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 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.

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.