SquareFlake

SquareFlake Facet Kite Plan

The SquareFlake is the ideal workshop project, both for people who are brand new to sewing and for experienced sewers. Even though it looks complicated, it is an easy and forgiving project to sew. In over 10 years that we have lead workshops, every SquareFlake ever made has flown great. Once the basic concept is learned, it can be applied to make bigger and more complicated Snowflake facet kites.

 

Materials:

2/3 yard (24”) of one color. 2/3 yard (24”) of another color.

4 cabone rings, 5/8”

3 dowels, 3/16 diameter, 4 feet long.

(Note: 2 four footers and a 3 footer would work.)

1 foot of 3/16” i.d. vinyl tubing

3 feet of waxed 30 pound string.

 


From each color of fabric, cut: 1 square, 24”, 2 squares, 12”, 2 rectangles 24”x5”, 1 strip 1”x24”

The 6 squares make the kite, the 1” strip is for making tabs, and the rectangles make the bag! Take a look at the cutting pattern below.


Tab Stock: Take both of the 1” strips of  material. Fold in thirds lengthwise and sew. Which stitch? Yes. I like zig-zag, but it doesn’t matter, since it will be re-sewn later. The kite will need one 4” tab, two 3” tabs, and eight 2” tabs. Total 26” of tab stock.

 

Hem the Squares: Notice that the squares all have pencil lines drawn ¼” in from the edge. Fold and crease fabric along those lines. ON the line, not close to it. Sew the folded fabric. If you want to learn the fancy mitered corners, I’ll show you how. Hem all 4 sides of all 6 squares.

Note: The hemming is the longest process of the whole project.

When you are through hemming, you are more than half done!

 

Sleeve the two big squares: Find the 2 big squares. Lay one down, good side up (means hemmed side down). We need to mark the sleeve for the Spine. Sleeve Note: A good guideline for any sleeve for any stick, make sleeve twice as wide as stick. Our Spine is 3/16” in diameter, so our sleeve needs to be 3/8” wide. Near the corner, mark in the middle and measure out 3/16” and put a mark. Do this each way, both ends. Now draw a pencil line between the marks dark enough to see to sew. Only one square needs to be marked.

 

Take the other, unmarked, big square, and lay it out hems up. Lay the marked square over it, hems down, and line up the squares so the top one covers the bottom one perfectly. Hot tack along the inside of the pencil lines.

 

Find some of the tab stock made earlier, the 1” folded in thirds lengthwise and sewn. Cut two pieces off, 3” long. Fold in half and insert between the two big squares, so each leg of each tab is under a pencil line to be sewn. Put one on each end of the Spine Sleeve.

 

Sew the sleeve. STRAIGHTNESS COUNTS. Back tack on each end.

 

Towpoint: This is the best time to attach the Tow Point, where the flying line will attach. It is possible to do it later, or even last, but the sewing gets a little more tricky. It is easiest to add the Towpoint tab now before any more squares are added. It may be put on at any time, even after the kite is completed, it’s just easiest to do it now. Measure edge to confirm sail is 23-1/2 inches long. 1/3 of that is 7.8 inches. Measure down 7-7/8” and put a mark. Sew tab there. Find, or cut, a piece of Tab Stock 4 inches long, fold it in half, and use Seamstick (1/4” wide double sided tape) to hold it to panel for sewing. Make sure it is ‘square’ to the edge of the panel.

 

Small Squares: Note: The important thing here is that only one Small Square gets sewn in each corner of a Big Square. The best way to insure this is to treat the Big Squares as pages in a book. Pick an open corner of a big square. Find a small square of the opposite color. Lay it in the corner of the big square. It is a good idea, aesthetically, if you want to please the judges later, to ‘match’ the faces of the fabric. In other words, hems face hems, good sides face good sides. It doesn’t affect how the kite flies, it’s just a technique to be aware of. Line up the little square on the big square so the edges and corners match. When you have decided which way is up, and which way lines up best, mark a line vertically, diagonally, on the little square. Hot tack it in place (along the line you just drew) and sew it in place by sewing along the line. STRAIGHTNESS COUNTS. Back tack on each end. When doing the next Small Square, here is where the ‘pages-in-a-book’ theme helps. Lay out the kite, first Small Square facing you, and on the left. Bring over the next Big Square corner like turning a page in a book, and lay it on top of the Small Square. That’s where the next Small Square goes, on that Big Square corner, above the previous one. (NOTE: This is for positioning only! Do not sew 2 Small Squares together!) Now that it’s in the right spot, align it and tack it and sew it as before. Do all 4 Small Squares the same way.

 2” Tabs: There are 4 Corner Tabs and 4 Edge Tabs that need to be sewn to the kite, and it’s finished!

Corner Tabs: The trickiest part of this step is finding the very corners of the kite. Identify the ‘corner’ panels first, and put tabs on them. This helps eliminate sewing wrong panels together, especially if you use tabs of a different color for the corners than for the sides. Take a piece of 2” tab stock, fold it in half and put a piece of Seamstick on the inside of each end. Place the Tab on the Corner so that the Fold is about ¼” away from the Corner of the kite. Place all four tabs on all four corners, then sew them in place.

Side Tabs: Now for the fun part! Between each Corner, there are 2 panels that join at the corners to make a ‘side’. This is where we need those 4 little white rings. Find the Rings, find 4 pieces of 2” tab stock. Fold a piece of Tab Stock in half to find the middle. Mark with chalk. Cover that whole one side of the tab with Seamstick. Put one end of the Tab on one Panel so that the Corner just covers the chalk line. Thread the Tab thru a Ring, and push the ring as far on the kite as it will go. Put the other Panel on the Tab so that the Corners overlap by the width of the hem. Do all four sides.

 

Vinyls: Find 4 pieces of vinyl tubing 2-1/2 inches long. Thread a piece of string thru the hole in the center, then thru a Corner Tab on the kite. Tie a knot. Insert a pencil between the tubing and the tab and pull the knot tight around the pencil. Tie lots more knots. Cut the excess string and move on to the next corner. Do all four that way. Use whatever string is left to make a Knotted Loop for the Towpoint. Note: Surgeon’s Knot followed by Square Knots works best.

 

Frame: Find a 4 foot piece of wood dowel. Round off one end with sandpaper. Push it up into the middle Spine Sleeve. Fit it in to the Tab Stock sewn on the end. Figure out where to cut it so it will fit into the Tab Stock on the other end. Cut it to length, and round off the other end. Slide the stick up the sleeve, fit in to tabs on each end, and out the ½” vinyls over the ends. Find the other two and cut them in half. They go thru the white rings first, then in to the vinyls. If the last one is too long to go in, measure by how much it is too long. Divide by 4 and cut that much off each stick.

 

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