by Sarah Fielke
Oscar has been studying kites this term at school, and he has just finished his term project of making a kite at home. Of course, the Fielke's had to have a patchwork kite, and it turned out so cute I thought I would show you all as a great holiday activity with the kids. Please bear in mind that a lot of the pics were taken by Oscar, who is only nine, so they are a little off!
You will need:
-A piece of fabric as big as the kite is going to be for the back of the kite. Our kite is 80cm high by 50 cm wide.
- lots of scrap for the front of the kite
-Some electrical tape
-The rods from an old kite, or rods from a hardware store
-string from an old kite, or a reel of string to fly with
-some plastic ribbon for the tail
Step 1. Cut a template out of fabric for the back of the kite. We used an old diamond kite for a template, but you can use anything. Even trace a shape onto a piece of newspaper and then cut around the newspaper if you like. If you have a very clever Mum or Dad you could even make a Box kite this way. If you are working from an old kite, or an old kite frame, make sure that you cut the fabric big enough to fit the kite poles.
Step 2. Go through Mum's scrap box and find some good size scraps that you like. Press them flat.
Step 3. Using the foundation piecing method, crazy piece the fabric all over the kite surface with the pattern of the backing fabric facing down. In this way you will have a pattern on the side facing the sky, and the patchwork side facing you as you fly the kite.
If you have never foundation pieced before, start in the centre of the kite, and lay two scraps together as though you were going to piece them together normally, but with the backing fabric behind. Sew along the edge of the fabrics using a 1/4" seam, and then open the fabric up and press open.
Continue in this manner, covering the kite surface as you go.
Step 4. When you get to an edge, trim the fabric back to align with the edge of the kite.
Step 5. Make sure and press everything flat as you go, and press the seams you sew open properly.
Step 6. When you have covered the kite with fabric, you need to roll the edge of the kite over from the back to the front about 1/4" to enclose the seams. Sew along the edge of the fabric, leaving a raw edge behind. If you wanted to, you could bias bind the edges. This bit is tricky, you might want Mum to take over here! Give everything a good press when you're done. You might want to use some starch.
Step 7. Take some electrical tape and fold it in half so that the sticky sides stick together. You now have a strong "fabric" to make into a pocket to hold the end of the kits rods. Fold in half and stitch around three edges of the tape, leaving an open edge at one end. Stitch to the back of the kite. Repeat on all four corners. If you are using rods from an old kite, make sure and test out where the pockets should go, and make sure that the rods are a tight fit to the pockets so that the kite will be slightly stretched when the rods are inserted. This will catch the wind!
Step 8. Insert the rods and tie on the tail. Thread a needle with the end of the kite string and sew through the front of the kite and out the back several times and tie a really good knot to attach the string.
Step 9. Take to school and wait patiently for all your friends to be ready....
Step 10. FLY!! (or run if there is absolutely no wind!)