Barbara Brackman

Author, Quilt Historian

Interviewed by Elizabeth Townsend Gard​

Barbara Brackman is the genius behind the Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.  This is a book that documents when standard blocks first appeared in the U.S. in a published format.  It's brilliant.   The book was published by the American Quilter's Society in 1993.  It is still very relevant and important, both for quilters trying to date or choose a quilt block, but also (for me) in establishing a common pool of blocks in a systematic manner.


For this project, it is especially interesting.  How many of the blocks are still under copyright?  How would they be under copyright?  Are these blocks like facts -- not copyrightable?  Even if some of the publications are still under copyright, Barbara's work is a perfect example of a transformative fair use.  She is using the blocks to catalog blocks, and not sell magazines, or create patterns, etc.   And, my question - are there new blocks being created that should be added, or is the Encylopedia a static thing? What happens when new blocks are created?  Should they be protected by copyright?







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Just Wanna Quilt: An Immersive Research Project of Copyright

Podcast and Research Lab

Tulane University Law School

New Orleans, LA 70118

JWQ Shop and Long Army

Quilting Army Krewe, LLC

New Orleans, LA 70125

(504) 339-3857

Quilting Army Krewe, LLC

Owner, Elizabeth Townsend Gard

Editor-in-Chief, Just Wanna Series, Ricardo Gonzalez

Inventory Quilt Project, Willow Olson

Long Army, Joel Sellers

Project Director, Gigi Baay