Monday, 20 September 2010

This just burns my biscuits ...

It really makes me mad. I was a textile designer a million years ago, pre pickles. I honestly have to say that the fashion industry world wide is a den of thieves. It survives on stealing and dishonesty. I know, I experienced it first hand. I could bore you all with a billion stories about stuff I was asked to knock off and my own work that was stolen. I am preparing a couple of ranges for my own pleasure and I might send them out. I did with a wee mini range a little while back. I was reluctant to post pics here in the blog, because I had visions of it appearing somewhere else without my knowledge.

So imagine my surprise and anger today when I was reading one of my favourite blogs.

I love Tula Pink's fabrics. Her range Plume was a particular favourite of mine. So imagine my surprise to see this lovely lovely range had been completely knocked off by one of the biggest chain stores in the US and UK. Walmart has blatantly stolen the intellectual property of Tula, and sold it in their stores. What every you do, if you see these knock offs in your local Walmart ... please please leave them be. Tula Pink hasn't got a red cent from this, as her work was pirated. Here are the pictures of the offending articles. Its really easy to tell the difference in quality but also how close the knock offs are.

As a textile designer, I was asked to "copy" work all the time. There have been murmurs that Walmart may not have known but they would have bought from a middleman or woman. That's true but a lot of the time, really big clients tell their vendours what they want and provide "samples" to show them. So, I have posted a complaint on the Below is a copy of the letter I posted to the Walmarts Ethics site. I raised an issue with the CEO, the HQ is in Arkansas.

Yup, I'm ticked.

Dear Walmart.

While it is great that your company has a special site for behaving in an ethical way and addressing ethics issues, its not great that it is all for show and not a premise practiced by the company. It appears that your company endorses and encourages theft on a particularly grade scale with a great deal of arrogance about consequences. Why would any consumer want to shop, or support a company such as yours if this is the case?

I am speaking directly the theft of intellectual property owned by TULA PINK tm. Her designs are well loved amongst the quilting and sewing community across the planet. Earlier this year she along with the well known Moda fabric company, released a ranged entitled "Plume". It was a lovely range featuring lots of feathers and birds. Yet today, we all found out that Walmart has just released a direct knock off of her range. Its an exact copy.

This is utterly outrageous and the CEO of this company needs to answer me on why stealing is encouraged, and released into stores across the US.

I refer your office to the following website:

There, you will be able to see the knocks off and the originals side by side.

the following website:

Is the moda site where right down the Bottom of the page, you will see listed under "January", pdfs of the "plume" range that can be downloaded and viewed in entirety and apparently, to be made available to walmart to steal at will.

I will be blogging about this on my blog (, and there will be others who follow suit. I will be reprinting this letter there, and passing this letter on to MS Pink. It's only fair for her to know that there are others out there who are outraged by this blatant piece of corporate piracy.

Its appaling to think that Walmart has made a call on what it feels it has the right to do. Which ever way you look at it, theft is theft. And your company makes a lot of money from it. Shame on you.

Jo Ellem

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Well, I had a go ...

here is my first attempt at free motion quilting. I have to say that I like it, free motion quilting that is, my attempts leave a lot to be desired however. But I can see how a little bit of practice can go a long long way. And my mind is fizzy with all sorts of ideas. So all in all, I'll be doing a lot more of it in the future.

Have a wee squizzy at this, isn't this gorgeous! Would you believe it, it's vintage Chinese fabric from the 1950s. China has a vast, wonderful ,and turbulent history. During the 1950s, China was going through the great leap forward. If you are interested, google it and have a wee read in Wikipedia. Anyway, here a couple of pieces of fabric from that time. Aren't they just beautiful. At a time when everything was hard and bleak, look at the colour and the design!

Coming from a textile design background, when I look at these pieces, I think a lot about who the designer must have been, and the people who did the printing, and about their families and their lives. I feel like I have history in my hands, and I can't help wondering about the stories that lay in the threads of the fabric. Which leads me to ...


The good folks at Itizen have come up with these. Labels for you to put on the stuff you make. But, and here is the cool part, you can write about the story that went behind what you made and log it on their website, so when the item you made gets passed on, the giftee (is that a word?) can log in and see the story and then as the item gets passed on and on and on, the story behind the item gets logged and grows.

I just love love love this. If you go to the link above, they will send you a sample pack for nix. But I have to say that nothing will leave my hands now without one of these attached to it some way or other.

This, in a word, is awesome.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

ITs been weeks and check this out ...

HI all. Its been a little wee while since my last post. I will say that it has all be down to family stuff and life stuff and needless to say, my blog had to sit in the back ground for a bit. : (

But .... I'm back : )

I have had adventures with freee motion quilting and I will write more about that on Tuesday but for now, might I encourage you if you don't already to head over to Ryan's most excellent blog and have a good long read but also don't forget to entre his give - awy. I don't know about you, but I would sell my man's kidney for an Accu Quilt Cutter.

I have nothing to show, nut will have some pics of my free motion whatever it is, when I get back from class on Tuesday. So more then. See, haven't even been able to sew, no wonder I feel ancy.