Are you off on your travels this summer? If so this quick project designed
and made by Starr Thomas may be just what you need. Starr explains
"I nearly lost my suitcase because it was the same make as a fellow traveller's,
so I decided to make a distinctive strap using test blocks from a workshop".
This strap has 3D flying geese, but to make it simpler we have given
instructions for ordinary flying geese. But of course you could follow Starr's
example and use up pieces from those samples started and never finished!
- Scraps of patterned red and black
fabrics to cut rectangles 2 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in
- FQ of plain red
- 25cm of black and red patterned
fabric for borders and backing
- 20 x 120cm of wadding
- 70cm of webbing for the straps
6 x 44in plus tying straps
can download a pdf copy of the original magazine pages for this project
Flying South for Summer
No matter where your holiday
is this year, Bognor or Borneo,
Newquay or New Zealand do
take a photo of your luggage
strap and send us a copy.
- Twenty rectangles 2 1⁄2 x 4 1⁄2in
from the scraps of red and black
- Forty 2 1⁄2in squares of plain red
- One 4 1⁄2 x 2 1⁄2in strip of patterned
red and black for spacer strip
- Finger press each square diagonally
in half, or lightly draw the line with
- Put a square RS together on
each rectangle and sew on the
- Press the triangle open onto
the rectangle. See Figure1 for
Figure 1: Constructing the flying geese
Note: You would normally cut off the
extra background triangles at this point,
but we have left them to give added
strength to the strap. Repeat adding the
second square in the same way. Press
- Sew ten geese into a strip all pointing
the same way. Make two strips.
- Sew a flying geese unit to the
spacer strip and add the second
unit the other side. Check which
direction your geese are flying.
These geese fly away from the
TIP! If you need to adjust the size you can add more geese
or change the spacer strip.
Borders and Backing
- Three strips 1 1⁄2in wide from the
full width of your fabric
- One strip 6 1⁄2in wide from the full
width of the fabric
- Measure the length of your strap and
cut two border pieces to this length -
you may have to add extra fabric
from the third strip. Sew to each side
of the pieced centre with RS together
and press towards the border.
- Measure and sew two pieces for each
end in the same way. Press as before.
- Cut a piece of wadding to the
exact size of the strap and tack
carefully. (You are only tacking
wadding and flying geese at this
stage not the backing).
- Cut the webbing in half and tack one
piece to each end of the pieced top
and wadding. Place the backing RS
down onto the strap (the webbing
should be inside this sandwich). Sew
1⁄4in seam round most of the outside
leaving a turning gap on one long
side. Sew the seam again on the
short ends to secure the webbing
- Turn to the RS through the gap and
hemstitch the opening closed. Top
stitch 1⁄4in from the edges and add
as much quilting as you want. Starr
has simply outlined the geese.
- For added security you could add a
label on the reverse with a contact
phone number. Then if you case goes
astray, it stands a better chance of
finding its way back to you.
Figure 3: Other ideas for straps
First published in Popular Patchwork July 2002