Friday, July 25, 2008

Robert Kaufman's Annual Quilt Contest...

It is that time of year and Robert Kaufman is having several "Quilt Contests".
How much fun! You can be your creative self and maybe win some cash or other prizes.

A panel of prestigious judges from the professional quilting community will take part in determining the winners. Top tier winners will receive cash, Robert Kaufman fabric and other prizes, and their quilts will travel in a nationwide exhibit. In addition, thirty honorable mention quilts will also travel as a separate exhibition.

The Kaufman Quilt Quest creates wonderful opportunities for quilters to express their creativity and share their talents with the rest of the quilting world. As a company, the competition allows Robert Kaufman the opportunity to witness firsthand the diverse wealth of ideas and methods by which our fabrics can be utilized by the quilter. We encourage all of you to take part: novice or advanced, machine quilter or hand-quilter. The goal is to have fun and share in an inspiring creative event!
First Place – Janome Jem Portable Sewing & Quilting Machine and carrying case, $250.00, 50 yards of assorted fabric, and a 1-year subscription to The Quilter magazine.
Second Place – $75 Superior Threads Gift Certificate, $150.00, and 30 yards of assorted Robert Kaufman fabrics.
Third Place – A collection of assorted EZ Quilting rulers, $100.00, and 20 yards of assorted Robert Kaufman fabrics.
Honorable Mention – 15 yards of Robert Kaufman fabric.
Curator's Choice – 15 yards of Robert Kaufman fabric.

To Download your entry form and to find out more please log onto the Robert Kaufman Website.

Mary Jo's Cloth Store has all of the fabrics and notions you will need to do your project, so stop by the store or browse on line at

We would love to see your beautiful Quilts. Email us a photo or two with a brief story/description and we may do a story on your quilt. Email the editor.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wall Flowers, An Arty Fabric Project...

I ran into Sandy Snead, a longtime MaryJo's Cloth Store Customer, the other night at her Art Gallery "Lark and Key" in Charlotte. It is a sweet gallery filled to full with all types of beautiful art. We were chatting about these small framed fabric flower pieces she had hanging in a collection. She calls them Wall Flowers which I thought was very clever. She excitedly told me she had picked up the fabric at Mary Jo's and was always inspired with the vast amount of choices we have to offer. She went on to say she loves shopping there and has been buying fabric for Bedding, Drapes and many other projects over the years.
I asked if she could send the project list and a few tips on how to create her magical "Wall Flower Portraits". So here it is.

Wall Flowers

buttons (vintage shown)
background fabric (suede is shown)
wool felt
6 strand embroidery floss
wood picture frame
foam core
fabric glue or matte gel medium
double sided tape
awl or heavy needle

Step by Step:
-Cut a piece of foam core (or cardboard) that will fit inside the frame. Allow room for the fabric to wrap around the edges.
-Cut a piece of suede or fabric of your choice for the background. – it should be slight larger than the base.
-Place strips of double sided tape around the edge of your foam core and wrap the fabric around so it is secure in place with the tape.
-Make a template for your flower petals and leaves then trace onto the felt. Cut out with scissors and use fabric glue or a gel medium to adhere them to the background.
-Glue buttons to the flower centers. If there are button holes you can stitch the button to the base.
-Use three strands of the embroidery floss to add decorative stitches to the flower.

Sandy's Art can be found in her gallery "Lark & Key", the Lark and Key Blog and her personal design site "Adorn".

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Re-Upholster for a Fresh Summer Look...

We received a letter from loyal "Mary Jo's Cloth Store" customers, Kelly and Elizabeth. They were thrilled with the fabric they chose for their Wicker Furniture. The fabric looks like a scene from Monet's Garden. An Impressionistic rendering of a "French Country Garden" great colors and top pick for a sun porch.

We have a few good tips for you when buying upholstery fabric. A regular 6 Ft. Sofa takes about 10 Yards. Wow sounds like alot, however you have to allow for pattern repeats and a bit extra for welting, pleating, ruffles and maybe a few pillows. Also when choosing your fabric keep in mind the kind of use your Chair or Sofa will receive. Do you have a house full of kids, pets and lots of company? Heavy duty fabrics, darker colors and patterns are the best choice for you. In the long run it won't show the wear and tear as quickly as lighter colored fabric. If your lifestyle is more on the sedate side you can lean towards lighter colored and less patterned fabric. We know picking fabric can be a challenge. Take a moment, and peruse our online selection of Upholstery Fabric, or come on into the store. If you cannot find what you are looking for Ask MaryJo. Thanks to Kelly and Elizabeth for their story and photos. Do you have a story? Please send it to us with a few photos and details.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Quilters Delight in Mary Jo's...

Editors Note: Wow, I have been online reading all of the kudos, tips and ideas from Mary Jo's customers. It is amazing. Folks have written about the store on Blogs, Quilting sites, Websites, Magazine sites and Recommended Shopping sites. I have included an interesting article from How much fun to read what everyone has to say. Do you have an interesting story, or visit or project to share? You can email me at I look forward to hearing from you. KDB

The article from "If you Quilt, Sew, Upholster, make Drapes, anything, Mary Jo's has Fabric for you. We are quilters and so he 100% cotton quilting fabric section is where you'll find us. This store must contain 7000 to 8000 bolts of just quilting fabrics and every bolt is different. (For quilters who have been to Hancock's in Paducah, KY I emphasize, at Mary Jo's Every Bolt is DIFFERENT). Doesn't mean they don't have more than one bolt of each fabric but they only display one. It you need or want more than is on the bolt, ASK. They've probably got more bolts in back.
Selection is tremendous. Great Theme Fabrics, many complementary fabrics. Their sale section alone normally has more fabric selections in it than lots of quilt stores carry in current stock.
Price is great. Mary Jo's apparently gets price breaks from the manufacturers. Either that or the volume is so high they can afford to make less per yard and still make a great income.
If we get within a couple hundred miles of Gastonia (which is about 30 minutes southwest of Charlotte, NC on I-85 and the shop is right at the exit) we try to figure out how to alter out trip route to get into Mary Jo's.
Plan on spending a good part of the day, particularly the first time you go and maybe even longer if you want to look at more than quilting fabrics. I don't think we ever get out of Mary Jo's in less than half a day and we always have a good size purchase of new fabric with us when we leave.
Of all the quilt shops we have been in on our travels and we've been in lots, this has to be Number 1!"