Anyway, I got hooked on some patterns that had been published in a newspaper, the Kansas City Star, in the 1940s and 50's. I started to research the designers, and there were three that interested me: Eveline Foland, Margaret Techy. and Ruby McKim.
I first got interested in Margaret Techy because I came across a website that had provided free patterns for an embroidery stichalong. The blogger had moved on to a new project and was selling a few patterns, which I broke down and bought because I somehow convinced myself that a) I had to have them, and b) I could not get them anywhere else. Possibly I was wrong about the last part, but obviously not about the first!
Anyway, the blogger provided some embroidery pics that were Jacobean flowers, and I don't remember if she said they were by Margaret Techy or based on her designs. I started researching Ms. Techy and found she had a bunch of floral patterns that I HAD TO HAVE. (And yes, I eventually got them, but more on that later.)
Then I discovered Eveline Foland, and found she had a collection of patterns I HAD TO HAVE. Interestingly enough, her signature looks like Fueline Foland, so while I did find results under that spelling, I found a lot more when I finally got her name right.
And I found someone selling a whole collection of Ms. Foland's designs from the Kansas CIty Star, plus a couple of collections from Margaret Techy (including my must-have pattern to the left) and a bunch from Ruby McKim who created this series of flowers in a cool square shape that I had already discovered and loved (see last pic at the bottom).
And best of all, this collection cost me about $10, about a third of what the blogger was asking for for her one set of Ms. Techy's designs. I really scored. I emailed back and forth with the seller and she threw in a few more CDs with more patterns from the era -- truly a bounty of vintage designs!
Are they old enough to be part of the public domain? How is it that people are selling collections of these designs that belong to other women and/or a newspaper? I get that they can copyright their own organization of said designs, but can they really profit from these designs?
That said, I've seen A LOT of designs that look like Ms. Techy's Jacobean flowers...It would be hard to say the new designs are original, but then again, Ms. Techy didn't invent the Jacobean style herself. So I really don't know where copyright begins and ends in this matter, or anywhere else, since it's a complex issue.
All I know is I have some cool designs to stitch and wonder if anyone wants to stitch them along with me?