What a lovely surprise to discover, on the first day of my 9-day vacation in Alaska, The Quilted Raven shop in downtown Anchorage. This is not your typical quilt shop: "It's a gift shop that sells fabric and patterns," says owner Jana Hayenga. (Jana is on the left in photo, standing next to one of her employees, Louann.) The character of this small but well-stocked store is defined not only by a spectacular wall of batiks and an amazing array of outdoorsy prints, but also exclusive art and fabrics produced by Alaskan designers. You'll find Jon Van Zyle prints, made in Hawaii and sold only in Alaska; Barbara Lavallee machine applique patterns; soft wool yarn that is locally spun and organically hand-dyed; dolls hand made by a local artist; and patterns from Carolee Pollard, Lisa Moore and other Alaskan artists. If Anchorage happens to be in your travel plans, be sure to stop by The Quilted Raven, Seams to Bee, The Quilt Tree, Dina's Cozy Cabin Quilts, or Alaskan Quilting Adventures for some wonderful shopping and a healthy dose of homegrown talent.