Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shake It Up in 2009..


I love this last week of the year. There seems to be a special quiet after Christmas that I savor every year. Traditionally during this week I like to spend time with special friends and family and devote myself to activities at home. If you are like me a quiet week is actually never quiet but filled with activities that take a bit of thought and reflection. One of my yearly tasks is to walk through my home with an eye toward the coming year. The timing is perfect because Christmas gets organized and put away until next year (yeah) and it is a good opportunity to take inventory of what is going on, design wise, in my home. I look closely at my window treatments, the fabric on my chairs and sofas, tablecloths and coverings as well as the paint color on my walls. I even think about the art on the walls and move that around as well.

I was walking around the Drapery and Upholstery/Home Fabric section at Mary Jo's the other day. The buyers have brought in some of the most inspiring colors and patterns. A trend right now in home design is mixing textures within the same color palette that is several shades lighter or darker. At Mary Jo's Cloth Store the selection is superb. I was also happy to see so many Paisley's in a rainbow of sophisticated colors. These are wonderful on a Chair or Sofa, mixed with Chinese Silk or shaded down Velvet pillows. It is nice in times like these to have small luxuries that are cozy and make us feel better. For those of you that are missing your summertime garden the collection of Waverly Chintz and Florals inspired by an English Garden might be just the ticket for these foggy gray days.

So take a moment, look around, and change it up for the New Year. Our selection is terrific and our prices are affordable.


Time is a gift we give ourselves but and even bigger gift is to create a space that reflects who you are, where you are going and where you have been.
Happy New Year from all of us at Mary Jo's Cloth Store.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home, Hearth & Family...


Christmas week is upon us! We have been busy at the store and our family of employees are getting ready to take a few well deserved days to spend with their families. Did you know Mary Jo's Cloth Store is a "Family Business"? Yes, Mary Jo Cloninger started this mega fabric warehouse in 1949 with a dream to sell affordable cloth. This simple and far reaching vision is the foundation of all that you see today. Her three children who traveled with her as young children to buy the fabric that stocked her shelves while they were growing up, all have an active part in the business today. Some are there every day while others do what is needed but everyone pitches in like the family they are to get everything done.
This family takes cloth and the store very seriously.
Today Mary Jo's Cloth Store boasts over 33,000 square feet of space filled to full with fabric, trim, patterns and notions. It is a delight to take a walk in this vast space.
Piles of beautiful fabric can really get a girl to dreaming. Some days I love to study and experience the historic Calico section. This very collection has been sewn into costumes for the films "Cold Mountain" and "The Patriot" to name a few. The colors are rich and the patterns are so beautiful they always evoke a true sense of the past. In the Drapery and Upholstery section it is fun to dream up a cool Paisley couch or a simple Tweed pillow not to mention the possibilities for colorful companion draperies and window treatments. Did you know Interior Designers from all over the nation make the trip to Mary Jo's Cloth Store or log onto maryjos.com and order 20, 30 or more yards of fabrics for their projects all over the country?
Another favorite area of mine is our Bridal/Costume section.
This section boasts some of the dreamiest fabric in the store. Costume Designers who are designing stage productions such as of "Don Quioxte" or a children's production of "The Nutcracker Suite" come from as far away as San Diego! These designers often spend several days in the store to make their fabric choices. Mary Jo's also boasts an amazing quilting section and as you know those quilters often stop in, by the bus load! The Notions and Trim sections round out a perfect shopping experience. Where else can you go online or in person to receive such great selection and terrific prices. Mary Jo not only loves what she does everyday but she and her family try to make sure you love the experience of shopping at Mary Jo's for anything in the fabric world you may desire. A heartfelt Happy Holidays to you and your family, from Mary Jo, and her family.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Shine, Sparkle & Sizzle with Holiday Bling...


The holidays are here and it is time to add some sparkle, shine and sizzle to your
party wardrobe. At Mary Jo’s Cloth Store we are filled to full with amazing choices.
Imagine fabrics that actually shimmer in the candlelight, yum. Think of the great outfit you can create for that special Christmas, Hannakuh, Kwanza and New Years events. The party list is long and our fabrics are many. If you do not have the time to stitch up a dress or new outfit you could also create something that sparkles in your home for a table cloth, tree skirt or a scarf to throw on an end table or credenza. The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
video
Click on Arrow to View Slideshow.

Community Page News: We are up and running. We have several articles posted and ready to read. We are depending upon you to be part of the Mary Jo Cloth community. We need your stories, your projects and your help. How? Well, take a moment and think of all of the visits you have made to the store over the years and write about a memorable visit. Look at all of the quilts, drapes, tablecloths, and darling outfits, shirts and costumes you have created over the years using Mary Jo’s Cloth. Share it with us. We would love to hear your stories, see your projects and take a walk down Mary Jo’s Cloth Store memory lane. We will notify you by email when we have posted your story,
so you can forward to your friends.
Thanks in advance, email us today!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Faux Fur and a Holiday Wreath...


Faux Fur Wreath, hmmm, sound interesting? It is! Last week we received a project note from a gal who lives in Huntersville. She has been a fan and customer of Mary Jo’s for years. She had me tour her blog, “The Nester’s Place”. What a fun, talented gal and she is ever so creative. She featured a Faux Fur Wreath on her blog, which I am presenting to you today! She purchased the fur at Mary Jo’s Cloth Store.


Here is the project, easy, inexpensive and a powerful statement on an inside door or over the mantle.

What you need:
1. An 18 inch pressed straw wreath I don't even unwrap mine.
2. A low melt glue gun with glue sticks high melt is fine if you don't need to use your fingers for the rest of the week or if you are planning to commit a crime and no longer want finger prints.
3. About a half a yard of long haired fur ask the ladies at the local fabric store Mary Jo's.
4. A nice day

I sure wish I had a nice tight little list of hard and fast rules for you to simply follow to my specifications in order to get one of these babies made up without a mess. But, you know how I hate rules and all.

Like most of the projects we do here, there's a little risk, a little trial and error, a little imperfection and it's all worth it. Basically, you want to cover the wreath form with the fur. And the longer the hair, the more forgiving it is of your messy, inpatient, non-measuring self.

The way I start is I just lay the edge of the fur over the wreath and wrap it around one part and hot glue part of the wreath and stick the edge of the fur to that. As I go, I cut slits into the fur so it will turn around the circular wreath form.

I try to glue as much on as possible and then, I cut off the fur and start again. Because of the round shape, you can't just wrap it all the way around. But, because of the long fur, as long as you glue pieces on in the same direction, you can hide all of your seams.

At the end I had a hole. I eyeballed the size of the hole and cut an extra piece to fit.
Just patch that right in--no one will know.
Did I mention that you will want to do this outside? That's why you needed that nice day.
Another space, another patch. I did try to keep most of my seams on one side of the wreath so I could have a front and a back and if the back looked messed up then it wouldn't matter. This space is small enough to just shoot some glue in and press down on the fur to cover the bald spot.
There's a new wreath in school. Don't let your wreath be humiliated. If your wreath looks like a momma cat patted it down with a wet paw, make sure to fluff it out a little.
Ta Da! A finished fur wreath. It only took about 15 minutes. And, the back looks good too! The messy hair look is what allows you to make mistakes and cover them so easily.

Priscilla needs a shave now. And my yard looks like I killed the Aristocats. No worries, no one will know I did it since I no longer have finger prints.

So, once you vacuum your yard and shave your glue gun, you can hang this wreath just about anywhere. I used some kind of fancy fabric trim and hung mine over a mirror. How pretty would a big silver ornament look hanging in the middle of the wreath? I love the fur mixed with a wide velvet ribbon.

Thanks Nester, you are a delight and I am sure the new trend this week for our customers is going to be Fur Wreaths!

Do you have a story to share? Send it today we are delighted that you continue to forward the weekly email and click to the blog to finish reading these articles. Enjoy this Holiday Season and remember all of the fabric, trim, ribbon and notions you will need for holiday entertaining and projects are awaiting you online and at the store.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Quilters By the Busload...


Did you know that Quilters come to Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Tour Buses? We love to see them pull up in the parking lot. The whole group enters the store chatting, laughing and they are ever so happy to be there. The buses come from Tennessee, Alabama, Florida and other far away locations. We are always so happy to welcome such a jovial group. Quilters and Mary Jo's are two words that just go together. These groups are often Quilt Guilds who have decided to make the "pilgrimage" to Mary Jo's. In the quilting department we have the standard cloth choices you have come to expect,
but the cool thing about Mary Jo's Cloth Store is that we stock seasonal colors and patterns. It is our policy to have as many choices as we can fit on the shelves at any given time. We have an incredible selection, in the store and on the website. Have you logged on lately? The choices and prices will excite you. www.maryjos.com
We also stock a wide variety of Trims, Ribbon and Rick Rack. We also work really hard to keep our prices not only affordable but also an outstanding value.

Now all of you Quilters who are planning a big bus trip, give us a call. It gives us a chance to be ready to welcome you. We can also make sure we have extra people to add to our regular helpful staff who will be available to make your visit fun, exciting and the adventure you are expecting.

I get letters weekly from many Quilters/Readers sharing their stories and projects. I love looking at all of the photos you send. WOW. The work is always so beautifully executed. I admire the skill and imagination that goes into each creation and I thank you for sharing so freely. My heart always skips a beat when I look upon a project that someone made with forethought, care and passion.


By the way, Quilters/Readers can you send some Christmas Quilt/Stockings/and other Holiday related projects my way (This Week!). I would love to feature your beautiful work in an upcoming article, before Christmas. Your work will inspire other quilters! Send an email today.
Thanks in advance.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Blast From The Past...


Hearing the stories and experiences that sometimes took place many years ago and how Mary Jo's Cloth Store is woven into the fabric of our customers lives makes my job priceless. Last week I received an email that tells a great story in a heartfelt way and yes, Mary Jo's Cloth Store made a difference!
Take a moment to read Miss Donna's story.
"Our daughter was still an infant when I decided that I would make her wedding gown. My husband is a retired Navy officer, a veteran of 26 years of active service. We had been stationed in many places that boasted wonderful fabric stores over the years but when our daughter and future son-in-law announced their engagement we happened not to find ourselves in one of those places. We were living in a small city in Northern California by then with only fairly passé fabric stores from which to shop. My daughter had picked out a pattern and wanted lace on her gown like the lace on the pattern picture. I called McCall’s Patterns and they very helpfully told me the lace manufacturer’s name and suggested stores in my state that might carry it. There was a well-known chain of fabric stores in northern California at that time that I was familiar with that happened to be one of the stores mentioned I called the flagship store, located in Pacific Grove, California near where we had been stationed last. I was told that they carried the brand of lace but if I wanted a specific lace they would have to order it and I would have to buy the entire bolt rather than just the amount I needed. So I called the fabric manufacturer in New York… They recommended calling Mary Jo’s and kindly provided me with the phone number. I called Mary Jo’s and my call was given to a very knowledgeable sale’s woman in the bridal department named Angie. (I know this because I still have the invoice along with remnants of that beautiful lace.) She assured me that, not only did the store carry a good quantity of the lace I wanted and in the color I wanted but they would sell me only the amount I needed. She asked if I would trust her to match the colors I needed for the various trims. The order was taken I was assured that she would mail them to me promptly. So she did. I was not disappointed. Thank you so much, Mary Jo’s. The gown was stunning and so was our daughter who was married on January 16, 1993. She’s still married to the same wonderful young man and is the mother of our ten year old grandson. And I’m still sewing…
Cordially,
Donna,
Limestone,Tennessee
Thanks for sharing Donna.
I had a conversation with Angie, yes the same Angie in the letter.She remembers this very transaction! "It was wonderful to hear from you! Talk about a trip down memory lane! At that time, I was in Mail Order and loved to work with our “Mail Order Brides”. It was so exciting putting together those dreamy dresses. I would get as nervous as the brides (and moms) when I picked their laces and fabrics for them. And now, after so many years, to think that maybe I was a part of something so wonderful and lasting is such a blessing. Thank you for sharing!"
After all those years Angie is still with us and is now the webmaster of maryjos.com. She is always a joy and fun to work with.

I love my job as the Editor of MaryJo's Design Blog, hearing your stories is the best part! Do you have a story to tell? Please send an email and if you would like, include a few photographs of the project.

PS. We are working on the Community page, loading in your emails, projects and photographs. Check the website often, it will be up and running soon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Bear, A Veteran & Mary Jo's Cloth Store...


We are blessed at Mary Jo’s Cloth Store. We receive letters and emails almost every day from our customers telling their stories. This past week on Veteran's day we received a note from a customer named Ron Lilly. It seems he and his wife have both been shopping at Mary Jo’s for decades. It is also interesting that as they were building their separate businesses,


they were using fabric from Mary Jo’s. He as a photographer and she as a designer of bears.
“I am writing to thank you for being such a valuable asset to the business community. Your staff has always been helpful and kind, willing to answer questions in a way that makes even the most inexperienced beginner feel as if they can make their project work.
Many years ago, my wife and I started a photography studio in Salisbury, NC. We bought our backdrop materials from Mary Jo’s. Years later, my wife started a designer teddy bear business online, www.BearMyHeart.com, which she continues today. Of course, she bought the material and other supplies from your store. After countless trips back and forth to Mary Jo’s, we saw your store expand phenomenally as we grew two businesses of our own.
Thanks again for being an all-in-one resource for creative types like us. I am a man, a husband, a father and a veteran, and I shop at Mary Jo’s.”
Wow, thanks for the story, we are continuously inspired and happy to hear that we make a difference in the lives of our customers.

Do you have a story? We are launching our newest section, “The Community Page” next week. We have been working hard to create this very special section of our website. The goal is to create an online community for all of our customers. We are envisioning an online community where you can share tips, stories, thoughts and ideas. This new section is a place where you can view stories and pictures about how fellow Mary Jo’s customers (and you) are using cloth, fabric, trims and notions. We think our customers are clever and creative and we can’t wait to see all of your amazing projects.
Please send us your stories, photos, tips, tricks, and thoughts about what you are doing with the goods purchased at Mary Jo’s Cloth Store.
It is as easy as 1.2.3. Just email us today!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Chic, Fun & Functional...

Mary Jo's Cloth Store has an amazing Drapery and Upholstery department. Our goal has always been to create one of the finest collections of Home Decor Fabrics in the Southeast! I have been guilty of spending hours just ruminating on the various colors, textures weights and ultimate possibilities for this truly inspirational collection. I particularly love the fancy Silks, Taffeta's, Brocades, Damasks, Paisley's as well as the earthier Tweeds, Cottons, Plaids and Prints. In the store the fabric is arranged by color which makes it easy to see what you need at a glance. Online we have photographed swatches of most of our Home Decor fabrics, it is easy and simple to choose, click and buy. The buyer for our Drapery and Upholstery department makes sure we have not only the latest in colors and material choices, she is also working on creating a selection of "Green Fabrics" which are good for the earth and a healthier home. Many manufacturers are now scurrying to get their collections together and into the marketplace. As the demand grows for these Green Fabrics they will become more readily available in all of the colors and patterns we so love. We will keep you posted on the availability of this new line.

A few weeks ago I was in York, South Carolina and happened upon a chic new Bistro. I got to chatting with Ashley who co-owns this dreamy little spot with her husband Colin. The Flynn's are a young couple who envisioned an intimate restaurant with local farm grown inspired dishes. They renovated a terrific antique antebellum house on the main street in this charming small town. The decor is simple but southern, with a color palette that is soft, light and sophisticated. She has a background in Art and Design, he is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef. I asked Ashley about the window valance in the main dining room. It was cleverly designed and well made. She said she picked up the fabric at Mary Jo's and that she has been shopping there since she was a girl. The fabric is a modern style print that looks fresh and arty, a perfect pick for this room.
If you would like to visit the valance in person and have a great meal or an amazing slice of Chocolate Cake head on over to "The Brandon House". It is located at 36 N. Congress Street in downtown York, South Carolina. The food (yummy) and atmosphere (inspiring) are worth the just under an hour drive from Uptown Charlotte.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Formal & Bridal, Dreamy Choices...


Beautiful Lace, Satins, Crepes and Sensuous Silks are just some of the fabrics you will always find in our Bridal and Formal Department. We work hard to make sure you have the finest selection of the best fabrics available today. We have become known as the “go-to” spot for anyone who is making a Wedding Dress, Bridesmaids Dresses or Fancy and Chic Party dresses.
People come and spend hours in this very inspiring department.
Over the years we have gotten to know quite a few seamstresses, some have been shopping with us for decades. We love their visits and enjoy hearing about the different projects they are working on. It is like catching up with old friends.

Melinda Waddell lives in Knoxville, Tennesee. She makes the big trip to Mary Jo’s several times a year.
Melinda’s Story…
I started making my own clothes when I was in high school. I have never had a sewing lesson. I have learned by many a mistake. In 1985 my neighbor asked me to make her wedding dress. I said yes and after I made hers I decided to start a business. During the process of making my neighbors dress I was lucky to meet Ann Knight, who was the seamstress for Clarence Brown Theater at the University of Tennessee. We be came immediate friends and cohorts in sewing. Over the years we made many a trip to Mary Jo's Cloth Store. Leaving Knoxville at 5:00am and returning home the same day. I can't say enough about all that Ann taught me. She gave me the confidence to try anything. Sadly she passed away 3-27-04. My last words to her were: When I need you, you better come to me...and she still does.

Why do I like to sew? I like to make people happy. When I see tears of joy in the bride's eyes while she is trying on her wedding dress, I know that I have done my job or when someone is hard to fit and for the first time ever, they have a garment that fits. I think I get more joy out of my job than my customers. I make wedding dresses, bridesmaid, mother of the bride/groom, prom, madrigal and impersonator costumes. I was the head seamstress for the T.V. show "Christly". and "Unsolved Mysteries."
Mary Jo’s Cloth Store is the best fabric store!!! I love everyone that works there. Angie and Maggie are WONDERFUL. I could not do my job without them.
Thanks, Melinda
It warms our hearts to hear such heartfelt stories from our customers. Everyone seems like family.

Do you have a Mary Jo’s story? Could you send it to us? We are working on a Community Page for the website, stay tuned for the launch date of our newest project! We then will have a wonderful collection from our customers of tips and tricks, inspirations, and lots of sewing advice. We believe our customers are the most talented and clever folks around. Think about being a part of it, all you have to do is email us your stories, tips and photos of your projects.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Color, Fabric & Your HOME...


"There is no place like home", Dorothy Gale reminds us in the classic movie, The Wizard of Oz.
What did she mean by that? I believe she meant that a home should be filled with all that you love. Starting with the people, the ones you live with and the special ones who visit. Almost as important are the colors and objects you choose to surround yourself with. Making conscious choices is the key to comfort and happiness. What colors make you happy and say home to you? Many colors have a calming effect, while others can make you excited or even hungry. Colors bring with them, statement making personalities. When you are thinking of re-doing a room in your home the considerations are simple. How will you use that room and what kind of mood would you like to set? Fabric and paint are your two easiest tools to use to change a room. We are going to talk about fabric. Will you be making curtains or drapes that cover a large window and a part of your wall?
Have you considered covering a large bulletin board with fabric and hanging on a prominent wall to make a statement? How about a beautiful slipcover for a careworn sofa or chair? One of my all time favorite decorating tricks, and just takes a moment to accomplish, a luxurious, to the floor with fabulous trim table cloth? Nothing makes a more elegant and instant statement. The Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching and we know money can be a bit tight this time of year. At Mary Jo's we have Silks, Brocades and Tapestries, not to mention amazing patterns and heavy weighted solids, at prices that are surprisingly low. Imagine this, our starting prices can be as low as 10.99 a yard! WOW talk about a bang for your buck. Remember you can save on gas by shopping online.
You may want to think about buying a bit of extra fabric to make some beautiful napkins, cover a lampshade or even make a runner to go on a credenza. Don't forget the power of pillows, again very inexpensive for the overall fresh and sometimes dramatic effect upon a room. Pillows are fun because you can be super creative by adding fun trims and playing with contrasting fabrics.
So this holiday season a goal may be not only to have more people you adore to grace your doorstep but also to do a few impactful projects. This can make a difference in not only how your home looks but how you feel about it.
Log on to our website for the newest and most beautiful selection of fabrics in textures, patterns and colors you are going to fall madly in love with!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cool Capes, Just in Time for Halloween...

Holy Smokes, Halloween is a mere few weeks away. Here at Mary Jo's we are excited to share a few costume tips with you.
Number one, we are fully stocked with many different types of fabrics, printed, velvets, tapestry, calicos, solids, sheers, glimmery and shiny beautiful and fun choices. We also have Halloween themed fabrics like skeletons, bones, pumpkins, devils and witches to name a few. The trim selection is extraordinary, and our shelves are full of baubles, tassels, edging, cording and ribbon. Wow it is a feast for the eyes and the imagination.

Number two
, one of the easiest and most versatile basic items you can make for a costume is a cape.
Depending upon the Fabric and Trims used, your Cape can be used as the basic piece to create a Witch, a Pirate, a Queen or King, a Vampire, a Fairy or??? The possibilities are endless. So pop into the store or log onto the website and get to thinking, creating and sewing. Halloween is only a few short weeks away.
Happy Haunting!

Basic Cape Instructions with Collar
for Queen/King,Vampire or Rock Star

Materials:
43" X 34" piece each of fabric and lining ,
(see instructions for individual costumes),
chalk pencil for marking matching thread, pins, scissors, iron,
1 VELCRO® brand STICKY BACK® or SEW-ON coin,
sewing machine, hand-sewing needle,
15" strip of 3/8"-wide ribbon
Instructions:
Pin fabric to lining with right sides together and raw edges even. Make 2 marks on each short edge (the 34" side) of the fabric, placing marks 5-1/4" and 6-1/4" down from one long edge (the 43" side). (The narrow area above these markings will form the collar.) Stitch edges of the two fabrics together in 1/4" seams, leaving open the l" space between marks on each side for casing, and leaving a 5" opening along the lower long edge for turning. Turn right side out; press. Make two rows of stitching across the long side (top) of the cape at the 5-1/4" and 6-1/4" casing marks, to form casing for ribbon. Insert ribbon through casing, gathering cape along ribbon so ends of ribbon are even with ends of cape. Stitch across ends to secure ribbon and form collar above ribbon. Separate halves of STICKY BACK® coin. Attach hook half to right side of cape at one end over gathers. Attach loop half to wrong side of cape at other end over gathers.
Queen/King Cape
Additional Material:
sequins,
craft glue,
satin ribbon
Make basic cape with collar from desired fabric. Hand-sew/glue sequins along all edges of cape. Tie ribbon in bow; hand stitch at front over gathers.
Vampire Cape
Additional Material:
4" X 42-1/2" piece of fusible black interfacing.
Make the basic cape using a silky sheer black fabric but leave long lower edge unstitched. Before inserting ribbon, fuse interfacing to collar portion of cape. Trim lower edge of cape into jagged points.
60's Rock Star Cape
Additional Material:
Sequins
Craft Glue




Make a basic cape with collar using metallic fabric for outer fabric and contrasting satin for lining. Glue sequins to cape as desired.

Everything you need for all of your Halloween Stitch Witchery is here at Mary Jo's.
Editors note... Do you have a photo of costumes you have made from fabric and trims purchased at Mary Jo's Cloth Store? If you do send today, I would like to post some of your creations. Thanks, KDB

Friday, October 10, 2008

Creative Quilting and YOU…


Have you ever been to a quilt show and were simply awestruck by the beauty of it all? This weekend in the little town of Waxhaw, North Carolina such an event is taking place.
It is called a Barnful of Quilts and is held at Fox Farms. This annual event usually takes place the second Saturday in October so this year it will be this Saturday, October 11th 10-5. It is a one day affair. Quilt-lovers and Quilt-makers come from near and far to not only gaze upon the beauty but to learn techniques, check out new patterns and chat with fellow quilters.

This year one of the featured quilters is a longtime Mary Jo’s Cloth customer,Susan Brubaker Knapp. She is a a Quilter who turned her passion into a business.
“Quilting started as my hobby, but has turned into a passion and a business. I teach quilting classes at local quilt shops, and have published patterns for my original quilt designs.


"I love traditional hand quilting and needleturn appliqué, but have embraced innovative machine techniques. I started making “art quilts” — works of art executed in fabrics and fibers — in 2005. My quilts have won national as well as local awards, and have been exhibited at national and international venues.”

Susan stays very busy with her quilt business. She holds quilting technique workshops all over the country, sharing her passion and expertise with other talented folks. “Creating fiber art is an intense tactile experience. My core materials — cloth and thread — are the result of my background as a traditional quilter. But I also use substances foreign to traditional quilters, such as fabric paints and dyes, Tyvek, Angelina fibers, and water-soluble wax pastels, to transform the cloth.” She also mentions she just got back from an extraordinary quilting event held in the quaint town of Staunton, Virgina. This literally is a month-long celebration of quilts called "Quilts: Past, Present & Future." Studio Art Quilt Associates' (SAQA) yearly conference for the VA/NC/SC region. Check it out for next year it could be fun and inspiring.
Susan is a huge fan of Mary Jo’s Cloth store and stops by often.
"I am fortunate to live about 45 minutes drive from Mary Jo's, and I visit fairly often. My quilter friends in other states are so envious. When I get about 10 minutes away, I start hyperventilating... and it doesn't get better when I step inside! Pure heaven! I started out as a traditional quilter, and I used to spend most of my time in the cotton prints. Today, I still love traditional quilts, but I've been picking up some other types of fabric (silks, organzas...) that I think will end up in my art quilts sooner or later. Mary Jo's carries everything a quilter or sewer could want or need, and being there and seeing it all feeds my creativity."

At Mary Jo's we are fortunate to provide a huge selection of fabric and other supplies for so many projects to so many passionate, talented and creative people. Thanks for sharing your story with us Susan.

Do you have a story or project to share? Take a moment and Email us a photo and share your work, we cannot wait to see it!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sometimes A Great Notion...



"A stitch in time saves nine." Ben Franklin wrote this, now very famous quote, over 200 years ago and it still rings true today. That stitch could not be made without the cornerstone of all notions, a needle and thread. Elementary? Yes, however the notions department is the "glue" that holds it altogether in any fabric


store. Mary Jo's is known for our wide selection. We stock everything from regular needles, quilting supplies, specialty needles, threads made of silk, cotton and poly as well as blends of all three, in various combinations! You can browse all types of elastic, binding, rick rack, scissors, zippers, velcro, appliques,pattern tracers, fabric glue, measuring tools, sewing baskets, gadgets and of course many types of pins and cute cushions to stick them into. We even carry dress making forms and various other notions that you may need and some you didn't know you needed!
Libby and Jeannie run the Notions Department and they take their jobs seriously. They make sure it is filled to full with whatever you may be looking for. If we do not have what you are looking for One of these gals will see if we can get it for you. We are very proud of our notion department.
The other day we received a letter from a gal who was crazy for our large selection of Rick Rack, we do have oodles of colors. She said she makes a special trip to Mary Jo's a few times a year. She is not alone, people come from all over to make that special trip into our Cloth Mecca! However if you cannot make it in person, log onto our website www.maryjos.com and browse around in all of the departments. Our online store is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. How cool is that?
Remember I would love to hear about your projects and stories, please drop me an email and include your blog site or website or even a few photos. Thanks for shopping at Mary Jo's Cloth.
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Friday, September 26, 2008

Mary Jo's Cloth Is Hollywood's BIG Secret...


“You may be wondering, "What does a COSTUME DESIGNER do?" A Costume Designer transforms the words of the script into visual imagery and creates the look of a character. Costume design helps to create believable characters and supports the narrative in a fictional universe. In other words, costume design is storytelling.”This description comes directly from the pages of ,The Costume Designers Guild.
Mary Jo’s Cloth has been a major player in providing the fabrics and trims for many major Motion Pictures, Opera, Theater and Dance Companies over the years. We have helped many costume designers from coast to coast on projects like “The Patriot”, “The Leather Heads” and the TV show, “Young Indiana Jones”. We not only work with Hollywood Film Production Designers we also work closely with Designers from many different Opera, Dance and Theater companies across the nation and sometimes even in other countries. Each production has different needs for our fabrics, some shimmery and glamorous so they shine brightly under the stage lights, while other productions may need to be historically accurate and authentic (their Oscars depend upon it!) . We like to make sure we always have whatever the designers need at all times. We usually do not disappoint. When something is not available we try to find it for them, we know how important their project is!
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Click on arrow to view slide show of "Costume/Designer Fabrics"

This past week we received a note from a local Costume Designer…
“For the past 15 years Mary Jo’s has served as my link to the garment district in NYC. If you don’t have what I need your staff does everything possible to help me place a special order or offer advice. It is because of you I have been able to become a successful dance wear and competition dance designer and seamstress! Ruth and all the wonderful ladies in the “Lycra world”…bridal dept have always been so much help. I am looking forward to my next BIG adventure in a few weeks!”
Suzanne Spantagos is one busy gal. She is currently creating dance wear and competition costumes for POPS Performing Arts in Huntersville, NC and Dance Companies in Aston, PA., Charlotte, Kernersville and Denver NC.
Wow, where does she find the time, between family responsibilities and her obvious passion for creating outfits that shine in a most spectacular way, under the spotlights? She says she loves what she does and at least for the moment wouldn’t change a thing.
Keep up the passionate work Suzanne, life is short and we should all spend our days doing what we love. By the way if you

haven't shopped for your production project at Mary Jo's yet, give us a try we would love to help.