Sunday, July 10, 2011

Farmer's Wife Quilt Along

Below is essentially the same message that I posted to the The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt Yahoogroup, in response to Laurie Aaron Hird's posting regarding the tutorial project that I'd approached her about. I've edited it a bit to address the wider audience that I get with my blog.


Hello all,

I apologize for getting folks' hopes up that instruction for The Farmer's Wife blocks might be offered in a web-friendly manner. I just saw a gap and hoped to be able to fill it. 

Hopefully, you all will be able to find instruction in places other than the Yahoogroup. For my part, I am disappointed, so I'm going to take a break on my Farmer's Wife Quilt. I have to decide if I feel it's worth the time to re-figure rotary cutting directions for only myself. In the meantime, I have a couple of Modern Quilt Guild Challenges due by September and not started yet(!), a Dear Jane in progress, a top to quilt with (hopefully) show worthy skill, and a Double Wedding Ring quilt to complete. I'm hoping to present the latter to my husband for Christmas, which means I need to get cracking!

There are those of who have contacted me outside of the Yahoogroup and Flickr group. I appreciate your kind words and encouragement. Thank you. If you'd like to continue corresponding with me, I'd love it. While I do have sewing groups outside of the internet, quilting is still very much about the community and camaraderie for me. 

Meanwhile, good luck to all of you! I'll continue to poke my nose in the Yahoogroup and on the Flickr group to see how folks are progressing. And, again, if anyone wants to correspond with me, feel free! Just because I'll be quietly attending to other projects doesn't mean that I want to be a loner :)



I'm trying to not feel like the sour grape in the bunch or the rotten apple in the bushel, but I am very disappointed. I derive a great deal of enjoyment and personal satisfaction in helping my fellow quilters. Still, I do understand Laurie Hird's desire to protect her copyright and intellectual property. I'm currently trying to keep this experience from changing me from a "quilter" into a "quitter". I'm trying to put a good foot forward, but honestly, I'm finding it difficult.

So, yes, for at least a few weeks I'll be taking a break from The Farmer's Wife sampler. Still, I bought the book, and I feel driven to complete the quilt, if only in an effort to work through my disappointment. I'm already fairly certain that I'll be changing my color palette from the bright color palette that most of my blocks thus far have been in and focus on a palette similar to the one below:
I've already decided that I have to find a silver metallic cotton to do a flange on the quilt, to remind myself that there is a silver lining to every situation. I'm still looking for one in this situation, but maybe by the time I complete this top, I'll have figured that out.

Those of you who have offered me words of support and encouragement, thank you! I cannot tell you how much I appreciate them.

Now, I'm off to another day of work at the mall.


Anonymous said...

I understand your feelings - and truthfully, do not understand the push back from the author on posting block instructions. Truly. Make no sense to me. Puts me off it too ..... :(

Dawnmarie said...

I completely understand where you're coming from. I have been following that whole conversation and was afraid this would happen. I will say that I had a hard time with the author's response. I hadn't gotten started yet, and now I'm not sure if I will. I will definitely think twice about buying another sampler book that doesn't include more detailed instructions as I'm still a beginner.

On a happier note, I've enjoyed your contributions to the Skillbuilder series and your willingness to share. I do hope that you can find joy in the FW again.

Thanks for being such a giving person.

Anonymous said...

What a pity , i was looking forward to a bit of guidance along the way.I don't get it tho',the author didn't include guidelines or instruction's (not even the book illustration are true to size) and the CD didn't print off accurate templates, so how can it be a breach of copyright to provide what she did not? The blocks can't be copyright as most of them have been around for years. I don't know how "That Quilt"(twiddletails ) got around the issue with the Jane Stickle quilt, maybe you could ask

Sandi P said...

Hmmm, not sure exactly what is going on here since I haven't gotten started and didn't join the Yahoo Group. I am sorry it has upset you though. I was enjoying reading about and seeing your blocks and felt like you and your blog were going to be a great resource as I got going on the FW quilt. My book is due in tomorrow's mail and I am excited to get going.
I hope you come to some peace with whatever is happening and return to the FW quilt before too long. You are doing lovely work and it seems a shame to let someone else spoil that fun for you.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am very disappointed. Since she didn't provide instructions, I would think she would be grateful for all the work everyone else is providing to further her book. Without the support groups I know there is NO WAY I would be doing all these little blocks and I think a lot of others feel the same way. Maybe she thought most people would just read the stories and not do the quilt??? Anyway...I will check in on you once in a while. Hope you take up the FW blocks again. You write a GREAT blog. Terri

GeeGee said...

When I read that the blocks were made from TEMPLATES, I did not and will not buy the book. Who works from templates any more when rotary cutting is SO MUCH easier. I personally don't think the book would have gotten off the ground without the blogs. I can understand your disappointment and the disappointment of those you were trying to help. Maybe you could write a best seller using the rotary cutting method.
Have a great week, know that you are appreciated and keep smiling!!

Sant Family said...

I too was very disappointed with the author's response. And a lot confused. Most of the quilt block designs are public domain by now and like others have said, nothing is to scale and there are no instructions. (I have a good friend who is an attorney and I am going to ask about the rules on that.) I sat on this book for more than a year and only decided to do it after I saw it on all the quilting blogs. I was still hesitant to try since I don't know a thing about making a quilt from templates (is that like cooking over a woodburning stove with flour you ground yourself?). Your blog and your instructions were the main reason I got my act together (and a few friends) and said we can do this! We will follow Grey Cat!

The author's response has soured me on the quilt now, too. I am very disappointed. Unfortunately, in my search for more directions, I have found that you are not the only one that has received that kind of response from her.

Either way, I will still continue reading your blog! I love what you say and how you say it. I learned so much from reading your previous posts. I do hope that at some point you would consider going ahead with help for ... I don't know ... "certain vintage quilt blocks".

Lynne said...

I love your blog and will continue to be a follower - whatever project you are working on!

As a novice, I particularly enjoy the Skill Builder series.

caroline said...

I'm not following the quilt along and I don't know that much about the whole story, but it's seemed odd to me, following a couple of people's blogs in the QAL, that some classic blocks were renamed--"Wrench" in this book is Churn Dash, no? What's up with that? Is that so that the author could claim copyright?

Anonymous said...

Whoa! People calm down. Hugs tight to you Grey Cat. I am so sorry you have sour feelings over this. I hope in time you can put those feeling aside and continue on with this quilt.
As for the author not wanting people to post tutorial on actual individual blocks she simply just doesnt want anyone to have the instructions on making the quilt without the book. The author put a lot of work and heart into this book and quilt. Yes the quilt consists of blocks that are public domain.
No there isnt any instructions on how to put the blocks together. The book and the blocks with no instruction are suppossed to let you , the sewer , use your head and skills to put the blocks together. If you dont have those skill then search for instruction on them. I have never hand pieced. I went searching for hand piecing tutorials , found a great one with plenty of examples and pressing information. New quilters , this is a challenge. By the time you have a quilt top you will have gained so much knowledge in cutting and sewing blocks together. And remember , dont be afraid to ask questions of more experianced quilters. Hugs to all.

ConnieB/CA said...

I think this rather escalated, as these things have a tendancy to do. One thing you can do is just post tutorials on blocks, six inch blocks, with the common name of the block (most, if not all, of these blocks are available in Brackman's Encyclopedia of quilt blocks, and have common names). I have done all of the blocks, mostly with Marti Michell templates, before Marti did, or maybe when she was doing them. I posted on my blog the method I used, and the MM templates I used, and the yahoo group owner knew about it and left nice comments. These were not tutorials, exactly, due to my time constraints, except occasionally.
As far as no instructions on assembly, there are, because the quilt blow-out shows the assembly steps. Granted, I ignored them. But I have also been quilting for over twenty years. Perhaps a tutorial on recognizing block types? Humm, maybe I could do that if you don't want to do it. Jinny Beyer actually wrote a very good one in a book that is now out of print. I would not copy it! But it is a very good skill to have. My blog is
Take a deep breath and enjoy whatever it is you choose to work on next. Hugs,

Karen said...

I'm surprised this has blown up as it has and I agree with Connie that tutorials for the public domain blocks would be an excellent resource. I have said this several times now, but for some reason everyone is ignoring that part and just focussing on the negatives. Laurie has also said she agrees with me, so by default she is happy to have resources available. She just asks that her copyright be respected when you do your tutorials.
If you're unsure which things you can and cannot include then obtain reliable advice before posting the tutorials.
I love your blog and look forward to seeing your tutorials. I hope you continue to make your FWS blocks and join in with the Yahoo group.
Karen (moderator Yahoo FWS group)

Rebecca Fiedler said...

Not that I can offer a silver lining for you, but I've decided it's time to share what I know about copyright with the quilting community. My first post talks about how the limits on authors' rights actually promote creativity. It's a small thing but perhaps a little knowledge will help us tell authors and publishers where our rights to our quilting heritage begin. My post is titled I'm calling shenanigans. There are limits to an author's rights! If nothing else, perhaps we will be able to speak more knowledgeably about the topic.

Laurie Aaron Hird said...

Dear Rebecca,

I am very disappointed that you made no attempt to contact me, (the author) about this discussion. Will you be willing to speak to me directly so that I can clarify my comments? I can be reached at

Laurie Aaron Hird

Kris said...

Ok piecemealquilts. I'd like to say you have lost a reader but I have only visited your site once and thought it wasnt very nice. It did lead me here. Good thing though, Grey Cat has clairified a few things for me in my quilting. Thank you Grey Cat.
As for the choice of annon. I really didnt feel like fighting blogger to let me have my I.D. The cyber hugs were there to take or to leave. It isnt like you can catch my 'cooties' from it.
There are a lot of tutorials out there on technique. Both here and your blog to make this quilt. Maybe it is just me, but half the fun of going wild and jumping in head first is researching as I go.

Anonymous said...

I wrote a comment late last night when I was still pretty ticked about the negative attention Jeanne was getting. After some positive developments today, I asked her to delete my comment. Kris, I'm sorry. I've never reacted well to being told to calm down, but I was snarkier than I needed to be.

Kris said...

Too bad we cannot edit comments after they are sent. Appology accepted.
I have been pondering this for while , and I just personally think that there is more going on in the background of things, that cant be shared. I do feel noone ment to hurt anyone feelings. When things have to go unsaid for whatever reasons it can and often does happen. When someone gets hurt people rally around the one with the hurt feelings. This speaks of good things in this community. It can also get out of hand And that is my calm down. Let's not let this get out of hand and hurt more people. Let us patch this up like a loved and cherished quilt.

Nic said...

Hi Jeanne. I really like the new colour way you are planning. Do you think the silver thread will be used for all of the quilting or just highlights? Hopefully you'll get your FWQ mojo back soon as I'd love to see what other beautiful blocks you come up with. But I understand the whole being put off a project due to a bad response, happened to me with cross stitching. Silver lining for me: time to quilt instead :)

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