Monday, September 27, 2010

State Fairs, Blue Ribbons and Quilting...

Our Mary Jo Cloth friends on facebook have been sewing up a storm!We recently put a call out for your sewing projects and have received many beautiful photos and descriptions of these labors of love. The stories are always wonderful. Thanks so much.

Today we are featuring Lisa Bryson, she has some award winning talent.
Read on...
What I have been up too lately....

I live in Statesville, NC and our county fair is always the first weekend in September. Three years ago I was working on my very first full size quilt and was encouraged by coworkers to enter it in the fair for judging. I had to rush to finish it in time by Sunday, 5pm deadline to enter. ( I got there at 4:15) I had no idea which category to enter it in and the older lady working there said it was a "pieced" quilt . So that is where it went. I could hardly wait until the following Tuesday to see if I had placed and won a ribbon. I DID! I won a first place blue ribbon! I was so excited you would have thought I just won the lottery.

Well that got me hooked! I've entered several quilts and craft projects since then.
This year I enter a mini quilt from the book, "The Underground Railroad" by Eleanor Burns. It was done in Civil War Fabrics with six inch blocks and sashing. The finished size was about 22" square.
I received a blue ribbon on that! I was rather proud of this one.

One of my other entry's was a batik wall hanging that hangs in my office at work. I received a blue ribbon as well! You may have seen this back in January as it was featured on Mary Jos blog "A Snowstorm, A Quilt and A Lasting Love"

My husband asked me the other day while I was sewing... "Are you having fun?" Heck yea! To be able to sew something I enjoy making and then getting paid for it! Who wouldn't be having fun!

Lisa Bryson
Statesville, NC 28677

Wow, Lisa you are some kind of special with all of your Blue Ribbons! Congratulations from all of us at Mary Jo's Cloth. Keep us posted on your projects.
Dear readers, do you have a project you would like to share? Now is the time, send an email today. We can't wait to hear from you.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Above and Beyond, Read All About It...

We thought we would share the perfect example of how Mary Jo's Cloth Store is not only a place to buy fabric, for incredible prices but that we also go "above and beyond". It warms our hearts that we have made such a big difference. Remember fellow sewing friends, at Mary Jo's we all are passionate about sewing, so talking and giving advice is a pleasure. If you cannot make it to the store, log onto and click the "Ask Mary Jo" button and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Lisa Ramsey Burgess sent in this sweet story and the happy ending she shared with her daughter, the Bride!
Having only sewn small projects such as sun dresses for my girls as children, a few window treatments and baby quilts I am by no means a seamstress, but when we found the perfect dress for my daughter Holly’s beach wedding I quickly became one. The dress, a vintage Grecian style was about 3 inches too short for my daughters 5'6" frame. Having grown up in Dallas with a mother who has sewn numerous wedding gowns for family and friends and whose eye sight and nimble fingers have given way to age, I knew a trip to Mary Jo's was in our near future. In the bridal and finer fabrics department I was greeted by Melanie, one of a set of twins who works for Mary Jo's. I had brought the dress along and explained our dilemma and she quickly set out to ease all my worries. Taking a small piece of brown craft paper form her table she drew and cut out a small version of the skirt I needed to make. With all the calculations done, fabric selected and measured, and with Melanie’s assurance that I “could do this” I was off to my second hand machine to begin a frightening task. I must admit the scariest part was taking apart the dress whose skirt had a total of five layers. Melanie had shown me how to use the original skirt as a pattern and how to add the needed inches. In no time the new pieces were ready to be sewn together and reattached to the dress top. Boy was I nervous, I called on my Mom for some encouraging words and after saying a prayer I begin to pin and hand stitch the layers and then one by one my machine stitches were in place with the final stitch attaching the new skirt to the top in less than a few hours. WOW! I impressed my self, it was amazing. If you did not know the skirt was original you would have no idea that it had been changed out. My daughter was thrilled, and so was I. I could not have done this for my daughter with out the help of Melanie, I can tell you numerous times over the years where the wonderful folks at Mary Jo’s have answered questions for my mother and I and have always gone above and beyond your typical customer service to assist in our projects. Thank you so much for your continued service and sewn on.
Lisa Ramsey Burgess, Dallas NC

So happy we could help, Lisa. In the store or online at Mary Jo's we can assist you with sage advice and steer you to the fabric that is just right or even help you to try and find those items you just can't find anywhere else. Thanks for shopping with us we appreciate your business.

Do you have a Mary Jo Cloth story to share? No time like the present, send us an email today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Calico, What's Old Is New...

Calico, we associate this style of printed fabric from the time of the Civil War and Pioneers heading West. Did you know this style of cloth was actually created in India in the 12th Century. Yes, this versatile and homey cloth has been around for eons. Let's fast forward to the Calico's of today. The biggest change is the dyes that are used and the machines that create this very special cloth! At Mary Jo's Cloth Store we carry many manufacturer's styles of Calico. In colors that range from the Historical Series of the Civil War to the modern bright and interesting color combination's that meet the needs of today's busier lifestyle. Some Calico's are treated to be Permanent Press or even Stain Resistant. Calico's are always a classic choice for Quilts, linings of Handbags and Shopping Totes, sweet summer dresses, Napkins, Tablecloths and even informal breezy curtains. Calico's come in a range of amazing colors and prints. We have AISLES of this style. Oh and just an aside, did you know much of the fabric used in several movies including The Patriot & Cold Mountain were purchased at Mary Jo's Cloth Store? The Costumers found most of the historic fabrics they needed for these movies that were set in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War Era's.

Take a moment and check out our vast selection of Calico's online at or stop by the store for a real WOW moment. Many Calico's have seasonal color combination's. Autumn is particularly stunning, with rich Russets, brilliant Blues, Butternut Golds and the ever present lush Olive Greens. It is truly easy to be inspired by this humble fabric print called, Calico.

Do you have a story or Project to share? We are always interested in you, our sewing community and what you are doing wit the 1.25 million yards of fabric you bought in 2009. Send an email today. We appreciate the effort.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sometimes A Great Notion...

Autumn is getting closer by the moment and with cooler days it seems a little easier to spend time in the house catching up on all of those "House Duties". What better time than NOW to get into your sewing room and take stock of your notions and the usability of your space. Take a close look at your space and all of your tools and materials that you use in your sewing endeavors. Starting with the basics, your scissors. Do you need to have them sharpened or is it time to treat yourself to a new pair? When was the last time you used your sewing iron? What is the actual condition? Is the cord and body still in good working order? If not how about considering purchasing a new Rowentra Iron, they really have created a state of the art iron. This beauty comes with all the bells and whistles. We have them in the Notion section on our website. The prices are great and we have three models to choose from! While you are checking out our online Notion department, look at our selection of Scissors, Dress Forms, Sewing Machine Accessories & Needles, Fabric Pens & Markers, Sewing Patterns, Rulers, Tracing Wheels, Quilting Stencils and, and, and the list goes on!

Okay, now that you are inspired to upgrade and organize your sewing area here are a few ideas from some design and organizer gurus to help make this a fun and interesting project. Martha Stewart has a very clever solution to creating a sewing space. Click to read about "Sewing Room In A Closet". has a featured article that shares some wonderful ideas on organization. There is nothing better than knowing where EVERYTHING is and using tools and materials that are in tip top shape and ready for any job you have in mind, now you are ready to sew like a pro.
Imagine the beauty you will create, effortlessly in your newly organized and engineered space.
After you have created your sewing nirvana can you send us a few pics of your fantastic space? We would love to feature you in an upcoming blog article.
Happy Sewing. Now lets be thinking about Halloween, only 6 short weeks away,
Witchy Woman, anyone?