Have a Plan
You will be completely overwhelmed if you start your MaryJo's journey without a plan. Write down what you want to purchase. Upon entering, you'll grab a ticket at the front counter. Keep it with you at all times. You'll hand it to each lady that cuts your yardage. She'll record the information and you'll take it to checkout when you leave. Having a list will ensure you don't overlook something. For instance, my list might look something like this:
- Stretch Lace (20 yds.)
- Flannel Fabric (2 yds in print for James, 2yds in print for Sam, 2 yds in print for Abbi)
- Jersey Knit (3yds) each in black, white, tan
I wholeheartedly recommend arriving when the doors open at 9am or shortly thereafter. It takes a long time to look and touch every piece of fabric!
Be Prepared for "Extra" Purchases
You are going to find an inspiring trim or piece of fabric that you can't live without. There will be drooling and fawning over gorgeous fabrics. Go ahead and bring along an extra buck or two for something that's not on your list. You don't get to MaryJo's every day. Mark the occasion with a special purchase.
Eat Your Breakfast
Seriously, do not skip a meal before entering. No food (of course) or drink is allowed. You'll want to be sustained while roaming about in this fabric wonderland. Besides, who knows when you might have to fight for the last yard of its-just-the-right-fabric-for-my-project? You'll want to be nourished and have strength for the battle.
Take a Calculator
Unless you are a math whiz who can keep a running total in her head, I strongly advise taking a calculator with you. Those purchases add up quickly, and you don't want to be shell-shocked at the register. Once the fabric is cut, it's yours. I have a hard time figuring out that $6.98/yd for 3 yds is really over $20. Especially if you're on a budget, keeping a calculator will help you stay on track. If you're married, I recommend you don't bring your spouse ;o)
Plan on Delays
Sections of Gastonia roads are under construction right now. MaryJo's is in a strip mall that is undergoing renovations. It honestly looks like a big 'nothing' when you first see it, because MaryJo's is at the end of the mall that hasn't been renovated (at least last time I was there it hadn't). There are potholes in the parking lot and many construction crews all around. Be prepared and be patient. It's worth the aggravation.
Gather a group of sewing friends and make a day trip out of your visit to MaryJo's. There's also a thread mill outlet nearby, (that's another blog...it's thread heaven!) so plan on making that a stop on your journey. You're going to have so much fun!
Without a list, the minute you walk through the door, your senses will go on 'high alert' and you'll forget what you need to buy. Don't make your journey a fruitless one.