Sunday, May 25, 2014

Quilting and Kite-Flying

    Quilting is a skill that I do not possess.  My childhood friend, Diana from California, has been a master quilter for many years.  This seascape quilted wallhanging was a gift from Diana when I visited her just a few weeks ago.  Heading to the beach to fly kites the other day introduced me to a quilter of another kind.  This was a newly sewn kite by a local Long Beach resident.

Quilt by Diane from Long Beach
     I have been coming to Long Beach, Washington for a number of years now.  Kites are in evidence on every visit.  There is a passionate community of kite flyers.  A few sew their own patterns.  Some kite designs are quilt-like, but the one above is a quilt for the sky.   

   Sewing and kite flying have a few skills in common.  One is being meticulous about details.  Keeping kite strings untangled and kite paraphernalia where you want it is essential, just as sewing rooms need to be well organized.  Rae is a master kite flyer.  His kite rig is evidence.  Dozens of kites, reels of string, stakes and repair materials are neatly stored in this tight space.

    Rae’s newest acquisition of kite flags required the addition of tall three-part poles which were stored on the top of the rig.  Rebar is hammered into the sand, a curving piece of pcv pipe is slipped onto a metal rod and the flag is drawn onto the rod.  The pcv section is then slipped over the rebar.

Rae lowering kite flag rods down from the rig.

The new flags!
    Once the stationary kites were in place, the choice of which kites to fly next came under consideration.  Rae has some huge kites, but the choice for the day was a matched set of sport or stunt kites.  

     Stunt kites are flown using two lines with one in each hand.  Elbows are supposed to be held close to the body.   Push and pull motions of the arms change the direction of the kites allowing the kite to whirl in circles, scream sideways or simply hang in the air at the top of the sky.  As Wikipedia says, “Novice or first time fliers may have difficulty flying a dual line kite.”  I can appreciate that last line!

    When the kite would do what you hoped there would be a fraction of a second of delight before you needed to pay attention again and make the next move. Rolling delight if all was going well.  You can't hear the laughter from me in these photos during near crashes or the joy of the kites screaming sideways!


    Many years ago Rae and his wife Peggy helped teach daughters, Molly and Rebekah, to fly kites.  At the time I had tendinitis of the elbow from nailing on a roof.  The pain lasted a long time and I wasn't sure that flying kites would ever become easier.  Yesterday was pleasing in that there was no pain in the elbows.

     Pup would race after kites, go off to hunt up potential picnic food or go visit dogs.  Once and awhile she would need a break.  We would find her resting in the truck or under it in a dip of cool sand.

     Long Beach wins again for best beach for kites.  Great day.


1 comment:

  1. Wow - so much more to kites than a triangle on a string in my neighborhood parks. What a thrill to be in charge of such beauty and joy!


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