Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Luggage tags

Yesterday after teaching I wandered around a department store trying to think of a good birthday present for my friend Kaoru-san.

"Hmm. Does she need notepaper? No. How about a scarf? No. Some flowers? No, she's leaving on a trip in a couple of days. Trip. Trip! She's leaving on a trip and I could make her luggage tags! Do I know how to make luggage tags? Nope but I'm going to try!"

It is amazing what the subconscious mind can absorb when one doesn't know it. A few months ago I stumbled upon a website that had a tutorial for making luggage tags. It stayed in my mind because the blogger had used Japanese sushi fabric! So I knew it could be done. But what materials did I need? Fabric and interfacing I've got. But I vaguely recalled that plastic sheeting was used and a Teflon sewing machine foot. I went to my local craft store and found those two items and hurried home to experiment. But first to find that blogger's website again. That in itself took some time but, praise the Lord, I stumbled back onto it, sushi fabric and all!

The instructions were very easy and in no time I had something looking like a luggage tag. My Teflon foot didn't work out though because I needed to zig-zag on the plastic and it wasn't a zig-zag foot. Again the subconscious mind went to work and I remembered that someone once said if you don't have a Teflon foot try putting paper between your regular foot and the plastic. No problem at all!

The problem came when the instructions called for using the button hole attachment. Of course I didn't read the instructions all the way through at the beginning. Just came to the button hole step and thought

"Whoa. Maybe I can't do this after all."

I had the attachment, but did I know how to use it? No. Could I find the instructions that came with the machine years ago? Yes. Can I read the Japanese instructions? Barely.

To put it bluntly, I messed up.

"AARRGGH! After all that work and the last step is a mess! I can't give this to Kaoru-san!"

Put everything away and I went off to teach for two hours but at 8:00 I was back ready to try again. This time I made two tags simultaneously and I practiced using the button hole attachment beforehand and though I was a little crooked, it worked!

I am ridiculously pleased with my luggage tags and I will keep the messed up one for my own use!

I Hope Kaoru-san likes them.

Thank you Morah for some great instructions!


Quilt Pixie said...

what a great gift idea! And thanks for the reminder re the paper and plastic as I really don't need yet another foot for my sewing machine :-)

Barb said...

These are just wonderful, Tanya. But I can't picture how they attach to the luggage...
Could you explain it?


Samantha said...

Great post. You do include interesting facts about the subconscious mind and how it works. Do check out http://www.subconscious-mind.org, they have a whole host of interesting and helpful articles. Also,maybe you can use some tips here.

kaoru said...

I love luggage tags which you made for me!
These are great! soooo nice !
Thank you Tanya-San xxx
And I was impressed your blog about "tags" KAORU

Amanda said...

Now that is one great idea - no problems finding your luggage on the airport carousel with your own unique labels on. Isn't the human brain a wonderful thing, the way it absorbs information and then, with just a little prodding, pops it up again when needed.

Shelina said...

Thank you for reminding me about the luggage tags. They are something else I have meant to do but haven't gotten around to doing.

artfilstitch said...

What a clever idea! Thanks for the post and pictures, I am going to try and make some for a gift.

Faith said...

what a good idea it shows that walking away and having a break does some good I have to do this at times when I get frustrated with projects and things just not working out

Tazzie said...

Wow Tanya, they look wonderful. I think I'll have to make some of these too.

Colleen formerly of South Africa said...

Loved the luggage tags...and how clever you are. Belated congratulations on your anniversary. I am just unpacking at the new house...we are finally NOT living out of suitcases. I did find a few photos of my mothers old house... will post soon to blog, Hugs to you.

meggie said...

Thosse tags are just perfect! I know how to use them, & it is always good to have something to identify your luggage at the Carousel.

Belated happy Anniversary for you & Tetsuxx