Something happened yesterday that made me profoundly unhappy and I'm still not exactly over it. I have debated whether I was going to say anything about it here and I've decided that I will.
But first : Stephen and Christina's wedding quilt is in last month's issue [ #22] of Quilter's Companion... great photo by the way whoever took it ... can't find a photo credit ... with a bunch of others from last year @ Jeff's Shed, including one by Sylvia Reeves who is also in our local little quilt group. Not bad huh? They picked eight quilts out of dozens and dozens of the winners in a State level comp and two are from our little country town :] ... Sylvia and I didn't even know they were in there until someone contacted me by email to ask a question so it was a really lovely surprise . [ if you're wondering how they could put it in without us knowing... permission and all, well, they didn't need it ... you sign a photography and publicity release with the entry form for the Show ]
Anyway, I knew that the same quilt and another one were going to be in ANOTHER mag [ my favourite aussie one ] in the Feb issue and I was full of the usual anticipation. How will they look on the page? How big will the photos be? How will the editorial be phrased? It's more than a wee bit narcissistic but any quilter who says that she doesn't enjoy a bit of public recognition is fooling herself. I didn't think it was out yet so I was thrilled to see it in the newsagent yesterday, and immediately bought a copy even though I knew full well that I'd get a complimentary one eventually. I couldn't even wait until I got home. I had to open it then and there and flip straight to the article on using japanese fabrics. Yup. There were my quilts... and then as I kept on flipping through, came across a quilt using designs from my japanese sampler class. Now I taught this class for over 10 years and in that time I virtually gave away thousands of copies of designs for japanese kamon. [ well what would you call charging people $5 for over 80 block designs?] This was long before there were ANY books on japanese crests for quilters. Kitti Pippen, Jill Liddell and Kumiko Sudo's books hadn't yet come out. I was drafting from 1" black and white pictures in a Dover book of 4260 copyright free japanese designs. In all, I guess I drafted up about 100 of them. So the chance that someone else out there picked exactly the same ones out of the over 4000 and chose to draft them to exactly the same sizes that I did is fairly remote.
Okay, I didn't recognise the maker's name but then hundreds of girls did that class and I'm sure a fair number of them passed my patterns on to their friends and their friends' friends. That's what quilters do. The blocks were all from a very early incarnation of that class... maybe '91 or '92. Anyway, I had a look at the accompanying text to see if I got credit as the designer, only to read that she "designed" the quilt herself in EQ6. This is when my stomach plummetted into my admittedly-gorgeous shoes. What? Read it again! It still said she "drew" the quilt. I wanted to read it again, as if it was suddenly going to say something different... it was like when you have a mouth ulcer and you have to keep probing it to see how much it hurts
I guess it all hinges on how one defines the sentence " I designed it myself". It was an original layout. I recognized where the blocks in the borders came from [ they certainly weren't mine] but all bar one of the ones in the body of the quilt were. Some of them might have been a coincidence but several of them I drafted for piecing where anyone else would've appliqued them. I know where my lines were. I know my proportions. Those were MY blocks... I guess what I'm having problems with is her statement that she "drew" the blocks into the computer. Copied, or traced but not "drew".
This individual did do her layout. Maybe to her, that's designing. It's not entirely her fault if the way she stated that is open to another interpretation. She maybe has no idea where the blocks came from although they all originally had name and copyright notation on them, possibly didn't think that the designer merited mentioning ... although seeing she's apparently a teacher, one would imagine she would know better. It's absolutely certainly not the fault of the editor who can only go on the information she's given.
It completely ruined my day but I'll get over it. It's not the first time. It won't be the last. If I'd done what Marc wanted and done a book 17 years ago ... well ...we won't go there.
The mag is still sitting on the table. I haven't opened it again. It will be interesting to see how long it is before I do... and I need to cos my friend Nicky Tepper has a project in there.
So now you know ... I'm not at all sure why I'm writing this and I have no intention of having a go at the Editor. She's a lovely person and would never ever intentionally do anything to upset me. I know that. So don't bother suggesting that I write to her.It's not going to happen. I just needed to get this off my chest.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled business.