Saturday, March 15, 2008

FREE Pattern! Designer Luggage Handle Cover

Here is my free pattern for the luggage handle cover I promised! I created this project to celebrate National Quilting Day, March 15th!

Designer Luggage Handle Cover 
(by Denise Clason)

(2) 6″ x 6″ pieces of your favorite print, matching your luggage. NOTE: Be sure to measure your handle, it may be larger or smaller than my luggage handle.

Measure the circumference and add 1″ for overlap and keep these measurements aside, for now. My "finished" measurements were 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″.

You will need:
(1) 2-1/4″ x 30″ strip of coordinating fabric print. (for binding)
(1) 6″ x 6″ piece of thin batting, I used Mountain Mist 100% Cotton.
(1) 5″ piece of 1″ hook and loop tape, matching fabric.
Coats All-purpose thread, matching fabric
Sulky KK2000 temporary spray
1/4″ quilting foot, and Darning or walking foot
Basic Sewing supplies and quilting supplies, such as rotary cutter, rotary ruler and mat.

1. Press the 6″ squares of fabric.

2. Layer the 6″ squares in this order—One of the prints (face down), batting (spray batting with KK2000), one of the prints (face up). See photo.

(Spraying the batting will keep the layers together while you machine quilt.)

Quilting the Handle Cover:
1. Attach your darning foot to the machine and LOWER the feed dog. (If you do not have a darning foot, you may use a walking foot and create straight stitching, without lowering the feed dog.) Machine quilt as desired. See photo (click to enlarge). (I created a loopy design to match the pattern of the fabric.)

Cut the handle cover to your measurements that you set aside earlier. I cut mine to measure 5-1/2″ x 5-1/2″.

1. Fold the 2-1/4″ x 30″ coordinating fabric piece into a lengthwise strip (right side out) and press.

2. Sew the binding onto the raw edge, RST, to the handle cover. 

3. Stop sewing 1/4″ away from the corner of your handle cover (see photo). Backstitch and cut threads. Reposition your piece so that you can manipulate the corner of the binding, see below.

4. Position the binding so that it is a straight extension of the edge of the handle cover (above, the photo is not exactly straight, because both of my hands were on the camera, you can do a better job!)

5. Then, you’ll fold down the binding strip to lay down along the edge of the cover (photo, above, notice that the binding is squared up on the corner, underneath is a “hidden” miter.) Pin and sew. Repeat on each of the three remaining corners.

Finishing the Binding:  This method is the quickest method for finishing a binding. It has a little bulk, so trim away some of the layers before turning to the other side to sew together.

1. Fold one side of the binding inside 1/4″. Trim the other side to “fit” 1/2″ inside of the folded side. See photos below.

2. Pin and sew all the layers together, trim any extra thickness at the folded overlap.

Click on the above picture to see the details. This shows how I’ve pinned all the layers together for finishing the binding. (It is a little hard to tell, since the circle in the fabric matches so closely!  
what a lucky fluke!)

3. Turn the binding to the other side in preparation for sewing.

5. Pin the binding to the back side of the handle cover. See above. Create a “miter” corner when pinning.

6. Stitch in the ditch on the front side. This is a stitch which is close to the binding and very close to the seam. Do not stitch on the front binding. (the backside of the binding will be stitched to hold it in place.) See photo below.
finished back of cover

Sew on the Hook and Loop Tape:
1. Cut a length of hook and loop tape to fit across the handle cover, short of 1/2″. (I cut the tape in half, lengthwise. This was my preference, you may want to have 1″ width)

2. Pull the two pieces of tape apart. Lay one of the pieces across the handle cover, see below. Sew in place. Backstitch at each end for security.

3. Position the other piece onto the back side.  See above.

4. You are now finished! Place onto your luggage and smile, now you have a designer luggage cover! You’ll never have trouble finding it at the baggage claim or in public!

*** I hope you enjoyed creating this fun and decorative handle cover for your luggage! If you want to see how I made one without a binding, see below:

Layer the prints RST, lay over the batting. Stitch through all the layers as shown, leaving a 3″ opening. Clip the corners. Turn right side out. Press. Slipstitch the opening. Top stitch 1/4″ around all the sides. Machine quilt as desired. (I quilted in a straight line.) Add hook and loop tape the same as previous handle.

I love my new luggage handles! They look so CUSTOM! And you'll never have trouble finding your bags!

 Happy Quilting! Denise Clason


  1. I think this is such a great idea! I can always spot my bag right away on the luggage carousel. And, not to mention the comfy grip and fun personalized fabric! Thanks a million, Denise!!!

  2. I love your step by step directions. so glad i found your blog.

  3. I’m glad you did too! I will try to post a neat pattern every once in a while! These handle covers don’t take very long to make, especially the blue and black version!


  4. will have to try this one!


  5. it’s a fun and quick project, especially if you make the cover without the binding! have fun!

  6. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon
    Luggage covers


Thank you for your comments! I really enjoy what you have to say!