Thursday, May 29, 2008

Copy Right or Wrong ?

I have a moment on a gorgeous (almost) summer evening to leave a message that will resonate with more than just Barn Quilters, but also with quilters in general. I have only recently been introduced to the world of quilting, yet I was quick to see that there are millions whom have enjoyed this pastime, hobby, avocation, vocation and passion for years. Even for a relative newbe, I sense that there are two (tho not mutually exclusive), camps of fiber artists that quilt. There are the quilters that will do what feels and looks right, and because they are creating projects for themselves alone, they have no need to consider that by using the patterns created by someone else, they may actually be infringing on the rights (copyrights) of another. Then there are professional crafts artists. These are quilters that sew in groups, or individually for profit or as competition. By entering their quilts in local or regional shows, county fairs or even using the art as a church raffle, they will need to consider copyrights and the law.

Certainly, every artist would like to think that their art is an original, but in the world of quilting there is sharing. A lot of sharing! That is how people learn, and get better, and sharing is one of the reasons for the groups, societies, quilt circles and magazines and the quilt shops selling patterns along with a bazillion different fabrics. In fact, if there wasn't sharing and copying of quilts and quilt patterns, I doubt that there would be the number of quilts (and quilters), that there are today. I have been keenly aware of discussions that I have come across describing the rights of individuals to copyrighted patterns and quilts. It is nice when someone plainly states that this pattern is an original (with copyright protection), but for many of the individual patterns that are being used, they fall outside of the copyright protection... I am not an attorney, but there is a lot of interesting information on the internet, and a well written site provided by the
Library of Congress, and the U.S. Copyright Office.

On the
Ning Social Network - Barnquilting, I do believe that there is enough to question the rights and legality of copyrighting a Barn Quilt pattern. The majority (but by no means all) of the Barn Quilt patterns are based on traditional quilt block patterns, usually from before 1900. These quilt block patterns, in and of themselves can not be copyrighted, but what about the Barn Quilt ? Are there adequate protections for the artists, organizations and individuals that have created or claim ownership ? What do you think, and what protections have you taken ?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Is there anybody out there ?

I am very content in my belief that my path is charted, but still unknown. I have started a blog called Barn Quilt Memories, and what is referred to as a social network that is devoted to Barn Quilts called (what else...) Barnquilting. For weeks I have toyed with the medium, and there has not yet been any response. I have a store on Cafepress called the Barn Quilt Shop and it has not become a hit... not really discovered. All is well! I am not discouraged, but I do wonder what my next step will be. I suppose that I will in the next few days start telling the personal story of what has brought me to this place. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 26, 2008

RSS Feed

For anyone catching this blog as an RSS feed on , please take a moment and look on the list below for your local Barn Quilt site, home page, or information page of the local supporting agency. These sites and Barn Quilt Projects are not set up the same, and I think that variety and diversification is a good thing. I hope that the freedom of expression and experimentation continues to thrive throughout the land.

Below is a list of the Barn Quilt Projects (and/or Web Sites, or pages of Web Sites), that are from the sponsoring agency (at least the ones that I have found). Please check to see if yours is represented. If you would like to add a site to this list, it is being maintained on the Blogger site: , or you can e-mail me at , or at . If I live long enough, the confusion will settle into a more direct form of communication, but I am still trying to find what works...

Ia, Butler County
Ia, Clay County
Ia, Fayette County
Ia, Green County
Ia, Grundy County
Ia, Hamilton County
Ia, Hancock County
Ia, Homboldt County
Ia, Plymouth County
Ia, Pocahontas County
Ia, Sac County
Ia, Washington County
Il, McHenry County
Ky, Bath, Carter, Elliott, Greenup, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan and Rowan Counties
Ky, Boyd County
Ky, Breckenridge County
Ky, Flemming County
Ky, Jessamine County
Ky, Lewis County
Ky, Rowan County
Ky, Scott County
Md, Garrett County
Mi, Alcona County
NC, Ashe County
NC, Avery County
NC, Madison County
NC, Mitchell and Yancey Counties
NC, Watauga County
NC, Wilkes County
NC, Yadkin County
NY, Orleans County
Oh, Adams County
Oh, Athens County
Oh, Brown County
Oh, Champaign County
Oh, Fayette, Highland and Ross Counties
Oh, Harrison County
Oh, Miami County
Oh, Monroe County
Oh, Pike County
Oh, Vinton County
Tn, Carter County
Tn, Claiborne County
Tn, Cocke County
Tn, Grainger County
Tn, Green County
Tn, Hamblen County
Tn, Hancock County
Tn, Hawkins County
Tn, Johnson County
Tn, Knox County
Tn, Sullivan County
Tn, Unicoi County
Tn, Union County
Tn, Washington County
Tx, Terry County
Wi, Green County

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


The word for the day is "agritourism". This was a word that was coined some years ago (I haven't done the research), but I believe that it is ment to encompass many things. Mainly it is a draw created to get the more-urban into a more-rural environment temporarily... as a tourist. Maybe for an extended vacation, or maybe just for a few hours.

The current Wikipedia definition says: Agritourism is a style of vacation which is normally on farms. This may include the chance to help with farming tasks during the visit. Agritourism is often practiced in wine growing regions in Italy and Spain. In America, Agritourism is wide-spread and includes any farm open to the public at least part of the year. Tourists can pick fruits and vegetables, ride horses, taste honey, learn about wine, shop in farm gift shops and farm stands for local and regional produce or hand-crafted gifts, and much more.

The "dude ranch" is included here, but so is the barn quilt. I know that some of the Barn Quilt Projects in Western North Carolina were started with funding from the Blue Ridge Natural Heritage Area. They are self described as: a place designated by the United States Congress where natural, cultural, historic, and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography. These patterns make National Heritage Areas representative of the national experience through the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved in the areas. Continued use of the National Heritage Areas by people whose traditions helped to shape the landscapes enhances their significance. (your federal tax dollars at work)

This money was channeled thru the Handmade in America organization. Since 1993, these folks have encouraged and supported the local arts and artisans of the region. When you focus on economic development there are also (can be), many supporters from local and state government. The Barn Quilt arts movement has the underlying spirit of supporting our rural neighbors, but I still like to think of this as stand alone, art for art’s sake. Can this be art for the sake of the community? Look at the pride that is generated by ownership (even by a neighbor, or tourist), of a place, and space in time, that we can call our own.

Comment here, or on

Monday, May 19, 2008

stealing moments

It is all that I can do right now... to steal a few moments between being the taxi driver for my son, getting shopping and house work done, trying to fix the car, scout treasury reports, not to mention my real job. There is other stuff on my plate, yet I keep coming back to the Barn Quilts. I think that I will post several topics for discussion on the Ning "Barn Quilting" Network. There is a way to create and post to a blog on the network, but I may use this Blogger format to post my personal opinions, and try not to get carried away on Ning. Actually Blogger would be a good place for me to explain the question, or statement, or explain why it interests me. I don't want to make my Ning network statements too lengthy or it will be difficult for people to comment and allow themselves to feel ownership of the discussion.

If anyone acidentally (or otherwise), reads this post, please take a few seconds and go to I guess that (maybe) you will need to sign in to post any comments, but there is no reason that you would have to use your real name (unless you wanted to come back one day). Anyway, I am trying to connect some interesting and creative people that share a common interest. If you don't want to join right now, maybe you have a mate or buddy on-line, or a messanger contact that has mentioned Barn Quilts, or maybe just someone you know in one of those states (Ia, Ky, Md, Mi, NC, NY, Oh, Tn, Tx, or Wi).

Saturday, May 17, 2008


take just a minute (actually 4:29), and view this video from the Farmer's Almanac

(linked here)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Time flies

How the time does fly. My last post was in a whirlwind of moving stuff off of the farm, and for the past few weeks my life has seemed a little nuts. Actually my life has been nuts for more than a few weeks, but we don't need to go there tonight. I started another blog about the same time as this one, thinking that it was easier to create and maintain a list on MSN Spaces. Well, I guess that you can teach an old dog new tricks (see list at right). Because I have not been posting, I have not been getting any traffic. Let's see if we can get this changed. Right now I have more than 50 Barn Quilt web-sites listed. It's worth a look-see... See if your favorite is here. If not, I would love to add any that are sent my way.

I am also starting a "social network" on Ning called Barn Quilting. My plan is to be listener and a facilitator, but I do not want to tell anyone how to do their thing. Let's share a little information, some pictures, and some laughs. I am open to any and all ideas, but this is a family network, so let's keep it clean. I have not come across another idea that has as much potential as Barn Quilting to connect the communities that we want so much to share.

Find more photos like this on Barn Quilting

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Times, they are a changin'

Well, the farm is sold. Everything (most everything), got loaded and moved. There is still a truck & trailer load to unpack. That is what I will be about today. I will be able to spend a little more time here in the coming days, and I hope to meet a few friends with an interest in Barn Quilts.

A quick FYI note...
The current AAA e-zine called Home & Away has a nice article on the Barn Quilts of Miami County, Ohio. Linked to: Home & Away