Have you ever explored fabrics beyond your local quilt shops? One way to broaden your horizons is to stop in shops when you're visiting other parts of the country or world. But, if you're like me and don't get to travel as often (or as far away) as you'd like, finding fabrics online is another great option.
As I'm diligently searching for the perfect fabrics for some upcoming fun events, I turned my search to the Internet and have not been disappointed! There are two particularly great sites where I've found more interesting fabrics and ideas than any of the traditional quilt-shops-selling-fabric-online. I'm sure these two sites have more variety because they're a conglomeration of a whole bunch of people's ideas and resources, but what better way to find what you truly love than by browsing through all different styles and ideas?
A couple of weeks ago, the Dwell blog pointed to a Finnish fabric manufacturer called Bon Bon Kakku where they accept submissions for fabric designs, allow other users to vote on their favorites, then produce a limited line of the winning designs! If you know exactly what fabric you want but can't seem to find it anywhere, why not design it yourself and see if others would like it too? The image below is by "designkristy" and is called "Juice." Go vote for it here!
Another spot I didn't think to look until a week or so ago was in the Etsy store. I guess I assumed most of the stuff on Etsy was already made, but it turns out they have a huge "Supplies" section as well! If you look through the fabrics there, most of them are designs you might not find in the average small-town quilt shop, and lots of them are imports or vintage! My favorites right now are the Japanese fabrics like this one with the little robots on it:
I'm relatively new to the world of exploring fabrics, so if you've found other great sources for fabric online, I'd love to learn about them -- share your links in the comments and I'll definitely check them out!