Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Recycle your fabrics with Morsbags!

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We came across this excellent idea when treking round a few blogs ...its a great way to use up fabric scraps/old duvet covers/old jeans/charity shop fabrics and make something very useful too plus its good for the environment. According to the News last night Marks and Spencer will soon be charging for their plastic bags so this idea is even more relevant! If you haven't got big enough pieces - just join a few pieces together (with good strong seams of course) and then use your patchwork as you would a "wholecloth" Morsbag.

The aim of the founder of Morsbags was to encourage the use of fabric bags so that we stop using plastic ones, encourage people to get into the habit of taking their own bags into supermarkets and to provide a pattern for people to make their own (visit the Morsbag website for instructions in pdf / word and a demo). For more about Morsbags click here. Once you've made a few for yourself why not start your own pod and do what the Living Coasts group led by Barbara did and give them away! There are pods all over the world so you can also join an existing pod (see their map)

This is Barbara's story...

"In May 2007 I saw it (Morsbags) on BBC Breakfast and was immediately taken by the idea! I joined the website and named my 'pod' Zappers (as in plasticzappers!). I battled on alone for a few months, making bags and giving them away in all sorts of places; and then I emailed the Paignton zoo. They were very taken with the idea and put me in touch with Living Coasts which is another aspect of the zoo, but in Torquay.

Living Coasts asked me to go to their Marine Mayhem Day in the summer which was to highlight the plight of the marine animals and the plastic problem. I made 150 bags for this occasion on my own, and gave them all away at LC.

I had talks with their volunteer co-ordinator and we arranged to have day workshops at the zoo and LC (for volunteers) on the last Wed and Fri in the month. We have had four of these so far which were very successful and we had a handout outside Tesco in Paignton on 13 Oct. and gave away 130 bags!

Our next handout is on Dec 1st and we are working hard to make anough bags for this and for the following plastic bag amnesty during Dec. at LC. when people can come to LC and bring their plastic bags and get a free morsbag (hopefully).

It is great fun to be a part of and also to be helping the environment and the marine animals."

Some of the photos are from the workshop in early October - looks like they had a great time and made lots of Morsbags (as well as fitting in a few coffee breaks to admire the view!).

Like many quilting groups Morsbags is about having fun while you're sewing, meeting with like-minded individuals and doing something creative and worthwhile!

Thanks to Barbara and the Living Coasts group for the photos - well done for giving away so many bags! We think its a brilliant idea!


zappers said...

Thanks Liz, I hope this inspires other people to do the same thing! If you don't want to start a 'pod' be a solopodder. I would just like to add the there are many, many more pods all over the country who are doing the same thing as us!! Join us in our attempt to aradicate plastic bags, save the marine animals from a painful death and clean up our planet! Log on to morsbags.com and take a look

zappers said...

PS I noticed that I spelt 'eradicate' wrongly and I apologise! slip of the finger!

Anonymous said...

Hi there - I am Simply Sewing, another morsbagger, although on a smaller scale than Zappers. I was orginally a 'solopod' but now have 4 friends who join me every month or so for an evenings sewing. I have given out more than 160 bags and have received nothing but positive response to the whole concept.

I run a small business making soft furnishings so have loads of left over pieces of fabric which would otherwise struggle to find a useful home if I did not make these bags.

Anonymous said...

What a brilliant idea! I can see a pod starting here in Medway!! Irene Baldock

Lyndsey-Jane said...

thank you for alerting me of this wonderful idea. I am new to sewing and this seems a great way to practice wuth my sewing machine whilst doing some good to the environment. I hope to bags for all my family/friends as part of there christmas present.

Sarah@livesimply.org.uk said...

Hi there, I am writing a piece promoting morsbags for the livesimply website: www.livesimply.org.uk - and I would love to use your photo of the colourful bags, from the top of this post. Would that be OK? And how do I credit it? Thanks!

Corrina Gordon-Barnes said...

Morsbags is the perfect example of an inspirational venture - one which uses our passions to find a win-win solution to a great need in the world

Read about this here:

Corrina Gordon-Barnes

henry @ house clearance said...

i love seeing such lovely things come from reusing other fabrics, its adds a touch of character to things far better then buying something from the shops

BizzieLizzie said...

the morsbags idea has really inspired people and the whole concept of individuality coupled with creativity and helping the environment is as other previous posts said a win win in all respects.

house clearance said...

some very nice work and great to see people getting together and doing something create and recycling



About Us

The Cotton Patch is a family run patchwork and quilting business which was started by Jean Sewell in 1990. The shop is situated in Hall Green, Birmingham and expanded in 1999 to include the shop next door. Originally offering Mail Order catalogues, The Cotton Patch established one of the first patchwork and quilting websites in the UK. The Cotton Patch continues to be a premier supplier of patchwork and quilting fabrics, tools and notions and supplies customers throughout the UK and the world.