Sunday, April 12, 2020

Masks--First Finish 2nd Quarter 2020

Mask supplies
Happy Easter! It will be a different holiday as we are still social distancing. I look forward to a FaceTime conversation with our daughters. We plan to cook a ham dinner as is our tradition although we won't have as many sides since it is the two of us!

In Oregon, we were asked to wear a mask while we were in the presence of others. Also, there has been a shortage of masks for healthcare providers as well as grocery clerks, postal employees, delivery drivers, etc. Many sewists have been stitching and donating masks for those people who need one.

In the grocery stores, there is a plexiglass screen between the clerk and the customer to provide a safer environment during the check out process. Stores limit how many people can shop at one time. Toilet paper, dog food, flour, soap and dried beans continue to be in short supply. We've even been allowed to pump our own gas as that provides us with a greater degree of safety.

The governor announced that we are under a stay at home order until the state has had no deaths from Covid-19 for 10-14 days. There has been no projection on how long that will be. This week, the governor also announced that school is closed until fall. Distance learning will continue and those seniors on track to graduate will be able to do so as educators have come up with a plan. Her message continues to be stay at home.

In the world there are 1,783, 941 confirmed cases of Covid-19. 405,972 people have recovered; but, 109,312 people have died. In the United States, there are 533, 378 confirmed cases, 32,026 people have recovered; but, 20,601 people have died. New York, Maryland, Louisiana, Michigan, Florida and Georgia have the most cases. In Oregon, there are 1,447 confirmed cases and 51 people have died. Many states, which have many Covid patients, have set up makeshift hospitals in stadiums/parks/etc. to handle the patients.

My husband, Bob, is the one who takes care of our essential tasks like grocery shopping and mail pick up. He is the one who fills me in on what is going on in the community. He misses his gym and coffee routine. Bob's tried a few online
Packages of bias tape
exercise sessions. He has visited with his buddies via texts and phone calls. It isn't the same.

On sunny days, he rides his bicycle and putters around the yard. It is good he has a large yard to maintain. Still, not being able to go when and where he wants doesn't wear well on him. Yesterday, I trimmed some of his hair as it was tickling his ears which bothered him. I may trim more as time passes!

With the exception of a daily neighborhood walk that I take with our dog, Bailey, I haven't been "out" in more than a month. I do miss the pool and I miss my quilting friends. My body misses the massages and chiropractor sessions. I even miss teaching classes; but, I'm happy to hang out at home. Stitching projects have kept me occupied. I'm not bored nor do I feel the need to go out. I've started lists of supplies that I need to purchase from various local businesses when the social distancing and stay at home order is lifted.

I thought that I would have spent time on my embroidery software lessons and read a bunch of books that I have on hand; but, so far, stitching feels the best way to occupy my time.

Our oldest granddaughter had a fever for a week. This was after she and her family had practiced social distancing for the first twelve days of the governor's oder. She had a cough for two days. Following the protocol, the family went into social isolation for two weeks. No one else in the family experienced her symptoms.
First completed mask

When my daughter was ready to venture outside their front door, she asked me to make their family some masks. I found a pattern on the Craft Passion blog. The reason I chose that pattern was because people who had been wearing masks commented that contoured masks were more comfortable and that the elastic became uncomfortable with longer wearing times so ties were the better option.

I liked that this pattern could be varied to add an additional filter and it included an optional nose wire. I liked that I could use some of my vintage bias tape supplies. I've had the majority of the bias tape packages since I helped my mom clear my grandmother's house about fifteen years ago. Quite a few of the packages were priced between ten cents and $1.65!

My grandmother probably used the bias tape as a way to finish armholes and necklines of clothing as well as aprons that she stitched for herself. She taught sewing to kids through the 4-H program. She could have used the tape to help her students finish their projects.

She also liked a deal or a bargain, so she would buy a few packages when the tape was on sale and put it away for a future project. She gave away most of what she stitched. If she were here, she would have been one of the early producers of masks.

Finished masks
If she had a matching color of tape for her project, she would rejoice in her good fortune. If she didn't, she would reach into her stash and use something. She could have been an original to "coordinate" tape with her fabrics! Her mantra was she would be wearing the garment and no one would know what color the tape was and she didn't care! I used six packages of bias tape from the drawer; however, I still have a good selection remaining!

For the nose wire, I cut a piece of pipe cleaner. I had pipe cleaners on hand. I also added a piece of muslin to add a third layer to the mask. Three layers is now the recommendation for masks. I stitched the masks with thread that was from the days of my garment sewing.
Masks in use

The first mask I made is reversible. It doesn't have a pocket to slide an additional filter through and it doesn't have a nose wire. I added those features to the remaining masks that I made. In a day, I could complete four masks. For my family members, I have made them two masks. One mask to wear and one to be in the wash is what is being recommended at this time. While I won't be making masks in large quantities, if someone requests a mask, I will stitch them one. I have plenty of batik fat quarters still on hand!

After I finished stitching the masks, I washed and dried them as is the recommendation. Also, I wanted to see how the various components held up. The pipe cleaners came out. Perhaps, I should stitch across the ends of the bias tape after I insert it the next time I make these. It might be better to wash these in a lingerie bag to keep the ties from tangling; but, otherwise, the masks held up well.

Last Friday morning, my husband dropped the masks at my daughters' home. The grand daughter's waved from the door so everyone followed the appropriate protocols! She shared a photo of the family "masked" up to go out!

I cut out and completed 12 masks from the 1 1/2 yards of fabric. I have now used 12 yards of fabric from my stash this year. This was goal number 19 on my 2nd Quarter FAL (Finish A Long) list. I have posted my finish to #2020falq2finish on Instagram.


Rebecca Grace said...

Hello and Happy Easter! I appreciated your mask post today -- haven't made any yet because my family members were loudly refusing to even consider wearing them, but now they are agreeing reluctantly. Both of my teenage sons work at the grocery store, and they were just encouraged by the store to wear homemade fabric shifts to work if they can get them -- the store is still trying to obtain masks for employees but doesn't have them yet. And grocery stores near us are announcing that they will start turning customers without masks away on Tuesday... My husband who has a heart condition probably doesn't need a mask because I've "grounded him" indefinitely -- he doesn't leave the house. I'll need one to wear when I grocery shop (an hour tops?), but my sons will need something that they can breathe through and wear comfortably for an 8-hour shift. Most of what I see people in our community wearing are the pleated rectangle masks, which I assumed would be more comfortable but now I'm second-guessing myself. Can the pipe cleaners be removed for washing and put back in afterwards? said...

Rebecca Grace, I may make a few of the pleated ones; but, the ones with the pocket for an additional filter. . .even if it is a paper towel are the better option. These do get hot; but, any mask will make you feel warm. Yes, I think that the pipe cleaner should be removed before washing. I decided against stitching it it because some people might not want it. I understand from my daughter that the mask was fine for her grocery shopping expedition yesterday. Thanks for coming by!