don’t waste any time.  If your mother is still here with you, pick up the phone and read her a poem from your childhood, tell her your best memory of a birthday, ask her forgiveness for a time you were naughty and broke her heart, and close by telling her one way she’s a good example to you.  Happy Birthday to my mother, a beautiful, thoughtful, smart, well-read and intelligent woman who always made our family believe that they were the most important thing on the planet.  Here’s my poem for you:



Happy Memorial Day Weekend

DC WWI Memorial

The District of Columbia World War I Memorial (on the left of the Reflecting Pool, as you face the Lincoln Memorial)

WWII Lincoln Memorial

Sunset, World War II Memorial

Arlington Cemetary Mem DayArlington Cemetery, with all the flags out on Memorial Day.

My husband and I were lucky enough to spend a year in Washington, DC, a formative experience, and that included Memorial Day Weekend, with the Rolling Thunder Ride.  I think I spent most of the day in tears, as we began the day on the bridge leading to the Lincoln Memorial and waved on the riders for a long, long time.  I also visited the Wall (as the Vietnam Memorial is called) and saw all the moments and ribbons and flowers and treasures left there.  Each keepsake will be collected, categorized and saved.  The honor given to those who laid in cemeteries, had names on the Wall, or seeing the aging veterans that flooded the city was intensely moving.

Happy Memorial Day, to all of you.

Vietnam War Memorial Statuette


The Universe Delivers

I'll Call It What I Want To quilt_front detail

So I was pretty bummed about not being able to make up this into a larger quilt, or not being able to use it (see last post for explanation), but then VOILA! that old principle of the Universe Takes Away and the Universe Delivers came into play.


Strolling through my Instagram feed I glimpsed this and made a screenshot, then headed to Sharon McConnell’s website: ColorGirl’s Fabrics & Flowers.  There she not only has more instructions, but also a link to a free pattern on Craftsy. Very sweet.

Teaching SignOff List 2014 SpringNow that I’m through with my semester, looks like a new project to add to my Summer To Do List.

summer-list-2011from *here*

What’s On Yours?

Summer ToDoList2014Spring(I’ve got a few things to get done. . .)

Linking up with Lee of Freshly Pieced

WIP on



More Copyright: It’s My Quilt and I’ll Name It What I Want To


Okay here’s a tricky one for you copyright fiends, experts and fanatics:

1–Famous Quilter (who you have revered in the past) gives you permission to teach a class using a block of her own design, last published in a book in 1983, thiry-one years ago. (It’s my understanding that current copyrights remain in existence for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years, up from 25 years in times past.)

2–Famous Quilter then requests you name your full quilt after her block name, even though you have a tradition of naming your quilts after rhymes, famous and pithy quotes, and verses.  You demure, saying you use Famous Fabric Designer’s Fabrics and they don’t insist the quilt be named after THEIR fabrics, but that you would be more than happy to include the name of Famous Quilter’s block on your label.

3–Famous Quilter writes back and insists, saying if I won’t name the whole quilt after her block name then I can’t use the name anywhere, nor can I teach a class from it, and implies that I can’t even write about it on my blog. I can, however, call the quilt what I want to within the walls of my own home.

Okay, Copyright Enthusiasts–GO!

Is Famous Quilter within her rights to deny me naming rights to my own quilt?  Notice the only time I would be making any money would be if I were to teach a class.  (Which I won’t be now, even though I wrote up the directions for this block, right after Famous Quilter gave me permission, before rescinding said permission.)  Writing up the directions, buying and choosing the fabric for it, cutting it out, sewing it, quilting it, binding it would all be on my expense (not to mention the purchase of her out-of-print book).

Is Famous Quilter within her rights to deny my ability to write about it on my blog? In my defense, I thought I would be giving a boost to a design of hers that at this point is not very much in circulation. (I know.  I did a Google search on it.  It’s practically invisible, except on Famous Maker’s website, buried one level deep.)

Pedestal Lyon FranceHas Famous Quilter fallen off her Famous Quilter’s Pedestal?

The block is fabulous, but I won’t divulge the Famous Quilter’s name, nor the name of the block, nor tell you anything about the provenance.  Here’s a picture of the quilt as I first saw in another Equally Famous Quilter’s book, published in 1990, some 24 years ago:

No Name Block Quilt

This is NOT the correct name of the block, nor the correct name of the Famous Quilter.  Forgive me, but now I have a dilemma.  What do I do with:

NoNameBlockSketchPrototypeMy carefully drafted sketch?  And the sample block?  And the several days I took to do all this?  And what do I do with:

No Name Block Pieces

All the cut pieces for the making of a quilt which, according to her, I can only call it by it’s True Name in the confines of my own home?

I followed some Interesting Copyright Links and in red, in the middle of a post (Tabberone’s post on Quilting and Blogging and Making of Quilts) is this:

There is no such thing in US Copyright Law that gives a copyright owner the authority to impose restrictions upon the use of copyrighted material once it has been sold or given away by the copyright owner.

They also linked to an Article on the “Hot topic among quilters: Copyright” about a quilter from Iowa who was suing another quilter for “stealing” one of her designs.

I'll Call It What I Want To quilt_frontI went ahead and finished the quilt. (#133)

I recognize that quilters who are in the business need to earn their money, and I try to oblige, purchasing patterns that are unique and interesting.  (I do draw the line at purchasing patterns that are basically squares, as I’m not a beginner, I have quilt software and I can figure those out.)

I'll Call It What I Want To quilt_front detail

I truly believe Famous Quilter believes she is well within her legal rights to insist on my naming my quilt the name of her block, even though when I looked through her book, she had not followed the same naming protocols (which I pointed out to her most respectfully).

Some questions: Do copyright squabbles make us more strident in our need to claim our turf?  Or is this typical of a small business, working hard to protect their product (regardless if  I consider it moving past a reasonable boundary)? If you are a quilt designer, would you expect (insist) on the maker naming the quilt after your block?  Final Thoughts: if you comment (and I hope you will, especially if you are a quilter in business) please resist dumping personally on the Famous Quilter, but you are welcome to give me your opinion of this mess I find myself in.

I'll Call it What I Want To quilt_back

I'll Call It What I Want To quilt_label


Here are some more links for reference, if you ever find yourself corresponding with a Famous Quilter:
What I Think Is the BEST Commentary on the Issues of Copyright Facing Quilters (by Leah Day)
The more I read, the more I think Leah Day (and Austin Kleon) have it right: Attribution in our day and age is the grease that keeps the creative wheels turning.

Brave Little Chicken’s Excellent Series of blogposts on Copyright Law and Quilters
SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates)
Circular from Copyright Office
“Chapter One” from the Copyright Office–see sections 106, 106A and 107
Website of the Copyright Office–which makes me believe that some have said that we should have no copyrights on quilted articles, but use the Fashion Industry’s model
Raisin Toast’s Blog Post (reprint from Tabberone.com)
“Useful Articles” from the Copyright Office–Quilts are considered “useful articles”
AQS page on copyright questions for exhibited works
Copyright Quiz for Quilters
Tabberone’s Theft of Images or Text webpage

And finally, an interesting rebuttal of the claims I hear about all the time, again from Tabberone’s website


Thursday’s Randoming

Cindy says I need to have Random Things on my Random Post. Okay, here goes.

Student Brain DiagramWhile this is a diagram of a student brain, a Teacher Brain could be similar except: where it says “take exam” it would be “write exam,” “study mode” would be “prep mode” and “think about studying” would be “avoid grading.”

BrainFull of Stuff

But this is Teacher Brain During Summer.

Frazz More Things Than HoursIt’s nice not to feel impacted all the time, as illustrated by this cartoon of Jef Mallett’s.  I read Frazz every morning to get my day started.  Yesterday I went up to school (I teach at a community college) and attended the Transfer Center’s luncheon honoring students who leave the confines of our 2-year college and head up to the Big U.  Today I’ll be attending a retirement luncheon for a woman who has really helped my non-native English speakers throughout my time here.  That’s how it rolls at the end of the semester.

I'llNameItWhatIWantTo Quilt v1

I started working on this quilt and got myself involved in a Whole Lotta’ Drama.  Follow-up story coming Monday.


I’ve been listening to Life After Life while I sew.  This is one interesting book, where the main character keeps dying and come back to life in her same life.  I can hardly wait to get upstairs to the sewing room, pick up a project and start listening.

Art Quilts in a Row

Coming to the end of the school year means taking a breath and doing the little things that you couldn’t get to because you were hurtling from one grading session to the next.  This morning my husband helped me hang all my little Art Quilts in a row over my sewing room window.


Outside my window the Carrotwood Tree is filled with flitting Western Tanagers, yellow with black wings and brilliant orange heads.  They move quickly from branch to branch, eating the yellow berries from my tree.  I’m not a bird photographer, so this photo is from *here.*  They provide quite the show.

Embracing the Journey

Detail of the woman over my sewing desk: Embracing the Journey.  Today is the last day of class, and it’s been a nice journey but Now It’s Time to Go.


Linking up to Cindy’s Really Random Thursday at Live a Colorful Life!