Is everyone out there okay?
Are you dealing with Stay at Home orders from your state government?
Are you washing your hands?
Are you wearing a mask out in public?
Are you making masks?
Are your bored out of your gourd?
Are you sick and tired of cooking?
If you have answered “Yes” to three out of seven of those questions, this blog is for you.
I am okay at this moment. I’m okay, my DH is okay, my kids and grandkids are good, my mom is fine (although bored to tears and back again). The business that the DH and I own is considered an essential trade, so we’re still working, although I am working from home.
Let me tell you a little something about working from home: I hate it. While my office isn’t exactly an oasis in the middle of a demolition and environmental empire, it’s my office and not my dining room table converted into a makeshift work area. On one hand it’s great – I can go to work in my pajamas! On the other hand, there is no separation between work and home and I’m keenly reminded exactly why, years ago, that the DH and I decided to run our business out of another location and not smack-dab in the middle of where we live.
Another thing I haven’t mastered is the restaurant issue. There are only two people in our household, so most nights (pre-COVID) we ate out. There was really no reason to cook for just two people. Now I am confused. Not so much with the not- being -able -to- eat- in- at- a restaurant issue, but this whole ordering thing. Before when take out was desired, we either ordered ahead on-line or called it in. Now I have to find out if the restaurant is still open, when I can place the order, and how I pick it up (Is it curb-side? Do I go in?). Some of our favorite places to eat are only open on weekends. Some aren’t open at all. I just pray that they all make it through this mandatory Shelter at Home edict.
A lot of my friends are quilting like crazy. Every now and then my phone pings and I get pictures of completed UFOs or new projects they’ve started. And I’m glad for them. I, however, am not among those folks.
I am making masks. And that’s who I really want to talk to this week – the mask makers. I’m not jonesing to make any quilter who isn’t making masks feel badly. But for those of us who are undertaking that project, this blog’s really for you.
There are dozens of mask patterns out there, and you hear the pros and cons for each. I chose the pattern off of Craftpassion.com because I felt it gave a little more secure coverage. By this time in mask production, I imagine you’ve found the pattern that works best for you, and you’ve got your mask-making down to an assembly line construction process. I have. I prep my fabric over Friday and Saturday. I cut out on Sundays and sew the outside fabric and interfacing halves together as well as the linings. Then on Tuesdays through Fridays, I make masks. On a good night I can make 20. I’ve currently made a total of several hundred. Part of those will be shipped out to Baptist Hospital. The others are earmarked for family and friends and others who have medical conditions that warrant a mask.
It’s not hard work, but it is wearing. I think about who I’m making those masks for and where they’ll be used. But the burden that weighs me down is the why. Why I’m making them. The reason. And the fact that we all may be wearing masks for a while. Which means on some level, even after the hospitals and other medical facilities have all of them they need, we may still be churning masks out (although probably not to the degree we are now). Are you feeling this burden, too? If you are, I wanted you to know you’re not alone.
During World War I and II, women (and some men) knitted socks, made bedding, and rolled bandages. Now during the COVID battle, we’re once again picking up fabric and thread, and fulfilling a need for our fellow humans. This time the enemy can’t be seen, but he is there…lurking…not really caring if we’re democrat or republican, jobless or essential, or what our socio-economic background is. He attacks without discretion. And just like those before us that did all they could to combat the enemy, if making masks helps, I’m in.
So, if you’re among the mask-makers, take heart. Although you may be one solitary figure at your sewing machine, there are thousands and thousands that are sewing along side of you in spirit. Soon (hopefully) we can file away our mask patterns, stop shopping like mad women and men for ¼-inch elastic, and go back to our quilts. I sincerely hope it’s sooner rather than later.
But until that time, sew on, fellow mask-makers. You’re not alone. I’m right there with you. Their lives are worth our time and fabric.
Love and Stitches,
Sherri and Sam