Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sew Many Blogs, Sew Little Time...

Blogging and fabric go together like peas and carrots. Yes, blogging is a wonderful way to share your latest projects and passions to an audience that is at times somewhat invisible, but remember you do have fans, so keep writing and posting. It is always a special treat to log onto a blog created by one of Mary Jo's Sewing Community family. Fantastic, really. Many of you have links on your blogs and websites that click directly through to Mary Jo's website and blog (which we really appreciate). I have also found that many folks feature their visits to our "Cloth" store in Gastonia on their blogs. By the way, we do love it when you stop into the store. It is always wonderful to see our customers in person!
This week I was introduced to a blog called "Studio Kat Designs". Kathy Southern has a passion for purses and uses Mary Jo's Cloth to make them. She sells these fantastic creations online and at Art/Craft/Design Shows. Kathy lives in Advance, North Carolina with her husband and two cats. She posts articles on her blog several times a week about various subjects which usually weave back to her passion for fabric purses and other sewing projects. Kathy is a very industrious gal who also has a website featuring her purses and patterns for sale. This is one talented lady. She is very approachable, I loved what she had to say about her business: "All my designs are one-of-a kind and totally original. I specialize in meticulously written instructions with drawings that even a sewing novice could follow. It is my firm belief that your purse should serve YOU, yet also be as unique as you are! The "Bags with Panache" patterns provide you with an opportunity to own a functional bag that is also stylish and one-of-a-kind......... like YOU!"
If you are interested in checking out her work you may want to log onto her blog and/or website. You will not be disappointed.
One of her stories on the blog was about a shopping trip to Mary Jo's, this is what she had to say:
"Black Friday. It seems that's all I've heard the TV talking about for weeks. But I've never really been much of a shopper. I can't imagine getting up at 4 in the morning to shop for anything. I don't even like to drive NEAR the shopping centers on Black Friday or anytime thereafter. But THIS year, when my daughter suggested we go shopping on Black Friday, I jumped at the chance. How could I not? First of all, our destination was Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia, NC, (only the best fabric store in NC). And second, the objective of this trip was to find the PERFECT combination of layette fabric for my grandson (due in April). So all in all, it really was a perfect day. We may have missed all those bargains out at the mall, but I think I got the best deal of all. Because it really doesn't get much better than an all day road trip to my all-time favorite fabric store with my all-time favorite girl!"
Sweet. So happy you love Mary Jo's as much as we do!
The following is a call to all of you fellow sewing enthusiast's and bloggers. Do you have a fabric blog? Would you liked to be a feature on our blog? We are always interested to hear about all of your projects. Remember to send photos. Take a moment and email your link today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Batik's, A Blessing & A Quilt...

The Mary Jo's Cloth Blog community is a wonderful and passionate group of people. These folks love their fabric and the art and process of creating amazing projects from their Mary Jo's Cloth. We receive notes, emails and letters from all over the world. People like sharing their experiences at Mary Jo's Cloth Store and what they have been doing with their fabric. Recently we received a poignant story from a gal who lives in South Carolina. She has an extreme passion for Batik cloth. She and her husband have been through alot in the past several years. I am posting her story, unedited.
Sonja, we love your newest quilt made from that very special Batik fabric. We wish you and your family all the kindness the world has to offer. You deserve it. Be well.
Sonja's Story...
January 12, 2009
Dear MaryJo-
Back in 2003 my husband was diagnosed with an incurable, inoperable cancer. It was a rare form of cancer in the soft tissue of the back. After his 6 mos. of treatments and on March 16th, 2004 we left our home for a weekend anniversary trip to NC. We stopped in at your store and that day he bought me over 600.00 in Batiks alone. That weekend he and I stayed in Hendersonville, NC and we both sewed together on our sewing machines. I can remember like this was yesterday, laying all those beautiful batiks on the
bed and photographing them. Well, that was back in 2004 and now in 2009 those Batiks still sat on my shelf. I was always told I would have to learn how to use Batiks before I could really make something with them. They were so pretty, so I just couldn't bare to cut into them without the knowledge of how to use them, right?
Several times in 2009 I prayed, "G-d please.. if something ever happens to my home, please don't let these Batiks burn up. If they were to burn L-rd, owning them would have been in vain, when I could have just given them away". I prayed that again just before Thanksgiving, not knowing my house would catch fire the day after. But the very same night of the fire, although smoke damaged throughout and family coughing, they helped me to load all my fabrics into boxes and get them out the house. I lost most of my thread and alot of the fabrics had to be washed, but those Batiks.... well they never had a hint of smoke in them. I had them wrapped tightly in bags and stored on those shelves tightly. I felt so blessed and so humbled that G-d allowed me to keep them.

We are basically homeless for now until our lawyer can sue the insurance company to get our home fixed so we can live in it again. (Long Story) We live in my parents home and at the foot of my bed in the room they gave us to sleep in, is a table setup and my sewing machine. I started the Mystery Quilt from Planet Patchwork on New Years Day. I am in the process of expanding the quilt to about a King Size quilt so it's not finished yet. I used the Batiks I bought in your store in 2004 and we called this quilt "FireStorm" for all the trials we faced in 2009 and how G-d continues to bless us and is faithful no matter what the circumstances are. I am happy I found a way to use the Batiks and have had alot of compliments on this top. I will enclose the picture. And by the way.... G-d healed my husband in 2004 and he is still cancer free after all these years.

Thanks for a wonderful store. I love your prices on your Batiks and I hope to be in there really soon to replenish what I've used.
Sonja Noskowiak
South Carolina
Editors note: Sonja finished the Batik Quilt and we are bowled over by its beauty. Sonja, stay upbeat, loving, kind and accepting. Thanks and be well.
Do you have a story to share? We would love to know what fine things you are creating with Mary Jo's Cloth. Send us an email today. Take a moment and check out the sale page, lots of new items are on sale. Save big and create with reckless abandon!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Celebrating Mary Jo's Birthday & Anniversary!!!

Holy smokes, time flies. Mary Jo is celebrating her Birthday and the Anniversary of the 59th year of her beloved Mary Jo's Cloth Store. A trip down memory lane is in order during this very special anniversary week!

In 1951 when Mary Jo's Cloth Store first opened, Mary Jo made a promise to keep prices affordable. Her original goal was to be able to serve a Grandmother making a dress or quilt for her grandchild or a young Mother who needed to make affordable clothes for her children. Since the beginning Mary Jo has held tightly to this philosophy. Over the years her business has grown, the location has changed and people come from all corners of the globe to shop. "Mary Jo's Cloth Store" has been doing mail order for many years and has now launched an online component that will serve her customers easily and still be very affordable. It is important to Mary Jo that she continues to bring her customers the highest quality fabric at the lowest price.

Mary Jo's Story:
Mary Jo's Cloth Store, Inc. was opened on her 19th birthday in 1951 by Mary Jo (Margaret Colien Cloninger) in the back of her father's grocery store in Dallas, North Carolina. She began by selling unbleached domestic (muslin) and later added other makes of fabrics.

Throughout the years, the business prospered, outgrowing the Gaston Avenue grocery store. As business progressed, Mary Jo's relocated to a site at the corner of Trade Street and Gaston Avenue, whereby the adjacent buildings were eventually purchased and incorporated into Mary Jo's Cloth Store, Inc. However, on December 18, 1981 this location was destroyed by fire, resulting in another move to the vacant Ben Franklin Store at Windsor Center on Highway 321 located outside of Dallas.

Working with an inventory of salvageable goods, Mary Jo's reopened at its Windsor Center location on February 17, 1982. The store at Windsor Center was 22,000 square feet. By the spring of 1986 Mary Jo's had outgrown this facility and in August of 1986 the company moved to 32,000 square feet in the Gaston Mall.

Through the years, the Cloth Store's reputation has come to be widespread. Because of the varied selection of goods, at the best possible prices, and the assistance of a very knowledgeable staff, the Store's reputation has grown, servicing customers from within a 250 mile radius on a daily basis.

We now sell fabric to folks all over the world. The website is open 24-7. So no matter what your schedule is you can shop for the fabric you want at a time that is convenient for you.

Thanks so much for being a part of the Mary Jo's Cloth Store Family. It is always a pleasure for us to come to work each day, we are surrounded by incredible fabrics and folks who are soooo happy to be shopping with us. Thank-you. Log on to our website or come to Gastonia and shop at the store, we look forward to seeing you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Steppin' Out, Cowhide For Your Home Decor'...

Mary Jo's Cloth Store is not coloring within the lines! What??? We are shakin' it up over here in Gastonia!
Yes, we are now carrying a fine line of Cow Hides from Sante Fe! Imagine all that you could do with them.
This new edition to the Upholstery Department has been flying off of the shelves. Our customers are using them for floor coverings, upholstering chairs, couches, chaises and even throwing on top of their beds, for a wild look! We hear many folks are even using them for simple floor covering solutions. Cowhide rugs are becoming increasingly popular.Interior Design Magazines are now featuring cowhide rugs and many people are attracted by their uniqueness.
Cowhide rugs have a high visual appeal and are somewhat neutral in color.
Yes, this artful cowhide really can be fun. Give it a whirl.

These interesting pieces are approximately 6.5' x 7.0'. (quite large) They are large, sturdy and very good looking. To find them on our website type "Saddlemans" in the top right corner search window on the front page of our website,, this will take you to our "Animal Skins" page. We have many colors and even some printed Zebra, Giraffe and Pony prints.
The prices are $249.98 - $329.98, what a bargain for such a punch of style!

Check out the buzz in the "Design World' about Cow Hides and how they are being used in the home. Absolutely lovely. Have fun.

A young designer in Buffalo NY writes on his blog ....."Yesterday I happened upon the opportunity to own a cowhide rug, in a beautiful fawn cream color about 7'x6'. I've counted my chickens a few too many times before they actually hatched, so for now, I will just say it's an opportunity - as it's not in my home at present. I've always been in love with the look of cowhide, especially the more interesting hides of solid colors and very few blotches. Something about walking all over those California Cheese Cows just isn't as appealing. So, as you can imagine - the idea of having such a beautiful rug got my motor running, and I wanted to see what you all thought about the idea. First, and foremost - I love the durability, function, and sheer beauty of cowhides. I'm not out slaughtering cattle for the chance to own a hide of my choosing, but for something so wonderful, floating out and about in prior owner land, I won't give up an opportunity to have one that was "gently used" This glorious chaise lounge is beautiful as is, but can't you see it in the gorgeous fawn colored cowhide? From afar it might not even look cowhide, but once you get close enough to touch it the subtle texture of the fine hair would be like heaven. What a great idea for my bedroom?" "There is something very luxurious about cowhide rugs. Many countries are famous for their cowhide rugs such as Brazil, Argentina, and France. American cowhide rugs are quickly growing in popularity as well. Whether you choose a black and white splotch or a light brindle shade, you can be sure it will invigorate your room. Brown and white cloud pattern cowhides are also available. The salt and pepper pattern is also very popular, and that is usually a background of white with a spattering of black, sort of like a painting by Jackson Pollock. Black and white salt and pepper cowhides as well as brown and white are very intrinsic to the traditional southwestern decor. The most popular design in natural cowhide is the cloud pattern, and that would be the black and white cloud pattern cowhide. This is a classic contrast between black and white with basically even quantities of these two contrasting colors spread throughout the hide in a cloud pattern."

We at Mary Jo's Cloth Store agree, these amazing pieces can make a whole room sing!

Send us photos of your projects. We would love to feature your handmade Quilts, Clothes, Dolls, Purses, re-upholstered Furniture, Tablecloths, Drapes and whatever else you are creating with Mary Jo's Fabric. Send an email today.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sale, Sale, Sale...

The New Year has certainly arrived, 2010 roared in like a lion with record cold temperatures and freezing winds, brrrr. No worries fellow sewing community members, we have the perfect indoor inspiration for you. We have put many of our Paisley and Chintz print fabrics on sale!
Imagine, these beauties are going for only $3.50 a yard, crazy. The inventory will not last long at these rock bottom prices.
The patterns used in Paisley and Chintz fabrics are inspired by nature, the swirling

patterns of leaves and flowers primarily. It is fun to bring a bit of color and pattern into our homes during the bleakest months of the year. The sun shines brightly into our windows and can brightly light a room, so why not fill your rooms with brilliant colors and maybe even some vases filled with fresh flowers.
This is a sure recipe to keep the winter blues far, far away. So take a moment and cruise around our "Special Edition" sale page we promise you will not be disappointed.

Click on arrow to view movie.