Class Instructions, Stitch Guides for Canvas & Charted Counted Stitch Guides.

Editor’s Note: If you do not like soap box stands do not read this post.

At some point in your creative endeavors you are going to receive written instructions of some sort; from a teacher, friend or instructor. They can be free as in a hand drawn on a piece of paper or instructions you pay for, a complete set of written instructions for a class or a canvas, etc. Some instructions, like Counted thread can be as simple as a set of diagrams or as complex as complete, step by step instructions.

All the above are not equal, some instructions are better written than others, some will have mistakes but the one thing they all have in common is that they are COPYRIGHT protected.

Simple put, this means you should only use them for yourself! You should not sell them, give them away, share them and any form…this means no copies, nor hand drawn copies of someone else’s work!

When you have finished the project or class, dispose of them properly. Keep them all or in part as a reference for yourself; or throw them away. You purchased these instructions for your use not for other people. You paid for the instructions, is your friend paying you?…still illegal!

When you pay for instructions, you are paying for that person’s creativity. You are paying the shop to keep the lights on and to carry the things you like to stitch. You are paying for a lot of little things that keep designers designing and shops selling.

At the worst ….Would you like to be robbed; because that is what you are doing? You are taking livelihood away from the designer. I know designers/teachers whose stitch guides and instructions are a main part of their income; it is not a hobby or sideline.

How would you feel if you stitched a canvas, gave it to a friend and less than a month later your gift was for sale online, at a yard or at your local resell shop? That’s a similar feeling designers, teachers and shop owners feel when they see these things for resale.

I mentioned a couple blogs ago that I am working on a sale for my guild…I will not accept (and I will throw away) any instructions from classes that have been taken by guild members that do not have the complete kit or stitch guides for canvases that do not have an accompanying canvas. I personally have a problem with class teaching pieces , just because of all the little things you learn in class that may or may not be covered in the text. The “pearls of wisdom” the teacher shares with the class. I know that my Contemporary Forrest Necklace (last post) ttps:// would have been a bit easier had I physically been in the class with Catherine Jordan.

I would really like not to accept anything but books, but I know that is pushing the envelope for a non profit.

Just be mindful of Copyright and please do not sell something you have already had the creative use of…And if you would like to read more; Ruth Schmuff’s blog offers a designers point of view:

Putting my soap box away for now. Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have time to stitch today.




Editors note:

Last week I posted a blog (  and mistakenly called it plagiarism; it is copyright infringement. I have corrected the post but I stand by what I said. Both are illegal and both make my blood boil!

14-10-06 RoyalsThis week I had someone tell me my baseball was cute and they thought they would copy it. I have no legal rights to the Royals emblem I did not buy the licensing.  But it still is my design adaptation and even though I do not intend to sell this design copying it is not legal.

A great article on copyright has been written by Mary Ann Jones & Matthew J. Booth for Needlepoint Now. If you would like to read it, it can be found here:

Thank you for stopping by, I hope you find time to stitch today! ttfn…sue


The Neighborhood House 2

I want to share my new architectural needlepoint skills, “The Neighborhood” is proving to be quite a lesson in learning. I love the way Susan Jones has subtly marked the corners of the house (A in photo) by starting and stopping the stitches rather than outlining the corner or changing thread color. She also has offset stitches to give dimension (B in photo), and uses overdyes (C in photo) to suggest shading. And the roof stitch of house two (D in photo), while easy to stitch, takes a moment to watch the count; a great shingle stitch.

I love this piece and when I first started stitching this piece had no one in mind, just liked the piece. Now that I am stitching it, I have several people I think would like this as a gift. And that brings up a question: “How many times can you stitch a piece from the instructions you purchase without being in copyright infringement?”  Read U.S.Copyright Law: especially Section 107 Fair Use:  and .

I mentioned that I might want to stitch this piece more than once in the class, and many felt that I could stitch it as many times as I wished from one set of instructions as long as I was not selling them. I pointed out to them, that if this were a painted canvas that would not be the case.

I’ve read the copyright law and I think it is a bit confusing on the subject of multiple uses. I read this as I need a copy of the instructions for everyone I stitch, but it also states I can contact the owner for permission to use more than once. So I did send an email to the source I had and received this reply:

 As long as you purchased the full pattern from your LNS you may stitch it as many times as you wish using your original set of instructions.  You may not make copies of the pattern or any part hereof and give them or sell them to friends nor may you make the design or any part thereof and sell it  —  the design is for your use only to make for yourself and/or as gifts.

Truthfully I was a bit taken back by the responses. I feel like if I stitch it 2 or 3 times I should do something more than pay for the chart-pack once. If it were a painted canvas, I would have to purchase two or three. I know that some designers of chart-packs are adding a special embellishment that will require you to purchase additional chart-packs if you wish to have the embellishment.

AND then there is the question:  What do you do if you want a chart-pack or instruction book that is no longer in print (and you know this for a fact)? What if a shop wants to teach such a piece in a class and they have only three copies of the instructions and 6-7 possible students? What if that original designer has either passed away,  is no longer teaching, and you have tried every means to get in touch with the designer; can you make copies for a class? I think there are many great designs out there that should be taught again and again…they are classics.

I’m not sure where I stand on either issue, but I do know that I think I owe it to the art of needlepoint to do more than buy one chart-pack or instruction book and reproduce it 3 or 4 times. Maybe the answer to both questions is to donate a portion to a local charity or stitching guild of your choice.

What do you think is “Fair use?”

I hope everyone has time to stitch today! ttfn…sue