Wednesday, July 15, 2015

How Do We Handle Duplicate Pattern Names?

Throughout quilting history, the same block has had multiple names. For example, the Churn Dash block is also called Monkey Wrench. These old traditional blocks with multiple names are, mostly, in the public domain.

But with so many quilters/bloggers/pattern designers now, how should we handle it when two designers use the same name for a published for-sale pattern?

A regular reader brought to my attention that a quilt pattern named Plus Dash has been published by Samelia's Mum. Check out the link to see it.

Back in April I also published a pattern called Plus Dash. My pattern and Samelia's Mum's pattern look nothing alike, so I'm not concerned about similarity of design.

My Plus Dash quilt, published April 5, 2015

I left what I hope is considered a respectful comment on Samelia's Mum's blog. Here's what I said:
"There are many variations of the Churn Dash Block and Plus block, and this is certainly a lovely combination of these motifs.
But please be aware that I published a pattern called Plus Dash back in April, in which the Churn Dash motif is more easily recognizable, which you can see here:
Would you please consider changing the name of your pattern? Thank you. Jan O at The Colorful Fabriholic"

My question to the quilting community: How should we handle duplicate pattern names?

In order to get exposure for my question and get a wide range of responses, I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and with Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.


  1. That's a very tough question. I checked out her pattern and other than the plus it looks nothing like yours, and hers is on point. I think because the two are so very different, I wouldn't worry about the name, unless yours is on Craftsy too...

  2. I try to both google search for a pattern name and check out major hashtag names on Instagram before committing to a quilt name. I certainly don't review for other quilts that look like what I am designing... I actually try to *not* look at too many others (other than blogs I follow) as I don't want to influence myself too much. I think I agree with Sandra above, the biggest issue might be if you are trying to sell on the same platform.

  3. Personally, I think a private email to Samelia's Mum would have been more appropriate than posting publicly on her blog and raising the issue on linky parties. Things like this tend to become contentious when they wouldn't necessarily have been had they been handled privately with respect for all parties involved. I think both of you are excellent pattern designers and surely could work this out.

  4. I don't think it really matters if the names are the same. It’s the pattern itself that counts.

    Both Jaybird Quilts and Thimbleblossoms have patterns called Nightsky. I bought the pdf of the Thimbleblossom's one from Fat Quarter Shop - who stock both (or did at the time) and the file was labelled "nightsky2" (because Jaybird Q's came first so I assume on FQS's servers, that one is just “Nightsky”. So I'm not understanding the suggestion that both being sold on Craftsy would cause any issues when other sites deal with it (such as my FQS example). If someone buys the wrong pattern, then that's on them for not double checking what they were purchasing when they're on the page with it right in front of them!

    Plenty of books, movies etc have shared names over the years and I'm sure plenty of other patterns have been given the same names also. At the end of the day there are only so many names you can give a pattern without giving it something weird and crazy that isn't relevant at all.