I was going to post a follow-up to the last post about masks, and I have (scroll down), but I wanted to write about my very first group Zoom meeting ever. It was with the Gridsters, a group of women I’ve come to know over time. Rachel and I have been doing parallel quilting together now for seven years, working in various small organized groups, and this was the first time we’ve talked face-to-face. I met Linda this morning for the first time, as well as Nancy, who organized our Zoom conference.
We found out that Kelley, with her friends, has made over 2,000 face masks, while the rest have made smaller amounts, or masks for friends’ or personal use. We each talked about our projects, how we are coping (Gov. Cuomo’s daily briefings were all mentioned as a must-see), and avoiding TV/print news in the evening. It was fun to see the variety of projects, to hear everyone’s voice. Each of these women, like you, have different stories, different situations, live in different parts of the country, but all of us quilt. We are so isolated now, doing our “i-sew-late” and really enjoying it, but it was amazing to get together to see each other, to make us feel a little less alone. This meant more to me than I can say.
Now, the post I originally wrote, with good information about the Times We Live In:
Background: If you read one article about why we need to stay home, let it be Thomas Pueyo’s Coronavirus: The Hammer, and the Dance. And if you listen to one podcast, I recommend this episode of The Daily, when a NYTimes editor gives a moving description of living with someone with a coronavirus infection — her husband.
Or maybe neither read, nor listen, to this, because they will scare you into staying home and taking it seriously. They have made me more aware, having listened to/read these late one night when I couldn’t sleep, worrying about my children, my parents, and that terrible series of pronouncements when the GDP was of bigger concern than human lives. But ever the hopeful, I believe in us. We will figure it all out after this year is over (and yes, I now am leaning towards a year…hoping they’ll get a vaccine by that time).
Okay, on to more updates:
UPDATED NEWS ARTICLES/SOURCES:
- Some hospitals are not collecting masks, some are. Should we be sewing them? While it’s evident that if you have a couple of boxes of N95s laying around, the medical centers would rather have those, but still, I can’t rule out homemade masks.
- Deaconess Hospital list of Where to Donate Face Masks Use the filter for your state, and scroll down. It’s not always apparent to me that they are wanting home made masks, as some list N95s as their request.
- Liz wrote in with these tips: “Using a modified Deaconess pattern, starting with two 7×10.5″ instead of 6×9, and stitching seam binding across the top and bottom of the mask (40″ piece for top, 36″ for bottom). Also very important to make an OBVIOUS FRONT and BACK side to the mask, by using two different fabrics or the reverse side of the main print on the back/inside portion.” I think her caution to make an obvious front and back side, if you are using the Deaconess pattern, is a great idea. If you are using the Orange Dot Quilts pattern, the shape of it denotes a front and back already.
- It’s Time to Make Your Own Face Mask.
The new idea is that all of us need a mask to wear, unless we are at home. So you put it on when you go out, and you take it off and wash it when you come home. So maybe make a couple of masks. The last link above has two mask patterns: one made from an old T-shirt (to see it to believe it) and one that makes the version with the curve shape for the nose). I’m still an Orange Dot Quilts mask fan, and she now has the aluminum strips that go across the nose for sale. There are some good comments on fitting the mask on the last post, if you want to read them.
This morning I found The Fabric Patch’s website about masks to be an invaluable resource, complete with videos and straight talk about the difference between the two kinds of masks and which non-woven interfacing to use inside your masks to make them better. I’d recommend her third video, also gives information about what kind of wire to use to go over the nose bridge, and tie placement (don’t sew it at the edges).
Here’s our county’s latest projections into May as of Tuesday evening (still no flattening of the curve, but I’m hopeful). I like the new phrase: “Stay in Place • Maintain Your Space • Cover Your Face.”
How to stay sane in these times of ours? Gardening, reading, knitting, cleaning out, baking or whatever you choose, but realize that I am not raising children or trying to school them. So one of my goals is also to support parents of young children, especially when you can’t go and help them out physically.
While I admit to being shaken off course by all the terrible news, angry some days, weeping on others, sitting glued to the screen on still other days, I’ve had more conversations with quilty friends than before. In this time of uneveness and wobbly lives where pithy quotes can bring me to tears and #covid19memes can make me laugh, what steadies me is keeping my hands busy.
And of course, all of you. Thank you for your notes, for your encouragement, for sharing your lives.