Hello Kitty QAL

HK QAL – Shutdown

February 2, 2012

Well if you read my last post regarding contacting the folks of Sanrio about permission on using their character, I got the response back and it’s not what I wanted to hear:

“Our characters are the foundation of everything we do at Sanrio. They play a crucial role in the Sanrio experience which is why our characters are protected by numerous Copyright and Trademark registrations worldwide. With that said, please note that Sanrio’s character artwork, names, images, graphics, text and trade names, are the sole property of Sanrio Co., Ltd. Copying, reproduction, distribution and/or republication are not allowed without Sanrio’s consent.

Documenting the creation of the quilt online and showing a picture of the finished product is fine. However, I ask that you reconsider your plans to release that pattern to the public to avoid possible infringement against Sanrio’s intellectual property rights.”

Is there anyway around this? I have a handful of folks that are really looking forward to this QAL.

“In addition to posting photos of your finished product, you can mention to your fans that they could be inspired to re-create their own version but the act of distributing patterns or “how-to” instructions would be problematic.

The other option is for you to apply for a license agreement to distribute the patterns/instructions but that would involved royalty payments be made to Sanrio and other financial requirements”

So I’ve taken down HK page. . . it’s a sad day on the blog.

Hello Kitty Quiltalong button

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  • Reply Lee @ Freshly Pieced February 2, 2012 at 9:31 am

    *sniff sniff* I am among the people who are VERY DISAPPOINTED, Sanrio!!

    Sorry, Sukie. This is such a huge bummer.

  • Reply Shanna @ Sweet and Sassy February 2, 2012 at 9:34 am

    well, that stinks! I am loving watching your progress though, so I hope you’ll continue :o)

  • Reply Johanna February 2, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I just came across your Hello Kitty yesterday, first visit to your blog. My girls and I were so excited. That is a really cool project. The thing that is silly, if you are not going to charge for the pattern, or selling the finished product, I was hoping it would be ok. So sad.

  • Reply diane stanley February 2, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I would check with a lawyer, because if you are not selling the pattern, then it might be ok. Sad for you, you have worked so hard on this.

  • Reply Elena @ Breakfast for Dinner February 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Dude, what a bummer! You think they’d be excited to promote the character.

    Haven’t I seen on Pinterest or somewhere a program that can pixelize a picture for you? Then you can either stitch or patchwork those pixels. Each pixel is a colored square. You may not be able to distribute a tute, but you can tell people how to start…. I’m all about technicalities and semantics. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Katie B February 2, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Oh, bummer! I agree–it seems like it would be okay if you weren’t selling it. But I’m glad you asked first instead of getting in trouble later. I’m still looking forward to seeing yours finished up!

  • Reply Marci Elmer February 2, 2012 at 9:57 am

    That sucks! I was looking forward to the HK QAL. As a fan I can’t wait to be inspired by your completed work and create my own version.

  • Reply Aunt Marti February 2, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I’m glad that you are respecting the copyright for Hello Kitty — but bummer! I’m with Marci, we’ll just have to figure out our own version. Umm– what were the dimensions of your quilt again?

  • Reply kate @ swimbikequilt February 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

    oh… sad sad sad. But I can’t wait to see your finished quilt! looking good.

  • Reply Lindsay February 2, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Oh, that’s a major sad face! πŸ™ At least they aren’t making you burn the quilt or anything like that.

  • Reply Cecillia February 2, 2012 at 10:30 am

    That sucks!! I love your quilt!

  • Reply Lindsey R. February 2, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Total Bummer! πŸ™

  • Reply Ginny February 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

    The way around it is in their e-mail. They said, “Documenting the creation of the quilt online and showing a picture of the finished product is fine.” So, you just post pictures at each state with the dimensions of each cut. Don’t call it a QAL & you are fine. People can follow your quilt progress & duplicate it themselves, and you are respecting the copyright.

  • Reply Lucy @ Charm About You February 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I am so upset about this πŸ™
    I was really looking forward to it and my little girl loves Hello Kitty. It would have been so fun to see everyone creating quilts.
    Since we can all make our own versions why should it matter if you give us those of us new to sewing a helping hand.
    I’m very very very disappointed.

  • Reply Manda February 2, 2012 at 10:47 am

    You need to be careful because it isn’t just copyright, but also trademark infringement- more so trademark infringement and intellectual property. Companies with a trademark are legally compelled to protect that trademark.

    I for one would love how to know you are doing this pixelated piecing . Perhaps a pixelated QAL is in order? Imagine a Flickr pool of different images.

  • Reply Debbie February 2, 2012 at 10:50 am

    So sorry …. good luck with a work-around…..

  • Reply Mary Menzer February 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Saddddd face πŸ™

  • Reply Jacey February 2, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Aww, sad Sukie! I’m sorry about their response, but I think you did the right thing by checking.

  • Reply Jenna February 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I’m so sorry to hear this! What a bummer… I really wanted to make a quilt like this for my daughter. πŸ™ I agree with Manda … maybe you can do a how-to for pixelated piecing?

  • Reply nicke February 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

    very smart to check before! wouldn’t that have been terrible if you would have gotten sued or something like that! so sorry! i hope you can come up with a way to do it even though!

  • Reply June S February 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Oh that is so sad… but really it was cool just to see your progess, so I don’t think this should taint YOUR work! Keep on going with your own HK quilt, because I for one was having lots of fun seeing it in progress. It is so cool on it’s own, forget the QAL… one of those things you gotta let go. But I know that’s hard. Hugs. Be glad they gave you permission to carry on with your own personal work.

  • Reply Elizabeth @ Don't Call Me Betsy February 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I’m glad (and not) that you asked Sanrio, but I am seriously bummed at the response you got πŸ™ I am really enjoying watching you make yours, though!

  • Reply Michelle @ Little Peanut February 2, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Man, that stinks. I had a feeling Sanrio would rain on your parade. πŸ™ I like Elena and Manda’s suggestions. Maybe a QAL for pixelated images of the participant’s choice? I’m sure lots of us would love to know how to take an image, pixelate it, then translate that into fabric.

  • Reply Erica February 2, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Phooey-ness! Your quilt is awesome and I look forward to seeing it when done.

  • Reply jess @ the elven garden February 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    That totally sucks dude! It was going to be such an awesome QAL… Ginny’s suggestion might work though? Just post pictures of each step?

  • Reply Ann Marie @ 16 Muddy Feet February 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Well at least they said you can document YOUR progress online, and post pictures of your finished project. Lots of pictures of what you are doing, and everyone else can either copy what your doing in the pictures, or ask someone else for help.

  • Reply julie February 2, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    aww so sad! πŸ™
    keep us in the loop as far as what you are doing. however it was good that you went to Sanrio, it would not have been nice to be sued by them.

  • Reply Ursula February 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I knew as soon as you said you were contacting them that they would say no. I think, however, since you are not selling anything, there *may* not be a legal issue. Did you notice how the letter said, “to avoid *possible* infringement against Sanrio’s intellectual property rights”? Also that it “would be problematic”? It sounds like bully lawyer talk (because everyone is afraid of being sued), but no definites are used. Maybe they know they have no leg to stand on?

    Either way, I think this is where people usually drop off the name “hello kitty” and you just name her “kitty” or “cute kitty”, and stop using the hello kitty pic for your button. We all know the quilt bears resemblance to that famous kitty, but for our purposes you are just making “A kitty”. Many people on etsy and such sell all sorts of Disney related clothing/items and just call it a “mouse” even though it looks exactly like Mickey Mouse and “princess” even though it’s a dead ringer for Cinderella… you get the point.

    Just something to think about. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Jessie February 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    I am excited to follow your progress either way! I do agree with several other posters, I would love to know how you pixelated the image to make this adorable quilt though!

  • Reply Shannon February 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    So bummed! She is awesome!

  • Reply Binks February 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm


  • Reply AnneMarie @ Gen X Quilters February 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    I agree with Manda’s suggestion. Pixelated quilts!

    PS You know I love ya girl!

  • Reply Skooks February 2, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Boo! But I think the idea for helping us all understand how to make our own pixelated quilts is a great idea. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Meryl February 3, 2012 at 12:21 am

    Ursula had the same Idea Scott did. Which is, call it “Salutations Cat” or “White cat” pixel pattern. If you don’t say WHAT it is, then they have no claim. Also, you’re not making a profit, and they’re not publishing a pattern so you’re not taking funds away from them– I’m not sure what the issue is.

    …. As a point of fact, I will not be contacting Nintendo about my quilt. πŸ˜›

  • Reply Deonn@Quiltscapes February 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    So sorry, Amy! It’s going to be adorable, regardless!

  • Reply ella February 9, 2012 at 1:40 am

    I love it!!! I hope you do document your work!!! I would love to know how you did this!!!

  • Reply Valerie November 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Sukie, Your pixelated Hello Kitty quilt is adorable. Even though Sanrio suggested you should not do this QAL and share a pattern, your pictures are a big help and simply counting and marking a grid has helped me create a pattern on my own. Thank you for sharing this adorable quilt you’ve made and the progress so we might do our own. I would love to know, for future reference, since I’ve already done this one, if you used a particular app or program to get a pixelated chart. I can get a pixelated version, but then I have to draw the grid myself with the apps I’m using. Any better suggestions? Thank you. Love the quilt and your site.

  • Reply One hit wonder October 8, 2013 at 9:33 am

    […] Sanrio claimed, “Copyright!” If you interested and have time to read ~ here’s the blog post on […]

  • Reply Jeifner January 10, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I would also love for a how to on your pixelated quilts. It is, of course, their right to say no. (Even if you were to call it “cat quilt” and it looks like HK it can infrindge as the image in addition to the name is copyrighted.) I know some companies like Lego are quite generous with allowing people to use their toys and make patterns about them-even for sale. Either way, your quilt is wonderful.

  • Reply Cynthia January 14, 2014 at 10:00 am

    First time at your blog and I adore your control and choices of colors. Maybe you could give a tutorial on how to do a “Pixie”, ( pixel quilt), which just happens to be a cat. I would be interested in the technique, thoughts and process behind doing one. Great blog.

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