Vintage craft books galore January 2, 2007

I just loved the Bead Museum, but there’s another DC-area crafty spot that’s not to be missed: the Friends of the Library Bookstore in Wheaton, Maryland. Whenever Andrew and I visit his parents, we get to go to the sale — a cavernous basement filled with used books, priced to move. I usually find a ridiculous number of vintage craft books and patterns I want and end up putting half of them back, and this trip was no exception.

I hit the children’s book section first and found a few 50-cent books I couldn’t live without, and then spent the rest of my time in the crafts section, two floor-to-ceiling shelves I went through inch by inch. I scored three super 70s books: make-it-with-denim, crazy appliques, and color-it-yourself t-shirt iron-ons (completely unused, with patterns that must be seen to be believed). I also spotted a couple of 1960s sewing books, a major weakness of mine, and added those to the pile. My total was under $10 for everything — most books there are 50 cents to $2.

I don’t know about you, but I love vintage craft encyclopedias, and it was tough to leave these three dozen Family Creative Workshop books on the shelf…

The best and worst of the Wheaton Friends of the Library sale

…but those garish 80s/early 90s craft books scare me. A lot.

I got the coolest surprise later in the trip: when we exchanged Christmas gifts with Andrew’s family, it turned out that my father-in-law, Paul, had found these redwork pattern books at the sale and snapped them up before I saw them! They’re so inspiring. I can’t wait to try embroidering some of the designs!

Redwork Quilts and Patterns

By the end of the trip, thanks to Christmas and the shop at the Cooper-Hewitt, we ended up with three boxes of books… so they are taking the scenic route (aka Media Mail) back to Los Angeles. I can’t wait to get them — I’m excited to applique and iron-on, not to mention try my hand at redwork!

If you go:

Friends of the Library Bookstore
11701 Georgia Avenue, Wheaton, MD
(240) 777-0688

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