Saturday, 21 September 2013

Not as original as I thought…

The first design I wrote a pattern for was a simple little flower with heart-shaped petals. I was thinking of cherry blossoms, particularly the iconic Japanese sakura you see in art and logos, so I called it Cherry Blossom Hearts. Here it is:

Cherry Blossom Hearts

The first place I showed it was in InTatters. One of the other tatters told me that there was a quite similar motif in Minitats, by Patti Duff — with six dimpled petals rather than five. I asked around, and was eventually able to contact Patti Duff and get her okay to 'publish' my little motif. This was at the end of December 2012. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was flipping through my copy of A Pattern Book of Tatting, by Mary Konior. And there was a motif with five dimpled petals — very similar to my little cherry blossom! It's called Wild Rose, and it's on page 87.

In light of that, I've rewritten my design and 'copyright' notes for this pattern, and the latest version is here. Obviously, the motif idea is not mine alone; it has been around for a long time, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if in future I discover still other published examples of this flower. However, I developed this design before I saw either of the published examples, so I think it is okay if I continue to share my version of it with you all.

I'm glad I didn't know about Mary Konior's motif until recently. If I had, I might have been quite discouraged. My very first little written-up PDF pattern! It was also the first design that I added a diagram to — the diagram was easy enough that by doing it I could learn a new software program, as well as figure out how I wanted to make diagrams of rings and chains. I've since gone on to write up more complicated designs and do more complicated diagrams, but this was the first rung on that ladder.

Thank you, little cherry blossom! :-)


  1. Your lovely little design is lovely and don't be put off, your designs are lovely. Keep up the good work

  2. I think it is a great little motif, and it sounds like you have done a lot of homework. The thing is, it is still an original pattern. I get a bit upset with the copyright-police online. Those people who deem themselves worthy of telling others what to do and how to do it. You sat in the comfort of your home and had a thought, then planned out how to make that thought a reality. That is design. I am sorry, but Simplicity isn't suing Butterick every time they make a shift dress with one extra pocket. Your design may look like others already out there, it may have very similar elements and perhaps you even fluked the exact stitch count used (let's face it, stitch counts are kind of repetitive and familiar) but it is still your design. And I love it :)

  3. Thanks! I know I didn't copy it, so I feel okay about sharing it. But it does illustrate the pitfall of making very simple designs — chances are, someone has already done it! :-)

  4. Hi Grace! I loved the lines of this flower since I saw it in your PDF file. As long as you did not see the motive before, you came up with the idea and I find very fair to tell that Mary Konior has already designed something similar. Tatting is all chains and rings and we are so many! Sooner or later you and up by combining these basic elements in a way it was done before without you knowing it.
    Off topic: I came here through Feedburner ;) .

    1. Thanks, Corina! :-)
      Great to know that Feedburner now works, too.

  5. How smaller the motiv, how bigger the change someone else found it too. It was the same with bobbinlace. Go on, please with thinking about motivs, we love it.