I made a couple of non-quilted, handmade gifts for Christmas. The first is a messenger bag, constructed of canvas fabric. I followed the directions provided by http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/projects-ideas/bags-pillows/messenger-bag_1.html which were very clear and easy to follow. I did, however, make three modifications: the addition of two D-rings, a slightly larger pocket and larger velcro closures.
First, I added two D-rings, one to each end of the strap to allow items with clips to be attached to the bag. I wrapped the end of the strap over the straight edge of the ring and sewed through all thicknesses onto the bag, using a zipper foot attachment so I could sew closely to the ring. I double-stitched a long rectangle and sewed an 'x' through the center.
On the inside of the blue canvas lined bag, I attached a black pocket. The original directions call for a 7" zipper but I had a 9" zipper so I made it slightly larger. In addition, I added sew-on velcro, a 2" x 2-1/4" strip to each side of the bag. The original directions list 7/8" fusible squares but that didn't sound like enough security to me.
A final personal touch is the "tap" pin. Having lost other pins in the past, I secured this one with some thread. My youngest daughter dances tap and ballet and she's ready to go back to the studio in the new year.