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 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.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vintage, Shake It Up and Have some Fun...

Lets talk about Buttons, Trims and Ribbons. Have you ever thought about incorporating old with new? You could go crazy with the antique buttons, sewn onto curtain valances or used as the artistic focal point on a newly sewn up pillow, duvet or pillowcase. I like to think of the charm of a beautiful Cloth Bag/Tote with a fabulous antique button maybe mixed with a bit of vintage ribbon and trim. You could also trim a skirt with vintage buttons and/or trim. Don't forget home design projects such as a newly upholstered ottoman or hassock, they would be terrific and very special with some vintage trims, tassels or even buttons. Yes, the possibilities are endless.

These past few days I was lucky enough to shop at the mega antique sale in Brimfield, Massachusetts. I was treated to booths filled with vintage and antique ribbons, buttons and loads of trim. It was so fun to think of all of the ways these items could be used with the vintage style and textured fabrics that we carry at Mary Jo's Cloth Store and on our website. We have many fabrics with patterns, colors and textures that seem as if they tumbled out of the fabric mill in 1880, 1930, 1950 and beyond. Do you or someone you know (or maybe even related to) have a vintage collection of Buttons, Ribbons and Trims that you could use in these types of projects? If not, a quick trip to your local Antique mall or Flea Market will yield a beautiful bounty of these items that often times are yours for very little cash.
The trick is to have your components ready for a project like this. First step find the buttons or trim you would like to use. Second, log onto and cruise around for fabric that enhances the era of your special buttons or trim. Third step, create it and take a photograph. We would love to share your creation with the Mary Jo Cloth Community. We may feature it on this blog or on the website in the Community section.
Get to stitching, we cannot wait to see your beautiful and inspired work.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Summer is Over: Sale, Sale, Sale...

Labor Day is the official "end of summer". Hopefully your summer was packed with fun adventures, family visits and maybe even a few roadtrips. The kids are back at school and the fall schedule is now in place. OK, what to do, now that things are back on track? This is the perfect time of year to plan your upcoming projects.

Re-doing a room or recovering a chair? Stitching up some great Christmas gifts, tablecloths, curtains, Halloween costumes or a few new outfits? Now is the time to cruise around at We have an amazing selection of fabrics on sale for all of your upcoming projects. Click on the "Special Editions" icon on the homepage, that is code for SALE! We also have an amazing selection of fall inspired fabric in all patterns, textures and colors.
Calicos, Upholstery, cottons, lace, patterns and prints. All beautiful and at amazing prices. Log on today for the very best selection and remember to log on often as we add new items almost everyday.

Did you know we are on Check it out and become a fan. We post not only the most current Mary Jo's Design Blog articles but also specials and new arrivals to the store and the website, check it out you won't be disappointed.