Free quilt pattern: A Whole Lotta Love

February 9, 2021

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Don’t be surprised if you start humming “What the world needs now, is love—sweet love!” when you see the pattern that APQS Dealer JulieAnn Chavez has shared. With all the turmoil in the world today, it’s the perfect project to send a heartfelt message to someone you love.

Her quilt “A Whole Lotta Love” was inspired by the deaf community, and especially by the pandemic.

“We always wave ‘goodbye’ with the ‘I love you’ sign language!” says JulieAnn, who is deaf and fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). With the pandemic affecting every aspect of life across the globe, staying socially distant means the only way a quilter might be able to share a warm hug with loved ones is sending them a quilt made with love to wrap around them.

Though JulieAnn chose red and white specifically to reflect Valentine’s Day, the quilt could be made with any colors in the rainbow. And your loved ones will get the message loud and clear thanks to the clever way she incorporated a heart between the fingers of the hand blocks.

JulieAnn used her APQS Millie equipped with Quilt Path to stitch out the most appropriate pantograph—ever!

She found a pattern called “Signs of Love” by Anne Bright Designs that takes the theme to a whole new level. From the heart blocks all the way down to the quilting stitches, this quilt is definitely one to love!

JulieAnn fell in love with sewing as she watched her mom make clothes for the family. Her heart would skip a beat when her mom let her help. In middle school, cooking and baking sessions in Home Economics class couldn’t move fast enough—JulieAnn was too excited to get to sewing. Her mom recognized her passion and gave her a sewing kit filled with goodies. She still has her tomato, wrist pin cushion, and pinking shears.

Her first quilt was a patchwork Christmas tree skirt that she made for her mom, lovingly cut out with those same pinking shears (no rotary cutters back in the 70’s). Soon family life put quilting on the back burner as JulieAnn’s two boys were busy with sports. But as they got older and eventually left the nest, she found more time for her hobby, and eventually her quilting business.

So why does someone with so much ingenuity call her business “The Quilting Nerd?” The business moniker was inspired by a sibling’s loving tease. During a text conversation with her sisters, JulieAnn and her sister Misty (who likes quilting too) began discussing a quilting project. That’s when their youngest sister called them “quilting nerds”. Instead of taking offense, JulieAnn took inspiration from her words. They danced in her head and left a lasting impression. The name was a perfect fit for her new custom quilting and longarm business!

After researching different longarm machines, JulieAnn fell in love with an APQS Millie and added one equipped with a Quilt Path to her business in 2018. She says, “I was so truly impressed with the services and professionalism by the APQS team that I just had to join their team!” She joined the APQS dealer family in 2020.

JulieAnn’s quilting passion extends beyond her business walls and into her community, where she belongs to several quilt clubs. Additionally, she attends several Deaf Quilt Retreats annually throughout the country. She even co-founded the Northern Virginia Deaf Quilters, which meets the first Saturday of the month in Montclair, Virginia. If someone flashes you an “I love you” sign at your next quilting retreat, be sure to wave back. It could be that “quilting nerd,” JulieAnn! 😊

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