Copyright and Quilting · Rose Cards · villa rosa designs

NEW April 2023 Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card Quilt Patterns and Revisiting the Copyright Question for Quilters

Hello Quilty Friends!

Happy Thursday to you!

It’s a fine spring day here in Pennsylvania! Clear blue skies and temperatures in the 70s. Things are greening up and blooming. But Mother Nature isn’t done with her shock treatment yet as next week will be back in the 30s and 40s again. Go figure! Ho hum…..this is spring in northwestern PA.

Last week I started a new mini series on Quilt Block Basics — did you miss my post about Half Square Triangles? If so, you can check it out HERE.

I will be getting back to the Quilt Block Basics mini series next week, but this Thursday is the Thursday following the first Friday of the month, so I am excited to debut our brand new April 2023 VRD Rose Card patterns! Yay! Definitely one of my favorite posts every month!

Feast your eyes on these wonderful new patterns:

Get all 5 new patterns for $8.95 HERE!

And here is my new table runner pattern, After the Rain — who doesn’t LOVE a rainbow quilt?? Or a Log Cabin variation??

Get the After the Rain pattern HERE.

I know I’ve said this more than once (probably more like a million times) but there isn’t another pattern company out there who produces as many new patterns every year as Villa Rosa Designs. We put out at least 5 new patterns a month — add to that our usual 1 (and sometimes 2) new table runner pattern(s) each month and that figures out to be an average of 72 new quilt patterns a year! Mind-boggling, isn’t it???

We have the most awesome quilt designers here at VRD (not that I’m biased or anything) and together we make the impossible possible.

Revisiting Copyright for Quilters

Recently a reader asked some thought-provoking questions on the blog and I wanted to share her questions with you. Thanks, Mindy, for giving me permission to share your comments.

Mindy wrote the following after reading my post about The Copyright Question for Quilters (go HERE to read the Copyright post):

Can I ask one thing that comes up often with this discussion? How do you feel about second-hand selling of your patterns or having the pattern donated to a guild or other “library” type situation? I sat in on a lecture years ago at Quilt Market by two copyright lawyers and it was my understanding that this was illegal, but I have recently heard some pattern designers don’t mind and would rather the pattern be used than thrown away. What are your thoughts if you don’t mind me asking?

SIGH……. If only understanding copyright law and practicing it were straightforward and simple. But to understand copyright law, you basically need a copyright lawyer to explain things in a way you can understand. That being said, copyright law is even confusing for the professionals as they often don’t agree with each other. So if lawyers can’t agree on what copyright law is and how it applies, then how are we — the quilters and the designers — supposed to understand it?

And you need to understand copyright so that you can practice it. Such a conundrum.

What do I think?

Please note these are my personal opinions as a quilter and designer.

Guild Lending Libraries

I have belonged to quilt guilds for a long time and yes, one of my guilds did have a library of quilt books (not patterns) that guild members could check out and borrow. I don’t remember when exactly, but the guild library was dissolved years ago and the books were donated to a used book sale at a local library. I think it ended up being dissolved because the collection took up a lot of space in our storage locker and it wasn’t being used by the guild members. Part of the problem, I suspect, was that the lending library wasn’t updated and weeded out regularly in order to keep the collection current and relevant to the interests of the guild members.

I think libraries — any kind of libraries — are wonderful amazing incredible things!

Let’s consider public, school, and university libraries — they purchase one or more copies of a book or magazine and not even allow — but encourage — people to borrow these materials free with their library card. Is this an infringement of copyright law? I don’t think so — most authors, myself included, want to see their books in libraries.

How is a quilt guild lending library any different? Really? Of course, I am talking books here, not patterns, but what is a quilt book but a collection of quilt patterns? In my opinion, as long as the book or pattern was purchased legally at some point, it is a good thing to pass it along to someone else. (This does not mean making a photocopy of a book or pattern and giving to your best friend, but passing along the original book or pattern.) I am always pleased to see books find their way to someone who will love them.

Additionally, most folks are conscious about recycling and trash disposal — isn’t it better to pass along a book or pattern to another who will find enjoyment or enlightenment from the book/pattern instead of adding more trash to landfills? To me, there’s nothing more devastating than someone throwing away a perfectly good book.

Secondhand Selling

The selling of secondhand goods is HUGE all over the world. Secondhand sellers have existed far longer than copyright laws have. The secondhand selling of goods is a big part of any economy, so I am not sure how that corresponds to copyright when you’re talking about books and patterns.

If selling secondhand books, patterns, and other types of publications was an infringement of copyright law, then how can sellers resell goods on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, and the like? What about at the Goodwills and Salvation Army stores? What about the used book sales at your local library? Or garage sales, yard sales, flea markets, antique shops, and others? Why aren’t we all thrown in jail or fined for buying or selling secondhand goods?

Where would we be as a world without the secondhand sales industry? Wouldn’t this increase our already out of control issues with garbage and landfills? Wouldn’t it put A LOT of people out of work?

For me, personally, I am all for supporting the secondhand sales industry for many reasons —

  1. It reduces waste
  2. It helps people to afford goods that they need
  3. It can help someone else in some way (whether it’s the actual information in a book/pattern or that the sale of the item supports a charity)
  4. Secondhand sales (and the searching of desirous items) can be a lot of fun
  5. It employs people, and can provide/supplement income
  6. An “old” item to you might be a “new” item to someone else
  7. It is a form of recycling

This topic makes me think about the old saying “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” and the more modern version — “Reuse. Reduce. Recycle.”

What are your thoughts on guild libraries and secondhand selling of quilt books and patterns?

Thank you again, Mindy, for bringing up these topics. I am curious to see what others’ thoughts are. Any copyright professionals out there who can weigh in on this discussion?

Until next Thursday —

Sew. Laugh. Recycle. Repeat.


Tricia @VRD

5 thoughts on “NEW April 2023 Villa Rosa Designs Rose Card Quilt Patterns and Revisiting the Copyright Question for Quilters

  1. I do frequently copy a pattern (in a book, etc) that I have purchased or been given, BUT, only to use myself and write notes on, since using a book is harder to work with. I don’t copy patterns to give to someone else. That isn’t fair to the person who wrote the pattern. I keep my copies with the pattern books after I’ve used them, to preserve my notes, or to make more changes (I tend to alter a pattern or substitute my own colors, and it’s easier if I make those changes on a copy, not in the book.


  2. A very thoughtful response and spot on. We shouldn’t copy patterns, it is not fair to the pattern writer. Reuse and recycle is a fine way to share what you have and are done with. In fact, I am donating a group of patterns I no longer use to our guild’s benefit group that “kits” projects for folks in the hope that they can use them.


  3. I can’t imagine the legal fees involved in trying to pursue copyright law for a person or small business. That’s another component in this mix. I agree with your sentiments on second-hand sales. While I don’t agree with purchasing a pattern and then copying it for someone else, I do think second-hand sales and lending libraries are great ways to reuse items.


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