Monday, March 26, 2012

What Now?

I haven't had much to say lately, um...let me rephrase that...I haven't had anything nice to say lately so I've been quiet. This world is such a crazy place and some days you just want to hide. The shooting of the young man in Florida is really troubling, but I don't want to rant about that, so I'll just say how sad I am for his family and I hope justice will be done.

The other thing that has been bothering me lately is this big flap made by Kate Spain over someone using her design illegally. If you haven't heard about this it involves a quilt designer using some of Kate's fabric to make a quilt that was published in a book. The fabric was used in a scrappy manner so I believe it wasn't all hers but then the publisher of the book used an image of the scrappy quilt to make tote bags. Kate licenses her designs so she has a say in how they are used but when does the design stop being in her control? There was the threat of a lawsuit and she allegedly wanted the books destroyed as well as an outrageous sum of money.

This whole thing smacks of good, old American greed and I can say for sure I will not ever purchase anything with Kate Spain's name on it and that includes gift wrap or stationary or anything else.

I'm sure there will be other opinions out there and this is just mine but life is too short to deal with petty people!

I feel better now.


  1. I've been following that flap. I read both bloggers viewpoints. In my humble opinion, I think Kate Spain made horrendous mistake coming out because now too many ordinary quilters like me will not want to buy or use any of her fabrics.

    I recently purchase some fabrics from a line of hers and now I'm scared to death to use any of it. The ironic thing is that I'm not even planning to sell anything anytime soon as I'm still just having fun and learning all I can. How unreal is that (to be scared to use her fabrics)?

    And, how far does it go? For the life of me, I cannot remember who designed what and more from way back in the 90s! Yes, I still have fabrics in my stash from way back then. And, many fat quarters I've purchased don't have enough information on the selvages to give proper credit. It's the same with the half yardages. FYI: I rarely buy yardages or more.

    This whole scenario just makes me feel sick to my stomach because I've been dreaming of selling off the things I make (not necessarily to make a profit -- just to get them out of the house because I love sewing/crafting way too much and I would start to look like a hoarder if I hung onto every single item I make).

  2. I have fabrics in my stash that go back to the 60's - when fabric designers did not even get credit on the selvages for the designs, and the manufacturers didn't often did not even identify themselves!

    Times have changed - for the better if you are a designer - not so sure about the rest of us! I love Kate Spain's fabrics - but will I remember which fabrics are hers 10 or 20 years from now when all I have left are 1 1/2" strips? seems unlikely! and unreasonable.

  3. Hi there,

    Just wanted to pop in to let you know you have absolutely nothing to worry about when using any of my fabric. If you spend your hard-earned dollars on it, it's yours to make/sell/give away whatever you'd like. I do not have any control over how you use the fabric — and do not wish to have any control over it.

    The problem in this instance was that the publisher had reproduced an enlarged image of a quilt (no longer identifiable as a quilt) using my fabric designs (so they were the focal images on the tote bag) onto a different surface material (plastic) and manufactured thousands of tote bags in China. Thomas Knauer does a great job of explaining this on his blog:

    Also wanted to note that the quilt/tote bag were not scrappy...they were made using only my Fandango fabrics. Had it been a scrappy quilt, there would not have been a problem at all.

    Hope that helps to clarify things a little more.

    Congratulations on having your patterns published! Keep up the wonderful work.

    Happy Sewing to you,

    1. Kate, I appreciate you taking the time to comment on my post although I suspect you are doing damage control right now. I understand your side of this but its a shame this couldn't have been handled before lawyers got involved. According to the publisher and maker of the tote bags, they tried to work this out before it went too far and you, or more likely your lawyers, would hear none of it. I,for one, am sorry this didn't go to court because I am curious as to how a judge would have ruled in this case. It seems to me with something like fabric, that is meant to make something else out of, once that "something else" is made its no longer just your design. If someone had taken your note cards and reproduced your design on their own note cards or printed their own fabric from it,I would have stood behind you, but I think you were wrong in this case.