We recently asked for photos of people making masks — and why they’re doing so — and our readers responded:
— From Sandy (Carder) Obermeyer, 56, of Delphos
My sister Sherryl George and I have made over 1,200 masks as of May 20. I am 56, and Sherryl is 57. We both live in Delphos. One of our best friends, Nora Fought, who works for Lima Memorial Health System, had a message in late March, that they and many other places were in need of masks. We decided to set up shop in my kitchen to make and donate some masks. The first round was donated to Lima Memorial.
Then we had some friends who either worked the front lines or had daughters that were nurses and they too were in need. We used up all the elastic that we could find. Then we used ribbons. We did about 100 using elastic hair bands. Elastic was in high demand and it couldn’t be found anywhere. Then a friend gave us some loops (the kind that kids use for potholders). Those worked awesome. We had a couple people donate some that they had around the house. A couple people even donated some fabric. It wasn’t long before 100 turned into 200. Before you knew it, we hit the 1,000 mark!
We have sent masks to friends and family in Colorado, Tennessee, South Carolina, Iowa, Indiana and New York. Both of our daughters have jumped in to help us — Trisha Kroeger and Erika Giller. We even had our younger sister, Deb Braselton, bring her sewing machine and come over from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to help. It has definitely been a group effort.
— From Brad Bowers, 53, of Gilboa
I started making masks for my wife, who works in retail and is required to wear a mask at work.
Other people liked them and wanted me to make more. I have made around 75 to 100 of them by now.
I have used T-shirts, pajamas and about everything you can think of that’s made of cloth. I have even made them from shop towels on a roll.
My household wears them out of respect for the other people we come into contact with. I think it’s the right thing to do.
— From Diana Johnson, 58, of Lima
I made the masks for my family and friends. I have different styles. I looked on the internet and saw a pattern and started sewing, which is something I love to do. I had plenty of elastic, and that was a good thing. You can’t find it now, or on the internet you can if you are willing to pay a high price. Plus, stores are out of it and even the (headwraps) I wanted to use.
I also made mask ear savers, knitting some. My son wears them to work.
The material I used on some of the masks was from bags I had from reusable grocery bags and cinch sacks and my fabric I had here at home — which I have plenty different to choose from.
My two sons wear them to work, plus I gave them to my niece who works at a hospital, and my aunt needed some for her and her grandson. I don’t sell them. I enjoy making them and giving them to people who need them.
We all need to wear a mask right now to stay safe, to protect us and the loved ones around us, because I love my family and want the world to be safe.
— From Paula Elchinger
These masked bandits are the Sarka kids from Glandorf. Jade, Caroline, Samantha, Leo and American Doll. The masks were made by their Nana, Paula Elchinger.
— From Kelly Recker, 56, Fort Jennings
I made my own mask, and over 300 masks that I made are being worn. I take donations for the masks I make for our Country Store Raffle at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fort Jennings. I’ve made over $800 for our Country Store.
I started sewing the masks when my son asked me to make him a few for a trip he had to make in April. I think I’ve sewn a mask every day since. The most difficult thing is getting supplies, but a few people have donated thread, elastic and fabric, which was very much appreciated.
— From Patti Keller
I have made about 50 masks that I have given away. I have made two kinds the ones that go under your chin with a seam down the middle and the ones with pleats. The hardest part of either is what to use for the nose clip. I have been using a soft wire (similar to a bread clip) and wrapped it in duct tape. The problem I can see is it may run if washed and since the duct tape is red, it may show.
I have made some small ones for my granddaughter’s dolls, so she can take them for a walk.
— From Jean Steele, 70, of Delphos
I made the mask. So far I have made 623 masks myself. The majority are for my daughter, Aimee, at Mercy Health-St. Rita’s Medical Center, and for son Mark and daughter-in-law Jen at the Meadows of Delphos. The rest are for family and some friends.
I tried the pleated but found them too time consuming, and then I found this pattern online and found it very simple.
I used 100% cotton and some flannel mostly given to me by Mark’s mother-in-law, who quilted, and the rest I purchased.
During stay-at-home orders, I wondered what I could do to help in some way since I am retired and have no where to go. I asked Jen and Mark if they could use masks at the Meadows and Aimee if she could use masks at St. Rita’s. They both said “sure,” so my mask making began and still continues as long as they need them.
— From Linda Garrett
I have a few masks to interchange when washing them. I have made over 100 masks and sent them to my families in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin and shared them with my friends and gave some to the hospital. My nephew is an administrator in a nursing home in Wisconsin, and I sent some to him.
Choosing the right patterns has been a challenge. I’ve sort of combined patterns and sizes with the different features. I ordered fabric from Joann fabric and had some elastic and fabric on hand. Making the masks with elastic is much faster, but with the shortage, I made quite a few with ties. I have small cord elastic now and that is comfortable around the ears.
I do wear a mask when I go out in public or am with others who are not family or close friends in our immediate circle.
— From Beverly Catlett, 57, of Lima
My first couple hundred were from the simple 6-by-9-inch pattern that was recommended by the hospitals. Then I came across a video of one that was made using clothesline rope and it covers better, while allowing for a filter to be used as well. You can even attach a wire for the bridge of your nose. I’m probably somewhere around 500 by now. I’m disabled, but I can sit at my machine most days.
My masks have gone to family and friends as well as Pete’s Ice Cream, Mike’s Drive Thru, Meat City and the Pain Clinic at St. Rita’s. Some people give $2 if they can, but most are free. My granddaughter — Olivia Schlosser, 13 — is now making them, too.
— From Vicki Reindel
My niece, Elyse Walston, 13, of Ottoville, has been busy making masks.
Elyse began sewing masks after her aunt gave her a pattern and some material. She also found some patterns on the internet. The masks are cotton and flannel. It was hard to find elastic, but eventually she got some ordered from Amazon. It took a little bit for it to come so she made some masks with ties.
She has made over 100 masks for family, friends and hospitals. She also made some for her cross-country coach.
She carries a mask in her parent’s car so she has one if she would need to go in some place, such as the orthodontist and to get her hair cut.