Let’s Go Fly a Kite!

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March 3rd was the annual Zilker Park Kite Festival in Austin and it inspired me to make my very own kite! I don’t know where I originally got the idea to use fabric and make a patchwork quilt, but this tutorial was very helpful: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-patchwork-fabric-kite/2009/06/29/

I didn’t follow the instructions exactly because I was looking at a few other tutorials at the same time, and I got turned around with all of the different instructions; so, the day of Kite Fest our kite didn’t actually fly! I was very disappointed since I had stayed up so late the night before building it, but I didn’t give up! That night we replaced the spars (rods) with slightly thinner dowels (less dangerous!) and put them on the correct side of the kite (my biggest problem was trying to fly it upside down all day…Hooray for late night tutorial misreads!). I also added pockets for the rods to go in on each corner and modified the way I finished the edges. Then, we made the tail bigger to add some more weight. For those of you wondering, this style of quilting is called crazy quilting or crazy patch. You either start in the middle or on one side and quilt the fabric to the back as you go…very fun!

On Monday I met Spencer at a park near his work on his lunch break and we had a wonderful picnic where we tested the new and improved kite! The weather was perfect and the kite flew amazingly! We let out about 150′ of string to my best guesstimate (based on how long the spool was and how much was left on it)! Unfortunately/ fortunately all we had were phone cameras so we had to go back on Tuesday to fly it again! The weather was much colder Tuesday and the wind was quite a bit stronger; but the kite still flew! And, my amazing garage sale camera lens finally came in handy ($50 for a brand new zoom lens)!

After our picnic I went by the quilt shop to get some fabric and show off, and they loved it so much they’re planning on posting it on their blog! It should be here in a week or so: http://honeybeequiltstore.blogspot.com/

If you’re in Austin and need fabric, Honey Bee is the place to go! They have the best fabric and are super nice! I go in just to visit some days! They also know just about everything about quilting and offer loads of great classes (like my kids sewing camp coming up in June!).

I’m thinking of posting more kites on Etsy, if I can find a good source for kite parts (rods/clips/string). I don’t know that anyone would want an expensive kite body with cheap parts! If you want your own, feel free to message me with requests. And be sure to leave lots of comments!

Here is Spencer at kite fest trying to fix it for me (notice the bars on the front!)

And here are some pictures of the wonderful kite in action!

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And here is me with the kite (on the nice warm day)!

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Pinwheel Quilt

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Ok…I’m back. New goal- 1 post/week. My problem is remembering to photograph my work! I’ve got finished projects for the next few months if I can keep up the 1/week rule, so wish me luck!

This quilt was done as a Christmas gift (2 1/2 moths ago!) for my Granny. The tutorial comes from my favorite website, Moda Bakeshop (www.modabakeshop.com). Moda Bakeshop is full of great tutorials, made by people who use Moda brand fabric. It is also where I find most of my favorite patterns! This one is called Eli’s Wheel and the tutorial can be found here:http://www.modabakeshop.com/2011/09/elis-wheels-quilt.html#more

It uses a pre-cut “jelly roll” (one of my favorite cutting shortcuts). Jelly rolls consist of 40 pre-cut strip of fabric 2 1/2″ x 44″ that can be combined in a variety of ways. If you’re new to quilting or have limited cut space or bad wrists, jelly rolls are a great option because they drastically reduce the amount of cutting you have to do and they are very accurate (both important for quilting).

Here are just a few examples of the variety you can get with jelly rolls (2 by me – 1 on the to do list)

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Here are some better views of the pinwheel quilt. For my next quilt I want to attempt either free motion quilting (VERY hard/ scary) or hand quilting (time consuming!).

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