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? 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, 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 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.
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 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!
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.