Masks and Other Musings

This fabric was left from a quilt I had made for our Cooper office.

I was a holdout on mask making.  I really thought everyone else was doing it, so I didn’t need to make any.

Then my husband asked if I could make some for his company.  Other volunteers would make some as well, and together we could supply the 50 folks who were working in the field.

My first masks.

At first I started with a simple pattern because I needed to turn them out quickly.  But soon my small quantity of elastic ran out.   A friend gave me all she had, but together we had enough elastic for 12 masks.

The assembly line.

Once I got the hang of it, it only took an hour to make 6 masks, which included embroidering the company letters on for an added touch.

I searched only to find no elastic locally.  I ordered 140 yards online.  110 yards never made it to me.  The other order of 30 yards seem to have shipped, but only half the order.  My husband thinks the masks with tie straps won’t be used, and I agree.  I have placed two more orders for elastic just for fun, but I have little hope that I will see elastic.

While waiting on the elastic, I went ahead and placed a fabric order in the company color.  It should have arrived last week, but for some reason FedEx has decided to keep it at their Hutchins hub along with the fabric for a throw quilt for my father-in-law.

Now waiting on elastic and fabric, I thought I would experiment with different patterns.  I don’t know that they are any more comfortable than the first pattern, and they do take longer to make.

Then my future niece-in-law asked for a few masks for her and my nephew.  I decided to do three each.  Since they are marrying soon, I had to give them a bride and groom set.  They also have a sorority and fraternity set as well as a fun color set.

I hope to make some masks for a nursing home in Missouri that is in need.  After that, I guess I will keep on making them for whomever needs them.   It is a great way to use up any cotton fabric stash and scrap fabrics.

The latter has given me a trip down memory lane.  Leftover denim from hemming my nephew’s jeans will be perfect for masks as will leftover fabrics from various quilts.  I almost feel like I should send the matching masks to the owners of the original quilts.

A couple of takeaways for you.  If you have extra elastic, give it to someone making masks.  They will appreciate it.  If you have disposible masks to throw away, you may try to salvage the elastic and/or metal nose grip.  After a wash in hot soapy water, they will be welcomed by mask makers.

Speaking of washing, don’t forget to wash your mask every few wears/days.  If you wear yours daily for an extended period, it should be washed each day.  If you just wear it for a little bit of time every now and then, then a good wash every few days should suffice.

I have heard folks say they feel like masks will be part of our new normal.  That is okay by me!  If I ever receive my copious amount of elastic, I will be able to make a mask for every occasion and every outfit.

Bonus Information:  Another upcycle is to use the bendable closure that comes on some coffee packaging as a nose grip on homemade masks.  Again, if you aren’t making masks, then please offer them to someone who is making them.

Bend the ends under so they do not poke the wearer or a hole in the fabric.
Add a piece of duct or electrical tape to secure the end and provide a layer of anti-poke protection.

Funny Bonus Information:  Yes, I have had to wear a few Band-Aids with all the cutting and sewing.  The rotary cutter really can do a number on your fingers.  I have done that twice and hope I can avoid them in the future.  And pin pricks are one of my long-term problems.

If you haven’t checked out this funny video, then please do!  A friend sent this to me; I guess she knew what was going on over here!

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