Hello world!

Just playin' around

I’ve been meaning to do the blog thing for some time now, but I’ve just never got around to it….and then someone asked me tonight if I had a blog or some place where they could look at my quilting.  So, in response to that, I officially now have a blog!

As I have shared recently, with the purchase of my new machine, I have entered into a new phase of my longarm life.  Although I will continue to quilt for my favorite clients, I am going to include MYSELF in that list as well!  I am SO excited to really tap into my own creativity, and to really enjoy the process while I’m doing it!

Over the past few years I have spent a great deal of time designing and digitizing designs for computerized longarm systems.  What has been really cool is that the more feather designs I have drawn, the more elaborate my freehand feathers have become, and they quilted out just about as easily as when I drew them!  I must admit that I’ve done very little freehand quilting in the last several years–with a Statler and an IQ, who needed to?  But now I’m returning to my roots a bit, and enjoying the freedom and the joy of freehand quilting. 

The above picture is of the first 10 minutes of quilting I did after my A1 was delivered and set up.  Dare I admit that it was also the first freehand work I’ve done in AGES, with the exception of playing around on the machines when we were vending shows?  Actually, I don’t think it looks too bad–especially since I was waiting for my glasses to come in and I was seeing two of every line I stitched!  And did I mention that it felt amazing quilting even that little bit?  My poor dealer….she couldn’t get me to play with the machine while she was here–I’ve had a number of machines since I started all this in ’96, so I wasn’t worried about the quilting part.  She had tweaked the machine and tested it out with her quilting, and it was working perfectly, so that was good enough for me at the time.  I’m someone who likes to get acquainted with new things in private… Poor Megan, I think it was more than a week later before I got out to the machine to play with it!

I’ve been messing around with a bunch of ideas of stuff I want to quilt–I’ve got this huge piece of fabric on, I might as well play on it, right?  And if it turns out wonderful, I may have to raffle it off or something, since I am NOT a navy blue kind of girl…  I can’t wait to find the time to go out and play some more–I need to do it so I can get a couple of customer quilts that have been waiting quilted!!

Well, Carla, Here’s to you!!  I finally have a blog!!!

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About shannonhicks

I'm a professional longarm quilter and designer/digitizer for designs for computerized quilting systems. We are dealers for IntelliQuilter, and I teach longarm and AutoSketch classes in my studio in Washington State. I'm married to a wonderful man and have two great kids, married to incredible spouses--what more could a person want!

Posted on May 7, 2009, in Computerized Quilting, Longarm Quilting and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Christine Olson

    Although the attorney is probably spot on about it not being worth the battle, keep in mind that should you win THEIR insurance company must pay damages AND your legal fees. But there’s the glitch!

    If their insurance company feels their insured KNOWINGLY broke copyright laws, then they will not pay for damages and fees. Insurance does not cover intentional acts. This means it would come out of the offender’s own pocket. That usually means more protracted legal back and forth, and if they don’t have the funds to pay you, liens must be made and it becomes a huge mess. A lot of attorneys have better, more lucrative, things to pursue than a “squabble” in their opinion.

    On the other hand, sometimes it’s the PRINCIPLE of the matter. DH and I pursued a matter years ago based on principle. It was a hassle but we felt it was necessary. I don’t think we ever received proper compensation but it sent a very clear and painful message to the other party. That message was loud and clear.

    Since you are already thinking of improving your designs, then moving on seems the prudent thing. I do hope you receive a commission/royalty check if any of your old patterns are still being sold by that website, though.

    • There is definitely a part of me that wants to respond on the principal of the thing. But if I have learned anything from the events of the last couple of years it is that I need to choose my battles. I know this person knows they are wrong, and she has to look in the mirror and decide if she can live with that. I know for a fact that some of my patterns are still being sold on this website, and I am waiting to see if I receive any commission checks beyond the “final” check that was sent after “all” of my patterns were removed from the website. I will have to make a decision soon as to how I will handle it if no commissions are sent on those subsequent sales.

      What I do know is that I choose to run my business with integrity, and offer the finest product I can with the best customer service I am able.

      I have learned that I can do nothing about what others think or do, only about what I do. It is a hard lesson to learn, but in the long run, I’m a happier person because of it.

  2. Christine Olson

    Love the freehand work and welcome to blogville! Definitely do as Carla suggests. Tweak those designs and run with them!

    I am unclear as to who “retired” your designs. Was it you or the website? And did you give up your rights to your own designs by having them posted on that website?

    I had an issue with a website that suggested that whatever content I posted on that site automatically became theirs per their terms of service. Then they quoted a “fair use” clause that was simply bogus nonsense. The fair use clause was NOT created for this purpose and any good copyright attorney could blow holes through their argument.

    I hope you looked into your legals options. Unfortunately, there are some people that think they can intimidate people to yield to them.

    Your designs have always been some of the best, imo.

    It’s so nice to see you on the Net again!

    • Thanks, Christine!! I’ve been revising some of those original designs and although they do stitch out beautifully, my quality of digitizing has improved, so it may not be all bad that I will have the opportunity to clean them up before they are out there in some form again ;)

      The patterns were “retired” from the website that was hosting them. I did contact an attorney, who did tell me that copyright was on my side (I have the original, dated drawings, and original dated digitizing on most of them), but this host site chose to strip them of their value by selling them for pennies on the dollar, saturating the market with them. There would be insufficient financial gain to warrant a legal battle to get them back, so I will continue to take the high road and make new designs, and redigitize old designs from my drawings, making them new and improved!

      My drawing style has evolved over the last couple of years, especially where feathers are concerned, so I have some pretty cool ideas up my sleeve! And as the capabilities of systems like IQ have changed, what we can do as designers has also changed. I think it’s great that there are so many of us doing designs right now that it has really raised the bar for designs, which is a win-win for everyone. I’m a consumer as well as a designer/distributer!! I love being on the cutting edge, and trying to keep up or even anticipate what might be coming down the road and being prepared for that. Can you tell that I love what I do!?!??!?

      I really do appreciate your compliments regarding my designs…you know, you have to BUY those lottery tickets if you expect to WIN the lottery so you can BUY a system for your A1!! See how that works?? :)

      And thanks, it’s nice to be “back” again!

  3. Woo-hoo!! Looks, Great!! You have it all figured out, too. Love the picture, great freehand work with your machine. I own an A1 as well.

    If you get stuck, you can search for a similar problem in the forums or you can email me, too. Your dashboard is your main control central, but be sure to check out all the other features.

    Yes, redraw your designs, change them up enough so it is now your NEW intellectual property, then you won’t have to worry about legal woes.

    Welcome to blogland! Carla

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