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…
…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!
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