This topic always comes up when I'm with anyone who sews. And, as I said in my Sew News interview recently, I think that is the aspect of sewing that has changed the most in the last decade or so.
I live in the Washington DC area and feel pretty lucky to have a number a good fabric stores near me, but it's not like it use to be 20 years ago when I moved here.
In the past 20 years three Hancock Fabrics near me have closed. One was just a mile from my house. Two Joann's also have closed. I live in a very ethnically diverse area and because of this there are a few of independent fabric stores, but again, not as many as there used to be.
Also, G-Street, the best (aka fanciest with the highest quality fabric) store in this area, has moved into a smaller space and it's inventory is greatly reduce ... sigh ...
We all know why this is happening and there is little we can do do stop it. Although we should all support our local stores when ever possible, which I hope will help. Nothing can replace going into a store to see and feel the goods.
That said ... here is where I get my supplies.
SO ... most often I go to a Joann's that's about 20 minutes from home and I have the option to drive about 35 minutes to a Joann's super store!!
I know how lucky I am to have stores this close to me.
These are my favorite sites.
Fabric.com - This is always my first stop. They have a wide selection and good quality familiar brands of quilting cottons and home decor fabrics. Also, they get in odd bits of designer fabrics at good prices as well as a large stock of nice apparel fabric. What I like best about them is they deliver fast and shipping is free for orders over $35.
Fashion Fabrics Club or Denver Fabrics- I think they are one in the same now.They really have more fabric than Fabric.com. The main down side is they ship slowly and I find it harder to search for fabrics on their site. But, even with these drawbacks its a good place to find fabric.
eQuilter - I also like this site. They are best for quilting cottons in any theme you can think of, specializing in Asian. They have fashion fabrics as well and they ship pretty fast.
Renaissance Fabrics - I don't shop here often, but it's the place to go if you are looking for silk taffeta or other period appropriate fabrics and trims. They are a good place for most everything a serious costumer needs.
Quiltshops.com - If you are searching for quilting cottons, for a specific print or just want to see what's available under a certain description, such as "red and white stripes". Then go to Quiltshop.com. This site will search independent fabrics stores all over the country and report back instantly with the fabrics they have that meet your description. I love this site.
And when I'm stuck, I just type the fabric I'm looking for in a Google search and most often I can find what I need. But, I prefer to use the sites I'm familiar with.
Do any of you have shopping tips or favorite websites? I would love to hear about them.