Quilting for Peace ~ Grocery Bag Sew-Off

on December 10 | in Sew Good (Charity Sewing) | by | with 21 Comments

Don’t forget to note your participation in Quilting for Peace Team Sew,Mama,Sew! by the end of today (Friday) in the forum for your chance to win a copy of Quilting for Peace. Yesterday we shared our first team project, Wrap Them in Love, and today we’re introducing our Grocery Bag Sew-Off!

The Great Grocery Bag Sew-Off
We were inspired by morsbags and The Green Bag Lady, two groups that give away cloth bags with the goal of reducing usage of paper and plastic shopping bags. See our post about Morsbags and The Green Bag Lady here. Make 5 cloth bags between now and December 22, and you’ll have a chance to win one of 15 fabulous prizes from Fiskars! In fact, for every five bags we’ll give you another chance to win… You could challenge yourself to sew a new cloth bag for everyone on your holiday list! Or, take some guerilla action and stand in front of your local grocery store to hand them out as people head in (won’t they be surprised?!). We’ll also give you an additional chance to win if you fill a bag with food and drop it off at a local food bank.

Our Challenge to You
1. Make cloth bags to replace paper & plastic through December 22.
2. Make lots of bags!

  • 5 bags = 1 chance to win
  • 10 bags = 2 chances to win
  • 15 bags = 3 chances to win

3. Bonus challenge: Fill your cloth bag(s) with food and drop them off at a local food bank.
4. Share pictures of your bags in this forum thread. You must post pictures of your bags for entry in the contest. We will check the forum thread on December 22 for final entry tallies.

One of Irene’s many cloth bags, all made with her Classic Tote Pattern.


Morsbags estimates that every cloth bag saves the ecosystem from approximately 80 plastic bags. Your time and skills can really make a difference!

Some of Beth’s 2008 holiday gifts made with Irene’s Classic Tote Pattern.

Call to Action
It’s time! Make cloth bags to give away and let us know by December 22. It’s actually very easy to whip up tons of cloth bags, assembly style, in one afternoon. Make a difference with your talents and your sewing machine! Fill us in on your efforts in this forum thread so we can enter you to win fabulous prizes from Fiskars.

Pin It

Related Posts

21 Responses to Quilting for Peace ~ Grocery Bag Sew-Off

  1. Stephanie says:

    I wish I had known about this before I had given out all of my presents! I decided this year to not used wrapping paper and to encourage everyone to use cloth bags! So I rushed around making everyone their own gift bags that can double as lunch bags or grocery bags (depending on the size of the gift). What a busy crafting season it has been! Between making presents and all their wrappings… Well worth it to see happy faces when they received their presents though! Good luck on saving those plastic trees! hehehe!

  2. Wendy says:

    Bummed that I didn’t see this before now. I may or may not have time to get this done by the deadline (another post of yours mentioned that it was the 31st, not the 22nd). But I’ll do it regardless.

    I’ve got a pattern on my site that is easy enough for the kids to do (and uses thrifted sheets, which makes it pretty cheap also), so I’m calling all the little people I know today to plan a day of sewing and then of handing them out at the grocery store. Which is a fantastic idea, btw!

    Thanks for the motivation!

    Oh also, for anyone who’s interested… I’ve also got a pattern on my site for fabric produce bags made from sheer curtains.

  3. Kara says:

    I’ve been making Irene’s Classic Tote for over a year now, I think I gave away 4 last year as Christmas gifts, and have three of my own. They’re fabulous! I love how sturdy the handles are. Thanks again Irene!

  4. Val Miller says:

    I’m in … I have started … and hopefully will be able to add pics soon!!

  5. carolyn says:

    I’m a morsebagger from way back…so far I’ve made and given away over 100 bags! I go to our farmer’s market and when I see someone who needs a bag I give them one. I sure get funny looks (something for free?!) but most people are grateful.

  6. Ashley says:

    I am definitely going to try to do this, if not for the give away at least for the environment. I’ve also seen a few people on etsy have made some sandwich and snack bags to reuse and I think those are a really great idea b/c we don’t think about how much plastic we use in that form either. I try to use plastic bowls I can reuse for my daughters snacks or reuse the plastic baggies like if I use it for goldfish or something. Anything we can do to help! I love the idea of handing some out at the grocery store too! Definitely a great challenge! Good luck to all who do this; our children and grandchildren will be greatful!

  7. Lee says:

    I didn’t think I would have time to make any of these, but boy do they work up so quickly. I even dug in a bag that was meant to be given away because it didn’t have any quilting fabric in it. Inside I found some great canvas and twill that make great sturdy cloth bags. I have 7 done already and found more fabric to work with…this is getting addictive!

  8. Nanamlv says:

    What a great idea to use for giving Christmas gifts in instead of wrapping paper or paper bags. Am looking forward to making many. Going to make a pattern out of interfacing so it will be available when I have the time to make more bags. Thanks for the free pattern.

  9. Methyl says:

    I can’t figure out how to post a photo. Help please?

  10. The cotton bags are best choice for gift this season. It’s a great start that you are trying to make people eco-friendly.

  11. sunshine and happiness says:

    love this challenge! can’t wait to make these bags. love using and sharing the cloth bags. so fun.

  12. Kelli says:

    I have been wracking my brain for something to give my mother – she is really getting into cloth bags, so I think I might make her a set with some of the home dec fabric I have left over from my couch cover.

  13. molly says:

    denyse schmidt has a nice pattern on her site as well. it is free. great idea!

  14. allie says:

    How neat! I love this contest! I’ll dig through some old fabrics and see what I can come up with!

  15. Mama Lusco says:

    Thanks for linking the patterns. I already have grocery totes on my Christmas list…now I’ll try to add a few more!

  16. ~Helena~ says:

    This is a great idea. I’m going to get started this weekend. I see last minute Christmas gift(reusable tote bags), hopefully filled with some yummy treats.

  17. Megan says:

    So awesome! I won the giveaway over at The Green Bag lady, so I need to make some to pass along the reusable bag love!

  18. Coralee says:

    I love this! Thank you Sew Mama Sew for promoting such a great initiative for green bags!

  19. Nikki says:

    There’s no way I can participate at this time – I’m still making xmas gifts! But, it’s a great idea. I made some green cleaning kits for a couple of friends who just got new diggs and wrapped them in bags made from t’shirts. They were fun and so easy to make.

  20. Lauren says:

    I was looking for a good tutorial for tote bags to give Christmas gifts in, and I love Irene’s! I’m going to get to work cutting my first 5 today!

  21. GingerB says:

    I have some misc home dec fabric that I did not know what to do with (I made some shoe bags already). I’m thinking I will use it to make some of these for Christmas gifts for family and friends!

« »

Subscribe to the sewmamasew.com newsletter

Sewing inspiration, projects, events and offers delivered conveniently to your email.


Get the latest sewmamasew.com news via