The straps for the handles were made like I described in my first post ---Out of the trashcan---with a double layer of batting. To get the length I pieced several short strips together. I do like the look of it better that way. I generally like my straps to be about 24 inches, but these ended up about 27 inches. Once it was completely finished, I decided to shorten them a little. Don't panic, I did not un-stitch anything.
I just folded down the handle strap about 1" and then flipped the handle back up and pinned in place. This creates a "tab" look just below the binding around the top.
The handle straps could be made longer and extend down the front of the bag to the bottom seam. This would allow you to add an outside pocket placed between the straps. If you want to do that, the straps should be top-stitched down over the pocket edges before the bottom seam is finished and any inside pockets put in. I would also not use double layer of batting in the stitched down portion of the handles. Just think the process through before you begin.
One bag in floral fabrics, and one in batiks. I can think of several combinations that I would like to do this style in.....all blues, toile prints, black and white prints, all reds, and then maybe a kitchen sink mix where anything goes. A great way to express yourself!
So, no more narrow strips of batting in my storage box or trashcan---absolutely none left, and a nice dent in the strip scrap box. That makes this project a success in my book.