Bags For Carrying On

Our family will soon take our first long airplane trip since having children. Oh, we’ve done short hops, but an hour on an airplane is just enough time to enjoy the take-off, be distracted by the snack, and then start the landing. And anyway, Ryan tends to demonstrate his superior travelling skills by falling asleep.

This will be a six-hour stint, though, and even supposing that the kids are willing to watch a movie (not at all certain, especially for Ryan) or take a nap (also uncertain, especially for Nathan) that still leaves a lot of airplane time. Dave is unworried by this prospect. I am… well, I won’t say that I’m worried, only that I’d like to be prepared. To that end I’ve stocked up on some travel games, snacks, fresh notepads and pens, stickers, that sort of thing.

And of course, in the midst of considering what to take, my mind immediately jumped to the obvious things I could make: individual kid-sized carry-on bags.



Normally my instinct when it comes to bags is to wing it, but in this case I broke down and bought an actual pattern, which I think was a good move, because I’m pretty happy with how they came out. I let each of the kids choose a main fabric from my stash, and since I love all those fabrics in the first place, I naturally love their choices. The bags are surprisingly roomy (I cut down the original pattern to make them 7″ x 10″ x 13″), but still small enough to fit under a seat, or (theoretically) be carried by a small child. Whether they will actually carry them is another question.


As icing on the cake, the need to quilt the pieces before assembling the bag gave me an excellent opportunity to practice free-motion quilting, which is one of the skills I’ve been interested in delving into more deeply. With variegated thread, no less. Those bits alone I had to go display to Dave.

None of this bag awesomeness will have any impact on the kids’ experience of a six-hour flight, of course. I don’t care; I’ve already enjoyed the heck out of making them, and if nothing else, I’ll enjoy looking at them on the airplane.


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