Sunday, May 23, 2010

Quilting is big in Alaska

Everything is big in Alaska...including quilting.  Why?  Long winter nights---that is day and night are dark, I hear, with only 4 to 5 hours of twilight for daytime. 
The Quilted Raven is a really neat shop in downtown  Anchorage that Deana found listed in the phonebook.  So off we went.  I never expected to find such a cute shop there, and very friendly  staff to top it off.  We talked quilting and guilds and she cleared off the table for me to sort through what I liked.  They had a wonderful selection of scenic and Alaskan prints.  And wildflower prints that were just great.  My mind began to picture 2 or 3 things I could do with these fabrics. 
And then my wonderful husband said, "There's another rack you haven't looked at."  Boy, were we in trouble.....prints of glaciers, and the northern lights, mountains, and totem poles.  And it was buy 5 and get 1 free....so I did.  I know I blew my stash busting diet, but what a great way to do it.   
Just a bit about the raven and the totems.  I thought that totem poles would be a common sight.  I  only found a few--mainly at the museum and rail depot.  So I picked up a small book on the history of totems.  Totems are ceremonial pieces many times.  The celebrate an event or a person.  The chief of the clan might have several outside his home, or as a door support.  Totems tell a story and are usually read top to bottom.  The raven is a common figure used on totems, and he represents a trickster/creator---the duality of his nature.  The legend says he stole the sun from his master and hung it in the sky.   So often the raven has a flat disk in his beak.   
 The photo to the right is a more common sight in Anchorage.  The symbols are very stylized and colorful.  This one is over the window at the gift shop.
Tomorrow we head to see the glaciers....

1 comment:

  1. I got here via "You might also like..." and noticed you shopped at the Quilted Raven... so did I. We went to our granddaughter's graduation in AK and stayed a few days. I bought over $100 and got a free bag. I'd go again to shop there. Such a fun store, and the buyer KNOWS what I like!
    That's another connection we have, Deb...
    Hugs

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