Monday, December 28, 2009

Quilt Artist, His Work & Mary Jo's...


Last week we featured an article about "Artful Quilting" and we received quite a few responses. Ben Hollingsworth from Georgia sent in a photo, his blog address and a lovely note. Read on...

"I retired from teaching in 2006 and shortly after
that I started quilting. My wife got me involved with two quilt
guilds. I am actively involved with both and have worked on the show committee for both guild's shows. Fortunately, they alternate with one show in even numbered years and the other in odd numbered years.

In 2008 I had 5 quilts in the Chattahoochee Evening Stars show and
won two first place ribbons and the Viewer's Choice award for my
landscape quilt "Reflections Along the Chattahoochee". That quilt was
also accepted in the Houston International Quilt Festival in October.
I am attaching a photo of that quilt to this email as well as a link
to my blog about the show.

About three months ago I finished my latest art quilt which I hope to
enter in the Houston show next year. It is called "Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Museum". The concept is basically - what would happen if
Sunbonnet Sue had the same zeal as Johnny Appleseed and spread
sunbonnets every where that she went? What if she went to the museum
and put hats on all of the people in the paintings? Several of the fabrics
for this quilt were purchased at Mary Jo's.

I also make traditional patterned quilts but really enjoy modifying
and manipulating fabric and then embellished as a quilt.
I am also a member of a art quilt group called Fiber Art Fusion in
Marietta."
Ben Hollingsworth
Alpharetta, GA


Such an inspiring fellow. He leads an artful quilting life! Thanks so much for sharing, Ben.
Do you have a story to share? Send it in today, we always love to see what you all are up to and how you are turning Mary Jo's Cloth into your own personal creations!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

When Quilting Becomes Art…


Quilting is an age old “necessary” craft. The practical job of keeping warm was the original inspiration.
Today we are blessed with the opportunity to quilt not because we have to but because it has become a passionate and artful expression. Quilt Guilds all over America continue to thrive and the members meet each month to inspire each other and to try more intricate and clever patterns and styles of quilting. Books, Friends, Magazines, Museums, Craft Shows and Antique stores are the primary spots to find some of the finest American Art featuring the medium of quilting.

Today the first “Recycled Artful Tie Quilt” we are featuring is an “Art Quilt” made by Caryl Bryer Fallert. She calls it “Unwinding MBA” It is a true piece of Art and hangs in a private collection in Massachusetts. She simply used her husbands many discarded silk ties, fabric and old watch pieces along with fabric for backing. The energy and motion in this piece is like a spiral with the feeling of movement.
“This quilt was inspired by my husbands decision to sort through and discard a twenty-five year accumulation of old clothes. I wanted to use his old clothing to represent the high-pressure business man coming home and "unwinding" after a hectic day at the office.
Many design and construction details of the original clothing were retained in the piecing. Forty-two dress shirt cuffs, forty-seven collars, and fifty-seven ties form a spiral at the center of the quilt. Pieces of shirts and suits fly out of the spiral as it unwinds. Behind the spiral, at the top are six inch squares of "serious suit" fabrics. Progressing toward the bottom of the quilt, the fabrics become more casual. The squares mutate into 45° and 60° diamonds as corduroys and denims are added. At the center of the bottom is an area of "crazy pieced" distorted rectangles made of old jeans, flannel work shirts, and "T" shirts. Thirteen watch faces are sewn across the "serious suit" fabrics to represent time pressure. One hundred seventy-six designer labels spill out of the spiral into the 60° diamonds and continue around the entire border of the quilt. Buttons were sewn back on all the collars and cuffs. They also serve to tie the layers of the quilt together. The binding is made from ties, and the backing is striped "shirting" fabric.”


Another fun quilt was made with many ties from an retired English teacher. It is sweet and really very bright! This quilt is currently featured on a blog called makeitawonderfullife.blogspot.com.

“The "Ties that Bind"quilt represents just a portion of a tie collection. It was put together by my husband's sister Joyce and her friend Cindy. It measures 59x80 inches, and is made up of over 50 ties. About four or five of the ties were handmade by Joyce. Some of the tie labels are sewn on the front of the quilt, and we had fun talking about the stores, long out of business, represented by those labels and the beautiful (and not so beautiful!) ties. This photo actually tones down a few of the hot pink ones...”


From Mary Jo’s Cloth Store Family, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”.
We will be closing at 4 PM on Christmas Eve and are closed on Christmas Day. As always the Website is open 24-7, log on and noodle around, you will find all sorts of amazing fabrics at terrific prices. Enjoy the holiday.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Go Green, Fabric as Gift Wrap...

We all have a closet, room or at least a box of fabric hanging around that "someday" we will get around to using. What if you considered "Recycling" this fabric? Check out this idea, it will serve you well in many ways. The pluses, first you will have more closet or shelf space and second you will have an opportunity to give and share some of your favorite "scraps" of fabric with friends and family.
Imagine what someone else who has been gifted with your

treasure will do with it. It could hopefully become part of a future project or well, who knows.

Here are a few "Let's Be Green" ideas.
1. Wrap your package with the extra fabric. You can easily fold the edges in upon themselves and tie together with a big piece of extra Satin Ribbon or just pull the corners up and tie it together. You could even pop a faux Flower/Birdie or piece of Holly/Pine cone to create an impressive gift.
2. Marcus Fabrics (one of our favorite fabric manufactuers) came up with an idea from Japan called "Furoshiki". Wow. Lovely, artistic and you can create it from just a bit of extra, recyled fabric.
Instructions:
With all of the emphasis on minimizing use of plastic bags and other environmentally friendly practices we wanted to introduce you to one of the prettiest & most creative ways to wrap gifts - furoshiki. This versatile ancient Japanese practice of using tied cloths to wrap and transport items allows you to wrap almost anything, regardless of its shape or size.
We thought quilters around the world could easily adapt to the concept of furoshiki on many levels: (1) you can show off your favorite fabrics even before you've committed them to that perfect quilt design (2) the cloths are reusable, reducing the impact on our environment; (3) they're perfect for gift wrapping, grocery shopping (and fabric shopping!), even basic home d├ęcor.Try these ideas as a starting point:
  • Select several prints and cut squares of varying sizes. Hem the edges. Fold them up and wrap them up in one of the cloths, tying it at the top. Insert a gift card with an explanation of the cloths.
  • Wrap a bundle of fat quarters with a coordinating furoshiki cloth for your favorite quilter, or as a door prize at guild functions.
  • Wrap a basket of basic quilting essentials in furoshiki to encourage a beginner.

For a double-sided furoshiki that's perfect for carrying heavier items, sew two coordinating fabric squares with right sides together, and turn right side out, sew the opening closed and press.








With only 11 Days until the big Holiday, we wish you well. Stop in the store or log onto maryjos.com. The website is open 24 hours a day. Easy to fit into your schedule and you never have to find a parking space!
Happy Holidays...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Madness, Quilting and your Holiday Table...

The Christmas and Holiday countdown are in full swing and it is a little more than 2 weeks until the "Holiday Madness" is over. Then it is safe to hunker down, relax and find your quiet self. With the New Year, you can keep that promise to quilt more, teach a young person to sew, create some new outfits, re-cover a sofa or chair, clean and organize your sewing studio or even create the studio of your dreams. Now is the time to be planning your "Winter Sewing Adventure". If you are a quilter there are many spring shows that are coming up that are truly spectacular. We will be featuring an article on these quilt shows during the next few weeks. It is not to late to plan and finish a quilt to enter into one of the many upcoming shows. Mary Jo's has all of the historic patterns and colors you would ever want at an average price of 6.99 per yard. We also have some incredible spring themed patterns and colors including Sunflowers, Tulips, Leaves, Poppies, Iris and Daffodils to name a few. These are fun choices for the "Whack and Stack" style quilts and any pattern that requires lots of color and pattern. It is fun to work with these colors on those dreary dark winter days.

Mary Jo's Cloth Store still has some great choices for your holiday table decorating. It is simple to whip up a few table cloths, some napkins and maybe even some placemats. A holiday table is not only fun to create/decorate it is also a special family/friend event. Our prices for Holiday fabric is very affordable and our selection is still good. Take a moment, browse around online or pop into the store. You will be happy that you did and so will your guests.

Stay calm, have fun and enjoy the next few weeks. They only happen once a year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Stockings, Easy as 1, 2, 3...


Tis' the season. Once a year it is truly the season for Holiday themed fabric! We have, in stock: Santa's, Angels, Ornaments, Reindeer, Poinsettas, Pinecones, Drummer Boys, Nutcrackers, The Nativity, Snowy Scenes, Snowmen, Bells, and many other holiday themed choices. Most are available online, shop early for the best selection.Stockings are not only easy and fun to make they become instant family treasures that are pulled out and used for many years to come. Did you know you can make Christmas Stockings without a sewing machine? eesortmnent.com had some super ideas for easy to make Christmas Stockings. These hand-stitched stockings are very unique, and they can be personalized with names or special holiday messages."To make a hand-stitched Christmas stocking you will need 1 half yard of either Satin, Fleece, Velvet, Holiday print or any other fabric you wish to use. You will also need a skein of embroidery floss, ½ inch wide satin ribbon, straight pins, a needle, scissors, and fabric chalk. Optional supplies are small jingle bells, fabric paint, cotton thread, beads, brushes, fabric glue, glitter, pretty buttons, pompoms, lace and rickrack. Use fabric chalk to draw the outline of a stocking on the backside of your chosen fabric. When drawing the shape, be sure to take into consideration the loss of size that will occur when the stocking is stitched around the edges. Also, you may want to consider making the stocking taller than desired so the top can be turned over to form a cuff. Also allow extra length if you intend on cutting out fringe on the cuff. This works best when using fleece material. Cut out the completed shape, turn the fabric over, and use it as a stencil for the other side of the stocking. Trace around the shape, and cut it out as well. Choose a color of embroidery floss that coordinates well with the colors of your chosen fabric. Pin the two right sides of the stocking together using straight pins. Thread an embroidery needle with 2 strands of embroidery floss, and begin whip stitching the edges. “Whip stitches” are made by inserting the needle into the fabric and “whipping” the thread over the cut edges of fabric and inserting the needle into the other side. Make the stitches approximately ¼ inch apart. Continue this process until the edges are completely stitched. Turn the stocking right side out. If you have made the stocking long enough for a cuff, turn the fabric out to form the cuff. You can either hand-stitch lace or rickrack around the edge of the cuff, or if the cuff is long enough you can create a fringed edge. Do so by evenly cutting out ½ inch sections of fabric around the edges of the cuff. Make the fringe any length you desire. If you’ve opted to make fringe, you can tie on small metal jingle bells or pretty beads to the ends of the fringe. If you didn’t form a fabric cuff for the stocking, make a faux cuff using pretty buttons. Sew buttons of your choice around the upper third of the stocking. Use buttons of all sizes and shapes in colors that coordinate with the fabric used for the stocking. Pompoms or faux gemstones can also be used to embellish a hand-stitched Christmas stocking. Glue them on with fabric glue. You also might want to consider using glue and glitter to personalize the stocking with a name more or special holiday message. Just draw the name or message with a bottle of craft glue, and sprinkle on glitter of your choice. Use your imagination to design the perfect holiday stocking.Make a hanger for your finished stocking using ½ inch wide satin ribbon in a coordinating color. Cut off a section of ribbon approximately 6 inches long. Fold it over and hand stitch it to the inside corner of the stocking. Hang the finished stocking on the edge of a mantel or shelf. Special stocking hangers are available where most Christmas supplies and accessories are sold. Wow, making future family holiday heirlooms could not be easier. If you want to be inspired, Google images has loads of great ideas. Go to google.com, type "Christmas Stockings" into the search field click images and viola, tons of stocking photos. Have fun!

Remember Mary Jo's Cloth Store has outstanding choices for all of your holiday fabric needs. Log on to our website www.maryjos.com or stop into the store in Gastonia, we would love to see you and your friends! Take a moment and send a photo of your Christmas project to us. We may post it on our community page or feature your handiwork in a future Mary Jo Design Blog article. Happy Holidays and make sure to have fun.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Thanksgiving at Mary Jo's Cloth Store...

Thanksgiving is a special time of year. It is a holiday filled with great food, company and good cheer. It is a time to re-connect with family, friends and neighbors. There is nothing better than eating a great meal and breaking bread with those that we love and acknowledging all of the blessings in our lives. May your "Thanksgiving Week" buzz with the energy of love, sharing and true hospitality.

At Mary Jo's Cloth Store Thanksgiving is a very special time of year. We are truly thankful for all of our wonderful customers who shop in the store or online. It is always a joy to be able to help folks find what they are looking for, answer questions whether it is in person, on the phone or in an email.






We are thankful for our staff. They work diligently to get the job done, on-time and with a smile. We are thankful to the manufactures of the fabric we stock in our stores. We are able to order what we need, when we need it, at a price that is so great we can pass the savings onto you. So thank-you everyone, may your holiday season be filled with all that you love and all that you care about.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Mary Jo's Cloth Store

In the spirit of giving,new specials, just log onto our SALE PAGE (Special Edition)... We have some new postings that are well priced and lovely.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Where Does The Time Go?


It is the middle of November, we are getting very busy online and in the store. Many folks are stocking up on fabric to get them through the holidays. The project lists we hear about are endless. Thanksgiving Tables are being outfitted with some truly amazing tablecloths made from exquisite Damasks, Satins, Polished Cottons, Batiks and classic prints. Companion fabric is available for napkins and place-mats. As always at Mary Jo's Cloth Store the choices are many and the possibilities are endless.

We have heard from many of you in the past few weeks and would like to feature a few of our letters and comments as well as a darling "Polka Dot" project.

Miss Sue in Georgia writes...
Dear Mary Jo and friends,
Thank you so much for going online. There is nothing like going to your store and shopping for the project you are doing, but sadly some of is are now housebound. I was so happy to know that I can now go online and get a few things that I need. I think you are a wonderful group and I wish you continued success. You really go out of your way to see that we have a great shopping experience. You ladies are the greatest.
Hugs
Sue in GA


Sarah from NC, wrote in to share her beautiful Doll that she made from fabric purchased here at Mary Jo's...
Hi Mary Jo's.
I just wanted to share my newest obsession...art dolls made of fabric with yarn for hair. They're called Blume Dolls. Each one is an indivual with painted faces, about 6 '' tall. I can't stop making them. So....I'm cruising Mary Jo's alot to find that special fabric for a dress or body. Right now they're sitting on my sewing room shelf watching me! I've made about 25 and have given a few to friends. Thanks for letting me share, Sarah Monteleone Dallas, N.C.


Miss Connie was kind enough to share her Polka Dot Handiwork...
I read your article on using Polka dots in our projects. I make primarily custom kids clothes.
I've enclosed a picture of what I call my "Little Black Skirt."
I've used a combination of: Micro Dots, 1/4 Inch Dots, 1/2 Inch Dots, Flocked Dot Tulle along with a Stripe for this fun little skirt.
It can be worn so many ways: With a Personalized T Shirt...with a Blouse and Vest....With a BOO T Shirt for Halloween....or with a Minnie T Shirt for that Disney Trip.
I just wanted to share my contribution!
Thanks
Connie Turner

Thanks for all of your great notes, letters and kudos we appreciate hearing from you.
Remember it is that "time" of year. Holidays, Parties, Gifts and Dinners. So get to cracking on all of your projects before the time, well, just gets away from you.
An early Happy Holidays from Mary Jo's Cloth Store.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mary Jo's Named "One of the Seven Wonders"...


Thank-you to all that voted. Drum roll..... Mary Jo's Cloth Store won the Gaston Gazette contest for "The Seven Wonders of Gaston County"! Yippeee. We were named one of the "Seven Wonders". We couldn't be more proud and we thank all of our customers, near and far who took the time and voted online at The Gaston Gazette for Mary Jo's.
This is what the Gaston Gazette had to say about us.
"At 77 years of age, Margaret Colien Cloninger still goes to work six days a week, usually arriving and leaving sometime around dark. “I’m old, but I can outwork any young child,” said Cloninger, better known by the nickname her father gave her — Mary Jo.
She culled her work ethic working at her father’s grocery store in Dallas before she was tall enough to rest her chin on the counter. She shined shoes, took in rent payments on weekends and helped with recordkeeping. “I did it, and I was good,” she said. “My father taught me everything I know.” Except how to sew. That she learned on her own. Her mother wouldn’t let her use her sewing machine, so she’d sneak and use it while she was out. When Cloninger was in school (she had to drop out in the 11th grade to help her dad run the store), she taught her peers to sew because her home economics teacher didn’t know how.
Her ingrained business acumen and love of all things fabric led her to open a store behind her father’s barbershop back in 1951, on her 19th birthday. Today, Mary Jo’s Cloth Store is one of the largest independent fabric stores in the nation, drawing crafters, designers, quilters and stitchers from all over the world to the 32,000 square foot retail center in Gastonia.

It’s been featured in Southern Living Magazine and The New York Times. It’s also been voted by readers as one of the Gazette’s Seven Wonders of Gaston County. “I love what I do, and I don’t do it for money,” said Mary Jo. “This is my gift, this is my joy, and I know who I serve, so it just works.” She’s been tested along the way. As business progressed, she relocated her store within Dallas. It burned on Dec. 18, 1981, and forced her to relocate to Windsor Center in Dallas, where it stayed until moving to become the centerpiece of the Gaston Mall in 1986.
Her business philosophy is simple – treat others like you want to be treated and be fair. The 68 employees who work at the store are like family, she said. “It’s not me,” she said of her store’s success. “It’s all of us.” "

How the Seven Wonders were chosen. The first ever (to our knowledge) definitive list of the Seven Wonders of Gaston County was chosen from an online vote of Gaston Gazette. com readers. Readers nominated Gaston County landmarks, events and people by e-mailing the Gazette or posting the nominations online before the top 20 finalists were selected.

Remember to check out the Sale Page. TIP: Click through all of the pages as the stock changes sometimes on a daily basis.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Living In A Material World...

It is no trick at Mary Jo's Cloth Store. Simply put our prices are lower, our selection is better and our quality is top notch. We have been selling fabric since the mid 1900's we believe this makes us experts. Our 32,000 sq. ft of floor space gives us the ability to stock everything you may need for most any project you are working on. At Mary Jo's it is always a treat, whether you are shopping

at Maryjos.com or enjoying an excursion to the store. We are always available to give you a hand, answer any questions and help you to find exactly what you are looking for, online or in the store. Thanks for your continued patronage, your notes, your thoughts and all of your input, we are listening and are always striving to not only be the best but remain your favorite cloth store.

This week a customer, Cindy Winter-Hartley, posted a blog article about her trip to Mary Jo's. We thought it would be fun to share with you.
"Living In The Material World and I Am A Material Girl"
I love fabric. Sometimes before I go to sleep at night, (and I share this without a hint of embarrassment or awkwardness), I will place different swatches on my bedroom carpet floor and imagine. As my mind unwinds from the day, I move the squares around and see the different patterns I can create. The Hubs will walk into the room and ask me, "What are you doing?" He doesn't get it as he just sees a junky mess. It's a fabric thing. And I have a ton of it. Yeah, I am a material girl. This past weekend, I journeyed to one of my favorite places. Mary Jo's in Gastonia. It is the promised land on earth for someone who finds fabric fascinating.
Thankfully Mary Jo's is conveniently located only an hour away from some of my favorite people on the earth. I have a large extended family in South Carolina and although they alone make the trip worthwhile , Mary Jo's is a must-stop on my emotional map. And I am equally blessed because I have two of the most awesome OS a girl could ever have usually traveling with me. The reason for their respective awesomeness is that is I have trained them on how to behave at Mary Jo's. (Click to Read More)

Wow, fun, Thanks so much Miss Cindy. We love that our customers are not only blogging about us, but sending us their articles and postings. Do you have a project, story or article? Take a moment and email us today. Thanks in advance.
Happy Sewing and a spooky Halloween to all!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cozy Up Your Home, One Room At A Time...

Autumn is the perfect time to re-think, re-do, re-paint and re-upholster. The holidays are, eeek, around the corner and guests will be arriving before you know it. A few weeks ago I was taking a creative stroll through the Upholstery and Drapery section here at Mary Jo's Cloth Store. I am always inspired and compelled to purchase fabric for a Chair, Pillow, Drapery or even a Tablecloth. The website has much of the stock posted and for sale online, all of the time! Paisley fabric is one of my all time favorites. I love the way it mixes easily with Antiques and the bolder more spare Paisley can add an elegant edge to a modern home as well. Mary Jo's has many Paisley's and Patterns, not just printed but actually woven, thread by thread. Some of these woven fabrics are available in wide widths and range in price for $12-25 per yard. However at a big chain these same fabrics would easily be double and sometimes even triple. Mary Jo always says that she, "Wants her customers to be able to afford terrific fabric for as little money as possible". She is true to her word.
I recently stitched up some simple floor to ceiling curtains for my living room. The fabric is a lovely woven paisley, in the most beautiful colors and the texture is sumptuous. This mixes well with other patterns and solids that were already in the room. (This fabric is truly heavenly, I love this fabric and it could also be used for a light jacket, Tote zBag, Table Cloth, Bedspread and well the list is endless, send me some of your clever ideas and I can feature them.)
In another room of the house I have used a wide range of paisley, solids and patterned fabric to create a cozy area, it is a perfect place to retreat and read a book. It was easy to create using just a few pillows, a throw, a simple bed-cover. I like the fact that it looks like an instant collection. An important tip I like to share is this, many patterns that have a color in common often time will work well together. Repeated color is the key to putting a room together, any room, all of the time.
Go ahead give it a try. Now take a moment and surf around on the website click onto the Drapery/Upholstery section for inspiration. If you are in Gastonia you can pop into the store and browse to your hearts content.
We are looking forward to hearing your comments and seeing photos of the rooms you will create in this pre-holiday season.
Oh, and for all of you "Crazy For Halloween" folks, we have fabric, trim and many other notions you will need to create the cutest, scariest, coolest, creepiest and most horrifying costumes ever. Log on or hurry in today!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Autumn is Quilting Weather...

Chilly Autumn nights are here, so it must be time to start all of your holiday quilting projects.
There are so many different approaches to quilting but I think we would all agree that the most important is to be prepared. Cut once, measure twice, have all of your pieces ready in advance and of course a neat and tidy work area (well, we should all have something to aim for!). At Mary Jo’s Cloth Store we carry all of your old favorites and some great new fabrics in many patterns, colors and different holiday and seasonal themes. We even have some on our sale page and when you think about our low prices to start with, you know the sale price is dirt cheap.

Today we are featuring a master quilter, Anita Grossman Solomon who is the author of the popular books, Make It Simpler series “Paper Piecing” and “Perfect Blocks in Minutes”. She has also appeared on HGTV's "Simply Quilts". Anita has created a system that is easy, organized and can help you to create a perfect quilt, every time! Sounds like a dream? Don’t worry easy never sounded so good.
I was cruising around on her website www.makeitsimpler.com and was impressed with the knowledge she so freely shares and easy links to purchase her books. This is what she had to say about “Paper Piecing”.
The following is an interview featured on Electricquilt.com...
“Q: Congratulations, Anita! You're just written your first book, about a new pinless, "fold and sew" foundation technique you developed. How would you describe your technique to our readers?
A: It's simplified paper-piecing, but it's not paper piecing as you know it. It's sort of hand-piecing, with a sewing machine, over a paper foundation. An entire 6" block pattern is meant to be photocopied from the book onto translucent vellum. Most significantly, rather than cutting up the pattern into sub-units, it's scored instead along pre-printed lines.
Piece the block without sewing through allowances. Since you never cut the foundation apart, it doesn't have to be put back together. Just refold and sew the subunits together along the printed seam lines. Every intersection and point should be perfectly matched because they were never cut apart.

Anita's Faux Card Trick quilt. Can you believe each block was pieced on ONE foundation? Hint: Anita used squares, rectangles and triangles. Pieced by Anita and machine quilted and finished by Janice E. Petre of Sinking Spring, PA
Because of this new technique, it's possible to design and construct blocks in new ways. I've 'done' a Faux Card Trick that can be pieced, continuously, on one foundation. I've never seen the block done on less than three foundations.

Another block, Jan's Star (named for my fabulous C&T editor, Jan Grigsby) is an asymmetrical star ensconced in an attic window setting. It's unusual because the setting is formed when one of its two seams are sewn. A perfect 45 degree angle is created. It's uncanny.”
To read more of this interview click here..

Wow, so much more is on the site so take the time to log on to Anita's site and surf around to find some tricks that will make quilting easier and more efficient. Think about all of the quilts and smaller quilt project you could create between now and Christmas. Think about this, great gifts and cozy bedding just in time for cold, dark and rainy, snowy days.

Now is the time to get crackin’ on your upcoming projects so take a minute and log onto www.maryjos.com today. Better yet if you have time or are in Gastonia you could stop by and take a cruise through our 32,000 sq. ft store for not only inspiration but a rummage through the sale bins. We also have stacks and stacks of fat quarters just waiting to be turned into something absolutely fantastic.
Happy Holiday’s. Yes it is early, but not so far away.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fabric, Facebook, Our Blog and You...

Here At Mary Jo's Cloth Store we always have a great time putting together articles for our Sewing/Design blog. In the past 15 months we have covered everything from quilting to the latest in sewing trends as well as historic patterns and the history of fabric. We are always excited to share our Seasonal and Holiday Fabric Collections. We also delight in featuring special "crafty" sewing projects that are not only easy but beautiful and fun to do with fellow sewing friends. Sharing various quilt shows with our readers from around the country is always fun and interesting. We also love to feature our talented customers who have taken the time to send us their projects and their thoughts on fabric, sewing and the business of sewing. We are lucky to have so many readers in our Mary Jo Cloth Community who log on and read these articles. We thank-you.
So now, here is the deal, we would love some feed-back from you.
What would you like to learn more about? Do you have a business or hobby you would like to share with us? We would love nothing more than featuring you and your business or projects in an article on the blog or on our community page.
At Mary Jo's the more we know about you the better we can understand not only what you would be interested in learning more about, but also what your fabric needs are. So take a moment, send us an email and give us some good old fashioned friendly feedback.
Recently we have added weekly postings on Facebook. We post the current blog article, special announcements and fabric sales! It is easy to be a fan of Mary Jo's on Facebook. If you do not have a Facebook account it is super simple to sign-up for one and remember, chances are your friends, family and neighbors already have an account, so tap into the online community of Facebook and Mary Jo's Cloth Store. We look forward to hearing your comments, thoughts and feedback. Send an email today. Thanks in advance. KDB, Blog Editor.
Featured Sale Item: A fab Paisley in Autumn colors, it is only $3.50 per yard. At 54" I can imagine Curtains, Tablecloths or maybe even an elegant Duvet Cover. What will you create? You can locate this fabric by clicking on "Special Editions" (our code words for SALE) click to Items 73-90 it is featured in the center of the second row.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Vote: Mary Jo's, "Seven Wonders of Gaston County"...


Hey, all you Mary Jo's Cloth Store Fans...
Our local newspaper "The Gaston Gazette" is creating a list (by way of an online vote ) for the "Seven Wonders of Gaston County". Mary Jo's is on the short list of choices, for one of the Seven Wonders! We are asking you to log onto the Gaston Gazette website and vote for Mary Jo's Cloth Store. We thank-you in advance.
Happy Sewing!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Autumn, A Time For Quilts and Quilt Shows...

Friday was a crisp Autumn Day at the Common Ground Fair in rural Maine. One large tented area was devoted to Quilting and Home Arts. My heart sang with the colors, designs and textures of these lovely quilts and I adored the shining, smiling faces of their creators. This is not your typical country fair, it features organic and recycled everything from Vegetables to Home Goods. Looking at the quilts and other fabrics I was reminded that during the other "Great Depression" women were very clever about finding fabric that had other uses before it was cut and stitched into a warm quilt. These very quilts were not only fun to make but a wonderful addition to a cold winters night! Think about shirts, blouses, dresses and even pieces of old table cloths that could be incorporated into a quilt, today. Sometimes it is not what you don't have but what you do with what you do have!
This particular show featured Quilts with 3-D style flowers, patterns reminiscent of Granny's Quilts of yore and also some made with fabric from old flour sacks. I particularly liked a few that had the feeling of stained glass and multi colored quilts that featured with silhouette's of kitties. All homespun and beautifully done. A long honored tradition continues with quilters today, groups of women help each other cut, piece and then quilt the piece together. This wonderful and often necessary hobby gave them a chance to visit, catch up on the comings and goings of friends and family and always netted the result of a warm and cherished quilt for someones bed.
Quilt shows are featured in most regions of America this time of year. Check your local newspaper or just google "quilt shows" and type in your state. You will be amazed at the amount of quilt shows going on in your home state in the months of October and November.
Mary Jo's Cloth Store continues to be a great source for inexpensive and high quality quilting fabric. Log onto the website or stop into the store today. Don't forget to click onto the special editions section. In Mary Jo's language, "Special Edition" really means SALE!
Life is short, get together with your friends and quilt to your hearts content!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Let's Do The Polka, Dots That Is...


There is something to be said for that tried and true perennial favorite, Polka Dots. What is it that makes it such a favorite? The fact that it is not only fun but that it is also a classic. Think of the versatility of Polka Dot printed fabric. These dots are happily mixed with small printed florals, stripes as well as colored textured fabrics. The trick? Well that is fairly easy. Use colors that are nearly the same or contrasting and wow, you will have a cool finished project on your hands.
It is always a delight and a welcome surprise to see curtains that have a lining of polka dots. Another favorite is the fabric handbag: when you use the polka dots to create a contrasting inside lining it is a delight. These darling dots are also fun used as a lining on the insides of collars, and cuffs. They look great and will add an element of fun to a striped broadcloth shirt. Polka dots are a fun or even swanky choice for that perfect little cocktail dress. Using a rayon or silk fabric that has a black/navy background with cream or white dots can be an elegant interpretation of the polka dot pattern.
Polka Dots and Mini Florals are a popular pairing for those darling (and expensive) little girl dresses. You could have a blast with a pink and green themed outfit for your favorite young lady. Remember, dots are a great pattern for lining the inside of a tote bag. But here is the fun part, every time you drop something into your bag you will certainly be delighted by the sea of polka dots that greet you.
What can you do with this classic dotted beauty? Log onto the website today, we have 121 different types in Mary Jo's online Polka Dot Collection!
When you have finished a truly Polka Dottie Project, photograph it and send it to us. We may feature you on this blog our on our Maryjo.com Community page.
Starting today, the first 50 Customers who order $50.00 (fabric, not including shipping) or more on the website will receive a FREE an OLFA Non Slip Ruler or a similar product from OLFA. Hurry up to receive your free gift.