Monday, January 3, 2011

Rob Appell - Endangered Species Quilt Project

This is a recent photo of Rob I took at Quilt Market in Houston in October, 2010.  I had met Rob a year earlier in Houston and was absolutely floored by his work.  His energy reminded me of Wade, my neighbor's son, who I also admire.

A little about The Endangered Species Quilt Project:

Michael Miller Fabrics and Rob Appell have teamed up for the Endangered Species Quilt Project.  Rob designed each quilt using Fairy Frost Fabric from the Michael Miller Collection.  Three dollars from the sale of every pattern goes to help support these animals and the people who care for them.  To date they have raised 7150.00!!  Great Job Rob :)

Photos I took while in Houston 2009 and 2010:

Green Sea Turtle (taken 2010)
Bengal Tiger (taken 2009)
Giant Panda (taken 2009)
Blue Iguana (taken 2010)
Scarlet Macaw (taken 2009)
Rockhopper Penguin (taken 2009)
Red Eyed Tree Frog (taken 2009)

Brown Pelican (taken 2009)

Howler Monkey (taken 2010)
Red Wolf  (taken2009)
This is where the "story" begins:
While chatting with Rob in 2009 I could not help but see the connection he had with the animals he was using in his quilts.  How could someone bring these animals to life and portray their energy using only fabric and thread?  Energetically I could see he had a connection and I was just taken back by his gift to translate those images with thread and fabric.
Rob shared that had been working in his Mother's Quilt Store, The Cotton Ball in Moro Bay, California.  He has made some Machine Embroidery Designs and has drawn his inspiration from Tattoos.  Well, of course I thought that was cool, new and interesting.  Being comfortable using materials that are traditionally thought of as being for "older women" was also interesting. Perhaps the energy I was seeing/feeling in Rob was congruent with how I saw the animals...sort of wild, a bit carefree, easy to move about, comfortable being in his own skin, and adventurous.
Look at this close up I took of the Red Wolf-  See the eyes?
Now, look below at Rob's eyes....
The energy is there....a bit wild, carefree, adventurous, and comfortable.

This is a bad/fuzzy photo of Rob and myself.  I was definitely in my bliss.....learning about an interesting person and hearing about his experiences....what fun.
Look at the difference a year makes! 
I see more confidence and that same fierce creative spirit don't you?
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Rob sells his patterns as well as fabric kits to complete the designs.  You can visit him here on his website and here on his blog.
You know I stopped and did a double take when I saw this Aurifil Thread Collection...."So Cool, IT'S HOT!"  Rob Appell has an Aurifil Thread Collection...I want one too! 
So there you have can be a skateboarding ocean loving surfer who loves to draw and put out some incredible quilt patterns that benefit endangered species too....see what an impact we can all have when we have the courage to be ourselves and use our talents....

Rob teaches and lectures too.  You gotta check out Rob's Twizzleman Project.  I absolutely love these quilts.  These are the "Mad Scientist" Quilts that experiment with color and shape.  Dang Cool Dude! 

Oh....I almost forgot this exciting new subject:  Rob's new book, Making Waves....Adventures of a Surf Quilter!!!  Impressive....just like I said earlier :)

Thank you Rob Appell for sharing your valuable time with me and sharing a bit of your story....I thoroughly enjoyed it and wish you all the success you wish for yourself.



  1. I have never seen his work, really beautiful pieces and wonderful subject.


  2. Great post. Thanks for all the insights on Rob. I didn't realize he had his own collection of Aurifil threads. I'm looking forward to when Kelly of IHAN has her own collection of Aurifil threads!


  3. I so enjoyed learing about Rob and totally love his is amazing how talented he is!

  4. Great to hear about what inspires other people especially a man in a woman dominated field. Love it, thanks Kelly.

  5. I love reading this kind of story, people taking something very traditional like quilting and making it their own. His work is amazing. Thanks Kelly.

  6. wow, I love to hear about quilting guys... and his work is just outstanding! I love how one art form melds into another and so forth... that is just too cool!

  7. WOW! The energy & life in those masterpieces is just fantastic! Sure brings a new meaning to the world of quilting! I'm so glad to hear of the work he's doing & the awareness he brings these species. Once again, Kelly, you enlighten, inform & humor, all at the same time! Wonderful post & thank you for sharing!!

  8. I was in The Cotton Boll in February and saw Rob there. I didn't realize he was the designer of all the beautiful patterns displayed in a prominent section of the store! He waited on me at the cash register :) I have seen several quilts of his design at guild shows and they are terrific.


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More Later-Beth

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