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.

Click On Arrow to Browse our "Notions Department"

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!

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.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Quilts as Art...

Did you know Mary Jo’s Cloth Store is visited several times a week by Tour Buses? Why you ask? In a word, QUILTERS! All of our quilting clients know how their guilds are gaga over our vast selection and breadth of color and texture that can be used in all of their “Artful Masterpieces”. Some people may see a quilt as something to keep them warm on a chilly night. Yes that is true, however a quilter knows the "Alchemy and Art" that go into each and every quilt.
We have made it our goal over the years to feature the newest and the latest fabrics as well as the old standards and historic prints you have all come to love.We will keep up our end of the bargain, supplying you with great“Cloth” and we expect you to continue to create your works of Quilted works of Art.
I was reading about an amazing Quilt Exhibition the other day.
The Philadelphia Art Museum is featuring a fresh look at the quilting traditions from the community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, introducing new artists and motifs in works dating from the early twentieth century through 2005. WOW, Cool!
“The quilts are hung thematically in blocks according to their general schemes. These include "Housetops," based on concentric squares (a design known elsewhere as "Log Cabin"); the stepped pattern called "Bricklayer, Blocks and Strips," often made from old trousers; and "Medallions," which feature a bold central motif inside a contrasting frame. The "Medallions" scheme often produces energetic juxtapositions and contrasts of the kind common to modernist painting. For instance, Loretta P. Bennett created such a design from a stack of alternating bland and red wedges framed by heavy white bars against a black ground.One shouldn't try to valorize one art medium -- in this case, textile -- by comparing it to a more prestigious one such as painting. Yet one can't help imagining how some of these quilts might be perceived if they were transcribed into pigment on canvas. I'm thinking particularly of a red, white and black masterpiece by Mary Lee Bendolph, the exhibition's signature image.
Most important,the Gee's Bend quilts put paid to the canard that abstraction is difficult or unnatural. For these academically untutored artists, abstraction is as natural as breathing.”
If you cannot make the exhibition log onto the online photo rich site “Gees Bend Quilt makers”.
We all have so much in this world that is true unadulterated inspiration.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Handbags-A Different Take...

A wonderful thing has been happening here at Mary Jo's Cloth Store. We are creating an online community. Our customers (YOU) have been sending in your stories, pictures, tips and ideas about how you are using the fabric you purchased. The projects you have shared have been wonderful. Grandmothers sharing quilts and baby clothes, ladies who have turned their passion into businesses have shared clothes, blankets, handbags, art and upholstery ideas. The quilting community is huge and very talented. It is a joy to see photos of so many beautiful projects. How touching to have had such a huge response. Because of all of the emails we have received we thought it may be a good idea to launch a Customer Community Page on our website, so keep an eye out for it!

I have posted a slide-show of some of our newest fabrics to inspire the creative muse! We have been stocking Drapery and Upholstery Fabric in all of the newest colors, textures and patterns for the Autumn season. Shop now the selection is amazing!
Click on arrow to view.

La Toya Stevens wrote the following letter to us. She has a wonderful story and is a determined young woman.
"I believe that everyone in the upholstery department knows my face. I design a line of handbags under Miss Pretty Perfect. I credit Mary Jo and her wonderful operation, for getting me started. I love Mary Jo's. I travel from Hickory to visit. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Jo and listening to her rise to 'fame'. The story she shared with my mother and I was truly amazing. God is Wonderful. He is doing wonderful things for me, as well. I have a website that I sell my handbags from www.missprettyperfect.com. I learned about Mary Jo's website on my last visit this past Saturday. I just visited the site and the blog, and I am truly impressed! Even though I appreciate the convenience of being able to shop on line, the visit to store is worth the drive for me. The atmosphere gets my wheels turning and the workers are very friendly and helpful. Mary Jo's will always be my favorite fabric store!"

Miss Pretty Perfect handbags was launched in Winter 2007, by Designer La Toya Stevens.
She has had a passion for fashion every since she was a little girl. You can usually find her in her Hickory, N.C. studio creating one of her now almost "Famous" handbags. To learn a bit more and view her videos from the studio log onto her blog.

Friday, September 5, 2008

FABRIC- Your Designs & Mary Jo's Cloth...

JOY... in a word is what our customers feel about Mary Jo's Cloth. Since launching the new website and this companion Blog we have received many emails. Our customers are passionate about their fabric and what they do with it. We will be featuring their stories on a regular basis. We love to hear what our customers are doing with Mary Jo's Cloth, drop us a line today. The following article features one of our customers and her unique clothing design business.

Last week we received an email from a gal named Cherisse. She is a designer of children's clothing her firm is called Pick-A-Lily's. I went online and was amazed and inspired with the darling outfits she designs and creates everyday.

She writes "I was THRILLED when Mary Jo's went on-line because I don't leave my studio much during the day and buy most of my fabrics on-line. But I have been coming to Mary Jo's for 20 years or more. I find the help that I get on-line very attractive and they always respond to me quickly and help me with my questions. The prices, of course, are always the best you can find anywhere!!!

As far as finding what I want and need on-line....everyday there are more and more fabrics and trims added to the website and the more that appears there the better and easier it is for me.

As far as inspiration, that usually comes from the children themselves. I believe that children deserve to have a memorable childhood and that these pieces of art that I create actually add to that experience, especially when they go to Disney and on vacation, they feel happy in my clothing and people comment on me so much that it makes them smile and it makes their parents smile. I have a very loyal and growing clientele and LOVE what I do!!!"

I was amazed to see what she does with the patterns and colors of Mary Jo's Cloth that she uses.
Cherisse is a talent and we are so happy she is one of our longtime loyal customers.