Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Into A "Fresh" New Look...

The weather is finally turning warmer and it is time to think about some "Spring Decorating". Yes, the light is brighter, the days longer and those warm breezes are a welcome addition after this very cold winter. At Mary Jo's Cloth Store we have been stocking the shelves with light and fresh fabrics.
The colors this year are bright and cheerful, which is a welcome relief to all of the economic news we read in the

paper and hear on the news everyday. Some of the retro-modern colors are making a comeback along sporting a distinct graphic and patterned look. It can be a real mood lifter to come home and feel happy in the place we live. A home should reflect the taste, interests and lifestyle of the families who inhabit them. Take a moment to think of the styles and colors you love, be brave and consider surrounding yourself with them!. Peruse your favorite design magazines, and catalogs for inspiration, you won't be dissappointed.
Trims are also another important component and tool in making a window treatment not only special but even remarkable. We have an extensive collection of everything from beads, to silk rope and most anything between your heart would desire.
We are now carrying a good selection of "Green" and environmentally friendly fabrics. Yes life is good, spring is here and the possibilities as always, are endless.

Recently a customer wrote in, she is a Drapery Designer and Specialist.
"My name is Sherri Bowman, owner of my home-based business "Decorating
With Style". I am a drapery designer and I sew all types of window
treatments, bedding, pillows, etc. Over the years, I have made many
window treatments from beautiful fabrics purchased from Mary Jo's. I
have also given numerous referrals to my customers when shopping for
fabric to look at Mary Jo's! I tell them, "If you can't find it at
Mary Jo's, you are in trouble!" Thanks for offering beautiful fabrics at great
prices and employing friendly, knowledgeable people. "
Thanks Sherri we appreciate your note and continued business!
Now is the time to pop into the store or log onto our website, while the mood to effect change is in the air. What colors do you want to see in your room this season! send us some photos and a short note telling us what you have created.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Well, Hello Dolly...

I love opening up my email "Inbox". It is always filled with stories and fabulous projects created by our customers. Recently we received an email from a customer who loves making dolls as much as she adores a good trip to Mary Jo's Cloth Store! Marge was kind enough to share photos and her thoughts on Mary Jo's and Doll-making. She is one talented gal and shows her work at galleries!

"I have loved to sew since I was 6 years old. My aunt used to give me a bag of fabric scraps every year when she spring cleaned. I would go up to the attic and sew and sew... almost every day. In the summer the attic temperature would be 105 degrees or more...but I would be soooo happy just making all sorts of doll clothes for hours at a time. I played with dolls until I was too old to be playing with dolls (at least 12 years.) Ironically, I am still playing with dolls at 77 years old. I call them my "Senior-Chicks" to show they are cool.
In 1955 I married...moved to Dallas, N.C. and found Mary Jo's Cloth my delight. There I found many unusual fabrics which were not historically sold retail. In those days you could not purchase fabrics that retail clothes were made
of. However, I think Mary Jo was personally purchasing mill ends from design
houses that made retail clothing. Somehow, she always had unusual fabrics that could not be purchased from the average fabric shop.
Encouraged by these fabrics...I found I could copy and design my own patterns and the finished product would really appear "store bought" as a result of the fabrics I could purchase at Mary Jo's. Over the years I have found fur fabrics, stretch fabrics, all sorts of trimmings, even swim suit fabrics...often times just a bolt or two. You must realize that in 1955 these were very rare, impossible to find fabrics. AND THEY WERE CHEAP AS FAR AS COST. I think she purchased them at a bargain and passed that on to her

Mary Jo and I were on the same wave length and became good friends through the years. However, sadly... SHE kept herself as busy as I did, and we never got to visit much. We did visit each other here and there...just a time or two. Through the years I have seen Mary Jo"s store move four or five times...each time to a larger building...but it still has the small store friendly atmosphere.

I am still influenced by pretty fabrics... only my projects have changed. I have gone from adult clothing to children's clothes to doll making at present. I love old people and making dolls has proven to be my favorite creative pastime. Having traveled the country quite extensively...I have yet to see a cloth store to compare with the selection of rare and unusual fabrics...with great prices, to boot. I never leave Mary Jo's store without being inspired by her displays of great fabrics. I know I probably sound like a commercial..but I really have appreciated having a cloth store of this caliber within driving distance (I live in Denver, N.C. now.)
In closing..."See ya at Mary Jo's".
NOTE: My dolls are sold in several Art Galleries. However interested parties can call me direct at: Marge Crunkleton....704 483 5815

DO you have a story to share? A project that deserves a special spot on the blog or community page? Do not wait, send us your thoughts, stories and projects today.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Million Yards Last Year...

Did you know that last year Mary Jo's Cloth Store sold over one million yards of Fabric? After you digest this fact, think about this, we often have remnants and over-runs that we offer for very low prices. Are you a quilter, designer, or costumer? Do you have a business making bears, purses, pillow, aprons, covered buttons, or ... the list goes on. The point is you can click around on our site and find major bargains. You can also stop by the store and poke around in the various remnant boxes that are scattered through-out the different departments. It is as fun as an Easter Egg hunt when you use this approach to finding all of the super bargains at Mary Jo's. Oh and the best part is you never know what you will find!

Mary Jo's Cloth receives new shipments daily. We have been stocking up the bridal, quilting and drapery/upholstery departments this past month. We have put together some of the best and latest colors and styles for your sewing pleasure.
I am always fascinated by the sheer volume that is available on the web or in the store at any given moment. I also continue to marvel at the amount of people that are shopping and the husbands who wait patiently for them to finish there "pilgrimage" to Mary Jo's Cloth Store.
Do yourself a favor take some time and click around on our sale section of the website. I know you will find something that is perfect for a current project or your click-able journey may even inspire you to start a new one!
Remember to send us photos of your past and current projects. We are always excited to share them on our blog and/or on the community page. Imagine, you could be the inspiration for other members of the "Mary Jo Cloth Community". Send us an email today.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Patternmaker/Designer Finds Inspiration...

Our customers are a talented bunch of folks. There is not a day that goes by when we don't get treated to your wonderful stories and projects via email. We are always amazed and delighted. The skill and passion of our customers are reflected in the stories we share with you. We have been working diligently on our community page, which is an online place for our customers to go and be inspired by the Mary Jo Cloth Community. Have you checked it out? Would you like to submit a story or your favorite project? We would love to hear from you, send us an email today!

A few weeks ago we received an interesting note from Joanne Butterfield. She is new to the area and was delighted to have stumbled into Mary Jo's Cloth Store.
"We moved here 2 years ago, from Connecticut. I am a Patternmaker and Technical Designer, and had worked in CT & NY City for the garment industry all my career, until moving to Charlotte. I have always shopped the New York City fabric stores for
wedding dress and special occasion fabrics. Your store is 10 of those NYC stores all rolled into one here in Gastonia! In addition it is the BEST quilting fabric store I have ever seen!

Soon after moving here I promised to make a Christening dress for my new
niece back in Connecticut. I told a friend that I would love to do old fashioned smocking. I had never done it before, and my friend had a smocking pleater she told me I could use. Everyone I worked with kept
telling me about your store. This Christening dress was my first reason to check out your store. I spent the first 2 - 3 hours just walking up and down every aisle, to take in ALL that you had. My first stop was your pattern
department, to see if I could find a ready made pattern. I stumbled upon your binder full of children's smocking patterns, and fell in love with the " Christening Ensemble, by Grace I. Knott". Wow! It was EXACTLY what I had in mind! I found beautiful white batiste fabric, and bought satin ribbons, and venice lace to embellish it. I was so excited! I bought embroidery thread, and pearl beads.

I beaded the smocking with tiny pearls, and set a beaded cross at the center of the smocked yoke. I also wanted to give tribute to Blessed Mother Mary, so I embroidered tiny blue rosettes along the yoke line, and attached a holy metal of Blessed Mother to the slip yoke line. I piped the neckline of the dress, and the
yoke of the slip with satin covered cording. The ruffle seam is trimmed with a
1/8'' wide satin ribbon, and a second row of 1/4'' picot edge satin
ribbon. The venice laces attached to the sleeve and ruffle edges are
also trimmed with 1/8'' satin ribbon. I loved doing the smocking and embroidery, and was so inspired by the pattern and all the fabric and trims in your store.

My Mom visited me here in Charlotte soon after the Christening, and our "must see" destination was Mary-Jo's! She is 83 years old and still a
prolific and talented quilter / fiber artist! We spent 8 hours in your store that Saturday! My Mom came prepared to buy fabrics for two full
size quilts she was making for her twin 12 year old grand daughters. She found everything she needed that day in one trip! In Connecticut it
Would have taken months, and trips all over the state to several quilt fabric
stores to collect that assortment of fabrics. She was thrilled, and an
instant fan! Mom was back again last spring and we were in Mary-Jo's
again! All of her CT quilter friends have heard about your legendary
store, and are very jealous! One of these quilts is just recently
finished, and the other is in the final quilting stages. When they are
complete soon, I will photograph them, and send pictures and their

I have also introduced my Daughter and another Sister-in-law from CT to
your store. Last week I brought a friend, another new Charlotte
resident to Mary-Jo's. All of them were blown away!
Thank you Mary-Jo and keep it going!"

Joanne Butterfield

Thanks Joanne, please keep us posted on your future projects you are one talented gal.