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

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
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:
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:
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!