In October, I was invited to the Beecher Church Quilt Guild here in New Orleans. It was really fun. About 30 women gather to sew. Each month, they make a different project. For $2, you an get in on the project. Then, the have a lottery to see who gets the squares. Cely (who I interviewed, and who agreed to be part of the Quilting Army) invited me.
They have an annual quilt show. They make pincushions for everyone that comes to the show. They also make quilts for kids in foster care -- about 100 a year. After Katrina, when they lost everything, Cely was telling me that a quilt shop in Arizona adopted them, and sent them supplies. And the Church has given them their own room for their materials as well.
It was a lovely few hours. They were working on their blocks, sharing food, and were a community, like so many guilds all over the country.
And copyright? Well, for the pattern, one member had made a copy of one page from a book to explain how to do a tree block. Now, copyright infringement? We'll find out more as we do the project, but my copyright gut thinks this is low-infringement at best, and more likely fair use. What is copyrightable about the pattern is minimum, because the basic pattern is familiar to anyone that pieces blocks. The directions are not copyrightable. So, how the directions are expressed might be. And they did not copy the whole book, but 1-2 pages. Does fair use apply? Again, we'll be doing more research on Copyright Infringement, Fair Use and Guilds throughout the next two years.
Here are some examples of other tree patterns.
What is copyrightable with these three trees?