Five months after our first conversation about “should we or shouldn’t we” make & wear cloth masks we are still doing it. Most of us had no idea what it was we were dealing with. There was lots of controversy around wearing masks and it’s ability to prevent the spread of Covid-19.  At the time, even the top doctors didn’t know whether or not it helped prevent the spread. In the early days, if you went out, you saw a wide variety of masks and gloves being worn. And, like bicycle helmets, most weren’t being worn correctly.  I know it felt weird for me to be wearing a mask out in public but if I was going to do everything I could, physical distancing, & washing my hands, I had to add wearing a mask to that list too. So here we are five months and many masks later.

The first ones I made were from light, flesh coloured fabrics at the request of the receiver. I had a limited supply of elastic so made a few with ties. I tried a couple different patterns but ultimately chose
to make the pleated style of mask, both with elastic and ties. For anyone wearing hearing aids the ties seem to be a little better fit and don’t interfere with the aids, especially if you happen to wear glasses as well. I did try the three layer version, but man oh man are they ever warm. :D I’ve also made them with a pocket to add a filter.

<– This one is made with ties and has no nose wire but there is a slot for one. –> This one has elastic and a nose wire plus a small tuck at the chin, allowing the mask to fit less loosely. For myself, having the nose wire makes a big difference in whether or not my glasses fog up. All the masks I had made up until very recently are made from batiks. They take approximately 20 minutes to make.

For awhile, say late June and July, masks were being worn less and less inside buildings like the grocery store. Several small businesses request you wear a mask & some were a requirement, not a request.  As the cases continue to increase here in BC we’ve seen an increase in the requirement of mask wearing like the BC Ferries, BC Transit & grocery stores. Yesterday, August 28th, we saw 124 Covid-19 cases. This is the most we have had here in BC since April. More than they had in Ontario. We need to continue to physically distance, wash our hands, stay inside our bubbles and wear masks.

So back to the masks, why not have a half dozen different ones available? People may be sick of Covid-19 & the life style change we’ve all had to make but it’s here to stay for awhile. You can make them out of any colour, use novelty fabrics and lead by example by wearing one. ^ The ones above all have chin tucks and are fairly comfortable to wear. Yes, I know when it’s hot it’s not pleasant but all we need to think about then are the healthcare workers and what they have to wear all shift long.

I finally got my e-bike the other day and decided I needed to have a snazzy new mask to keep with me when I was out and about. Get inspired by your fabrics and 20 minutes later you have a new mask for your daily outfits. ;) Check out Quilter on Fire for her version of a face mask. Lots of Youtube videos on how to do it too.  We’re in this together so let’s try and have a little fun.

Happy Quilting…Stay Safe…Stay Connected…Wear a Mask…Valerie Raye

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