The first major job we were given was for Miango Rest Home. We were asked to produce 13 quilts and wallhangings for their dining hall. Wow! We were thrilled. I had a great paper-piece pattern book so I started selecting different patterns and photocopying them. Early in the process I suddenly had a thought: I'll be these patterns are copyrighted! Well, sure enough, they were. As the purchaser of the book, I was given permission to make the patterns for my own personal use, but sale of such products was prohibited by the copyright. AAAHHH! And I had already given our customer a date that we would have the project completed by.
Well, that night I sat down at my kitchen table, drew a six-inch-square block, and started making my own original patterns. The next day I had the women try them out, and they worked! I made 13 different patterns that we used for that job. Over the past six years, we have used the patterns for all kinds of quilts and various projects.
Our most popular block is Mary's pattern. I named each pattern after one of the HIV+ women in the program. A good friend in Iowa made these stained glass windows using Mary's pattern.
I have the copyright on the patterns that I drew. I have given the HIV+ women in the Mashiah Foundation sewing program permission to use the patterns to support their families. However, I have not given permission to other organizations or individuals to use the patterns for their business--even if they are helping HIV+ women. Organizations need to come up with their own ideas and patterns.
If you ever see this pattern, you will recognize it as a trademark of the Women of Hope in Jos, Nigeria.