Thursday, August 28, 2008
Mary Jo's Goes On-line
Mary Jo's Cloth Store in Gastonia, North Carolina has been a must-stop destination for quilters, seamstresses, costumers, brides, and interior decorators for decades.
It goes by another name in my house: Mecca.
Mary Jo's is located in a former grocery store building right off I-85 near Charlotte, North Carolina. That's right, a whole Harris Teeter full of the goodies. I have trained Mr. Quilty to stop there for at least an hour every time we go west to visit the in-laws. He has found many pleasing manly destinations nearby in Gastonia. While I frantically throw bolts of fabric on the counter for one of the helpful staff members to cut, he visits Northern Hardware, Sam's Club, and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. We both achieve near-euphoria during that hour or so.
What is so different about Mary Jo's? It is mind-boggling. First of all, everything in the store is discounted. Quilt shop quality fabric is about three dollars less per yard. Pick up your tab when you enter the store, and veer left for the cotton selection, which makes up about half of the store. Then: do you want to search by theme? Large signs above the aisles let you know where to find ocean prints, leaves, florals, animals divided into cats, dogs, jungle...got the idea? Need coffee cup fabric? Chili peppers? Got it!
Now, if you instead choose to shop for certain colors, they have another section farther back divided into shelf after shelf of bolts sorted by color.
Need baby fabrics? Flannels? Head to the back. Want a Fossil Fern? They have every colorway.
Drooling yet? They have a table of fat quarters for about 99 cents each. Oh, and all the notions, threads, tools you could imagine. And batting. And bolts of muslin.
Head to the right of the store, and you find the ribbons and trims, followed by the formal fabrics and home dec section. One of my brothers-in-law has been known to shop Mary Jo's to find bling-bling for his Elvis impersonator outfit!
Not heading to Gastonia any time soon? Here is the good news. While they have always offered mail-order service by telephone, they have just rolled out their new website. Yup, finally, the actual fabrics are viewable on the Web! Here is your Bookmark: http://www.maryjos.com/
Mary Jo has also started a blog at http://maryjoscloth-design.blogspot.com/
That blew my mind! Mary Jo's has never been exactly high-tech. Congratulations to Mary Jo on all the hard work to improve your services to the fabri-holics of the world.
You can take a virtual tour of the store here: http://www.maryjos.com/about/tour.aspx
Don't take the Quick Tour- you will get seasick. Check out the Quilt Front and Quilt Back sections.
Ready to shop? Sit down with your Krispy Kreme and coffee, and let 'er rip!