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.
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:
- A hexagon is a basic geometric shape.
- I was inspired by the floor tile photos at the beginning of the post, and Julie says she was as well.
- 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.
- If I had been privately messaged by Julie before she posted and took this public, this would not be here not.
- 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.
- 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. 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.