I am sure many of you have heard about Morsbags; some of you will be already making them and some of you may have received them. As of the 27th of October 2019 there have been 350,987 Morsbags made which will have replaced an estimated 182,513,240 plastic bags! These have been created within 2,226 Pods which can contain one volunteer or several volunteers, using only recycled or left-over fabric.
Morsbags replace plastic bags which in themselves are a danger to sea life and other creatures and are difficult to dispose of (sorry that statement was like taking coals to Newcastle!). Morsbags are eco friendly as makers use fabric which is at the end of its current life form and recycle it to become a new functional item. They are made by volunteers and given away free of charge. Some pods link up with shops so they can hand these out to customers to carry home their fruit and veg etc. or give them away through events such as ‘bag a village day‘ where one is put through every letter box. Mine went yesterday to a Green Fair where we were supporting the ‘Plastic Free Congleton‘ stall. The rest will go to a local shop and I am also putting some aside to give to friends and family over Christmas instead of gift bags.
If you are reading this then you are probably a quilter and have probably made lots of bags before – beautiful crafted designs that have been patched, colour co-ordinated and beautifully stitched. Morsbags are totally different in that they are very basic and purely functional and only take 30 minutes to cut and sew. The basic pattern can be found here at the morsbag website.
All you need is one piece of fabric 40″ by 18″ and two pieces 18″ by 4″. I start with the handles, pressing one long edge over by 1/2″ and the other long edge up by about 1″, then the handle is folded again length wise to hide the raw edges and stitched closed.
The next process involves turning over the short edges of the large piece and inserting the handles. Two rows of stitches secure the edges and going over the handles three times makes then stronger. The Morsbag label is sewn on the outside.
The sides are then sewn up. While the instructions say a simple row of stitches with a raw edge on the inside, I like to hide the raw edges by sewing a narrow seam with the wrong sides together and then pressing, turning and sewing a slightly wider seam with the right sides together. This makes a neater finish and rather stronger bag in my opinion.
Labels: You can purchase these from www.morsbag.com at 5p each. This identifies the bag as a Morsbag and the finished bags can be recorded. If you are interested you can search the Morsbag website for a Pod near you to join or you can simply register as a Pod yourself and keep it small.
Finally, I have decided that I will only make bags from fabrics I think other people would like (I have seen some that I wouldn’t take to the supermarket – but am I just being fussy?). This way the bags will get used often and will be a welcome gift. I have also adapted the pattern on occasions by adding a lining if the fabric is too thin or lengthened the straps to go over the shoulder etc. Anything goes!
Why not have a go or let us know if you are already contributing to this worthy cause.