Madison UMC Sewing Group creates 2,100 masks

MADISON – A group at Madison United Methodist Church has applied skill and concern to create more than 2,100 masks for individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Madison UMC Sewing Group has given masks to numerous people:

* Madison Hospital and five other hospitals, various labs.
* Therapy offices, nursing units and hospice in Madison and other cities.
* Madison Fire and Rescue Department, Madison Police Department and Madison City Hall.
* Madison City Farmers Market.
* ‘Essential workers’ for stores, pharmacies, restaurants, delivery and post office.
* Friends, neighbors and family both near and far.
* Church members.

“We’re a core group of 12 ladies at Madison UMC,” spokesperson Sylvia Guerin said. “Even though the church has had sewing groups for years, this group is under three years old since most ladies are new to the church or area.”

The group shares mutual interests in sewing, fellowship and service. Their projects have included pillowcase dresses, hygiene items, baby kimonos for church missions, costumes for the church Christmas pageant, along with adult bibs and walker bags for nursing homes and hospice.

Their mask project started during Guerin’s virus isolation when she was browsing Facebook for activities. She sent an article about facemasks to the sewing group.

“Enthusiastic replies came back. Our plan was to make a couple hundred. Our ladies went out to buy elastic and materials. We found several patterns on Facebook,” Guerin said. Luckily, several group members are quilters and offered their “stash” of fabrics.

Each mask is different. Each seamstress combines any color or pattern she likes. They started with a simple, pleated mask with a filter opening, along with elastic ear loops.

“We made several styles with ties — some shaped more to cover N95 medical masks, some smaller for children and teens and some for a different challenge,” Guerin said.

The sewing group does not sell the masks. They do accept donations.

Because of virus guidelines, the sewing group hasn’t met during this project. “We never see each other, but we text multiple times a day. We can’t wait to get together again,” Guerin said.

Guerin has supplied materials by a container system. Members stop by and get items they need and eventually leave finished masks. Guerin sorts and distributes the masks to fill requests. Many people pick up their masks from the container.

The group has several hundred masks in progress or complete. At the start, the group agreed to continue making masks as long as they had supplies and the need existed. “We’ve been fortunate that several generous neighbors provided over 1,000 yards of elastic. Many others have donated supplies, but (most) material has come from the group,” Guerin said.

The Sewng Group meets at the church on Tuesday mornings. For more information, call Guerin at 256-682-7989 or email sguerin3097@gmail.com.

For information about the church, visit MadisonUM.org, Facebook or YouTube.

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