A funny thing happened when I went thrifting a couple weeks ago. I never, ever fail to take a look at the books, paying particularly close attention to the section that houses quilting books--there's nearly always a "craft" section somewhere. As I mentioned, on those trips I found a couple of Mary Engelbreit books that I snapped right up, but I rarely, rarely find real quilting gems. Most of the time, if I find quilting books at all, they're books printed about 30 years ago, with black and white illustrations of quilts, and I can't tell you how many copies of Lap Quilting With Georgia Bonesteel I could own by now. Every now and then, though, I get really lucky. This time, I struck gold.
In two days, I came across two of my favorite quilting books, Snowfolk Friends and Candy Cane Lane. Unfortunately, I already own both of them!
I think it was the year before last that I first saw the main quilt project from the Snowfolk Friends book--it was made by NancyNoBlog (before she had a blog) and shown on Red Geranium Sharon's blog. I thought about linking you to that post, but there's no search function on Typepad blogs (as far as I can tell), and I thought it would take much too long to find it by looking through all the posts. Instead, I'll just show you a photo of the quilt from the book--
Cute quilt, isn't it? Eventually I found out from Sharon what pattern it was and did an extensive internet search to find the book. And no, I haven't made the quilt YET, but I thought it was really odd to find a second copy of the book now. Of course, I couldn't leave it sitting there on the thrift store shelf. (I've found that duplicates of items I already own make nice gifts for friends or blog giveaways or can be sold on Etsy or elsewhere, so I don't usually pass them by!)
The next day, I came across Candy Cane Lane by Melinda Bula.
The story behind this book is that back around May or June, I'd seen the quilt made up and hanging at one of my local shops. (It's the quilt on the front cover.) I didn't pay that much attention to it at the time, but for some reason, the quilt haunted me until I returned to the shop in July and found out it was from the Candy Cane Lane book. So in mid-July I bought the book and then came across the same book at the thrift store about a week or so later. Odd, huh?! Again, I couldn't leave the book on the thrift store shelf.
When I talk about my thrifting finds, some of you have commented that I seem to find awfully good stuff, and your local thrift stores never carry anything but junk. There are days when it seems I have that same luck--nothing but junk and bookshelves filled with books on tole painting and Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonesteel. But I think the real keys to finding good stuff at the thrift stores are (1) go shopping with an open and creative mind because quite often, the items you see can be repurposed or recycled into something quite different (i.e., one man's trash is another man's treasure); and (2) go shopping often--new items are being donated or acquired and placed on the shelves daily. Our local Goodwill stores include on the price tags the date each item is processed, and quite often, my best finds have only been put out a day or two before.
Now that I'm back at work, I suspect I'll resume my habit of regularly visiting the two Goodwill stores near my office during my lunch hour. I'm sure that I won't find much most of the time, but I just might find a few treasures here and there, not to mention the benefits of getting up from my desk and out of the office for a bit. If you haven't gone thrifting for awhile, try it--and go back a few times before you give up. And if you ARE in the habit of thrifting, I'd love to hear about any treasures you've found lately!