Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Raspberry Ketchup Luggage Tags

I'm sure you are wondering what Raspberry Ketchup Luggage Tags could be about? I know it's a strange name, but bear with me - I do have a reason why I'm calling them that. But first, let's talk about food! I'm sure you've all seen sites like allrecipes.com where you can find not only recipes, but ratings and reviews of those recipes. I love these sites and take advantage of the reviews to determine whether or not I might like to invest my time making the dish, and to see what pitfalls or improvements I can glean from the reviewers' experiences. BUT...invariably, there are those who give a recipe a half-star and say something like this:

"I thought this was just awful! My dog wouldn't even eat it! A waste of ingredients - I threw it in the garbage!" And THEN they say: "And I followed the recipe exactly, except that..." 
  • "I added mushrooms instead of pecans."
  • "Instead of French bread, I used onion rolls, I left out the cilantro, omitted the mustard, and added feta cheese."
  • "I didn't have any heavy whipping cream, so I used non-fat yogurt."
  • "I used non-fat cheese, not-fat sour cream, substituted olive oil for the butter, and cut the sugar down from 1 cup to 1 tablespoon."
  • "I was out of raspberries, so I used ketchup instead." (on the theory that they are both red?????)
Ok, Ok...I admit it. I made up that last one...chuckle...but some of them just leave me scratching my head! If you leave out or substitute half the ingredients, you can't say the recipe stunk BECAUSE YOU DIDN'T ACTUALLY MAKE the friggin' thing!

Having said that...it's far easier to "do as I say, not as I do." I found a cute idea for luggage tags in the Summer 2011 issue of BH&G's Quilts and More (love that magazine).

I decided to make it "exactly as shown" except that...
  • I used pieced jelly roll strips instead of one solid piece of fabric.
  • I substituted a regular, large snap for the magnetic snap.
  • I printed my own personal info on ink jet printer fabric sheets instead of iron-on transfer paper using their template.
  • I used non-fusible batting instead of fusible, and skipped the interfacing.
Uh...just a FEW little changes...and here's what I produced:


  Cute! But, as I fondled and played with it a bit, I observed that with only the one snap (and it would have been the same with the magnetic snap as well), the corners tended to flop down and I wondered how that would work in the airport baggage-handling craziness of rolling belts and burly baggage tossers. So I grabbed my seam ripper and snipped off the snap pieces, replacing it with a strip of Velcro all the way across. MUCH better, and much more secure!

Then I looked at my new masterpiece some more, and thought about where I would actually PUT the tag on my luggage. The swivel hook would need somelthing to hook onto and the business end of my hook was a bit FAT (maybe it needed some of those non-fat substitutions those reviewers mentioned above!). I grabbed my large "checked baggage" bag, as well as my smaller carry-on, and examined them both. One had a somewhat suitable orifice for the swivel hook, but the other would have flopped around too much and seemed likely to get caught on something. Hmmm...then I thought...the airlines use long, sticky strips of plasticy-papery stuff to put the 3-letter IATA (International Air Transport Association) airport code on each piece of checked baggage to they know which airport the bags are going to, such as SEA, LAX, etc. Of course, for the VERY FIRST TIME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE, I had actually REMOVED the sticky strips from my bags when I got home from my last trip, so I can't show you a picture, but I think you know what I'm talking about.

Anyways, I decided to use that model to fashion a different type of tag. Here's a "before" picture of my largest bag. Hot pink ribbon, so I can spot it easily, and my info tag was hastily conjured up using an old French Laundry clothing tag - hey, it's "green" isn't it?

And "after" - my oh-so-pretty, secure-from prying-eyes new luggage tag - a long, skinny tag with a couple of strips of Velcro. Again, I used homemade 2 1/2" strips, but this time I used two lines of Velcro - one at the very ends, and another closer to where it wraps around the handle - with the personal info label in between.

Open, I used two sets of Velcro

I like them both, but neither is all that much like the Quilts and More pattern I originally set out to make. So I dubbed them "Raspberry Ketchup Luggage Tags," in honor of my made-up review above :-)

I guess you could say it's much ado about nothing...you can get those free labels right at the airline counters. But of course, if a sewist can fashion something - ANYthing! - out of cloth, we will! And if it's pretty, so much the better! Hmmmmm...I wonder if I should make one with ruffles? Ball fringe? Prairie Points? Yo-Yo's, anyone?


Cathy said...

Oh so adorable and when i can really concentrate i will attempt one or two

Yarni Gras! said...

HYSTERICAL post! I love to read the comments too...and think the same thing! Love your funky tags....perfect!