Free quilt pattern: Flight Path

March 16, 2021

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When I saw the quilt “Flight Path” by APQS Dealer Lyn Crump, my mind immediately jumped to a trip my family took to Australia years ago, when I was teaching at a machine quilter’s show in Mittagong. Her amazing birds winging across the crisp white background reminded me of the long flight to get there, where nothing but clouds, sky, and an occasional peek at the ocean below was visible for hours. Yet the excitement of the adventure ahead made us feel like we were soaring on cloud nine—just like her birds!

Lyn’s birds are foundation pieced, which greatly increases accuracy and makes it easy for even a novice quilter. The flying geese use Eleanor Burns’ assembly technique, which produces two units from a square of fabric. The units are then trimmed down to the precise size needed so that assembling the quilt is simple. If you’ve never tried foundation piecing, check out our APQS Foundation Piecing Video to help you get started.

Lyn first started designing a foundation-pieced bird in late 2020 when she was trying to encourage a new quilter to try foundation paper piecing. The first bird was black and white on a rainbow background. Though her pupil is not really a “blue” person, Lyn decided to sew a quilt with blue and white fabrics as a teaching sample for the new quilter’s shop.

Lyn’s creativity has seen her win two Best of Show Awards—one for her “Featheration 2Blu” quilt (shown below), and one for “Feathered 5iever”.

Though she loves traditional style piecing, Lyn’s creativity really blossoms in the quilting process. Her pieced quilts include lots of background “real estate” where she can create another story or layer to the quilt top. Lyn tries to interpret the meaning or purpose of the quilt and create a quilted background that extends the piecing. No wonder her “Feathered 5iever” quilt below won Best of Show!

In “Flight Path,” Lyn wanted to use circles to illustrate the wind currents behind the birds’ flight. The longest circle path is quilted with colored Glide thread (appropriately named “Cloud”) so it stands out from the other quilting.

The path was sketched first with a blue water-soluble marker before being put on the frame. The straight lines moving diagonally from the Bird in Air blocks were also marked with the water-soluble marker prior to loading on the longarm. The alternate lines were also quilted with the Glide Cloud thread.

Once the quilting with the colored thread was completed, she changed to white Glide thread and played! Since there were birds, of course Lyn had to include feathers (her favorite fill), plus try some different backgrounds behind them.

She also really loves the “matchstick” fill (straight lines stitched about 1/16” apart –about the width of a wooden matchstick) and plans to use it a lot more for her feathers.

Wind swirls, rainbows, ripples … some were quilted with rulers, but most were stitched freehand, and as Lyn put it, “All done with a smile on my face as I love to ‘throw’ my APQS Millie over the surface of a quilt and see the life of the quilt shine through!” Fortunately, many of her customers say “do what you think is best” so she gets to enjoy their quilts and the challenges of “listening” to their quilts and putting more life into their blank canvases.

Lyn’s been longarm quilting on APQS machines for 13 years. Even though she’s got lots of experience (and tons of talent!) Lyn says she tries to incorporate new ideas and to try new “quilty” things in every quilt of her own. As a dealer for HabandDash Threads in Australia, she has a rainbow of color inspiration at the ready. A corner of her studio showcases her extensive personal thread stash (kept separate from the business inventory) on timber moulding rails that her father-in-law made for her.

Her latest passion is dyeing fabric, which has inspired a new interest in wholecloth quilting. Though it’s small at only 19 inches square, her wholecloth titled Rainbow Garden packs a whollap. It was hand painted and quilted with silk threads.

Lyn’s work uses creativity and ingenuity in sometimes unexpected but brilliant ways to make the quilting layer an expansion of the story that the piecework tells. The quilt called “Geta Teaghlach” (The Family Gate) is the perfect example. It was an ice dyed piece of cloth that was quilted to represent a pair of wrought iron gates with scroll work that includes family initials in morse code.

Even when she’s using morse code to tell a story with her quilting—there’s one thing that is undeniable … her astounding talent is no secret!

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