September 3, 2019

Polka Dots!

I made a small polka dot themed quilt as part of the copyright study at Just Wanna Quilt.   The basic question is to find the line between what's unique enough to be copyrightable and what is considered too common (eg., basic polka dots).  (By the way, any and all are welcome to join the project and make all sorts of things.  Visit the facebook page to sign up.  It's a great group, lots of interesting and fun discussions on all sorts of quilt-y topics.)

That may sound all highfalutin (which I discovered is actually in the dictionary and I spelled it right!), but actually I'm just using it as a reason to play with my stash.  You know, always so fun!

So, the background is white satin from a wedding dress that was too badly damaged to be re-saleable, but good in places for fabric and trim salvage.  And the polka dots are reverse appliqué, with machine zig-zag and invisible thread.

I just pulled out fabrics for the dots, fairly randomly, from my bin of non-cotton, specialty fabrics.  When I got them all in place, there was one that just seemed too dull.

I went back to the bin and found a brighter replacement.

Isn't it amazing how changing just that one color, makes the whole thing seem so much brighter?!

first colors
(Ignore the pink glow at the bottom of this photo - I was wearing a red t-shirt....)

second colors

Planning the quilting is usually one of the hardest parts for me.  I generally end up not wanting to "mess up" the pieced or appliqué design with the quilted texturing.  I decided to quilt inside each of the dots and again just outside the zig-zag.  And no, so far, I am not totally adept at free-motion, so it was many gradual turnings of the whole little quilt.  I also quilted around the edges of the whole piece with a line of zig-zag stitching.  Honestly, that was an attempt to disguise the little pencil dots I'd made for placing the polka dots.  I'd marked one more row, then decided not to make it that big, and didn't think I could erase the dots without messing up the surface of the satin.

Here's the finished quilt.  My husband named it.

Dolka Pots - 13.75" x 13.75" 

Also, as part of the same copyright research project, I sent photos to Just Wanna Quilt of other dotty pieces already in my Something From Nothing series. 
 Wool and Buttons - 12"x12"

On And Off - 13.5” x 12”

Off Center - 37” x 25”

 Polka Dots - 23” x 23”

What do you know about how copyright is determined?  I know very little.  I doubt that the blue and yellow dotted fabric in the four-patch is copyrightable.  But does playing with polka dots over and around that fabric cross the line into unique, protectable expression?  It's going to be very fun to find out!

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