Hi everyone. I'm relatively new to the quilt world (just started in October) and I've discovered I've been bitten by the bug...big time. I'm enjoying making baby quilts, wall hangings and bags for my friends. A lot of people have asked me if I've thought about opening an Etsy shop and selling things but I guess before I could really consider it I would have to know what the legalities of it are. If you make something from a pattern, either purchased or that was in a book or magazine, can you legally make them and sell them? What about quilts? Do the same rules apply? Also, what about quilt patterns that have been around forever like Irish Chain or Drunkard's Path? Like I said...I'm confused:)




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some patterns are in the free domain (I think that's what's it's called) and yes old patterns like dresden plates, nine patches, irish chains etc, you can sew in any color combination or size and sell to your hearts content.  Purchased patterns, or patterns you see in a magazine, usually do have a copyright associated with them, so it is up to you to contact the magazine/designer and obtain permisson for use.  The Canadian Quilt Association has a good article on copyright, click on the link, look down the page, it's a PDF, but it's a place to start to get answers to your questions:


Thanks so much! It seems like such a small thing, but it can be really confusing.

yep it is!  And it's good you are asking first, a lot of people just jump in and dont' think about copyright on patterns, even free patterns on the net, need permission to sell, usually it says on the page.  Sometimes they just want to know, so when in doubt ask.  there was recently a big blow up on the net between an author, a book publishing company and a fabric designer about a picture of a quilt featuring the fabric being sold on tote bags and the designer sued.  So it can be a sticky web!   I realized later that I used the wrong term for public domain, if it's in the public domain it's free to use, but just cause it's a free pattern does not necessarily mean the same thing as I've already mentioned.

There was also a discussion on a blog post about copyright here on MyQuiltPlace:  http://myquiltplace.com/profiles/blog/show?id=6358392%3ABlogPost%3A...

Kristin, Quilt patterns that have are in books, magazines, and on the internet are usually protected by copyright.  That means that you cannot make anything derived from that pattern with the intent to sell.  Copyright infringement is serious business and you could get sued by the designer or magazine offering the pattern.  You can optionally,  contact the designer, and ask for permission to use a specific design, you can use old classic designs like Irish Chain or Drunkard's Path, or you could create your own designs.

Have a super day!


Curlicue Creations


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