The following is a letter from our Chapter President, Diana Hotelling,

The shortage of protective face masks for health care personnel is being widely reported. With COVID-19 concerns still in the forefront of our minds (and lives), the pressing question is: Is there anything we, as makers, can do to help?

There are strong opinions on both sides of the conversation. Fabric masks won’t protect the wearer from droplet inhalation … Any barrier is better than no barrier …

Several resources are now popping up to help makers know what types of masks might be helpful, and where they can be donated. A few days ago, both Wooden Gate Quilts (on their Instagram feed) and Dublin Sewing Center (via an email to customers) put out information on mask making and donating.  I reached out to both organizations for permission to distribute their links with this email but did not hear back.  If you’re on Instagram, you can find a link on Wooden Gate Quilts’ profile, and Dublin Sewing Center has a link to their email blast from their Facebook page. I hear that other local organizations are also making information available, including the Valley Stitchers and The Sewing Machine Shop, so keep an eye on your email if you’re on their mailing lists.

In addition, ASG national headquarters sent out a very informative email last week, with a link to the website launched by ASG’s webmistress Janice Blasko.  The site has mask sewing instructions as well as a list of locations needing masks.  Since the launch, several California locations have self-listed as needing masks.

I’m including links to two additional references that might be of interest: a  recent blog post by the Craft Industry Alliance, Should Makers Sew Fabric Masks for Healthcare Workers?  and the CDC’s Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks  (their discussion of homemade masks is at the bottom of the page).

I hope this information will be helpful as you plan your good-works sewing. Please take especially good care of yourselves and your loved ones during these troubled times.

Note from Kathleen: The Featured image is a free embroidery design from the Embroidery Library you can find here: Free design in multi-sizes. They also offer In-The-Hoop (ITH) facemasks in two sizes.