This information was shared with me late last year: a reader bought a pattern from a booth vendor at the Pacific International Quilt Festival in October 2015, and when she opened it up later, it was a poorly produced photocopy.
She contacted the pattern author, and found out that this is not how the patterns are produced. So somewhere along the distribution chain, it looks like this pattern might have been copied for re-sale.
Obviously, this is theft and fraud, not to mention very damaging to a designer’s livelihood and reputation as well. And just as obviously, a designer like me has no real way to police it. So I ask this favor of you: if you see a poorly produced copy of a pattern for sale, PLEASE contact the designer to let us know. If it’s getting stolen, we need to know. And if it’s a production snafu, we should know that too, so we can get a clean copy into your hands!
Many thanks to Janna Bailey for letting me tell this story, and for carrying the WASWI torch! Her original words (with her permission) are here:
Had an odd thing happen at PIQF this last October (2015). I purchased a pattern from a vendor and took it up to my room and opened it. The pattern looked like it was copied many,many times. Very grayed. I took it back down to the vendor. The owner was not there but the employee pulled out 3 more patterns and they were all just as bad. I wanted my $ back and was going to write a scathing note to the pattern maker. The employee said I had to come back the next day and talk to the owner. I went back to the vendor the next morning and she said she found a better pattern. I opened it and it was just fine. After thinking about it, I emailed the pattern maker anyway…but rather than berating her for a lousy pattern, I explained the situation and asked the question, “did you make the copies or was the vendor cheating you out of profits by making her own copies”. The pattern owner wrote back and thanked me, because she said all her patterns were clear copies. So I’d check patterns before you buy them and make sure they are clean and clear. And if not, I’d send a note to the pattern maker. It’s not fair that they should be losing their profits to a disreputable vendor.
In emailing with Janna about this story, she added that she has since heard from the pattern maker that they have had other complaints about patterns bought from this vendor, and that the vendor isn’t returning calls. If I get word of this vendor stealing my stuff I’ll be prosecuting to the fullest extent of the law.
This happened to me at a quilt shop. They were copying at least one designer’s patterns and selling them. The shop was a very popular shop, well known throughout the area. The owner was popular-had been recognized by the community, etc. Apparently it was stopped after a possible threat of a lawsuit.
But to this day, I will not go to the shop nor will I ever recommend that quilt shop. If they did it once, what is to say they are not doing it again? How horrible!!
I think if you do find out they are doing this to you too all of you should go for a class action suit or tort. Kick ’em where it hurts!!!
I’m stunned. This kind of theft was not on my radar but now it will be.
I can’t imagine a shop photocopying a pattern for resale. Around here (and I would think in most quilt shops) we know that’s against the law. It always amazes me when people come into our store and take a ruler out, measure the blocks on our samples and then start sketching…WHEN THE PATTERN IS RIGHT THERE TO BUY! This then brings me to my next thought….I’m always interested when people harp on quilt shops. The legit shop owners work very hard to create inspirational environments. In much the same way pattern designers don’t appreciate their work being copied, people who go into shops to take pictures of samples (with the intention to purchase the pattern somewhere else) are just as bad in my opinion. It not only hurts the quilt shop but it trickles down to the pattern designer when the store stops buying their patterns.