I bought fat quarters last week on sale for $1 each! Just looking at all the colors and patterns inspires me. I collect visual textures to use in my applique. I have a box in which I keep only fabrics that have lines, colors, or patterns that suggest other things such as hair, brick, water, sky, grass, and so on. Fat quarters are especially good for this use since you rarely need more than that for an applique. It's a good exercise to look at fabric and use your imagination in thinking what it could represent - sand on a beach? fur on a cat or dog? tiles on a roof?
some of food. Some just appeal to me because of their lines and visual textures and I don't know what they might become.
The next time you are in a fabric store, try to notice the possibilities in the fabrics. Start a collection that can be used later when you need just the right fabric to suggest a delicate butterfly wing or feathers on a bird. You'll be surprised at what you'll start to see.