Monday, April 20, 2009

Craft Crush 1: Spool Sewing - Philadelphia

When I was a little girl I dreamt of being a florist, when I was leaving high school I really wanted to go to art college and pursue photography, all of my life I have been collecting and coveting gorgeously handmade how the heck did I end up being a scientist? It's a good question and one which becomes harder to justify the older I get.

I recently spent 5 months in Philadelphia (USA) on a research fellowship and while the trip itself was scientifically successful, personally I saw it as a watershed moment in my life for other reasons. I was staying with a friend in South Philly and as I walked to work I stopped dead in my tracks - I had come across the most gorgeous little shop. I was peering through large windows into a white room, on the walls were shelves containing the most delicious fabrics, arranged in a rainbow of colour...and there was a book in the window that had a squirrel tea cosey on the front cover...I had myself my first Craft Crush. I had stumbled across Spool, which is run by the most delightful Laura.

In that 5 months I attended several great weekend sewing classes (see the two A-line skirts pictured - Amy Butler Barcelona skirt pattern and the tote pattern is free from the Spool blog), spent hours browsing fabrics and chatting, more hours in the sewing room out the back at the 'open sewing' sessions and even attended the Friday night Stitch Parties. Apart from teaching me the joy of sewing, Laura also inspired me with her wonderful openness and friendship (yes, she listened to my crazy stories) and gave me the encouragement to pursue a new creative lifestyle.

So this post goes out to my friend Laura - and if you're ever in Philly - pop in for a chat, a browse and take a class!

PS. The wool shop next door, Loop, is also awesome and run by a very lovely man called Craig!


  1. Thanks, Danielle! I'm blushing!! Meeting big cuties like you is the best part of opening Spool!

  2. Hehe, 'craft crush', I love it! How interesting that you are a scientist but also into creative, arty pursuits. People often think those things are so different, but being a scientist is probably about being creative too - definitely about being open minded and learning new things. Thanks for your comments on my blog... I bought a Nikon D200 and love it. Definitely buy a digital SLR, you won't regret it!

  3. Hey Amy - I wrote down a quote I saw by John Updike that reads:
    "Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right or better", so I guess science is creative - I do like pretty things and clever design though :-)

    Thanks for the digi SLR info!