April 10, 2020

alternative mask pattern

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I came across Bonnie Hunter’s (remember her from a seminar at the museum?) mask making pattern while looking for something else. I like her ideas-am nearly out of elastic and hers uses t shirt yarn for ties. The use of the yarn and a slight design alteration will make this more comfortable I think. I’ll be using some of my own tweaks of other patterns incorporated with her ideas. I never feel guilty putting my ideas together with other folk’s good ideas for an even better amalgamation. Click here for a video of Bonnie’s mask making technique. The steps for the corona mystery quilt will resume on Monday. Those who want to intersperse some patchwork between masks, this will be for you. I will be including a pdf file of the directions for those who work better from a written pattern. We are close to […]
April 9, 2020

wearing a mask

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. The word must be getting around about our mask making proficiency. We’ve had a request from the Air Force Base for 100 masks, and do not have that many on hand. We turn ours over to Roswell every Friday. I know this would be a very fast turn around, but if anyone could make even just a few and get them out to Jackie at the museum tomorrow between 12:00 and 1:00, perhaps we can quickly honor their request. I’m not long back from a trip to Tops to get supplies for a very different Easter dinner. Most folks there were wearing masks, but in many different ways. This just happened to be in today’s NY Times. I found the mask to be uncomfortable and stuffy, but that is the case if it’s doing its protective task. Click here for mask wearing tips. BTW I […]
April 8, 2020

mask updates

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Those machines must be getting close to overheating ladies! I’m thinking that I will resume the posts about the corona quilt project in the next few days. What do you think? Wouldn’t you like to alternate mask sewing with corona sewing? Let me know if you think I should wait a while longer on that. I ran across these study results that show that masks made with our good quilters cottons are actually quite effective, sometimes even more so than a surgical mask. Good to know that our efforts are really helping. Click here.
April 7, 2020


Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Awesome! Terrific! Astonishing! and WHAT is so amazing? you ask… You ladies are! Jackie let me know that her pick up of masks yesterday was the largest we’ve had so far! Monday’s total was 215 masks!  Which means that you took my dare and outdid it. When I combine our previous total with a few individuals who let me know what they have donated on their own, and Monday’s total given to Jackie… that brings us to 1,059 masks made and donated by our guild to date! This is truly heart warming and spirit lifting to think how our craft of quilting gives us the ability to help so many others in this terrible time. Your generosity is inspiring. Since our quarantine deadline has been extended, can I throw out another challenge? Let’s shoot for 1500 masks. What do you think? Can we do it? […]
April 4, 2020

rock stars

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. You ladies must be tied to your sewing machines. I hope your sewing conditions are better then the old sweat shop days. Got music? Got coffee (or your preferred beverage)? Getting up from the machine at will? Because…we have a phenomenal total of masks donated to date. They’ve been going to all sorts of places near and far… Roswell Park Millard Fillmore Suburban Niagara Hospice Newfane ReHab Eastern Niagara Hospital Buffalo Medical Group DePaul Seneca Street Community Development Corp. Buffalo Resilience A Rochester area nursing home a local nursing home friends and neighbors And just what is our amazing total?  Wait for it! ……….. 821 masks so far Actually I’d be willing to bet that our members have made and donated more than that, quilters are of the generous kind. Do you think we could get to 1000? I dare you!
March 30, 2020

what are you up to these days?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Just finished putting together a jigsaw puzzle, an activity I haven’t done in ages. It was a bit of a risk since I have a puppy here and the puzzle was a borrowed one. But victory…no eaten pieces! I’ve also been doing much more reading than usual for me. I’m getting the congratulatory Kindle messages now. What are you doing to pass the hours? Don’t spend the entire day at the sewing machine…your back and neck will talk to you about that. Learn how to use Facetime or Zoom or Skype so you can practice physical distancing but still keep socially close to the people important to you. I’ve noticed while walking the pup lately that folks we come upon are much more sociable than in the recent past. Instead of just a nod or smile, they offer a comment or two or at least […]
March 28, 2020

shout out to all you mask makers

Hello all, Mary Ellen here, The total number of masks that I know our members have made so far is …wait for it…180! Some were turned in to the guild and some were given directly to facilities by the makers. Those that were turned in to our guild this week have been taken to Roswell Park. If you are making and donating masks to facilities you know of, please let me or Jackie G. know how many you made and to which facility you have donated them. We’d like to keep a running total which I will post each week as a thank you and encouragement to all of our generous sewers! More specifics about our donations will be in the upcoming guild newsletter. Browse back through the comments on the previous post for some tips from those making masks, and for some fun suggestions on things for listening to […]
March 26, 2020

making masks

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’ve decided to take a short break from posting more about the corona quilt challenge. I’m betting that many of you are making masks for various places. If you have a concern that the masks will not be used (lots of hype on internet about this), rest assured that we have an official e-mail from Roswell that they will be used there. For now that is where ours will be going, My advice would be to check with the facility that you would like to support to see if they are taking mask donations, and what their parameters are. Despite all of the news coverage about masks now coming from the feds, we know that there still is a phenomenal shortage. We quilters have the skill (and more than enough fabric!) to do our bit to help. Put on a Netflix show, or a book […]
March 20, 2020

corona quilt second installment

Hello all, Mary Ellen here, Recently returned from my quest for toilet paper. Actually I have enough to last for a while but the panic that is keeping the shelves empty is getting to me. How long will it take til folks calm down and go back to their usual shopping patterns? Been getting more crafting done of late. And I’ve read a couple of books as well. Not as much sewing as I usually do actually. Here is the next installment for our corona quilt project. a) Cut 4 strips that we will set aside for sashing. Each should be 2-1/2″ wide by 20-1/2″ long. They can all be cut from the same fabric, or cut 2 each of two of your fabrics. Use your medium or darks. b) Make 2 nine patches that will finish at 6 inches (6-1/2 raw). Use one of your dark fabrics and one […]
March 17, 2020

a corona quilt #2

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. So everyone, how are you passing the time in “social distancing”? Quite a novel concept on a St. Patrick’s Day for all of the Irish folks around town. I’m finding that while on an average day hanging out and not accomplishing much is quite easy to do, when I must stay in and keep calm it’s not so easy. I think I may get some of my various UFO projects accomplished. There’s a crochet project in my magazine rack that has been there since before Christmas, and of course several quilting projects are hanging in the closet upstairs. There are garden edges that have heaved over the winter, and … No shortage of things around here to do-where should I begin? How about with the first construction step of our corona challenge for those who are playing along? I’m going to keep the parameters for […]