Cut And Cover: Sewing Circles Resurge In Time Of Great Need

Masks from Paris

Members of Calvary UMC and First UMC Paris have helped make 2,000 masks as part of countywide effort.

Groups throughout the North Texas Conference are putting skills to use to create protective masks

In March, as healthcare facilities began filling up with COVID-19 patients and fears of personal protective equipment being depleted, United Methodist Women of North Texas called makers across the North Texas Conference to put their skills to work making masks.

In Paris, Texas, a local doctor’s wife asked others to help keep her husband and his co-workers in the emergency room safe. This started a countywide project called the Lamar County Mask Makers with members of Calvary UMC and First UMC Paris contributing to the more than 2,000 masks made.

“(I’m) able to take a skill I learned decades ago and use it for something other than personal gain,” said Pam Glass, a member of First UMC Paris.

Not all participants sew. It takes a variety of skills to create a mask. Calvary UMC member Mary Olsen and her neighbor Gwen Patterson have cut out 470 masks.

Said First UMC Paris member Cheryl Brown: “Anyone can help – washing and ironing the fabric, cutting the pieces, ironing the folds prior to sewing and donating to buy supplies.”

Mask makers from Wesley Greenville

Members of Wesley UMC Greenville model the mask they have made.

Hospitals aren’t the only ones benefiting from these hand-sewn masks. Members of First UMC Rowlett made masks for the local fire department, while makers from First UMC Nocona delivered 60 made by three church members to the staff at a nursing home.

“I was so happy that they took on this task to make masks for Grace Care nursing home,” said Rev. Donny Haywood, pastor of First UMC Nocona 

The Bold Women of Lovers Lane UMC, as the church’s UMW is known, have a social distancing assembly line to make kit others can then pick up and sew. So far about 1,000 masks have been made. More kits are still being assembled.

Retired nurses are finding this as a way to help their former colleagues.

“I want to help keep my fellow nurses safe, and the community too. This is one small way to show God's love,” said Viv Davis, a retired nurse and member from Lovers Lane UMC.

Masks from Lovers Lane

Lovers Lane UMC has mask kits you can pick up and put together (left). Members Margo Wilkie and Kayley Guy put together food boxes to be distributed.

People who haven’t had a sewing machine out in years are pitching in, too.

“Since I have a sewing machine and have done some sewing in the past, I thought it was important that I try and help to make masks,” Lovers Lane UMC member Dale Campbell said. “While sewing is not my favorite pastime, there are people who need masks and I hope my effort will make a difference."

Sewing masks are not the only way to help others. Two members of Arapaho UMC, Joseph Finan and Melissa Guerrero, are volunteering their time and equipment to print 3D masks. According to their GoFundMe page, they have printed and delivered 118 masks.

Ways To Contribute

  • To donate to the making of 3D printed face shields click here.
  • If you are interested in helping with making masks, the UMW of North Texas website has details.
  • If you have a sewing machine and would like to help, email [email protected] at Lovers Lane UMC.

Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2020