I added to my fabric stash while on a recent vacation to the Big Island in Hawaii. Many people who are not quilters or sewers do not understand why a person would fly all the way to Hawaii and then visit a fabric store while on vacation. I patiently explain to them the reason why, and my explanation is this:
Every fabric store is a reflection of the region surrounding it. The fabric that you find in a fabric store in Texas is going to be different than the fabric that you find in Maine or Oregon or Florida. In Texas you’re going to find more western and southwestern themes. In Florida you will find more beach and ocean themes. The local culture and geography is reflected in the offerings at a shop. And even the regional climate and weather plays a part in the type of fabric you will find at any given fabric shop. In short, you are not just buying fabric, you are taking home a sample and representation of the local region.
All fabric shops may carry certain similar standard fabrics but mixed in with that are the wonderful offerings of fabric that you can not find in your own hometown and that make that particular region the unique place that it is. Sure, you may be able to buy fabric on the internet but the experience of physically visiting a place and enjoying its atmosphere and culture is what makes travel so wonderful. And the fact that we get to create things with the fabric we bring home brings pleasure long after the vacation is over.