A very brief history of Geoff’s decorated kites:


One of the first really successful rip-stop & composite fighter kites that I made with no sewing was a square korean kite with a square central hole instead of the traditional circular hole (the square square korean). A simple variant for lighter winds with no central hole flew extremely well – but flying felt incomplete with just a simple square in the sky.

The chance discovery of a book of traditional American quilt block patterns offered me a vast choice of patterns perfectly suited to decorating a simple square. Even the name of the pattern Road to Heaven seemed destined for a kite sail!

I had to learn to appliqué without sewing. If traditional kite-makers can appliqué with paper and glue… it had to be possible with fabric and double-sided tape – despite the fact that fighter kites are small, and the weight and balance of the finished kite is so critical to precise control of the kite.

Road to Heaven proved to be an ideal way to learn – the kite not only looked good in the sky, it also flew just as I wanted it to. The kite is now over 10 years old, I am still flying the original after hundreds of flights and repeated unplanned landings on land, in seas, lakes and rivers, so I now know that tape construction offers a long flying life.




The Road to Heaven quilt block pattern

But Road to Heaven was just a beginning…

A multitude of available traditional quilt blocks suggested many more different kites to try and build. I soon found that different patterns demand different ways of constructing the sail -– in order to keep the weight down to a minimum. I also found that the different patterns can also impose their own individual flight characteristics on the kite – presumably because of the differing weight distributions and differing air-flows over the sail.

I am still building square quilt block kites using traditional patterns, but I have also developed ways of designing totally new “mathematical” quilt blocks – I am certain that I will never have the need to repeat any design.

The techniques I learned on the simple square kites have now become my standard method for all of the different shapes of kite that I build.



Introducing my kites

Appliqué without sewing

A Few questions and answers

Different shapes of kite:


Buka & Classic Korean

Other traditional shapes

Trapezium & stacks

Fighter Kite Gallery