Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sewing, Quilting, & Home Décor in May


Friday, May 2nd & 9th

Twilight Stars
Instructor: Aimee Griffin
Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $35

Half square triangles and flying geese makes this gorgeous quilt. Choose your own fabrics or come in and pick up a kit.

Friday, May 2nd

Lady Liberty
Instructor: Pam Carter
Time: 10am to 5pm
Fee: $125

Learn how to appliqué using your embroidery machine. A great way to learn new features of your machine.

This class is offered on multiple dates
Continued Dates: May 2nd, 9th, 16th & 29th.

Saturday, May 3rd

Time: 10am to 5pm
Fee: $45

This quilt design is great to showcase a favorite fabric line. Join me and I'll teach you how to put together these off set blocks. The appliqué centers add just the right touch to make the quilt complete!

Tuesday, May 6th & 13th

Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $45

This pattern will teach you yet another way to use those 2.5” strips. Precuts are great and will give it a scrappy look or follow the sample and go with red, white, and blue. We will use a strip piecing method to make putting this quilt together faster. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to work with setting triangles and put a quilt on point now is your chance!

Tuesday, May 6th

Paper Piecing Club (Nebraska)
Instructor: Patti Hayden
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Fee: $25

Learn paper piecing, a foundation technique that will allow you to create blocks that are all the same size; each with precise, sharp points and perfectly matched intersections. This easy to learn method will open up the world of quilting, to include designs you thought you couldn’t do. You’ll be seeing “stars”!!

Thursday, May 8th

Quilt with Aimee (Beginning Quilting)
Instructor: Aimee Griffin
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Fee: $75 plus supplies

Learn the fundamentals of quilting in this 4 session class, you'll be on your way to becoming a master quilter.
This is a 4 session class
Continued Dates: May 15th, 22nd, & 29th.
Pattern: Window Boxes

Tuesday, May 10th

Quilter's Day Out!
Instructor: Aimee Griffin
Time: 10am to 5pm
Fee: $65 plus supplies

It’s a Party, come join the fun stitching and learning. You’ll have this quilt finished before you leave!

Pattern: The Strip Quilt, supplied in class

Monday, May 12th

Machine Quilting Basics
Instructor: Karen Ponischil
Time: 10am to 2pm
Fee: $45

Student will learn the basics of free motion quilting. This is no mark technique workshop where the student will be introduced to several different free motion quilting patter designs.
Student will learn: about thread, machine feet, needles and batting how to ready your machine starting and stopping several free-motion quilting designs.

Friday, May 16th

Serenity Circles
Instructor: Aimee Griffin
Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $35

In this class, students will learn how to cut curves using a template as well as sewing the curves.

Saturday, May 17th

Blue Mosaic
Instructor: Daniela Hogan
Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $35

I love the way these fabrics work together to create the mosaic look. I have streamlined the piecing instructions to make this quilt go together even faster than originally intended! Join me and I'll share my secret with you that can be used for many different quilts.

Tuesday, May 20th

Scrappy Rails
Instructor: Daniela Hogan
Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $35

Fun Strip quilt using 2 ½” strips. Quick and easy you’ll have it done in one day.

Friday, May 23rd & 30th

T Shirt Quilts
Instructor: Aimee Griffin
Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $65

Gather all those T-shirts you just can’t throw away and make a memory quilt.

Saturday, May 24th

Instructor: Aimee Griffin
Time: 10am to 5pm
Fee: $35 plus supplies

So many ways to set these curvy squares, you’ll be addicted to the curves, and whatever pattern you choose the curves are fun and easy to stitch.

Tuesday, May 27th

Finishing Class
Instructor: Daniela Hogan
Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $35

Need some extra time and instruction on a project? Stumped on the next step of something you started? Join Daniela and get the help you need with those WIP’s (Work-in-progress). This is a free form class that you can bring your own project and work at your own pace!


Thursday, May 1st

Pajama Pants
Instructor: Carmen Baugh
Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $30

Adult, Teen or Childs’ Pajama Pants and Pajama Shorts in two Lengths.

Tuesday, May 6th

Instructor: Pam Carter
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Minimum 3, Maximum 8
Fee: $100 includes Book/DVD

Learn to sew one project at time. Book included.

This is a 5 session class
Continued Dates: May 13th, 20th, and 27th.

This class is also offered on Saturday May 24th, 31st, June 7th, 14th, and 21st from 2pm to 5pm

Tuesday, May 13th

Pattern Drafting Class
Instructor: Mary Sue Christenbury
Time: 6pm to 9pm
Fee: $100

Learn how to take exact body measurements and make a Body Glove Pattern out of muslin. Learn to cut & spread body glove to make a pattern that fits you perfect. Adapt body glove to Make your own Pattern.

This class is also offered on May 20th, 27th, & June 3rd

Saturday, May 17th

Wrapped Baskets
Instructor: Patti Hayden
Time: 10am to 1pm
Fee: $25

Learn to make these amazing bowls, baskets and purses from clothesline and fabric, using simple wrapping and coiling methods and zigzag stitching. You’ll make one project in class, but you’ll learn the techniques to make any project. These projects are easy and FUN to make and they make great gifts! Anyone and everyone can do this!!

Book: It’s a wrap, (book is not necessary for class)

Wednesday, May 21st & 31st

It's in the Bag
Instructor: Jessica Trimmer
Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $30

My very first purse is the one I still carry today.  As I have learned more and come to understand bag making I often look at it and think, I need to make this one again!  So, here is (my) your chance to join me.  We will be working together to create this fabulous pleated handbag created by one of my favorite authors.  The main handbag is a simple structure featuring pleating along each side. We will add several structured pockets as well as a key hook to keep your keys close at hand.

Home Décor

Thursday, May 8th

Drapery Making (Seminar)
Instructor: Susan Woodcock
Time: 6pm to 8pm

Join Susan Woodcock for a look behind-the-scenes of a professional drapery workroom, and see the tools and techniques used to create custom draperies. You will learn about the supplies used in the drapery making process like buckram, weights and drapery pin hooks and all the different types of linings and interlinings. Susan will show how to turn a basic, flat drapery panel into a variety of styles with pleats, grommets and shirring tapes.


Saturday, May 10th

Serger Club
Instructor: Pam Carter
Time: 9am to 11am
Fee: $10

There are some things a serger can do for your sewing projects that an ordinary sewing machine cannot, and you do not have to be an expert at sergering or quilting to get good results. This is a demo lecture so no need to bring your machine. You will be able to do some hands on work and explore this fun machine.

Saturday, May 17th

Embroidery Club
Instructor: Pam Carter
Time: 9am to 11am
Fee: $10

New techniques each month.

Saturday, May 10th

Home Dec Days
Instructor: Susan Woodcock
Time: 11am toNoon

Join Susan Woodcock, AKA Home Dec Gal at Mary Jo's Cloth Store every second Saturday of the month for free home décor mini-workshops

10:00-10:30 Shirred & Gathered Headings for Draperies
10:30-11:00 Learn How-To Make a Smocked Heading with Shirring Tape

Saturday, May 26th

Girl Scout Project
Instructor: Jessica & Kathy Trimmer
Time: 10am to 3pm
Fee: $15

2 hours of learning and fun with the girl scouts, new project each month.

Pattern: Provided by Instructor

To sign up for any of the above classes, call 704-861-9100!

Don't forget about Mom this Mother's Day

Going on now until May 10, treat Mom to the special day she deserves at Mary Jo's! Enjoy crazy deals on Baby Lock sewing machines and serger machines, $5 in MJ Bucks for every $25 you spend on gift cards as well as 'must have' hobby tables!

Get to Know Your Instructor

Part 1

Here at Mary Jo's Cloth Store, we consider ourselves family. In that same spirit, we decided it was time to introduce our family to yours! Take a few minutes and get to know our instructors, aka the 'Sew Sistas', on a personal level.

Sew Sistas Q&A with Mary Sue Christenbury

Birthday: January 16

Can you tell us a little about your life story?
I was born in Summerville, SC. Graduated from Clemson University with a BS in Marketing. I also have CE credits from Greenville Technical College in Pattern Design and CE credits in Sign Language I, II, and III.  

After college, I worked as a manager for Uptons in Greenville, SC. My family relocated to NC in 1992 and have lived here ever since.

Currently I have many jobs. Through high school, I worked in retail and when I was in college.Since that time, I have taught in a private Christian school, been a teacher’s assistant in the public school system, and a substitute interpreter for the deaf and hearing impaired. I currently am the CFO for Kings Mountain Crisis Ministry and own a home based screen embroidery, sewing and screen printing business. I also do minor home repairs, painting, pressure washing, and cleaning or whatever else needs to be done.

How did your love affair with sewing come to be?
I’ve been sewing since I was 11 years old. It was very difficult for me to find clothes that were tall and that fit properly, so I started sewing. A very sweet lady from our church came over to my house for about an hour or so and showed me a few things and I’ve been sewing ever since.

What is your favorite project?
My favorite sewing projects are ‘one of a kind’ items. For example: Custom Designed & Embroidered Window Treatments, Wedding Dresses, Bedroom Ensembles, Custom Embroidered Reupholstered Furniture, and Original Dresses.

What is your favorite class to teach?
I enjoy teaching Sewing Concepts and Pattern Drafting. Both classes present their own set of challenges, but I truly enjoy sharing and teaching what I know and seeing the results when someone is amazed at how it all comes together. I truly enjoy the facet that students can take and use the information learned in these classes and apply it to any sewing or designing project.

If you could have any superpower in the world what would it be?
I think my ‘super power’ would be making people smile even when they don’t feel like it. We’ve all heard, ‘if your happy, notify your face.” Well, I believe that we should smile at people every day. You never know what people are going through and what a difference you can make with a simple smile. A simple smile is good for others around you, but it may also change your attitude as well. So SMILE!

Get your smile on with Mary Sue in her Pattern Drafting class this month.

Class: Pattern Drafting
When: Tues May 13, 6pm - 9 pm Description: Learn how to take exact body measurements and make a Body Glove Pattern out of muslin. Learn to cut & spread body glove to make a pattern that fits you perfect. Adapt body glove to make your own Pattern. Fee: $100

Please call the store at 704-861-9100 to reserve your spot today!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lots of Little Dresses

We have a special guest contributing to our blog today; Cammie Berger, owner of  Cammie Berger Interiors, a custom drapery workroom located in Charlotte, NC.  Cammie is sharing a very special sewing project.  We love this story, and know you will too!  Thank you Cammie for sharing this story with us.

Cammie Berger with a special friend in Guatemala
Sewing for a living is a wonderful thing, but the real joy comes when I can use my gifts to serve others. Many years ago, my church, Christ the King Lutheran in Charlotte, NC started supporting Casa Bernabe orphanage outside of Guatemala City, Guatemala.

Over the years, this ministry expanded to a more needy area called Chimaltanango. While the children at the orphanage are clothed, fed, loved, and educated, many of the children in “Chimal” sleep on a dirt floor every night and spend their days rummaging through the city dump where they live, trying to find something useful to sell for food. From the beginning, I felt a calling to go, but the timing was just never right.  (I have since learned that the timing is never right, so don’t use that excuse like I did. Just go!)

One of my sisters in Winston-Salem started sewing pillowcase dresses for another mission group, and I became curious. When I mentioned it to my Pastor, he told me that another girl at my church had already started making them for the next team going to Guatemala. I found an easy pattern online at Nancy’s Notions (see a copy here), put a collection box in our church foyer and we got right to business. We called our mission “Lots of Little Dresses” and the simple supplies of pillowcases, elastic and bias tape came pouring in! 

I have a large studio space in my home, which is used during the day for my wholesale drapery business, so it was transformed at night and on weekends into a pillowcase dressmaking studio!

There were women from all parts of my life…neighbors, friends from church, co-workers and relatives.  They either carted their own machines over, or used one of mine. If they couldn’t sew, they would cut out the armholes, or iron.  At one point there were twelve people doing various jobs at once; it was quite the production line!

Since most everyone in Guatemala is very small in stature, we made mostly small and medium sizes. Some of the pillowcases were cut-off, to be made shorter and we even cut some down in width. When we ran out of elastic, we would use ribbon. When we ran out of ribbon, we would use bias tape. When we ran out of bias tape, we would make our own out of scrap. You get the idea!! We did use mostly pillowcases, but also some sheets, and some regular fabric.

What a great feeling to come together for a unified purpose; to help clothe our fellowman. These are the bare necessities of life and we were being used by God to provide them. The first year we made around 80 dresses, and the second year we made over 200! The feeling of community that you experience when you are working towards a common goal is like no other. Sharing the gift of sewing, and then seeing the joy on a little girl’s face when she puts on her very first new dress ever…, well, it just doesn't get much better than that!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Enjoy Summer Camp at Mary Jo's

Experience something different this summer, and learn how to master a new skill at summer camp at Mary Jo's Cloth Store!

Mary Jo’s Quilting Summer Camp
Who: Kids 9 and up
When: Monday – Thursday, June 23 – 26 & July 21 – 24
Camp includes fabric kit and thread
*In this camp kids will learn all key steps while making their first quilt. Camp includes fabric kit, with thread, and a BL9 Bbay Lock sewing machine.
Pricing: $230 with take home machine and fabric/thread kit

Mary Jo’s Sewing Summer Camp
Who: Kids 9 and up
When: Monday – Thursday, June 16 – 19 & July 14 – 17
Camp includes fabric kit and thread
*In this camp kids will learn all key steps while making fun projects. Camp includes fabric kit, with thread, and a BL9 Bbay Lock sewing machine.
Pricing: $230 with take home machine and fabric/thread kit

Understanding Fabric Dye Lots

When you visit our store you will find a lot of fabric!  Yes, we love fabric and try to keep a wide selection for our customers.   Our hope is that you find the perfect fabric for your quilting, garment and home décor projects! 

Sometimes the fabric is “perfect” because of the color.  You may have purchased twenty-five yards of a beautiful damask fabric for new curtains because it was just the right shade of yellow, but when you returned several months later to purchase more fabric to slipcover a chair it didn't match.  How can this be?  It is the same fabric!

An example of cuttings of the same fabric from three different dye lots

What happened is the new bolt and the old bolt were from different dye lots. A good explanation of dye lots can be found in the book Textiles: Fabrics, Application and Historic Style by Karla J. Nielson. 

“One batch of dye solution is referred to as a job lot or dye lot, and the dyed or printed textiles within that dye lot are exactly the same.  When subsequent batches are mixed according to the master or standard formula, they may be slightly different.  This means that a set piece-goods bolt may be just off from the standard, and a precise match may be impossible”.

For this reason it is always best practice to purchase all the fabric you will need at once.  Never assume you will be able to buy more of the same fabric later.  If you do return to our store, looking for additional yardage of the same fabric, bring a cutting of the original fabric to compare. 

The dye lots of this chevron fabric are slightly different, one is darker than the other
This applies to all types of fabric from quilting to upholstery – dye lots can vary slightly or a great deal.  The good news is that this is not a common problem, but one that should be considered as you plan your next sewing project.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Up-cycled Upholstered Ottoman

During the recent Spring Fever Event, our friend Susan Woodcock, owner of HomeDecGal.com, was in the store sharing how-to make a variety of upholstery projects including a pretty headboard, updated dining chair seats and a fun ottoman made from cardboard storage tubes.  

The ottoman project was a big hit with our customers!  You can make one too, following the instructions below. 

Upholstered Ottoman Step-by-Step

*Note: Cardboard tubes are available from Mary Jo’s Cloth store.  Ask at the front counter for sizes available.  They are not stored on the main floor.

  1. Cut the cardboard tube 3 inches less than the finished height.  Cut a circle to fit the top out of ½ or ¾-inch plywood.  Cut four support pieces from 2 x 2 inch lumber the same as the height of the tubeAssemble the pieces by placing the supports upright, inside the tube and screwing through the tube from the outside.  Space the four supports evenly around the inside of the tube. Attach the top by screwing through the circle piece and into the supports.
  1. Cut a piece of 2-inch foam the same diameter as the ottoman.  Attach the foam to the top of the ottoman using spray adhesive.  Wrap the ottoman top and sides with two layers of polyester batting, using spray adhesive to hold the batting to the ottoman base.  Add a little extra batting on the top for a softer “crown” on the seat.

  1. Cut a circle of fabric for the top 1” larger than the top diameter (before adding batting).  Cover welt cord using strips of fabric cut on the bias and sew around the top circle piece, clipping the seam allowance to ease around the curve.

  1. Measure around the diameter of the ottoman and cut a piece of fabric wide enough to wrap around plus 1 to 2 inches extra, and tall enough to wrap under the bottom several inches.  Sew the base piece to the top circle piece, lining up the pattern if you are using a patterned fabric like this.  Sew close to the welt cord so that no stitching shows.

  1. As you sew around the top, stop a few inches from where the fabric meets together.  Line up the edges to fit, pinning the fabrics together and sewing down the length to join the fabrics.  Trim excess fabric leaving a ½’inch seam allowance.  After the seam is completed, finish sewing to the top piece.

  1. Press the seam open.  Turn the ottoman cover right-side-out and iron out any wrinkles if needed.

  1. It is time to pull the cover over the base.  It will be very tight!  Slowly work the fabric cover over the top, going around and pulling a little at a time.  Wearing gloves is a great idea! Gloves with a rubber texture work great for this.  Continue pulling and smoothing the fabric towards the bottom.  As you pull, check the top to make sure the welt cord is even around the edges.

  1. Turn the excess fabric under the bottom, pulling taut and stapling to the inside of the base in the center between the support pieces.  Then continue adding staples, working towards the support pieces.

  1. Cut away excess fabric at each support piece, leaving about ¾-inch to turn under.  Tuck the raw edges in, and staple in place.

  1. Continue stapling the fabric under the edges around the entire ottoman.  At this point, a piece of fabric can be stretched and stapled over the bottom for a more finished look.  Or, you can leave it open.

  1. Attach feet or casters to the bottom.  For this ottoman, end caps from the drapery hardware department were chosen for a clean look.  Tip: Choose the leg or foot and measure the size before cutting the cardboard tube.
  1. Your ottoman is finished!  Upholstered ottomans can be used as side tables and for additional seating.  Made shorter, they can be used as a footstool.