Friday, November 26, 2010

Stirring the pot

I just received this statement from Beth Maitland, PTQG President:

Planning to enter a quilt at Maine Quilts 2011? 
Read this now or you may be disappointed.
Recent information about copyright law and quilting lead Quilt Show Advisory and the PTQG General Board to review and update the quilt entry requirements for Maine Quilts. Everyone who enters a quilt for public display at Maine Quilts that is not their own original design or a quilt based on traditional quilt blocks or designs must submit written permission from the creator of the design for the quilt to be shown at Maine Quilts.
This applies to all entries – display, judged, chapter challenges and Bear Necessities. Yes, even if you made a quilt from a pattern, book, magazine that you purchased or a class you took, you need to contact the author, teacher and/or publisher to obtain permission to enter the quilt. If the design source is another medium (e.g. photography, painting, illustration, other fiber arts), permission must be obtained from the original artist.
Start now to obtain this permission, don’t wait until the spring. Entries that are not accompanied by written permission for the quilt to be displayed will not be accepted. In addition, proper credit must be given on the entry form.
For more information, you might want to read “Know Your Rights (And Wrongs)” by Janet Jo Smith in the September/October 2010 issue of McCall's Quilting. A follow-up article, “People are Talking,” was in the November/December 2010 issue of McCall's Quilting.
Web sites with information about quilting and copyright laws include: 
“Do You Have Copyright Questions?” HYPERLINK "" \t "_blank" This article has a link to a page about copyright and public domain, HYPERLINK ""
AQS Quilt Shows - Do I Need Design Permission? HYPERLINK "" \t "_blank"
AQS's blogspot - HYPERLINK "" \t "_blank" Monday, November 1, 2010 “Copyrights Getting You Down?”
It is not the intent of the board to make things difficult for our members. Rather, it is important that Pine Tree Quilters Guild and Maine Quilts are in compliance with federal and state laws, including copyright laws.
There are several other changes for Maine Quilts. All donations for the silent auction must be accompanied by written permission from the designer giving permission for the item to be sold at the silent auction. There will not be a Members’ Sales Table at Maine Quilts 2011.

The Area 4 Reps came to a Back Road meeting recently and told us about this new ruling by the guild. We were all upset by this news and more than a little confused. I really think this is going too far. Yes, let's give credit to the designer, but to think that you can't even display your work where credit is given without first getting written permission from the designer is a sad reflection on our society, don't you think?

Remember this? I made this after Jo Diggs came to Back Road and gave a trunk show. Yes, I was inspired by her, but I made up my own pattern. I also have a landscape book by Valerie Hearder, which I'm sure influenced my design, too. Should I get permission to show this quilt from both women? Are the quilt police going to come check my bookshelf for other quilt designers I might have missed?
What about my placemat? Do I need permission from the fabric designer to show you this on my blog?

Actually, anything I have ever put in Maine Quilts was my own original design, but this matter really makes me angry. How about you? Will this new rule effect your decision to put a quilt in the show?

I'm sure we could all come up with some far fetched scenarios, for instance say my work was inspired by a Van Gogh painting. Hmm, who owns the copyright on that? How about a Beatles song? Just call Apple? I think it is pretty far fetched that anyone is going to sue me if I display a quilt at Maine Quilts if I don't get their written word first. Sounds like an art piece right there: all the paperwork required, documentation, rejection letters, autographs, returned post-just tuck it into the label on the back, thank you.

Am I being a curmudgeon or does this irk you, too?

P.S. Just to help you out with copyright issues here is a handy little chart.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

T hanks for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.
for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday.
for autumn's frosty art, and abundance in the heart.
for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember.
for kitchen, kettles' croon, kith and kin expected soon.
for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that about.
That spells THANKS for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving.

- Aileen Fisher, All in a Word

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

More knittin'

On Saturday I took a trip to Halcyon in Bath and bought five skeins of JaggerSpun Maine Line 2/8 yarn. Originally I picked out the unwashed Shetland by Harrisville yarns which comes in bigger cones. When I told the woman at the cash register what I was knitting, she kindly showed my the JaggerSpun. Smaller cones and less expensive. I say kindly because it this the first time I have ever gone to Halcyon and had someone who was friendly and helpful wait on me. Sad but true.

So, with my five cones of yarn: white, green, yellow, black, and red I rushed home and began knitting. I tore out my first effort, too small, then started on another pattern, which may be too big. After washing I think it will shrink and tighten up a bit. The graphs in the book are fairly small and in black and white so I decided to use color pencils and graph paper to chart one of the cuff designs.

I started with a black hem and knit a picot row (yarn over, knit two together) which will fold and make a lovely scalloped edge. Next came a few pattern rows before the first big chart. Three colors in one row-not my favorite thing. My tension is rather loose I think but I hope it will look fine once washed and blocked. I am much better at two color knitting and am looking forward to that.

Here's my latest finished object. It is called Storm Cloud Shawlette by Hanna Breetz inspired by Elizabeth Zimmerman's pi shawl. The knitting starts at the neck edge with four stitches cast on. It is all done in knit stitch. Fine yarn on big needles.

It is really chilly at work with cold air blowing on my neck throughout the day so this little shawlette will keep me warm. It can be pulled up a bit so it looks more like a scarf. I just pulled some yarn out of my stash to knit this and now I realize I don't really have anything to go with it. Time for a little clothes shopping. Speaking of which, have you checked out the latest Google toy? You do a little comparison survey to determine what your style is and that is your profile. All kinds of shoes, dresses, tops, bottoms, bags, etc are shown in your style for you to rate and to shop. Click on a dress and it takes you to a website, such as Bloomingdales, where you can order it! Let me know what you think, I think it is fun if not downright funny. I don't know what I picked but my style is "Edgy". For those of you who know me (and as you can see from the photo) most of my clothes come from LLBean, not known for their "edginess". Good for a laugh at least! I was looking at some of the Boutique suggestions for me yesterday and was dumbfounded by a simple spotted scarf that was listed as $591.95. Can that be possible? I just about fell off my chair laughing.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Last Friday night was the opening night for the Smitten show at the Merrymeeting Art Gallery. The gallery is very small, intimate. On one wall the mittens were hung from tree branches. I got my second pair entered in time for the opening. There were felted mittens, old mittens, new mittens, wonderful mittens knit in gorgeous colors.

My friend Betsy had a display in the entryway of her Irish knit mittens. All were knit with local knitting worsted in the traditional off white color. She made one pair extra big and felted them by putting them in the washer a couple of times. Beautiful cables and baubles.

Angela (sorry I don't know her last name) had a number of pairs of stunning Latvian mittens on display. Very fine yarn, finer than my blackberry mittens which are in sport weight, probably knit in fingering weight yarn like my Fiesta mittens. She knit her mittens based on the designs in Lizbeth Upitis definitive book on Latvian mittens.

Betsy and I took Angela's Latvian mitten workshop on Saturday. There were four of us and we each brought our own needles and yarn to try out some patterns and techniques. I attempted the loopy fringe that is at the bottom of the cuff on some of the mittens in the cover photo. There are many different patterns, many patterns come from specific regions of Latvia. Angela told us that (in the past I suppose) a Latvian woman would have to have knit 250 pairs of mittens before she could get married. Mittens are very important culturally in Latvia. The girls learn to knit when they are old enough to hold needles, about 4 years old. How about you? Were you knitting when you were 4? 250 pairs, that's really 500 mittens! I bet they knit socks, too. I'm such a slacker.

My own copy of Latvian Mittens arrived today from Amazon. I have next week off thanks to comp time. Guess what I plan on doing? Knitting! At the workshop Angela had use four needles instead of three (plus a working needle). I've never used four needles before, but Angela said that the patterns divide better on four needles so I will give it a try.

Speaking of knitting, I came across this slideshow in my web travels. Photos of Shetland complete with wooly sheep and a Shetland pony! What really blew me away are the photos of fair isle samples, drawer after drawer of them. Who says you have to produce something? A swatch is very satisfying. Probably what I should do with the Latvian patterns. Here's the link.

Not forgetting quilting! I'm making a log cabin Christmas tree skirt. It is the pattern where you make six log cabin diamonds and sew them together. I'll take some photos soon.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Smitten with Mittens

These are "Fiesta Mittens" pattern by Lucy Neatby. These were a fun project. The stitch on the front is the swallowtail pattern. It is made by increasing four stitches in one stitch and on the next row K2Tog, then drop stitches, then SSK, this gives the slant to the stitches on either side. Made with fingering weight wool yarn. From a kit by Blackberry Ridge. I hope I can get these into the show along with my Blackberry Mittens. The Blackberries are in, but I just finished these Fiesta mittens.

Did you know that in Canada they say mitts not mittens?

Please come to the show in beautiful downtown Bowdoinham! Mittens galore and sculptures of hands.......

Smitten: Hands and their Coverings
November 12 - December 19, 2010
Saturdays 10 - 1 or by appointment

** Opening Friday November 12 **
5:00 - 8:00 PM

Merrymeeting Arts Center
Cathance Landing, at the foot of Main Street
9 Main Street, Bowdoinham