Thursday, June 16, 2011

TOGA, Day One: Shopping

I have sung the praises of Mary Jo's Cloth Store on this blog before, and I will undoubtedly do it again.  Not being paid to do so, boo hoo.  They could pay me in fat quarters.  Are you listening, Mary Jo?  Is there a real Mary Jo? 

The sad thing is that back in the day (and back in the day I lived in Baltimore) I used to know of many fabulous fabric stores near me.  Now there is ONLY Mary Jo's, and a 3 hour drive is not near.  So I don't go there often, but on the other hand that frees me to spend as much as I like when I do get there.  Or so I claim.

Want to hear something else sad?  I was in Joann's a while ago, and the customer in front of me asked the cutting clerk a question.  The young woman replied "I don't sew and I can't help you."  Pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Joann's, the fabric store with employees that don't know how to sew and can't help you.

and DON'T tell me to patronize my local quilt shop, where the fabrics are the highest possible prices and the clerks are snooty. 

Need hoop skirts?  Mary Jo has them. 

Need sequined organza?  Ditto

and here's a sign that absolutely cracked me up.  My SIL is a Methodist minister. I wonder what she wants for her next set of robes, fur or burlap!
You can also find:
  • swim and dance wear fabric
  • home dec
  • fleece
  • knits
  • oilcloth
  • Pro and college team themed fabric
  • Lining, interlining, interfacing, and fusibles of all descriptions
  • notions and tools of all kinds
  • and everything else.  really.

of course I went for the quilting cotton, which is about 1/3 of the whole enormous store.

You want to see what I bought, don't you?  Of course you do, you are reading a quilting blog!
 Civil War repro fabrics for an upcoming block exchange
 Stripes and dots for an upcoming quilt
 Dragon scale fabric.  Well, that's what it looks like to me.  And someday there
WILL be a dragon quilt.  I bought a LOT of this.  Love it, knew it would not photograph especially well.  Trust me on this one.
 Two flamingo fabrics because you can never have too much flamingo fabric.

 Some classy African ladies.  I collect fabrics with images of women.  Don't have the slightest idea what I will eventually do with them. 
 Sewing themed fabric.  Surely I don't have to explain.

 Street scene from the early 1950's, when I was a tiny tot.  There's a quilt coming with topographic maps and aerial photos of places I have lived and/or loved, and various fabrics that will also tell the story of my life.  The images are mostly printed.  One of the printers eventually recovered but the other one never did.  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.  Printers + fabric = a really, really bad idea.

yes, I have said this before.  I feel pretty strongly about it.  I could buy 3 or 4 vintage sewing machines with what it costs to replace a printer.

The ultimate haul of fabric, including some not pictured above and, not including all the toys and tools, mostly mundane replacements or upgrades of fascinating things like thread, scissors, etc.

I did branch out and buy two sizes of yo-yo makers.  Will they sit in the studio forever, keeping the needle felting tools company in their lonely drawer?  Or will I actually use them on that bin of recycled silk shirts? 


  1. You made quite a haul!!! I love Mary Jo's. Maybe we can meet there one day. It's about 3 hours from me too.

  2. @Wilma: Great idea! Just let me know when you are ready! I'm sure that in a week or so I will be ready to buy MORE fabric, lol

  3. I never thought of using silk to make yo-yo's. Hmmmm...... LOVE the Flamingo fabrics and the sewing themed fabrics. Wish I was there.

  4. How fun to shop with you in blogland.

  5. Oh man, I want to go shopping there! Looks like you had a day of fun wondering around picking up all you fun fabrics for future projects. I like your idea of collecting fabrics with images of woman. Cute post! Looking forward to seeing what you make with all your fabrics.

  6. I've been going to Mary Jo's for 27 years when I can get to that part of the country. The last time was in August 2010 on the way back from a road trip to NYC. My friends laughed when I was fretting that I would "only have 4 hours to shop". I made a great haul, too.
    Bunybytes in Houston

  7. Could you please please tell me where to get your green/gold dragon scale fabric? I have been searching the internet for years trying to find exactly this fabric. Stan -

  8. FYI Elkhart, Indiana Joann's has employees who do sew and do help you. Even Walmart has. But our whole city, it seems, is the wonderful beneficiary of the Mennonite, Amish traditions of sewing. We also have The Depot, in Goshen. This is like a Mennonite Good Will with amazing cloth buys and old buttons and anything else your grandmother ever used to sew with or on. However, there is no guessing when they will have it! Modern cloth happens there too! Mary Jo's sounds like a hoot and a treasure : ) Thanks for sharing!


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