I only really started sewing as a hobby when I was pregnant with my second child. Prior to that I would do the occasional toss cushion or roman shade but not for enjoyment. While making the internet rounds during my pregnancy I found so many amazing little things you could make for babies and young kids and I started to want to do it for fun.
So I went to the local fabric store and tried to find fabric like I was seeing online. But there was nothing so I bought what looked the best or what was on clearance. And that was ok for a while.
But I kept seeing awesome looking projects online and I wanted those amazing fabrics. Unfortunately I am really a tactile person. I love feeling the drape of a fabric and seeing the intensity and shade of a color in person. So I resisted ordering online. My first online order was only about a year ago. I needed some "boy" fabrics and there was NOTHING local. When I opened that package I was blown away. There was no comparing the quality of that fabric to what I could source locally.
So now I do the majority of my fabric purchasing online. Only the basics (batting, lining, notions) are purchased locally along with the odd fabric that tickles my fancy. And that sounds great except that shipping to Canada (and even within Canada) is stupid expensive. So I try not to order unless I can spend more than $50 to get a decent amount. And I still am sometimes surprised by the color of a fabric in person vs online.
There really isn't another option for me until I open my own fabric store :) So I will continue to cross my fingers and pay crazy shipping to get the pretty patterns online.