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Do you know Quilter Rob Appell?

Rob Appell has a ton of energy.

And luckily for the quilting world, he spends a lot of that energy quilting and helping others to quilt as well.

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019

Rob Appell started his quilting journey working in his Mom’s quilt shop, The Cotton Ball, in Morro Bay, California, while his wife was finishing up her teaching credential. At first, he was the guy who repaired the Pfaff sewing machines that came into the shop.  His first sewing project was making 30 Aloha Shirts from batik and floral scraps. He wanted to try free motion quilting, so he used those same scraps to start making quilts. His very first quilt “wasn’t much to look at,” but his second quilt, “The Dolphin Dance,” got a lot of attention.  A stripped, pieced quilt, today, it has sold hundreds of patterns. From there, Rob Appell has pretty much taught himself different quilting techniques on a domestic machine and shares what he knows at quilting retreats and quilt shows like Road to California.

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019


Known as “the surfer dude who quilts,” Rob Appell first taught at Road to California in 2015. He had just landed a video spot with Missouri Star Quilt Company as “Man Sewing” and was eager to meet prospective fans. At Road to California 2019, he announced that he was no longer affiliated with Missouri Star and had started his own website, robappell.com.

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019

It features “new and exciting” projects and videos as well as his new exclusive partnerships with Michael Miller Fabrics and Juki sewing machines.

Rob taught several sold-out classes at Road 2019. He said he was “stoked” to be back at Road and that he was enjoying every minute. “I started teaching in Southern California and so I get to see students, guilds, and shop owners from when I started.” Watching his students create was “really something.”

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019

Kathi from Eagle River, Arkansas has been quilting for over 50 years. Road 2019 was her second time at the show. She signed up for Rob Appell’s class because it “looked visually enticing. I wanted something I could use my jelly rolls with and get it done.” Kathi had some questions beforehand about the class, so she called Rob directly to get some answers. “He was so enthusiastic about his process.”  What did she think about the class? “Great. Good information and new information about artistic theory.”

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019

Sara has been a quilter and Road attendee for the past 8 years. Why did she take one of Rob’s classes? “Rob Appell came to our guild, the High Desert Quilt Guild, in Ridgecrest, California a couple of years ago and I was familiar with him. I wanted to get into his class really bad, but it sold out and I was put on a waitlist.” Lucky for Sara, and the other people in her class, Road and Rob decided to open another section as the wait list got quite long. During her class, Sara found Rob to be “energetic.” “He makes quilting look not so boring.”

Rob Appell Road to California Quilt Show 2019
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