I'm sewing fabric face masks for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin during quarantine.

Coronoavirus has us all holed up in our homes until further notice. My husband is working from home, and my boys are off school through at least the end of April.

This is a historic moment, and I wanted to document a day in my sewing life for posterity. I grabbed my camera Wednesday, April 8, 2020, and captured images of what was going on around Van Handel Headquarters. Even though this time is filled with tension and anxiety, and I want to remember it. Maybe it’s the ex-journalist in me.

On April 8, I finished some PPE for a friend who works at a hospital. He requested two scrub caps and a face mask in Milwaukee Brewers fabric. His colleagues are getting sent home sick, and other hospitals are sending ventilators to my friend’s facility.

He needs some cheer, and if I can sew some, I’ll do it.

On this day I also worked on fabric face masks for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. An acquaintance who works there put out a call on Facebook for masks. I had quilting cotton in my stash and time on my hands, so I set out sewing.

Usually I’m a committed selfish sewist who DOES NOT sew for hire. But this feels different. I can stay home, and I can sew. That’s how I can contribute during this crisis.

And if your sewing practice is a respite while you’re quarantined and/or you’re not interested in making masks, that’s cool, too. Don’t let yourself be guilted into sewing. Our underpants-sewing pal, Sophie Hines, has a powerful IG story about why it’s OK to NOT sew masks, and I can’t say I disagree with her. (It’s called “Sewing Masks.”) TL;DR: The scandalously wealthy health care system is failing to provide workers with proper equipment and now is guilting sewists into making masks, scrubs, and whatnot for no compensation. (Told you it was a hot take!)

In any case, it’s your sewing practice, and you have the right to do what you want. “No” is a complete answer if you’re asked about making fabric masks. As for me, I have a relationship with Children’s, and I want to help sick kids, their families, and the people who are taking care of them. So here I sew.

Here’s the Work in Progress video:

Links of Interest

The Brewers fabric was supplied by my friend, but you can find lots of sports team cotton fabric on Amazon.

These are the masks I’m sewing for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

This is the scrub cap I made for my hospital friend.

My camera with starter lens.

I sew on a Babylock Elizabeth.

These Kai scissors are the jam and dangerous in the wrong hands. (Maybe dangerous in the right hands, too.)

My T-shirt says, “Sew, A Needle Pulling Thread,” which references two things I love (sewing and “The Sound of Music”). It’s from Maker Valley, and while they no longer offer this particular shirt, they have a bunch more that speak to my little sewist heart.

Hot tip: Buy mylar helium balloons from Dollar Tree. They last FOREVER. We have month-old balloons from my 5yo’s birthday party!

My Rowenta iron is a beast. If you’re on the market for a new iron, you might like this:ย Buying an iron for sewing: 5 irons less than $100 from Amazon.

The goldfinches have been all over the Droll Yankee bird feeder (similar).

I have a steel squirrel baffle and it works great keeping those fatty fat squirrels out of the bird feeders.

Hey, are you my neighbor in the 414? Here’s People’s Flag of Milwaukee.

P.S. Here are some other quarantine-related posts:

Well, This is Weird, Eh?
Six Legit Quarantine Sewing Suggestions (Should You Be Interested)
See Ya Next Year, Camp Workroom Social

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Video music by Joakim Karud