Thursday, February 24, 2011

Book Blog Tour Giveaway Day #3

Day #3 finds a visit to Canada and a completely different blog,  Grandma Coco's Designs.  You'll find an assortment of topics including quilting, knitting and drawing.  Don't forget to leave your e-mail address just in case you are the lucky winner.

During the Quilt Fiesta Open House, many people commented on the beautiful tablecloths.

The fabric is called pintuck and I chose a teal, periwinkle, chartreuse color palette (even tho the chartreuse looks very washed out in the last photo.).  I borrowed the cloths from my friend, Ann Davis who owns a specialty linen rental company, called The Total Table.
She rents predominantly to caterers and her cloths have been at almost every party in the Philadelphia area.  If the name is familiar, she is also my Foto Friday photographer. A very talented woman she is.

I have to tell you her story, because it is so fascinating.  Before Ann and I met, Ann had a law degree and was involved in an event planning company with another woman.  She was the business arm and her partner was the creative arm.  She sold out her part of the business to stay home and raise her children.

Ann and I met as PTO Moms while our kids were in elementary school together (her oldest and my youngest).  We immediately clicked as friends with our love of gardening and fabric.  Actually she was a much better gardener than me and I spent more time with fabric, as a quilter, than her.  We spent many hours traipsing around the Lancaster, PA countryside buying plants, flowers and fabric.   We visited a quilt exhibit one day and she fell in love with one of the quilts.  So we struck a deal.  I made her a quilt and she landscaped my house.  I wish I had a photo of that quilt.  It was a long cabin type crazy quilt with the ice cream cone edges with a ribbon bouquet as a medallion, using silk and satin fabrics.  Very fancy.  It was foreshadowing.

A few years later, her old business partner needed some help.  Let's just say she was having some problems.  Ann returned to help her clean things up and ended up starting a small tablecloth business with her old partner as her first client.  She started the business in the basement of her home.  She convinced the woman who cleaned her home, Debbie, to help her part time.  At first they were washing the tablecloths in her home washing machine and ironing them all by hand. 

As her business grew, she could no longer work out of her basement.  She moved to a large warehouse and Debbie was working for her full time.  She had a delivery driver and I can't remember how many employees.  A few years ago she bought a warehouse and now has 22 employees, 2 delivery drivers and I don't know how many thousands of tablecloths.  I get whiplash every time I visit her, because the variety and volume of fabric is mind boggling.

Here is a little snapshot of her business:
An overview of her showroom


Specialty cloths

One of the many aisles of assorted white cloths

I love this combo of orange and pink

One aisle

Many aisles

One of 4 manglers

 Do any of you remember your mothers using a mangler?  They have pretty much disappeared for home use.  Can you imagine if instead of ironing our fabric a few inches at a time, we could just run it through a mangler? That would be heaven.

I am so proud of this friend of mine.  She is a heck of a business woman who still loves fabric and gardening.


  1. Grandma Coco's quilt from your book is beautiful!

  2. Those aisles of tablecloths is just mind blowing. Who'd thunk that the lowly tablecloth could come in so many varieties. Thanks for this little snippet of someone else's life.

  3. Those specialty fabrics are out of this world...what a wonderful business!

  4. I used to mangle my Mother's pillowcases...sheets were reserved for her...started out with my Dad's handkerchiefs. Great memories!


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