There are a lot of things for which I am left wanting here in Philadelphia. The list, in fact, is too long to possibly even hint at its contents. However! One thing that recently got off the lacker list is One Hip Cutey Fabric Store. Because friends, now we have one.

And its delightful title? Spool, of course. It is a bit of a cousin store to the equally pleasant Loop, which sells fancy yarns and knitting bits. Spool, on the other skein, is for quilters and sewers. Aesthetically they are both bright and white and clean and organized, quite the contrast to any of those knotted nooks on fourth street. Spool offers a color organized front room that features infinitely inspired prints, making it incredibly difficult to choose which ones are going home with you. Great Amy Butler and locally made Betsy Ross patterns hang in a neat little wall organizer for convenient perusal. And when I was there, a friendly man named Michael sat quilting behind the counter. This simultaneously inspired me to take up the quilt I started a year ago and also put me at ease in this very neat and tidy little shop. A nice touch, to be sure.

Back a few paces from there and you can catch a little glimpse of their instore classroom, where they have set up six home machines at little white tables ready for hands on instruction. They offer several classes so far, most at the beginner level and all at an affordable rate. And if you prefer to fly solo and you already know basically how to sew, you can rent their machines for five dollars an hour to work on your own projects. I've always thought that a craft store without space for hanging out and actually, er, doing the craft right there, amidst the notions and the bolts, wasn't really a craft store afterall. Half of the craft is the community of it, and the commerce figures in somewhere behind that. Now I understand a store is a store is a store, but I like it when shops give a nod to the comraderie too.

Unfortunately as a primarily quilter-oriented shop, Spool carries only cotton fabric so if you're looking for one-stop JoAnn style shop, you'll have to keep looking. I didn't say that One Solid Comprehensive Craft Store could get crossed off that aforementioned list. But as long as you're looking for that rockstar print to really swing your project from the passable into the standout, Spool could be your ticket.

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