If you have an idea in the forest…


There is a clever little quilt technique and pattern that I’m seeing everywhere right now. It’s becoming a little bit of a fad, and it may actually be something new. And you know what? Every time I see it, it TICKS ME THE HECK OFF! Why? Because I developed and wrote a pattern for it ten years ago.

I’m not going to show you this pattern or  technique because it is most likely that this is a dear woman who came up with the idea on her own, just the way I did. Let’s face it: we’re talking about quilting here, not about Unified Theory. And this post is not about the woman who is getting recognized for this pattern, anyway (to whom I will refer as Ms. Q – for quilter). This post is about the woman who didn’t.

You see, it doesn’t really matter at all whether Ms. Q. stumbled upon her idea by herself (most likely), whether she found one of my old quilts in a charity shop (highly unlikely), or whether she was one of the FIVE people who purchased my original pattern ten years ago and then modified it slightly to bring it up to date (nearly impossible). What matters is that Ms. Q. was the one who was smart enough and ambitious enough to bring it to market and get it published in a real magazine.

So why am I angry? Because I did not have the smarts and ambition to properly market this idea and get it published in a real magazine so that it could become a fad with my name attached to it. In other words, I’m not angry with Ms. Q. I’m angry with myself. Sucks to be me… right now.

Ideas, People, belong to the world. My pattern – the illustrations and instructions – were copyrighted, but the idea didn’t require anything involving a patent. Nobody “stole” anything. Even if she had gone out and used my exact instructions and illustrations (which she did NOT), I would have to go to great personal expense and effort for what would end up to be very little gain, with the added benefit of becoming That Woman Who Sued The Nice Lady Who Came Up With That Cool Idea.

So, what’s an embittered Might-Have-Been to do? Get off her tail and become the next Lady Who Came Up With That Cool Idea. After all, if you only have one good idea in you, do you really deserve much attention anyway?

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