Residents Step Up to Make Masks

Content provided by residents Carole Glowacki & Kathleen Truelove

As the novel coronavirus spread across Maryland, Ann Patterson, VP of Health Services, asked resident Carole Glowacki if she would organize a group of people to make about 100 face masks for the staff on Hallowell and Taylor. Ann found a pattern on sewitonline.com for the type of mask she wanted. This site had both the pattern and a very good video. Carole sent out a request for people to sew the masks, and 11 residents responded immediately. 

The list of seamstresses (and at least one seamster) in late March included Jane Elkinton, Jai Dixon, Ruth Fleishman, Marilyn Winkelstein, Suzanne Crowder, Alice Giles, Bobbie Cook, Gwyn Sirota, Nell Baumiller, Karen Seybold, Peggy Taliaferro, Margaret Warden, Priscilla Barrett, Lucinda Shaw, Lucy Wright, Renate Meise, and Carole Glowacki.

Although some of the volunteers had fabric, Carole, as a quilter, had a huge amount of fabric from which she made bundles for the sewers. Ann ordered the wire and elastic needed for the masks, and sewing machines from the '50s came out of closets. As the project became more daunting, Carole sent out an email for cutters, and again the response was amazing.

Because some sewing machines didn't have all of the required features, Carole formed an assembly line for the construction of the masks. Some residents did the cutting, others did what sewing they could on their machines, and others completed the masks. At least eight volunteers were able to sew the complete mask without assistance.

More than 100 masks for healthcare staff were made, so there were also masks for use by dining and housekeeping staff. Ann has asked that the project continue, so the plethora of quilting fabric is going to diminish considerably.

By mid-April, over 300 masks had been made, and Carole says the total should reach 400. This abundance has allowed masks to be distributed to all residents and employees.

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