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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?







(click image to take you to Amazon)

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