Jackson County Group is Answering the Call - One Mask at a Time!
By Lori Johnson
It was the first day of spring, when the call came out. Because of the Corona Virus, there was a possibility that protective masks could become in short supply and folks handy with a needle and thread were asked to help make 200 masks.
A new group of heroes blossomed. Groups like the “Sewcial” Club from the Hub at the Lunda Community Center and the Jackson County HCE were contacted and in turn, notified its members of the call. However it wasn’t just groups that went into action. Individuals picked up their needle and thread as well. It is estimated that there are already over 35 people at work for the cause, and it would be impossible to name all the individuals who brought out their sewing machines, gathered fabric and supplies, read the instructions and got busy. Having so many in the area who are talented quilters meant that fabric supplies were readily available to those who wanted to help could get started immediately. In one weeks time, 200 masks, give or take a few, have been dropped off. There has been so much participation that a new goal of 600 masks was asked for. Those who are participating learned that not only is it a wonderful way to pass the time during the “shelter in place” policy but also a way for neighbors to help neighbors.
This project was announced on WWIS radio as well WEAU-TV but in case you haven’t seen the directions for sewing face masks and would like to join in on this needed project, read on:
The fabric can be any color or print as long as it is 100% cotton...like you would use for a quilt...and the back side should be cotton flannel. The thinner cheap flannel works best. You may have an old sheet you can cut up with either the top cotton or bottom flannel part. Look in your scrap boxes of fabric, these do not require a very big piece to work with.
Here are step-by-step guide to sewing medical face masks,
1. Cut 2 fabric pieces 6 x 9 inches
2. Top= cotton print Inside – light flannel
3. For ties – cut 4 –18 x 1 ½ inch strip –cotton same as front if possible
4. Use pattern to help mark pleats. Pleat the 3 pleats all in the same direction, put a pin to keep them in place (both on front and inside piece) Iron down to form good pleats
5. Place front side down with the right side toward the top of the sandwich.
6. When you have folded the long ties into bias like strips and sewn them so they are not open. Lay them 2 on each end of the 9” piece ½ from top and ½ from bottom. Do this to both sides of the rectangle. You may want to put a small know at the end of your ties so it does not fray.
7. Place back side down with the right side toward the bottom of the sandwich.
8. Now sew along each end of the rectangle with ¼” seam allowance
9. Sew the top edge closed
10. Flip open the sandwich making sure the ties are all out
11. Press seam flat
12. Flip back to right side out and sew bottom shut also sew across the top
13. Press pleats
14. Finally, pat yourself on the back, because you are making a difference!
When complete, drop off your masks at Spaulding Place where there will be a box there for them for the most efficient distribution and least amount of external contact. They will be taken and sterilized for use by any area medical facility, care centers, and assisted living housing determined to have the highest need, as well as to individuals who are more susceptible to the virus who might be needing them. As stated earlier, it would be impossible to name all the “Mask Angels” who are doing their part during this crisis. Wouldn’t it be great when this is over, if all who did participate came together so the community could give them a hearty and well earned thank you for being the heroes that they are?