The second week in July is marked on my calendar all year long. As the days get longer, I look forward to my week in Sisters, Oregon, as a time to share my love of quilting with those who descend on this sleepy town for a magical week of quilting and the outdoors.
Quilter’s Affair is always a fun time. It’s a reunion every year–reconnecting with quilters from across the world. like Sarah Fielke from Australia (I used her fabric in my Weighted Pin Cushion tutorial, which you can watch here!), Rosalee Dace from South Africa or Laura Wasilowski from lovely Elgin Illinois (inside joke). The comradery among the instructors is amazing! We all chip in to help one another, show support at each other’s trunk shows, trade sewing stories, and make plans for collaboration on future projects. I always learn a lot each year, and take home tons of inspiration from my fellow quilters .
This year, I was honored as the featured artist at the “Save it for Sunday” exhibit at Five Pines Lodge. Seeing my quilts among the trees was an amazing feeling. I find so much inspiration for what I do from nature, especially Sisters, that returning the quilts to where they were essentially created just seemed right.
Seeing my sixteen-plus years’ worth of quilts on display got me to thinking about how my quilting has evolved. On Sunday, my quilts were displayed by color, not by the linear storyline that I usually show during my trunk shows. Displayed this way, it looked like a number of different quilters made these, which led me to think about how I have progressed as a quilter. In the beginning, I focused on creating visual art through intricate applique landscape and seascape quilts, and as I have progressed on this journey, I am now experimenting with patchwork and color, going back to the fundamentals of patchwork style quilting, with the added Man Sewing twist. I’ve gone backward in design, but forward in quality as I’m learning to design in color and patchwork rather than applique.
Stitch by stitch and quilt by quilt,I know my quilting journey continues, and no matter where it leads me, I know where I’ll be the second week of July in 2018.
Globe trotters, today’s your day! I’m working on a fabric luggage tag that can really take a beating. It’s made from a solid piece of James Thompson canvas, so it’s incredibly strong and durable. Customize this project with your favorite fabric color, cool decorative stitching, or even a bit of applique. Then slide in your business card, and you’ve got a unique tag that’ll last for years to come.
Man Sewing gives me a lot of fun opportunities to travel and I’ve become a bit of an expert, if I do say so myself. Traveling can be cumbersome and draining, or it can be smooth sailing. I prefer to make things as easy as possible on myself and plan ahead. I’ve even used quite a few of my own tutorials to whip up some awesome accessories to carry along with me wherever I go. So take my advice, the extra suitcase is worth it to carry along the comforts of home.
My travel must-haves include:
A tablet. This incredible device has just about everything I need to keep myself entertained, whether it’s with a book, videos, or music. Plus, it includes maps and email, to keep me connected. Did you know, tablets don’t even have to be stowed before the plane takes off, so I get extra time to chill.
Noise-cancelling headphones. Carve out a little piece of privacy with these lightweight, high quality headphones. And they don’t drain your battery life because they attach the old school way, with a cord.
My personalized coffee kit. I’m pretty particular about the way I like my java, so I skip the Starbucks line and whip up my own fresh batch of brew with a French press travel mug. It’s a total lifesaver. It also allows me to carry along energy bars and muesli too, which I can eat hot or cold. Watch my Kraft-Tex Coffee Kit Tutorial HERE.
A yoga mat. Every morning I like to start my day off with a zen moment. This yoga mat fits in my suitcase and goes everywhere I go. Did you know that some airports even have yoga rooms? I couldn’t believe it myself!
A Man Sewing water bottle. I don’t go anywhere without it! Stay hydrated with this rugged, stainless steel, wood-finish water bottle by Rockit. Keep it empty on the way into the airport, go through security, and then fill it up for the rest of your trip.
My knitting tool caddy. When the urge to create strikes me, I’m always ready. Knitting is a great way to pass the time when I’m traveling, and it keeps me calm when the road might get a little rough. Learn how to make your own knitting tool caddy HERE.
A power adapter. Do NOT forget this handy item! Stay charged up between flights and keep yourself from getting bored while traveling. There’s nothing worse than running out of battery life at the beginning of a long flight.
Before you hop on that plane, remember, a Man Sewing trip is much more fun than just a regular trip. Traveling can be a lot easier when you have the essentials. Catch you later!
Rob’s kiddos, Brayden and Ruby, joined him for his most recent trip to Hamilton, MO to film a new set of tutorials and fun was a blast! Check out the Facebook Live Video they did on set HERE.
Ruby worked hard for weeks leading up to the trip getting a couple of projects ready to film tutorials with her dad. She’s a natural on camera! Brayden loves making videos himself, so he had a blast checking out all of the equipment and helping to run one of the cameras. Keep an eye out for the new tutorials on Man Sewing soon (You can subscribe to the Man Sewing YouTube Channel HERE to make sure you don’t miss them)!
Brayden even made his own video recapping the Appell Family Trip to Hamilton. How cool is that? He’s got some serious video making skills (We just might have ourselves a new tutorial making team)!
We hope to make this trip as a family again sometime, it was so much fun!
Last month we took some much needed family time and traveled to Bass Lake, California. This is a special spot for the Appell Family. My parents started taking me and a few buddies to Bass Lake every summer for a few weeks as teenagers. Most of us have kept the tradition alive by bringing our own families to Bass Lake. My kids started at 6 weeks old. We use it as a time for relaxing, camping, boating, swimming and enjoying the lake.
This year we had some big accomplishments. Here’s my daughter Ruby, who likes to go really fast on the tube, all by herself.
My son Brayden has learned to pop up and ride a wake board.
I can even still get a bit of air!
My wife was on the mend from surgery, so luckily I don’t have to post the usual photos of her showing us up… just her being cute and eating watermelon this time.
It was such a fun family trip and it brought back so many memories of my younger days. I’m glad I’m able to give my kids memories at Bass Lake as well! What vacation spots are nostalgic for you? Let me know what they are in the comments!
P.S. – So I made it all the way to the lake for the family camp without my propane line for my stove. I am in charge of all the meals, so I quickly converted my BBQ into a range. I can now say I’ve BBQ’d eggs, pancakes, and refried beans (and they weren’t too bad)!
There are no words to describe the Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, Oregon each year. There are so many amazing artists and one of a kind quilts wherever you look and it’s just a great all around experience. If you haven’t been before, I’d highly recommend adding it to your bucket list!
Check out these photos from the 2016 Sisters, Oregon Outdoor Quilt Show back in July. I bet they’ll make you want to make the trip next year!
I’m always so thrilled to be able to hang my quilts up in this show among so many other amazing quilts and artists. Pictured with me here is my “And the Flag Was Still There” Quilt and my “Coming Home” Quilt. You can watch my tutorial for the Coming Home Quilt HERE.
Have you ever been to the Sisters, Oregon Outdoor Quilt Show? Are you adding it to your bucket list now? Leave a comment and let me know!
It doesn’t get much better than the views in Alaska, quilting, and a cruise! My recent Guys and Glaciers Quilting Cruise was a BLAST and I’m excited to share a bit of it with you (although this short recap won’t even begin to give it the justice it deserves).
I packed up all my supplies for teaching and my wife and I began our drive early in the morning. You just can’t beat more sight seeing along the way, can you?
We got to stop by the tap room that my friend Violet Craft and her husband own. She even let me tag the fridge with a Man Sewing Sticker! How cool is that?? You can check out the Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial that Violet and I did together HERE.
It was such a good time cruising, quilting and teaching with some other awesome man sewers including Joe Cunningham, John Flynn and Luke Haynes. Best of all, the cruise helped raise money for the International Quilt Study Center & Museum (IQSCM) in Lincoln, Nebraska.
And I tell ya, there’s just nothing like having the entire Alaskan landscape as your sewing studio and your beautiful wife by your side for the week!
Check out a list of upcoming Man Sewing Events HERE. I hope to see you at one of them!
We can’t believe it’s already the middle of March! Time sure has zipped right by! You know what they say though, time flies when you’re having fun and that’s exactly how Rob has felt! He has been a busy guy, traveling and teaching his passion of quilting! So far this year, he has been up and down the California coast doing what he does best, having fun with his fans!!! If you’ve ever had the chance to meet Rob, then you understand how passionate he is about quilting! No matter where he goes, he’s bringing it up in conversation! At the grocery store, on the beach, on the plane to Hamilton, MO to film new tutorials, he really wants the world to know how great sewing is! Thank you for following along with Man Sewing and helping Rob to share his passion for quilting with you!! Check out these fun photos from the last few months of Rob’s travels!
February 20th is my 4 year anniversary. For the past few years I have been celebrating my recovery from alcohol addiction by hiking deep into the wilderness and enjoying nature with my newest coin. This year was the 4 year marker without a drink, so my 12 year old son and I did a three day backpack trip in Bug Sur, CA. The destination was Sykes Hot Springs and it was an enjoyable 21 mile hike! My son was a fantastic hiking partner and one of the major reasons I quit drinking. What a blessing to have this time together, a time both of us will always remember. I’m so thankful for the wonderful life I now have and the opportunities I have to improve myself to be a better me every single day. Life is good, friends! Thanks for supporting me in this journey!
Here are some photos I took from our trip!
Last year’s token was also a special one for me. I’m proud of who I am today because of the changes I’ve made in my life.