Friday, July 30, 2010

Beat The Summer Heat & Quilt Something Sweet...

High summer is here. Our gardens are filled with flowers and the starry skies shine brightly.
However for those days that are hot & sticky and you have to be inside, why not be productive? What better time to make a "Summery Style" quilt? Today we are featuring two interesting patterns. The first can be made with our Batik line of fabric and the other lends itself to small prints like our fabled Calico collection and cheerful colored fabrics.

Tree Frog Quilt:
Rain forests are home to myriad of wonderful and unique animals found nowhere else. The subject of this quilt is the brightly colored Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) found in the lowland rainforest areas of Central and South America. 
Quilt pattern includes a full color picture of the finished quilt, full-size foundations, assembly diagram, yardage requirements, and instructions to make the quilt shown.

LuLu's YoYo's: This is a cute 60" x 68" quilt. Just in time for summer, this quilt features dimensional flowers with ric rac stems.

So here is the deal. We have loads of Batik Fabrics in many colors and prints. Imagine all that you could do with this very cool Rain Forest Frog. The color combination's are exciting to think about. We also have more Calico's than a store ought too! We carry a full line of Civil War Replica prints as well as the beautiful modern styled small print Calico's. Remember to surf around on "What's Hot" and our "Limited Editions" sections. These are Mary Jo's Cloth Store's "Code for Sale" pages on our website and wow can you save some money on quilting fabrics I was on Special Editions and noted some fantastic "Vera Bradley" inspired french paisleys. Lovely and we even have some pre-quilted for perfect tote bags or??? Check it out. Enjoy your summer, soon enough the light will have dipped far to the south and winter will be upon us.
Do you have a project to share? Now is the time, we love hearing from you and seeing all of the amazing projects you make with our carefully selected collections of fabric. Send us an email today.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

College Dorm Rooms & Love Letters From Afar...

College dorm rooms, yes indeed it is only a few weeks away! Summer is a fleeting season and it is time for the kids go back to college. Consider this, now it is time to sew up all of the items your student may need for their dorm room. Did you know Mary Jo’s Cloth has bolts and bolts of fabric available that is printed with most Colleges colors, icons and mascots? You could whip up a comforter or maybe some large pillows that the kids could lounge around on. Take a moment and stitch up a fleece blanket and have team spirit and warmth at those autumn football games. You can choose from flannels (in the school colors) for cozy pajamas or a heavy cotton for a Duffel Bag or Laundry Bag. We also have solids to coordinate with the College Collection. (click on College Logo Cottons or College Logo Fleeces)

LOVE LETTERS from our Customers...
Every week we get notes, emails and postings on Facebook and on the Blog. It is wonderful to hear from all of you. We get feedback about the store, website and even kudos for good service. Recently, the most interesting note to come into my inbox was from a gal in Virginia Beach. Her inquiry was a simple, did we know of anyone who would like to carpool from her town STRAIGHT to Mary Jo’s Cloth Store for a day of shopping heaven!(Note to follow.) If you know someone or would like to start a carpool from your town, drop us an email and we will make sure folks see it. It is an interesting idea. Just think of the new friends you could make!

Dear MARY JO'S, Why don't you consider starting a carpool section on your website? Sure it sounds silly because you are right there!! But let me tell you ,those of us way out here would jump on it.I am in Virginia Beach area, with a 8 passenger recent model van that would love to share gas and time and lunchboxes all the way there! Thinking I could do anything to stand in that store and just be with that awesome fabric, I STUPIDLY AGREED to go to The Ole'Virginia Hunt Club with a neighbor (12 miles from you) The trip up was ruff, but I just kept thinking FABRIC. Then we arrived to the Club and I tied up fruit trees and watered plants and sweep out the bunkhouse, only to find the dogs were loose in the woods,bet nobody will forget a city girl getting the dogs in that pen. EVERYTHING SECURED TO LEAVE except me,yep,I should of taken a diaper bag with a change of clothes. And now when friends ask " whats those clothes in your van" I just tell them ,you never know about those hunting dogs. If you know of anyone that wants to go STRAIGHT to Mary Jo's please let me know.

Now here is one interesting and ongoing story. Last year we featured an article about a gal who designs handbags, "Not Your Momma's Handbag", her name is Ellen Reed. She is also a fantastic Photographer! Anyway, she most always comments on our blog articles. A shout out to Ellen for feedback. It is always appreciated. Good luck with all of your creative endeavors. Oh and keep commenting. Smiles

From Facebook...

Just got back from a trip to Mary Jo's from VA. Found beautiful fabric to cover my couch, some for curtains for my living room and some for curtains for a guest room. I LOVE MARY Jo's! I think this sign should say "Entrance - Fabric Heaven"

Camilla Hanes Porter I have been there once but it sticks out in my mind. You have a tremendous amount and variety of fabric. I cannot wait to come back.

Do you have a project to share with us? Please send an email today, you and/or your business could be our next feature. Thanks in advance, enjoy these languid days of summer.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunny Days and Sewing Projects...

With all of this amazing Summer weather it can be hard to stay in the house and create in our sewing rooms. However, sewing is a state of mind and a simple conversation with a friend can be sheer inspiration for many new projects. I was on our Sailboat chatting with a new friend about Sewing, Projects, Fabric, Design and Family. The "Fabric" of our lives intertwining as we discussed the pluses of making our own napkins. She has a house full of small children so her napkins are fun and vibrant. I like colorful woven fabric (as opposed to printed) for napkin making. The woven will last longer and hold its vibrant colors for many years. Mary Jo's has fabric for your napkins in departments you would not typically associate with such a mundane item.
Let's take a cruise through the Drapery/Upholstery Department. First there are many woven fabrics that truly lend themselves over to a long-term napkin. If you choose a light weight damask you can create napkins and matching table cloths and table runners. Damask is also a great choice for a light summer blazer or a skirt with fantastic weight and texture. We also have some very bold and large patterned florals which can be fun and sophisticated.
The quilting department has wonderful colored and fun patterns of all designs. Your children will love the bug and butterfly patterned prints.
Another great tip log onto our sale page and see what is newly posted "on sale". Click through, the last few pages that is where the new stuff is hiding out.
So take a moment and log onto the website. It is quick and easy to make a napkin and at Mary Jo's we make it extremely affordable.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Skinny on Fat Quarters...

Fat Quarters are a sure fired way to get in the mood to be creative. Think of the leftover fabric that you have in your closets that can be turned into fun and useful little fat quarter projects, and there are many!
Read on for "The Skinny on Fat Quarters".

What Is a Fat Quarter?
A fat quarter is a one-fourth yard cut of fabric that (usually) measures 18" x 22" instead of the typical 9" x 44" quarter-yard cut. The longest side's dimension will vary if your fabric is not 44" wide.

Why Would I Want a Fat Quarter?
Look at the illustration and you'll see that a fat quarter gives you the opportunity to cut larger chunks of fabric than would be possible from a regular quarter-yard, including strips that are twice as long on the fabric's (less stretchy) lengthwise grain.
A fat quarter offers more versatility, whether it's for patchwork or appliqué. Quilt shops know that fat quarters are popular, and usually offer a wide assortment of them, pre-cut and ready to go.
You can use fat quarters for strip piecing by making extra strip sets from shorter lengths of fabric until you've cut the number of segments required for the pattern.

The projects featured below use anywhere from 1-6 fat quarters.

iPod or Small Camera Case- This is a free tutorial for a case for your iPod or small camera. This project is quick, easy, and ultra useful. What a fun way to keep your technology cozy and scratch free. It uses two fat quarters.

Pincushion- This is a project I've had my eye on for a while. It uses up to six different fabrics but can easily be made with less. From six different fat quarters, you would be able to make at least six different pincushions. It is an excellent gift idea for any of your crafty friends or online swaps you might participate in.

Quilted Coasters- I made a set of these coasters for a wedding gift and they were quick and easy to make. I made a set of six using two fat quarters and I had enough leftover to make a few more. I enjoyed making them and my husband was happy I had a handmade wedding gift for $2.

Box Bag- This link features several tutorials for various box bags. The one featured is a smaller size and you can make three bags from one fat quarter. Some of the larger box bags use up to two fat quarters. Use these to hold small projects, makeup, pencils, feminine products, you name it!
If these projects don't inspire you to get out and create with fat quarters, I don't know what will!

Christy Nelson is the Mom Crafts editor here at Type-A-Mom and she crafts and blogs over at She's also always on the lookout for a few good crafters to join her craft challenge.

Stop by the store, we have stacks of "Fat Quarters" pre-cut and ready for your magic touch. Log onto for inspirational patterns and colors, Batiks, Calico's and beautiful floral prints.

We received an email from Lisa Gay in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was kind enough to include a few photos of her "Fat Quarter" Wristlet Pouches. They are sweet and practical. If you would like to see more of her fabric creations you can catch up with her on the web.

Do you have an interesting project to share with our readers? Please send an email today, we cannot wait to see what you have created.