Who invented the hexagon, and why does bullying never end?


Who invented the hexagon anyway? And are all quilters giving him or her credit? And while were at it, who invented the HST? I doubt that person is getting any royalties from all the HST pattern sales these days.

I am writing this post tonight after having an unfortunate interaction with another quilt artist that could have gone much differently.

deco hex rifle edit 1

I recently shared the above quilt I’m working on, using a pattern I drafted based on a very common floor tile design, which you can see at the beginning of this post. Julie Hirt has a similar pattern for sale called Hexie Tiles. Heck, lets even call it the same pattern. It is a common, basic shape after all.

I do not follow Julie and am not familiar with her work. Since this began it was brought to my attention that I liked a photo posted on another feed of someone making a variation of her pattern, which looks much different than my finished piece. You can see it further below in the post.

Without attempting to contact me personally or privately in any way, Julie commented on my photo and then immediately posted this accusatory and defamatory post on her instagram feed, which included my photo, and my name in the picture, and I was also tagged on the photo so people could click over to my account:


I immediately began receiving negative comments, personal attacks and losing followers. I messaged her privately and as soon as I sent it, a message from her popped up to me, but she had already posted the above on Instagram BEFORE messaging me in any way.

Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. A hexagon is a basic geometric shape.
  2. I was inspired by the floor tile photos at the beginning of the post, and Julie says she was as well.
  3. I liked a photo posted on the Stash Fabrics account showing a variation of Julies pattern last December. I do not memorize every photo I see on Instagram when I’m scrolling before bed. And even if I had, the patterns look amazingly different. You can see it below and decide.
  4. If I had been privately messaged by Julie before she posted and took this public, this would not be here not.
  5. Though people don’t want to believe so, I would have been open to seeing her pattern, comparing dimensions, construction methods (such as paper piecing vs templates, Y seams vs no Y seams, etc). And if they were alike, I would have had no problem sharing her pattern.
  6. None of those things happened. I was pinned as a horrible, guilty copycat before even knowing her pattern existed. Even after Julie and I began dialogue, she refused to discuss it privately or like responsible adults. I am now the big bad, bully because I chose to defend myself, and because I have a larger following. Those things should not even be connected, but these are the slams I am getting.

My problem with all this is her behavior and the way she handled the situation. Julie is privately messaging people who commented in my favor, maybe even some of my followers. I only know from those who inform me. I don’t know what she is saying, but its a fact she has lies on her own blog post about this.

I’m simply sharing facts here, and it’s silly for anyone to think I’m wrong in doing so. Julie can continue to spin this anyway she pleases, but I just have trouble being supportive of someone who behaves this way.

Though she is saying she removed her IG post before I shared this, she did not. She refused to remove her post until I credited her pattern, still accusing me of copying.



Here is the photo that I “liked” that was shared on the Stash Fabrics feed (not Julie’s feed last December). This is Julie’s “proof” that I copied. You can choose to believe that I liked this photo last December and then copied it seven months later and turned it into my quilt on the right.


Or you can believe that I saw the above photos (and more) posted on the Ihavethisthingwithfloors Instagram feed from March through June of this year and then created the quilt on the right, without copying her pattern.

All you have is my word and her word, and you can chose to believe either.


She can say I am defaming her here, but there are no lies or false, slanderous comments in my words. I am simply sharing her words and her actions. I did not ignore messages or attempts to talk to me, I was not given a choice. I did not force her hand to post something rude and accusatory.Β  Julie has posted our entire private conversation on her blog, which I find to be distasteful, but you can read it if you’d like. I am not embarrassed by anything I said.

Does sharing all this make me the same as her? Sure. Which is why I usually avoid this kind of thing, but it sadly happens too often and it gets old and tiring. People need to be accountable for their actions and choices.

And yes, I removed my Instagram post about this topic. Not because I’m hiding or embarrassed or afraid of comments, but because I said I would after she removed hers.

I appreciate the supportive words from friends who know me, know I have no reason to copy someone, and can see this situation and my actions for what they are. For those who think I’m in the wrong here, I’m sorry you feel that way and I’m not going to spend my time personally messaging you to convince you otherwise. To me, the facts are clear.

I sew for enjoyment, or at least I used to. I make patterns to share that enjoyment with others. I’m trying not to let things like this suck the joy from me, but I’m really struggling with that at the moment. I don’t know if I will even finish this quilt. The sight of it literally makes me sick to my stomach, but I will set it aside for now and see how I feel later.

41 thoughts on “Who invented the hexagon, and why does bullying never end?

  1. Pamela says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. What most people don’t realize that everything been done before and will be done again. There was no reason for anyone to get nasty about it. I love your design. I don’t think I follow you on IG, but I will now. People need to just get over it and enjoy life. I love your patterns by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. speee1dy says:

    you had seen her instagram with the exact pattern. so how can you now claim you never have and claim you are being bullied. why is it when people dont agree with what others say it is called bully behavior. sad a good discussion can not happen without that word being over used and used in the wrong context.

    i am sure if you had at least owned up to your mistake, or at least given credit where credit is due, this could all have been avoided.


    • Becka says:

      Did Julie mention that Nicole didn’t see Julie’s IG or even a photo of something Julie made? I have also done some digging into this silly social media spat, and I saw it was a photo on a fabric shop account of something someone else (no relation to Julie) made and in the list of hashtags was Julie’s #. Do you memorize every single hashtag that you see on fabric shops’ postings? This entire thing is ridiculous, but little truths like this ought to be highlighted instead of spinning it that Nicole saw Julie’s pic on Julie’s feed. Just saying…


    • nicole young says:

      The photo I saw was not on her feed, it was on the feed of a fabric shop that reposted it. I have shared it here and you can see how different the patterns look. There was no mistake to own up to on my part, and I am also sad a good discussion could not have happened. That’s all I would have wanted, for her to message me to have a discussion BEFORE posting a public slam.


  3. Pamela says:

    I just did a comparison of the two pictures and they are actually two different patterns. There should be NO problem at ALL. Enough said.


  4. Donna says:

    Basic shapes are bound to overlap and repeat. Just a fact of life. Everywhere a person looks they will see circles, squares, and ect., ect.,. That anyone could not think that other people may innocently get a same idea and create a same design using basic shapes is kind of a no brainer. Best advice I can see about this is to not allow things like this to disturb your peace or your sleep. I enjoy your blog. A lot of good things going on here.


  5. julieannetastic.com says:

    My name is Julie. She stole my name. πŸ˜‰
    Love your work, but I’m not a quilter (yet), I REALLY loved your flex frame bags you posted on IG, thats how I found you. I really hate when it seems like your only choice is to keep quiet and take the crap, or speak up then look like you are the one slinging crap. Much like our upcoming presidential election…. neither is a choice to rejoice in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nicole young says:

      Thanks for the laugh, Julie! I’m glad you like the flex frame post, they are so fun to make! I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. Your point is my biggest argument right now. It was ok for her to post something publicly without contacting me, but I am a bully for sharing my side.


  6. Amy Smith says:

    Love your designs! So sorry this has happened…..this is just like any other craft…..happens all the time…….designs are bound to be repeated! I have been following you for awhile on Instagram……you inspire me with every post!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Aileen says:

    I don’t like seeing the word ‘bullied’ thrown around like this. She had an issue with your claim and was open about that. You have responded publicly. How is that ‘Bullying’? It’s a childish claim.


    • nicole young says:

      Hi Aileen, thanks for sharing your opinion. I’m curious why it was ok for her to publicly slam me first, without even speaking to me privately, but it’s not ok for me to publicly share my side of things?


  8. Ben says:

    I would not be surprised if both patterns were inspired by the same floor tile photos. It is unfortunate that these kinds of disagreements arise. I do really love your fabric combos.


  9. Vicki says:

    Firstly I love your design and the fabrics you’ve used. Secondly I think it’s a shame that an adult discussion behind the scenes couldn’t have taken place. If she was questioning your design/pattern origin why could she not have contacted you privately? Please don’t let her steal your joy in creating and making.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nicole young says:

      Thanks, Vicki! That is my problem with this entire thing. I would have had no issues comparing patterns had she simply contacted me privately. And if I was rude or mean or unwilling to talk to her, she would have had every right to share something publicly.


  10. Maria says:

    The hard truth here is that her pattern was out first (by more than a year?) and there is a record of you seeing it and it is YOUR responsibility to check the internet for similar patterns to the ones you are creating (usually via reverse image search through Google) and then adjust them appropriately so they are truly original or ask for her permission to reproduce them. Even if you did create it independently of her as inspiration, you still need to see if the pattern exists out there before trying to sell it! I’m a newb at pattern writing, but I thought that was common knowledge–even if you provide it for free. I can understand why you are upset by all of this, but trying to paint her as a bully when what she’s doing is simply defending her intellectual property is just adding insult to injury. She has definitely responded strongly to all of this, but it seems so because you continually dismissed her concerns and her pattern.


    • nicole young says:

      Hi Maria, thanks for writing. You are, however, assuming I did not do these things. I invite you to try and find Julie’s pattern by searching without using the exact name. Being a quilter, I’m sure you can imagine how many patterns come up with any sort of search including the word Hexagon. A reverse image search of the art simply brings up hundreds of photos of the floor tiles and illustrated patterns of the same. Others who are not associated with either of us even commented that they tried searching for her pattern and could only find it by exact name.

      The truth is that even though Julie’s pattern has been out for a year or however long, she has not worked to promote it, I don’t know if she has even made anything with it herself that she has shared because I have not seen her post any photos of her creations through all this. There was also only a literal handful of photos posted with the hashtag. This pattern was not out there in the community all over the place for someone to see and find. It was only after I worked hard to create something beautiful and promote it, that she cared about promoting this pattern for herself.


    • nicole young says:

      Also, I never said anywhere that I was selling the pattern. Saying something will be available does not mean it would be for sale. Something else that was assumed. In the end, sharing something for free or for profit doesn’t matter if a copyright was actually infringed, but people cannot make the argument about how I would be profiting off it when I never said it would be for sale.


  11. Jennifer says:

    This whole situation is unfair and petty. To claim that because you liked that photo on the Stash Fabrics feed you are a liar is neither sound or rational. Surely others have to see that those two photos look completely different even though they are made from the same basic shape. I would never had made the association even with the hashtag there. Does the accuser also claim to remember in great detail every photo she has “liked” on IG for the past year? How can one base their entire argument on such a loose association and expect to be taken seriously? How can she not see that it was wrong to publicly call you out in this way without FIRST contacting you and then WAITING for a reply? This entire matter should have been handled privately from the start. She rushed to judgement and published a post demanding you credit her armed with the fact that you liked this photo πŸ‘†πŸ» as her unequivocal, evidentiary proof that you “knew” the pattern was hers and we’re trying to deliberately steal it? Is this a joke?! I too had these tiles saved on a Pinterest board as a ‘possible’ design idea for the future (Not anymore, obviously). I’ve seen these tiles countless times on multiple social media outlets. Is it so far fetched that two (or three, or four) designers could have come to the same conclusion independently of one another? Does the one who released the pattern first have the right to force a credit nod when the inspiration for the second designer was not actually her pattern? I guess only a copyright lawyer can answer that one. Here’s a fun fact though. It is an ACTUAL copyright infringement to use another’s photo without permission to direct sales to your own product. So there’s that. This is something the accuser actually did with her original post. I honestly think you handled the situation well considering the circumstances. Also, just because you have more followers doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to defend your name from those who spew lies without meaningful evidence to back their claims. Is it true that you had potential to do more damage because you have more followers? Of course, but it bothers me that this fact is being used as evidence of you being a bully. She started this fight. She posted first. And all while claiming she doesn’t like drama. 😏 She was also given ample opportunity to take her post down before you took the action you did in an effort to protect yourself from being labeled as a thief. Ample opportunity that is clearly displayed in the “behind the scenes” conversation which she herself posted to her blog. From my vantage point it seemed that you made no false claims and said nothing untrue or disrespectful about the accuser. After watching the scene unfold and reading both blog posts here’s what I see. Two designers independently come to the same conclusion about a common, basic design. One releases the pattern first and then makes the assumption that anyone else to ever come to the same conclusion MUST have stolen “their” idea. She then hastily proceeds to call the second designer out publicly without first giving her a chance to respond to the charge. Who does this? People that don’t like drama? I think not. My guess is the majority of people who think you were in the wrong don’t realize the actual sequence of events as they unfolded because her blog post is quite fuzzy on that point.


  12. Marta J. says:

    Quilters make for-profit patterns out of generations-old designs all the time (you nailed it with the HSTs)–I’m sure you could throw a stick at a stack of old quilt patterns and hit ten designs similar to this one. What people are paying for is your interpretation of the design, which obviously resonated with them and was worth the money to them. If people want to pay money for someone’s possibly-new, possibly-not-new construction of a block, it’s their business. You’re free to sell it and people are free to buy it–they can likewise go find a free version if they want. I get where you’re coming from on all counts, and I think if you did the work of calculating and constructing, then good for you for being business-minded and feeding your family with that hard work. Keep trucking.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Emily says:

    I’d love someone to find a vintage pattern similar in idea to these patterns and point out to this other lady that her pattern is not an original!


  14. nona63 says:

    I have no idea who this lady is, but she DOES love drama or she wouldn’t be putting it out ther or privately writing like a snarky kid in elementary. In no way does yours look remotely similar to me….she’s paranoid! In fact, Mickey Dupree or Bonnie Hunter could also get into the “I did Hexies first! Uh no, there are rarely any TRULY original patterns nowadays. Some element has been done somewhere. So, Julie, put your big girl panties on, and quit creating the drama, momma! πŸ˜‰


  15. cindy-liveacolorfullife says:

    I totally know that two people can independently be inspired by the very same thing, and then design a quilt based on that inspiration, at the very same time and not be aware of it. So I was also inspired by a hexagon floor tile and was well on to making a quilt based on that tile, and had never seen one like it. And then I saw in somebody’s IG feed that they made a quilt using “my” idea, but it was published in a magazine–and the inspiration was the very same floor tile that I had seen on “I have this thing with floors.” So yeah, independently identical ideas.


  16. LeeAnn says:

    Please finish this quilt and love it or give it away to bring someone else joy. Your use of pattern and color brought joy to my heart–much more than this Julie’s rendition. Patterns and recipes are both very difficult to copyright because tiny changes make them new creations. Don’t worry about it anymore. It’s done. Just finish yours.


  17. Dianne says:

    I may be missing something but I don’t see how the two patterns can be compared. To me they look very different. The size if the solid fabric pieces, the orientation and method of construction all appear to me to be quite different. But I don’t see how either pattern relates to a hexagon so may not be the best judge. Hahaha.
    I love your pattern and do hope that you not only finish the quilt but publish it. Bullies ought not to win.
    My mom used to say if you can’t say something kind refrain from speaking . Sage advice methinks.


  18. The Lemming King says:

    Frankly, I hate bullies and from my non professional perspective the designs don’t look the same…in any case, I’m sorry for the kerfluffle but carry on and keep making. Your pattern and the fabrics chosen are so breathtaking. I want to make that. Exact. Thing. πŸ™‚ good luck with all this. πŸ™‚


  19. Claudia says:

    Sorry that this hassle sucks your sewing mojo out!! Love you patterns tutorials and everything! Want to know if your green elna works??? I have one and need to get it serviced?? Smile and carry on!!


    • nicole young says:

      Thanks for writing, Claudia! It does work! I use her all the time, she sews everything like a dream. It worked when I found it, but I still had it serviced just to make sure. Definitely worth it! I swear by old, simple machines!


  20. Pat says:

    So sorry this happened to you. I just love your blog and Instagram…you inspire me to try new things and I’m so grateful for what you share. Sad that some people have to be such bullies on social media…I’m actually glad you shared your story…hopefully it will be a wake up call to everyone…surely we came give someone the benefit of the doubt before thinking the worst of them and then posting such an unwarranted attack. Just because our politicians are behaving so rudely surely we can know that it’s not acceptable and set a better example for our kids and the rest of the world. Hang in there! You rock!!!


  21. Mara says:

    Um wow, that is crazy, sigh, the picture you liked looks more like triangles to me versus hexagons. I follow both of you but to be honest I can’t remember everything I see on IG either, most of the time I’m just scrolling along looking for inspiration. To bad she didn’t contact you privately to see if you were even aware of her pattern. Big Hugs to you


    • Mara says:

      OMG, and just saw her pattern is a free one, so it’s not like she would have been loosing out on any money, lol, Really she should have just shared her free pattern with you, but perhaps you are doing different sizes and you are definitely doing it in a different format. I’m just laughing now, so much drama for absolutely nothing.


  22. Laura says:

    I can understand how you might have a hard time finishing the quilt, she created a drama that would leave poor feelings towards your own project. I know I would just look at it and get upset all over again. How about finishing it and donating it to a charity or flood victims etc.? Then you know can feel good about how it ended.


  23. graciegan says:

    I just stumbled on your blog today and had to leave a comment after reading this post. I’m not a quilter but the 2 patterns look seriously different! One looks like a split up hexagon with mini triangles, the other looks like a a hexagon made of arrows and fans. How is that the same? Its like saying a princess seam from the armhole and one from the shoulder are the same look. Its kind of laughable. Anyway, love love love your design so it would be a shame not to finish it off.


  24. Nita Rossi says:

    Please finish this quilt! It is SO stunning. When I first saw this quilt on insta I stopped dead in my tracks and it literally took my breath away. Quilting is about creating art and inevitably sometimes people are inspired by the same things and inadvertently come up with similar designs (they do not look the same to me). I hope you can find the joy in this project again. It is truly spectacular.


  25. Rebecca Petersen says:

    Since the design was based on floor tiles, why does it matter if you both make a pattern with the same design? I guess I don’t get it. The design isn’t hers – it’s already been done – I was under the understanding it was instructions to that design that are copyrightable – not the design itself since it isn’t original with you – but rather based on a tile floor (I didn’t think they were the same block anyway, BTW.)

    I simply don’t understand the fuss – and I don’t know either one of you. I simply don’t “get it”. Quilting designers are “over the top” over claiming authorship – Solomon said it first, “There is nothing new under the sun”

    If a person actually thinks their design is “new”, I’d challenge them to make sure the Egyptians, the Italians, the Greeks and Romans, various African tribes, and Israelis, Persians and Chinese don’t already have it in mosaics, tiles and old buildings – from eons ago – before getting too eager to claim “originality.”


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