Basic String Piecing • First Monday Sewday Lesson (and a few other things)

Nice and tidy bag of “strings”

This month’s First Monday Sew-day Lesson was on teaching the newbie quilters about String Piecing, or Strip Piecing, or whatever you want to call it, but it involved laying out a shape on paper, arranging fabric and stitching through the paper. Foundation Paper-Piecing? except that we are using long strips of fabric. So I’m going with String Piecing. And the block I chose to teach was a traditional Spider Web Block.

For the handout for the Making a Spider Web block, click to download a PDF file:

It’s bit longer this time: multiple pages instead of just one sheet. There were a lot of illustrations for teaching this, like this one:

Since it is free, please don’t distribute — send your mom and your kid sister and your friends here to download the handout. (If you are a quilt shop or quilt guild, and need a virtual activity, please ask first before distributing.)

So this was my final block, taken at night, when all the lighting is really mellow. I chose low-volume prints for the centers, a deeper blue for the first strips near the center, and then circus-circus after that.

I did a virtual layout after that, trying to approximate how interesting this block can be in a quilt. More discussion of this is on the handout.

My “string bag” was left exploded on the floor after all this mucking around, but I just wadded everything back into it and threw it back in the closet.

I also made two sets of Gridster Bee blocks: first one was for Mary, for June. She requested a whole lot of little houses, and we used the free download pattern from Moda.

Kelly was up next, and for July she chose to miniaturize a flag, using the Grand Ole Flag handout from Pat Sloan as a starting point. These are tiny little things, finishing at 4″ x 7 1/2.”

Here’s a whole slew of them, all laid out together.

I was tipped off to two new mask patterns, and the Creative Grids mask template also arrived at my house. Updates are on my Face Mask Info Post, up there under Projects for 2020 tab at the top of the blog.

So this was interesting to see all week. Mancuso Brothers surprised me by using my Ladybird quilt in all their advertising for their online show in August. I had entered Ladybird in their Pacific International Quilt Festival, held in Santa Clara, California last fall. The picture they are using is my image, I must assume, as the lighting is good and the colors are bright (the lighting in that show was problematic). Most of the time my name and the name of the quilt were attached, but often I saw it with the orange lower banner chopped off, so no accreditation whatsoever.

Should I be honored and flattered that someone wants to take my artwork/quilt/work and use it for their ad campaign without asking permission or offering some compensation, like a teaching spot or something? (The real irony is when they use my quilt to announce another teacher.) I am very happy that, most of the time, my work is acknowledged. Should I just let this roll on by, knowing that I get “free publicity” — which is always what is said — although I don’t have a pattern for it, and I’m not teaching it anywhere, so it’s hard to know what good the free publicity does.

It’s a tricky proposition. I am not angry. I might be perplexed. Mostly I don’t yet know how I feel about it, but I do think it would be nice to be asked. I’d be curious to know what you all think. (Leave your comments below.)

Thought I’d show you the Betsy’s Creation quilt on the bottom of my bed for July. The smaller one is hung in the downstairs hallway. That pattern (which includes both, and really more like a handout) is free, found here. Hope your last few days of July find you quilting!

14 thoughts on “Basic String Piecing • First Monday Sewday Lesson (and a few other things)

  1. I think they should have asked. Perhaps someone else gave them the image and they didn’t check it out? I think you should contact them.

  2. You know, I’ve always wanted to make a spider web quilt, but I don’t think I have the right scrap shapes for it now. I turned all my strings into long strips for a braided rug. Oh well. I love how you arranged the colors in your web blocks, and your perfect term “circus-circus!” As for using your quilt photo in publicity,I think a quiltmaker should always be asked, and credit should always be given. I remember when AQS surprised me with their advertising of the Daytona Beach AQS show with my Florida quilt shown. They never asked, and did not give me credit. It’s my pattern too! I think that we must (unknowingly) sign away “rights” when we enter quilts in their shows.

  3. What they did was not right. What do you think they would have done if you had used their name or logo without permission to promote your commercial enterprise? Maybe it was an inadvertent mistake that they would want to correct. Maybe it was a failure to appreciate the value of a woman’s work (both the quilt and the photo). Maybe they felt they had your permission because of language included in the form you signed when you registered your quilt. In any case, I think you should have a conversation with them.

    • I love your string blocks laid out the way you show them. Great flags too – the little mini ones all together are so cool. I would talk with or write to Mancuso – I mean, they should have consulted with you for sure! I think that was really poor form.

  4. I would reach out to them and ask about getting credit. Linda is probably right in that entering a quilt comes with signing away rights. However, it really ruffled my feathers to know someone is making money off my work. That may be the former journalist talking who had to coach younger reporters and photographers that “exposure” would not pay their bills.

  5. Thanks for the tutorial on string piecing. I will try and send some of our newbie quilters to the download. It is a great idea for our guild outreach group. As for Mancuso, I think I would be a little put out, too. They should have, at the very least, told you.
    Brenda

  6. I think they should have contacted you, whether or not you had “signed away your rights” at some point–especially since they did not see fit to invite you to participate. (Their loss, or oversight.) And as a member of the public, I would feel cheated to find out that the quilter who created that outstanding work wasn’t participating in the online show. Isn’t that a bit of bait and switch? Particularly if they don’t credit you, so there is no way for one to know that they are showing the most excellent examples of anything that has ever been submitted, hypothetically. (“Here’s something great from a long time ago by someone we haven’t invited to teach you! You’d like that? Oh, too bad. Come on in and see what we *will* give you…”)

  7. Sigh . . . why does this keep happening? Permission should be asked and credit should be given. The internet is wonderful and yet has cheapened so much. On a different note, I’ve been cutting strips here and there for a spiderweb quilt I’d like to make sometime in the future. Years ago I gave a demo at my guild about making the block. Last year I bought a special ruler in order to make blocks without the foundation. I don’t usually buy things like that but in this case it should simplify my plan. I hope! Now to make time for it amidst all the other ongoing projects.

  8. The Spider Web quilt is such a great strip piecing project for a newbie. It is so impressive as it comes together and a great use of scraps. I did one as a leader Ender project and loved it. Still do!

    Your bee blocks are so fun. I really appreciate the houses and look forward to getting mine assembled.

    It is a shame that your work was published incompletely, without your name. I guess I have always felt that if I put my work out in public, anything can happen. It’s sad, but I guess everyone is not honorable these days. The only stop to this is not sharing our work with the world. Would we want that? Life is too short to fight these constant battles and it doesn’t seem to make a difference anyway. We keep reading the same stories. There are things that I do that I will not post to prevent theft like that. It is a lovely piece and WE all know whose work it is!! THAT IS WHAT MATTERS!

  9. I think it’s unanimous. It just seems, at minimum, common courtesy for the Manusco Brothers to tell you how they’d like to use your image and name and ask your permission to use both – and then use them together consistently.

  10. Sorry to see that this has happened to you. Check out Elizabeth Gard Townsend and Just wanna quilt. She talks a lot about copyright and quilting. She has a podcast Just wanna quilt and she started the Facebook page Million masks a day. Good luck

  11. You need to contact them. The photo was used without permission for a commercial purpose. I know it’s a hassle but you are doing yourself, the quilting community and artists everyone a favour.

  12. I suspect that when you entered the Mancuso show you signed away all rights to images of the quilt. Nevertheless, I would encourage you to contact them and request that they give credit when using the image. Also, it is my suspicion that when we post pics online we legally lose control of them. What about all those reposts to Pinterest that eventually lose the link, for example?

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