Posts Tagged ‘Marble-T Design’

Black Friday Sales!

WHAT’S ON SALE TODAY

Here’s what’s on sale at Marble-T Design TODAY only. Sale ends at 11:59 PM Mountain time. Add some marbled fabrics to your stash, to your new projects, or give to a friend.

EVERYTHING on our website, including art work, on sale at 20% off. Spend $40.00 and receive our Table Runner Pattern FREE! After your order clears, we will email you the PDF of the pattern. Our website page is here. Orders placed will take two weeks to complete. If you would prefer not using our shopping cart, just send us an email with what you would like, and we will invoice you via Paypal.

Oder $40.00 and receive the table runner pattern FREE!
Email us if you have questions…….

Getting Ready for SALES!

So for the first time in MANY years, we are actually ready for the holiday shopping season. Newsletter went out Sunday, sales are planned, website has had a significant makeover, and the Etsy store is stocked. So here’s what’s coming…….

Black Friday Special

For your shopping pleasure, you will find everything on our website at 20% off. Good on Friday, November 23, until 11:59 PM. Spend $40.00 and receive our Table Runner Pattern FREE! After your order clears, we will email you the PDF of the pattern. Our website page is here. Orders placed will take two weeks to complete.

Small Business Saturday Special

Free shipping in the continental United States on everything on our website, including art work. Support Small Business Saturday! Our website page is here. Orders placed will take two weeks to complete.

Cyber Monday Special

One day only, CYBER MONDAY, 50% off fabric pieces in our Etsy Store. 20% off all artwork. Good until Monday, November 26, at 11:59 PM.

Wednesday Work in Progress

Lots of work redoing the website – looking at old pictures, seeing how far we have come, and it’s been quite the journey. I tend to get obsessive on these things, and I am now trying to rein myself in….not every piece we’ve ever done has to be on the site, but I want a good representation. This site has served as an online portfolio, and it’s been great. Now I want to expand into other information, as well as attempt to rev up the sales portion on the site. Many thanks to web guru Suzan of Saltwater Systems – nothing short of amazing!

We’ve added more fabric samples so people get a better idea of what can happen with marbling. You can see that here. We could add so many more from our pile of “Never Sell These,” but this gives a good idea.

Also, I’ve added small pieces we’ve worked on to the Small Works page. I do like working in a 12-inch-square format, and I want to do more of that when some of the bigger projects are finished.

My Nature series has really grown, and as I look at all the pieces together, I can see how I am really drawn to quilting the traditional stone pattern. I want to do more with the bouquet and nonpareil patterns, and I have the perfect piece of red cotton that has started calling me. In the meantime, I’m practicing my machine quilting on some smaller quilts. My Christmas quilt is almost redone – I succeeded in accenting the stars. I need to sew the binding, so hopefully a reveal in another couple of days.

It’s great to be so busy….we have a major order we are marbling in the next few days, and it’s a secret at this point….but it’s for a magazine feature…………….

Quilting Marbled Fabric – A Tutorial

Ever since we started marbling in 1993, people have asked us “What do you do with the fabric? It’s too gorgeous to cut in to.”

We’ve made lots of quilts, both traditional and art-quilts so that folks can see how marbled fabric can fit into a quilt or wearable garment. That got us started, but there was always the feeling that we could be doing more with the fabric itself. A friend took a fat quarter to “play with,” and the following week she came back with a gorgeous piece of completely quilted marbled fabric….simply by following the line of the pattern.

Well, that was truly the beginning of taking marbled fabric and really working with it in a quilt. My first attempt was to work with a freeform pattern, just following the lines of the pattern. This uses the stone pattern, as well as a beginning chevron pattern, both of which are easy to follow.

This piece, “Gaia 1: Interdependence,” used a free motion foot, as well as a regular basic stitching foot. Because the strips are relatively narrow, and the batting was thin, I chose not to use a walking foot. Your mileage may vary; if you are comfortable with a walking foot, by all means use one. I find I almost exclusively use my regular foot and my free motion foot.

Here is an example of quilting a line using a regular foot. I like having the even stitches, which I don’t always get with my free motion quilting (and no stitch regulator….).

You can have a great piece of marbled fabric, but sometimes it just needs something. I’m finding that more and more…it is an addiction…..

Getting Started

You need a piece of marbled fabric. We’re starting with a freeform pattern, made by creating the stones by dropping paint on the carrageenan bath. Then using a stylus, we swirl the paint around the whole piece. This gives us the effect you see here. This also involves the first very basic marbling pattern, the very organic-looking stone. From this pattern, using a variety of different combs and rakes, you can get very complex patterns. But let’s start with this pretty basic pattern.

When you have a marbled pattern, look at it closely for lines that lead to other sections of the pattern. This is a different type of free motion quilting. You aren’t deciding the whole quilting schema, like in most regular quilting; you are just analyzing and deciding where you want to go with your thread.  A pattern like this one has gentle curves to it, unlike more complex marbling patterns. This is a good one to start with.

Using this next picture, see how you can travel from one end of the pattern to another. Once you’ve studied a pattern, you can decide if you will do individual sections or travel across some pattern lines to do a new section. With this first marbled pattern, you have several possibilities. You can outline the little stones. You can follow most of the curved lines. You can do a combination.

Some marbled patterns are pretty intense, and you end up doing a lot of quilting in very small areas. These take more control, but the results are fabulous.

You have some decisions to make at this point: backing, batting, thread choices. I chose a green cotton for the backing so it would play off the green in the marbling. I used a left-over piece of Fairfield cotton low-loft batting, and Superior Thread’s Bottom Line in the bobbin. I chose a white thread, because for the purposes of this tutorial I wanted you to see the design aspect on the back. You get some very interesting quilting effects on your backs.

When I put my pieces together, especially if they are small, I spray baste top and bottom to the batting. For larger pieces I also use safety pins.

All of these are various threads from Superior. I am a bit of a thread snob, as I only use Superior Thread and needles (their titanium needles are pretty amazing). Ever since I did the School of Threadology in St. George, Utah, I have been hooked on their threads…and I NEVER have thread break. The threads above are Rainbows, Brytes, and Art Colors.

I thought this bottom thread, Bryte, would work the best, so that’s what I started with. I thought the dark green would emphasize, but not be obvious.

I checked my tension, according to Dr. Bob’s thread guide for Superior Threads. Then I picked a place to start the free motion, did about an inch, and checked my tension again.

You can see how I just followed the basic line of this first swirl. I usually pull my threads to the back and tie them off or bury them, depending on how the piece is going to be used.  With the next photo, you can see how I chose another swirl and followed that particular curve.

You can move around the fabric and pick different areas to quilt, but if you are going to quilt the whole piece, continue quilting out from the area where you started.

I also decided to change colors of thread, as I wanted something lighter to accent the pattern. Don’t hesitate to do this if you feel it will add to your design.

In this next example, I have changed thread color again, and this time I am outlining the smaller circles. The circles are part of the “stone” pattern, which is the first layer of paint in developing a marbling pattern. The circles take more control in your free motion, but you get great results in texture. You will want to plan your “traveling” stitch as you move from small circle to small circle.

Every now and then take a look at your back. Check for tension, secure your knots, and just admire the developing design. I used white in my bobbin because I wanted you to see the actual stitching on the back. You may choose something else, but the backs of marbled quilting can look spectacular.

Hopefully you will enjoy this technique. Email us with questions, and we are always interested in seeing your finished projects. To get you started, you can order fat quarters in this swirl pattern at a discount from us. Just email deanm@marbledfab.com, and tell us you want the quilting special fat quarter for this tutorial, and give us an idea of the three or four colors you would like. Cost is $6.00 per fat quarter, plus $2.00 shipping and handling, up to three fat quarters.

Keep in mind that this marbled quilting works best if you have some definite contrast with your color choices.

Copyright 2012 by Linda Moran and Marble-T Design, LLC. You may NOT reproduce this handout/post in any format without express permission from the author or Marble-T Design, LLC.

What’s for Sale….and Where Are We….

Wow. Lots of new visitors to the blog – and WELCOME!!!! I said to hubby about three weeks ago “are we ever going to get past 1400 readers a month?” (according to Google Analytics), and the next thing I know, a mere three weeks later, we just passed 2100 readers this last month. Yay! I promise to make visiting worthwhile. We’re getting ready for our first newsletter this month, so please feel free to sign up (the link on the right), and be entered to win some free marbled fabric.

I have a tab on the top navigation bar that takes you to some resources. I invite you to view those. If you are interested in this marbling journey of ours, click here. Some are great art blogs that I follow regularly. I invite you to send me your URL if you have a blog. Others are resources I actually use, feel great about, and can recommend wholeheartedly. Yes, I am an affiliate of some of them, so I am attempting to make a few pennies off your clicks. But as I said on that page, nothing is there that I don’t trust implicitly. When I get time, I like to take a piece of really cool marbled fabric and work with it in Photoshop. You can see some of the journeys in Digital Marbling (TN), and we plan on adding lots more.

Tuesdays I try to include cool stuff I’ve found on the web the previous week. I go through a lot of blogs and try to include interesting, amazing, unusual – and of course weird – links for you. I try to keep Wednesdays for works-in-progress, but right now the WIP is for an entry and I can’t show details….Mondays I try to give you some marketing advice – sometimes what I’m doing that I find helpful, and sometimes links to how other people are doing it amazingly well.

Lately I’ve started my own “Brain Dump,” as a way of making my list and then checking it off to see how I’m doing with projects. Sometimes there’s just too much floating around, and the mental noise makes us nuts. This is what I’m trying to do, and I invite you on Sundays to add your own Brain Dump for the week and see how you do. Each Sunday I’ll do my own brain dump and ask you to do yours in a comment. Then the following week you can post how you did….I may set up a FB page for this……

And now a SALE…..through Sunday at midnight ONLY. Any Sampler 1 package from our website at 15% off, and 15% off anything on our Etsy site. Now if you need to see what you buy, then the Etsy offerings are for you. If you want to be pleasantly surprised, then the website deals are for you.

Here’s how each works. On Etsy, we have some small art quilts that are mostly marbled fabrics, and a lot of pieces of marbled cotton – and one exceptional piece of red silk – even better in person than in the picture. Decide what you want, and the discount is taken at checkout. This week’s coupon: WK1SPECIAL

On the website we have a page that shows patterns, but what you get is a surprise to you. The swatches are marbled depending on mood, desire for different patterns, and colors. So if you like surprises, this is a deal! Code: SAMP1 Coupon Code.

We hope you’ll take time to browse the website and look at the fiber art we’ve created using marbled fabrics. Some of these pieces have traveled to juried shows. We have a few that need to get into the galleries, and we have a line of ideas just waiting for the time to become new fiber art.

You can follow us on Facebook – I am trying to get better about posting regularly. Sometimes deadlines just govern everything else! You can follow along on Twitter.

You can visit us at the La Conner Quilt Museum in April at Stashfest. We will have marbled fabric available to sell as part of the fundraiser for the museum.

And if you visit, please leave a comment. I always write back – it’s SO COOL to hear form people! So WELCOME again! Ain’t stitchin’ grand?

What’s Available This Week

Busy week – lots of marbling going on today as we start to gear up for the holiday season. The last two years we just weren’t organized enough to deal with the holidays, and we let them get completely by us. Not. This. Year. We will have fabric!! And…you can always email us for orders or go to the website and see what’s available.

Speaking of the website, the question we get a lot is why no pictures of the Sampler Packages. Good question, and we have a good answer. Marbling creates unique pieces, and for us to put a picture up of each package, each piece, would be time consuming, very expensive, and probably lead to unhappy customers because you wouldn’t be getting “exactly” what’s in the picture. So we’ve given you a basic description. You can be pleasantly surprised! Or, if you want to know exactly what you’re getting, you can browse the Eaby auctions. We have a liberal return policy if you’re not happy, but we’ve gotten two packages back in the last 10 years…..and we’ve been on line since 1998…….almost the beginning of e-commerce!

Sampler Package 1: assorted colors and patterns. Eight 6 x 9 inch hand-marbled swatches on 100% white pima cotton. Perfect for piecing, appliqué, patchwork, scrapbooking, wearable art. You get a variety of marbled colors and patterns so you get a “taste” of this wonderful art form. $10.00

Sampler Package 2: assorted colors and patterns. Four 18 x 22 inch hand-marbled fat quarters on 100% white pima cotton for a great stash builder. Available in the following color ways: volcano reds/oranges; underwater blues and greens; deep woods browns and greens, and pinks/purples. Perfect for some serious quilting. $25.00

Sampler Package 3: assorted colors and patterns. Eight 10 x 10 inch hand-marbled squares on 100% pima cotton, for those larger block patterns you want to create. Perfect for piecing, appliqué, patchwork, scrapbooking, wearable art. $15.00

Now for Ebay this week:

A REALLY gorgeous piece of silk art cloth, in greens and blues, 17 by 23 inches. All preshrunk and heat-set and ready to go. Some nice movement to the piece!

The Etsy shop is a little bare this week – we’ve been selling lots of fabric, but we do have a few small art quilts that would make good presents – and they are reasonably priced. Here’s “On the Rocks” – a small 8.5 by 12 inch fiber art piece, perfect for a small table or a small wall area that needs just the right bit of color.

More coming next week! We’re surrounded by fabric around here!

Monday Marketing – Creating a Schedule

It’s Monday again….and it seems like all I did was read, look at emails, and set up buttons and the like. This is the “time-sucker.” So my goal for this blog post is to try and identify what needs to be done each week for marketing and set up a kind of calendar to work with.

This is what I’m dealing with: Ebay, Etsy, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Cafe Press, Zazzle, newsletters, a website, lynda.com, flickr, and a blog. I am trying to avoid doing all of this every day, because nothing else seems to get done. I’m brainstorming as I write, with the hope that by the time this post is done, I will have a plan.

Ebay: hubby handles almost all of this, including postal trips. But…if we are going to increase sales, we need more product, and I would like to help with the actual marbling. So…..marbling weekly. I do need to update the About Me page…..

Etsy: the bulk of the organization is done. But…I need to be adding product on a regular basis, which means I need to keep making things. It would be nice to have one new product up each week, if not more often. One of the goals this week is to add some of the major artwork (even though I don’t expect to sell it on Etsy, it is more exposure) on the site, as the pictures are redone. I want to continue with the circles marketing, which, if I have enough products, could be done every day – 15 minutes for this. Plus, I need to keep working…….

LinkedIn: profile is done, and I have registered for several groups for business. I have found already difficulty in keeping up with reading emails each day from the groups and have already deleted one group. This week I will determine which groups look to be the most advantageous. I also need to complete the setting up of a profile of artwork.

Facebook: I read this several times a day. I have a fan page which needs serious work, as well as Art From The Heart, which is to support healing art after the Tucson shootings in January. I have added FB buttons to my blog and this week to my website. I have read the Terms and looked at all the privacy settings. I also went through the photo stream stuff for FB and fixed photos for both the personal and fan page. I need to really think through what is going to happen with the Fan Page.

Twitter: I am finishing a class from lynda.com on using Facebook and Twitter for business, and I highly recommend the site. For #25 you can choose different trainings all available for a month at your schedule. I picked up all kinds of little tips, most of which have already been implemented. But….and this is a BIG but….the time for tweets and what to tweet. By syncing a lot of the programs, my blog appears on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, my tweets appear in a couple of places. I don’t think I can go further with this – the tweet button is on the blog and soon to be on the website. This is one area that needs some serious scheduling. Since I use TweetDeck (which is free…), I can schedule and keep track of who’s following and what is getting retweeted. So…I’m going to use Sundays for scheduling business tweets for the week, and I will look through the twitter feed once a day to see if there’s some good stuff to retweet.

Cafe Press: I have a site, a free one, so I am limited as to the number of products I can put up. I haven’t looked at this in several months and it needs serious work. To have a store isn’t much money each month, and I could have a lot more products available, but the issue is marketing and driving people to the site. I have some great digital stuff already to go, and I need to start planning around the holidays, reading about marketing through Cafe Press, and so on.

Zazzle: Ditto for Cafe Press……both are not a high priority right now.

Newsletters: oy, it’s been months since a newsletter went out, and I have all these contacts where nothing is happening. I used Constant Contact last year for a few months, until I couldn’t keep up with the demands and school at the same time. I was happy with it, but disappointed that not many people actually read it. I need to go back to a newsletter and offerings at least once every three weeks, and more during the holiday seasons. I need to check out Mail Chimp, which is free, and I have heard people have good luck with it. I’ll try and make this a priority this week.

Website: Most of the changes to the website have been made by my wonderful web lady Suzan. I need to get a couple of buttons set up, and then do something about newsletters and contacts. I also have some pages to add on Digital Marbling (TN), and I need to evaluate “print on demand” for artwork. This is a “need to think about” topic…..

lynda.com: I have until Friday to finish my month of training. I still need to finish Twitter, and I want to get the html newsletter course done. I am not going to continue with Dreamweaver because it isn’t a priority.

Flickr: I have photos up, not all of them with copyrights, and there is a class on lynda.com if I have time. I’m not really sure what I want to do here….

And finally, my blog, Marbled Musings. I went a bunch of months with no new writing, and I’m at maybe three times a week. I need to get back to at least four times a week, and eventually every day. I have plenty to write about…and I need to stay up with my Google reader – as well as comment more on some of the posts. This is probably the biggest area for marketing that I have to schedule.

Weekly:

* Marbling fabric

* Work on Etsy products

* Sewing and other design

Mondays:

* Add Etsy product

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Monday Marketing

* Google reader and at least three comments

Tuesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog post Top Ten Tuesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Wednesdays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Work in progress Wednesday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Thursday:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog – Thursday Thoughts

* Google reader and at least three comments

Fridays:

* Add Etsy circle information

* Read newsletters from LinkedIn groups

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog Photoshop Friday

* Google reader and at least three comments

Saturdays:

* Read Twitter feed

* Blog posting on Specials

* Google reader and at least three comments

Sundays:

* Read Twitter feed

* Schedule Tweets for the week (i.e. Etsy, Ebay…)

* Blog Sunday Stories

* Google reader and at least three comments

Goals for next week:

* FINISH LYNDA.COM

*Update “About Me” page on Ebay

* Update Etsy products, especially note cards

* Evaluate how calendar is working

* See if buttons are added to the website

* Decisions on what will happen with the Facebook Fan page

* Long-term thoughts – what to do with CafePress and Zazzle

* Read and decide about Mail Chimp for a newsletter

* Spend some time thinking about what the website still needs….

Okay, I think I have a handle on this…we’ll see next week as I evaluate how the week goes. And…I’m taking some online classes!

Thoughts??

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