Friday, December 19, 2008

Shopping For Fabric

As the shopping season is upon us, I find myself in the middle of getting a couple of projects completed for early exhibits in 2009. Hard to believe we are soooo close to the start of new year. On Wed. I found myself in need of some 'color'. Colors in order to make my projects work, so I called a friend and made a plan to do a fast run up to the fabric district in Downtown LA.

For a number of years I have shared my shopping haunts in this area of Los Angeles through a map on my website, ; but, this time I thought it would be fun to take some photos. The first photo is of the street signs on the corner of Maple & 9th, for most of my favorite stores are there between 8th & 9th.

It's a wonderful, wild street filled with lots and lots of stores full of fabric, so you can spend a lot of time wandering. As the picture shows your centrally located to several markets as well. I thought it fun that I capture
the walk & green light. A good indicator. GO, GO, GO.

LA seems to have put in a new parking system. Most of the meters that let you come in for a quick hour rather inexpensively have been changed to a pay system that now costs $3 per hour. (guess they have to get their money somehow). Ther
e's plenty of lot choices as well, but if you are planning to go to Michael Levines they validate for an hour with a $20 purchase. They are also right there in the are of Maple & 9th.

My mission was several colors of dupioni silks and for that I headed straight for Fabrics & Fabrics at 403 E. 9th Street.

Even though the whole week had been wet and cold, the sun came out on this morning and everything was brigh
t and fairly warm. A perfect day for wandering about. The guys at Fabrics & Fabrics are all very nice and are there to help you pull out all the rolls of color from the huge collections on the wall. They were even nice enough to let me take a couple of photos inside.

Hope you all get a chance to check it out sometime! ~Rose

Sunday, December 14, 2008

More Open Studio Fun

My open studio this year was great fun, and many of the quilt artists with quilts in my recently published book showed up on Saturday for a fun afternoon with lots of signature swapping. The champagne flowed and conversation turned to the swapping of techniques recently tried out (afterall most of us are quilters), and tales of exhibition trials & tribulations. I wouldn't say we figured out anything of great significance but we had a nice time chatting about it all.

All the while I shared my new work and new series of patterns for everyone, and books and pens were passed around as people introduced themselves as Trish, page...., or Betsy, page....

Trish & David delighted us all with the new pieces they were turning in for the upcoming travelling exhibit Seasons: Spring. Others shared and swapped a few shopping favorites that included that was touted to be THE place to buy jean thread, beads or 16wt pearl cotton.

Later in the day we snapped a couple of shots of the 'folks' in the book and others while they were cutting and pasting and having fun creating their own bookmarks at the worktable.

When everyone left the brownies were all gone but there was a drop of champagne left to help me get through the clean-up...

All in all a day filled with friends, fun and lots of sharing.
Happy Holidays to you all! ~Rose

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Open Studio Fun

It was really great to visit the Joanell Connolly's studio last weekend. There was a number of fun people there to chat with, great art to see and purchase, and even a wonderful poetry reading by Gabrielle.

As Gabrielle read several of her poems I felt like was transported to wonderous places. She also had books of her poetry there and I fell for a poem called

Then There is Red.
At one point in my quilt artmaking career I purposely sought out using red. It had never been a favorite and I felt challenged to move outside my comfort colors. Some of the results of that experimenting (way back in 1997) was the piece.
Don't Think Yourself in a Jail.
The red challenge was just the beginning of my continuing study of color.

Gabrielle's poem says:

Red is everything
you ever wanted it to be.

Sure, its got
a bad rap:
red with embarrassment
or sunburn

and once

But I'll take red
any day--never
a stop for me
but full on go.

It's an enthusiastic color,
not at all shy.
Bulls love it and
they can't be wrong.

Where would Minnie
be without her
red and white
polka dots
or the day without
a red letter?

Foget about Hester.
I mean, at least she got to wear red.
After all,
it could have been

I loved the poem. It was perfect.
If you want to begin your own study of color you can download free color lessons from my website:
But, if you want to see where red, purple, yellow, blue.............. are taking me now you can always check out my work at my open studio. This coming Fri-Sun. December 12-14.

I wish you all a 'red' letter day! ~Rose

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December Fun!

December is certainly upon us and with it lots of holiday invitations and 'open studios'. I love to go check out other artists studios to see how they work, and chat about what they are doing. It's also fun to find wonderful little treasures that I can give for holiday presents. This weekend I'm heading off to the studio of Joanell Connolly. Her studio will be open on Sat & Sun and you can check out her work at .

December has started off to be pretty exciting so far, for last night I had a wonderful time being interviewed by Kim Wulfert on .

We had a great time conversing on my own art work and my journey so far. Kim did a great job of asking really interesting questions about my art, and the business of my art, and the interview will be available to hear or download from her blog very soon.

My recent trip to Olvera Street provided me with some little embellishments and some fun ideas on how to use them are whirling around in head.

Bells, calla lillies and other fun little trinkets....

Happy creating! ~Rose

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving is Coming

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching. You can tell around my house since mom flew in yesterday. Talk has turned to recipes and shopping lists, but mom knew before she came that she would be helping me in the studio as well this week. Between commission pieces, my new pattern samples and exhibition deadlines I have several projects underway… not to mention my ‘for myself’ piece based on the desert sketches just made.

Mom dove right in yesterday and has me working to keep up this Saturday morning. I’ve been selecting fabric with the hope that I can pull everything together for 'eyes skyward' to keeping moving along.

If not I can always make a quick stop in Downtown LA to buy any ‘needed’ fabric on my way to meet up with the family by . I am looking forward to winding my way through the shops on Olvera Street. I’ll be searching out interesting embellishments, and I'll be sure to share anything I find with you here later on.

My upcoming interview with Kimberly Wulfert on is all set and ready to for December 3rd. I'm looking forward to chatting with Kim, whom I've known for a long, long quilterly time, but what I like best is that anyone can participate and ask their own questions 'live'.

Wish me luck with my shopping adventures. ~Rose

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Traveling & Teaching in Arizona

My recent travels to Arizona were spent sharing my new book with everyone at the Bernina Connection in Phoenix, and to teach workshops on Fast-Piece Applique and 10 Different Ways to Embellish.

The drive from LA to Phoenix was quiet and the desert that lay between these cities can seem desolate, but the fact that I had tons of ideas swirling around in my head continues to support my belief that cre
ative possibility is everywhere.

Along the trip I began to see for the first time the mountainous desert hills in a new way. Ridge after ridge seemed to appear like faces looking skyward. Welcoming the warm breezes that made everything look dry... withering almost. The quick sketches I jotted down on the journey hav
e already turned into a new design. The colors of the desert jumped out at me as well, (looking mostly like very dark chocolate). I am looking forward to selecting just the right fabrics to go in it.

An earlier trip along I-10 last spring introduced me to those watchers and at the time one in particular became the inspiration for the piece here.

I-10 Watcher (copywrite 2008)

My hostess in AZ (Sandee) was amazing and I will be forever grateful for the wonderful time I had with her. Not to mention the incredible Italian food she cooked up!

The workshop attendees were great as well. Everyone walked out of FPA with their quilts underway and I am looking forward to sharing some of these with you in the near future. In the second workshop everyone got to try their hand at lots of different ways to embellish their quilts. Sharing with each other was not only fun but enlightening as well, for everyone brings a little bit of themselves to each embellishment type.

Laura and Julie
with lots on ways to embellish

The trip across the desert was lots of fun, and my own sketchbook has several new pages of ideas, and I'm looking forward to getting into the studio and trying them out. ~Rose

When passing through Phoenix don't miss stopping by the Bernina Connection. For info on the store go to:

For info on my lateset book (Dream Landscapes: Artful Quilts with Fast-Piece Applique) go to

Monday, November 17, 2008


-Confucius, is quoted to have said,
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with your first step.”

Agreeing totally, I have to say that each step that has brought me to where I am today has been filled with experiences beyond any possibility to list. Blogging seems to be the way to document and share many of the new steps to be taken on my journey, and hopefully open up opportunities to find and share new pathways. This more than anything is my reason for joining the blogging world.

Welcome to RavenSpeak Quilts.
Just this one time, step back with me. Way back to 1995.
It was back then, while searching out ways to branch out from traditional quilting, that I discovered ravens. These are wonderful, beautiful, smart (alecky) birds that seem to tell stories to my heart. Back then they became an important step or element to bring story telling visually into my quilts. Ravens let my arty side run free and seemed just enough out of the norm for ‘the quilt police’ to want to deal with. I felt I had total freedom to create with and for my ravens.

Raven spirit continues to nudge me in new directions, and has his role at the beginning of this new path.
1996 – Why Raven Is Black
This was one of my first raven pieces.

2008 – Riding the Thermals
This piece is one of the most recent.

In between these two works I have found creative possibilities everywhere, and I am looking forward to sharing the inspiration and my journey here.

Hope you choose to come along.

I'm off to Arizona now for a visit to the Bernina Connection where I will be teaching. I look forward to the drive and the classes and the new inspirations they bring. ~Rose