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January 31, 2009



Sooooo recognizable!!!


I do not sell anything I do it for friends and family. I have used some of YOUR patterns and ideas.
My kids birthday party is coming up and I am doing the birthday shirts and crowns that you have done for your kids. My own colors of course.

I think they are great keepsakes for when they get older. My daughter is 4 and she is at the age to appreciate these things.

I love your blog and I love your ideas!!

Amy @ parkcitygirl

The line? Like that bit about originality - I feel the variations and inspirations are just that, you make it your own with your style and tweaks. Be confident girl! You have an amazing eye :)


I have often thought the same thing, but do you really know if all the designs you are pulling ideas from are true originals themselves? My sister used to work for MSLiving, and they aren't all creative geniouses - they definitely get ideas from elsewhere themselves.


I adore this post, and your new quilt! Love the brights and browns. Where I'm not creating for sale, originality isn't something I give much thought to. I can't wait to see your finished quilt!


I am always "inspired" by another's pattern. I almost NEVER follow it exactly. Always changing things to make it work at my house. If you find the answer to your question I want to know!!! ha ha!


I do make things from patterns but do often make changes to make things a bit different. We all get inspiration from somewhere :-) I think the new quilt is going to be lovely, all the different browns remind me a tree bark :0)


Hi, this is my first comment on a blog EVER! I discovered craft blogs a few months ago and now I am completely hooked.
I paint a little, a lot less now that my children have come along. I loosely call myself an artist. I think when you are creatively inclined your eyes are always open to inspiration, its like a button you can never switch off. Quite a few times now I have used an idea and realised later where I originally saw it. I dont know how I could avoid this happening.
From what I can see there is a lot of mutual idea swapping amongst like minded craft bloggy friends which I think is lovely!


PS, greetings from England, I have been so inspired what I have seen and read I am going to create my own craft/mom blog.

Heidi Elliott

Mmmm, the age old question of copyright issues and not infringing upon other creative people. I have the same dilemma myself often. The quote is correct, we gather inspiration from everything around us. I don't know if I would go so far as to say originality is non-existent, but I am an optimist ;) I think that if your design is diverted enough from the original, you can call it your own. I am overly cautious too, so if I want to do something with a purchased pattern I contact the designer for permission. Sometimes you get it and sometimes you don't, but at least you are courteous and ask.

I have this great book about copyright law. I will have to look up the title and post it on my blog sometime. I attended a talk in my undergrad that talked about the business of being an artist. It was enlightening since it not only did it talk about being a business owner and selling yourself, but it also talked about copyrighting to keep your ideas safe.

In the end, I think the fact that you are conscious of other artist rights is wonderful. When in doubt, don't sell without permission from the author. Until then, you may want to put your mind at ease buy attending small business seminars on copyright law. Yawn, I know, but at least you can be more informed. If you have a college close, they may have an outreach program that you can coax into doing a craft specific copyright law talk. They are a very helpful bunch.

Erin Compton

Thank you! I often find myself thinking those very thoughts! You are so right. It is difficult to find out where to draw the line. It seems when it comes to the legality issue as long as you're not outright copying stitch for stitch or pattern for pattern someone's work, it is considered your own. But credit is due where credit is due.
As long as you are creating something new to you, you are an artist. As Solomon said, there is nothing new under the sun.

Mireille Ferrari

i think you're much too hard on yourself. you make such wonderful things, and you can see each piece is a labor of love. i wouldn't worry about what other people think, what's important is how your work makes YOU feel and the others you've made it for.

am a graphic designer myself and it's taken years to build my confidence. i think we grow more when we look to other people's work for inspiration. nothing is ever created in a vacuum. no man, woman or designer is an island!


I know what you mean and I struggle with it too (sometimes). I just found the cutest pillow on flickr that's a boudior sized pillow with the British flag done in ribbon across the front (so cute). The person stated that they didn't want their designs copied but then I was looking on an etsy site and saw someone else who's making it too. Obviously, the British flag belongs to neither one of those people but I'd still feel weird if I made it and presented it as my own idea.

I do feel like I have the right to make whatever I want, regardless of where I got the idea, but I would give credit if I was copying exactly or almost exactly. And, I wouldn't sell it unless I had permission.


In music we call this "being influenced" by other songwriters, producers, etc....obviously, (i.e. the Joe Satriani v.s. Coldplay lawsuit) you can take that a little too far but still....
I'll often get into my studio and try to replicate the production on some song I heard. Once I've done that, I toss it but have gained one more skill/trick I can use in another way on another project.
Most of the great artists I know are also the biggest fans of art I know. You are an artist. don't be ashamed. :)


I think about this a lot too. I have been reading books about sewing and crafting since I was a child - so even if I think something is my own idea, I'm never completely sure I didn't see it somewhere ten years ago or something. Now, with the bazillion craft blogs I look at, and all the cool stuff on Flickr and Etsy - who knows if there is such a thing as "original art". And really, there are only so many ways you can make a purse, or a zipper pouch, or a scarf. Right?

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