New Mask Pattern • Sept. 2020

I found a new mask pattern that I think will be the best one yet. It’s from the Japanese Sewing Books site, and she has multiple sizes on one page, or you can download them one by one. She also has a video which clearly explains how to make one. I wore one of these masks around today for a while and not once did my glasses fog up–a real plus!

I use two (2) layers of quilting cotton and one (1) layer of featherweight nonwoven interfacing–it doesn’t really matter what kind. Just really light nonwoven. I made the Large size, but I might try the XL size next time–it will give a little more coverage.

I like to add a little casing for a flat piece of aluminum across the nose bridge so it will snug in. I cut a piece of matching fabric about 4 1/2″ long and about 1″ wide. I turned in one short end and stitched down this seam allowance. Then I finger-folded the raw edges under on the other short side and one long side.

I aligned the long-raw-edge side with the raw edge of the lining piece, centering it and placing it at the top of the lining. To finish, I top-stitched it down on two sides, then made the mask as the video indicates. That last long raw edge will be caught into the seam.

I bought some of these “nose wires.” Funny name. I used this elastic cording, threading it through the little casings on either side (watch the video). I cut each piece 9″ and then threaded it through and knotted it.

I didn’t want the little tip on her pattern, so I just folded it under when cutting. It looks cute, for sure, but I wanted to make the nose strip casing, and it wouldn’t work with this.

You can see me modeling my mask on Instagram.

Yep. I’m no Lady Gaga in the mask department, but I’ll bet she doesn’t wear hers to the grocery store, either!

April Flowers

Gridster Bee April 2020

We had our April showers this week, and while the verse says that the flowers aren’t supposed to show up until May,  Nancy of Patchwork Breeze, our Queen Bee for the Gridsters this month, asked us to make these giant blooms for her block…so I made her two, just because at this time of Being Shut In, why not?  It’s the Totally Tulips Quilt from Missouri Star.

Yellow Quilting Tools Block

I also am attracted to happy, yellow posts, and this one from Karolina fit the bill.  She brings string-pieced blocks to a new level with her photo styling.

Roz Chast Cartoon April 2020 COVID

Roz Chast says it best.

Oliver Meme

More Instagram memes, which also remind me to be grateful that I’m esconced in a house with a sewing room with all that I need to sew.

April Masks_35

Beauty Queen in an Face Mask

I chose to put a little dart at the nose and chin of my accordian mask with ties.  I had run out of elastic when I made this batch. Then the universe, and Elin, smiled on me, providing more elastic for more masks.  While I am choosing to serve our country during this critical time by making a few masks, I think there are very many ways to serve.  Maybe your best way is to stay home, or take care of your children, or bring a neighbor some groceries, or put something in the mailbox for your mailman (I usually put treats, but yesterday I left a mask), or treat the people with who you live with a little more patience, or call up someone who is alone and have a chat.  We can all do our part.

Somewhere in this mess of a house, or in my garage somewhere I have a whole box of black pipecleaners that could be used for  shaping in a face mask.  Can I find them?  No, but I found a box of my grandmother’s large silver hairpins, given to me upon her death several years ago.  Thank you, Grandma, for doing your part in donating wires for face masks!

I updated my Face Mask page, after getting the official names for masks.  I found another version on the Washington Post website, so now you have your pick of what you can make — if you need to for your family/friends/health care workers.  Our county put a “wear a mask” mandate out there at the beginning of the week, the neighboring county did it yesterday, and Los Angeles will adopt this as well.  If you don’t have a mask made of batik, then good-quality quilting cotton will do, and in a pinch, a bandana.

Why are you doing it that way Meme

This hit a little close to home.

Fast April 2020 icon

Our church is inviting everyone to fast and pray with us — or just think on it, if you aren’t affiliated — this week on Good Friday.  Our main ideas are “that the present pandemic may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized.”  I personally can’t do much for the caregivers, health workers, scientists who are scrambling to find us treatments and vaccines, but I can pray and fast that the suffering may end soon, and that those who are on the front lines, supported.

Discouraged Sailors Advice Meme

The Times We Live In

Zoom Chat April 1, 2020I 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.

tiny nine patches

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.

T-shirt Mask COVID-19

Click here to watch.

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).

Covid-19 Rivco projections.png

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.

Keep quilting!

Stay Safe Meme.jpeg

 

 

COVID-19 Face Masks

Not Social Distancing

Not Social Distancing!

NOTE: There are some updates to this post below.
(Sunday, April 5, 2020)

Our Inland Empire region of California hit print yesterday (New York Times), when speaking about the many quilters and sewists who are making facemasks:

“Sewers, we’ve always stepped up and done this thing,” said Denise Voss, the head of the Inland Empire chapter of the American Sewing Guild. “We’re made for this time. We’re happy to stay home and sew. And we all have stashes of fabric.” Her group, with about 130 members in Southern California, is making hundreds of face masks at the request of the Riverside University Health System Medical Center.” (New York Times)

Today I’m here to pass on information about face masks.  I mentioned I was going to use the mask pattern from Dora of Orange Dot Quilts, as I think it seals up higher on the cheeks and nose. I see so many mask posts on Instagram, that I’ve started a Favorites tab for them.  I’m most drawn to the stories of people who are making them, as I’m sure you are too.

Tamara, who commented on my last post, alerted me to JoAnn Fabrics’ kits for making face masks, also detailed in the publication Business Wire.  An examination about whether or not we should even be sewing face masks came across my feed; The Craft Industry Alliance article says proceed, but with caution, making sure you have a place to send/bring your facemasks in this time of social distancing.

Face Masks France

Even sewists in France are being asked to help.

Our efforts as sewists across the nation were also covered in a couple of national news outlets:

Face Masks NYTimes.png

The New York Times covered it from a more human interest viewpoint, telling the story of an army of sewists, from nearly-out-of-work costumers to those who have chosen to set aside their regular work to make masks:

“But the D.I.Y. pieces — generally stitched together with a few layers of cotton, elastic straps and, on ambitious designs, a flexible bridge over the nose — offer at least some protection. “Better than nothing” has become a popular phrase in the tight-knit sewing community. Some doctors are wearing the homemade fabrics over surgical or N95 masks, trying to prolong the coveted masks’ limited life spans. Other masks are being handed out at health clinics and nursing homes.

“It frees up the surgical masks for the people who are the highest risk,” said Dr. Nicole Seminara, a doctor at NYU Langone Health who is volunteering in the coronavirus ward. Dr. Seminara started a social media campaign, Masks4Medicine, to solicit homemade masks from the public.

“Are they effective like an N95? No,” she said. “We’re not claiming they are. If we had all the N95s in the world, it would be wonderful. But there’s a shortage right now.”

Face Masks

Source: New York Times

The Huffington Post covered Face Masks For Personal Use, and Face Masks For Medical Use, listing sources and quoting experts.

Generally it seems to be that we can make masks for those who don’t have direct contact with patients, perhaps front office workers who still could use the masks — thereby saving the short-in-supply N95 masks for critical care use.

One last thing: please write to your senator/congressman as well, telling them how you feel about the fact that we are tasked with providing masks for critical care usage.  While we all are happy to do our part — as we have generous hearts — I’m sure we’d prefer that our nurses and doctors on the front line are well-protected as our nation struggles through this horrifying disease.

UPDATED NEWS ARTICLES/SOURCES:

  • Some hospitals are not collecting masks, some are.  Should we be sewing them?
  • 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.
  • PBS broadcast a segment about all the mask makers. (new!)

Face Mask Vermeer

One of many COVID-19 memes on Instagram

Below is a little graphic I found while browsing IG.  I have no source on it, but it looks believable and makes me feel better about our efforts.  While it does say that fabric masks do not filter viruses, they may offer some protection against the droplets that carry the viruses (according to other sources).

face masks filtration.png

I saw one video where the maker cut up a HEPA filter to use in the mask.  I have no info on that one!  I’ve also seen people suggest lining them with coffee filters, nonwoven interfacing and used dryer sheets.  That last one sounds pretty dubious, however I do like this one:

Face Mask Antivirus.jpeg

Kidding!  But looking at all the humorous memes has helped my mood a lot (my daughter posts a ton of them), as did all your very kind letters from the last post.  I still seem to be distracted a lot, and my mood goes up and down too much, but in hearing from other friends I realize I am not alone.  Finally, my sympathies go out to those who all of a sudden have children home.  Here’s a meme for you:

covid19 working from home.jpeg

Carry on, quilters.  You are awesome!