Quilters! We can do this. We can help and we really need to do it now and do it quickly. Now that the CDC is recommending masks for everyone, quilters can make a huge difference.
Yesterday a friend sent a link to a New York Times article about cloth facemasks. Please at least read down to “If you’re lucky enough to know a quilter . . “
I’ve made probably a dozen different mask patterns or variations and I’m sure most of the one I’m making now came from one or a combination of those patterns but I’m working in conjunction with a nurse practitioner from a hospital in Louisiana and this is the pattern I’m making.
My pictures are not great. I chose a fabric that’s too dark but I’m trying to get 6 more masks finished today. Maybe I’ll take better photos tomorrow.
Remember – these are not meant to be heirloom pieces. Get them made and get them in the hands of someone who can use them.
Please let me know if something isn’t clear or if there’s a better way to explain.
There is a “pocket” in the back and I am not providing filter material. I figure therein lies the potential for liability so they’re on their own with a filter. For the ones I’m sending family, I’m telling them a couple of folded paper towels are better than nothing.
These masks are two layers because the medical folks I’m working with in Louisiana feel the three layers get moist too quickly. Also, they do not want elastic. It does not hold up to washing in hot water and sanitizing. They want something that will bend around the nose and I’m using plastic twist ties which I get from Pleasant Hill Grain. You get 2,000 for $8.99 and shipping is reasonable. Looks like they may be getting yeast in soon! 🙂
Here’s my pattern:
1/2 yard of fabric will make two masks
1 plastic twist tie
This will give you two masks:
With fabric folded selvage to selvage, cut one 9″ x width of fabric strip and 4 1-7/8″ width of fabric strips.
From the 9″ strip, cut 2 pieces that are 9″ x 8-1/2″ and two that are 9″ x 6-1/2″.
Use 1/2″ seam allowances except when sewing on the binding.
Place one 9″ x 8-1/2″ and one 9″ x 6-1/2″ right sides together. You’re going to be sewing along one 9″ edge. Mark 2″ in on either side. Sew from the left edge to the left pin. Then leave the middle open. Sew from the right pin to the right edge. (This is the opening for the filter pocket. NOTE: After a few masks, you may want to just eyeball it. It doesn’t have to be perfect. We’re just establishing the opening for inserting a filter.
Open it up and press the seams open.
Back to the right side, top stitch just on either side of the seam to keep those seam allowances down.
With right sides together, sew the side seams. This will mean your filter opening is going to be about 1″ from the top of the mask. Turn, press and you can mark where you wish to do the pleats or just eyeball it. By the way, at this point, the bottom is just raw edges. That’s ok.
When making the pleats, make sure they’re facing downward. Your opening for the filter is on the back side but it’s at the top. You won’t need to do this but in the photo above, I put the pin over where the filter opening is so that I could use this to show you that the pleats go downward.
I mostly just eyeball it and then fold the side edges together to be sure one side isn’t way shorter than the other side.
Topstitch down both side edges to secure the pleats.
Now, all you have to do are the ties and insert the wire for bending around the nose.
If you don’t have the #25 gizmo for making “bias” tape (which I’m not making, simply fold your 1-7/8″ strip in half, crease, open up and fold both sides toward that center crease. Press, then fold the whole thing in half.
The gizmo makes it quicker but the first 25 or so masks I made were without the gizmo.
Mark the center of the mask (top) and the center of the folded strip. Tuck in the ends of the strip as you’re sewing them.
Place the twist tie with the center lined up over the center of the mask (and I eyeball the center of the twist tie.
Poke the twist tie up far enough that you’re not going to sew over it. Re-pin and sew the binding on. I start at the far end (raw edge) of the binding and sew towards the mask and then across the mask and on to the other raw edge end of the tie.
Be careful when sewing. Don’t try to get so close to the edge that you run off and don’t catch the under side. The raw edges are way up at the center so you’re going to have them nailed down even if you aren’t right on the edge — Remember .. we need to get these made quickly!
You can feel where the ends of the twist tie are. Sew a little seam near the edges so they don’t go slipping to the wrong spot.
Sew the binding to the bottom the same way as the top but don’t worry about a twist tie at the bottom.
When sewing the ties to the mask, at the spot where they connect to the mask, I back tack and re-inforce the stitching because that’s where there could be a bit of stress.
Press everything and start on the second one!