Pam Smith @piecefully_pam got in touch to ask if we'd share the front-seamless face mask pattern that she has developed. So here we hand over our blog to Pam...
I am reaching out as a Nurse and quilter to ask for help from anyone who will listen and has the power to make a difference. I feel very strongly the ABSOLUTE need to support our first responders, frontline workers, healthcare heroes, our communities and our world.
We are living in an unprecedented health crisis. I am an RN (registered nurse) working full time for my small town local hospital. I am a quilter. On Friday 3 March, following communication with my Infection Prevention, Emergency Management and Population Health departments, I reached out to the two local guilds to which I belong with a request for home sewn face masks. Prior to my doing so, I told our hospital team to get ready, because quilters are the BEST people and they WILL respond.
It is with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat that I tell you that the OUTPOURING of home sewn masks, stitched with such love, care and kindness has been extraordinary! The generosity has been so/SEW tremendous, that these masks have now been assigned an item number by our Materials Management team for processing and distribution purposes. By mid-week, local first responders sent an urgent request for masks and Population Health was able to answer their call by delivering more than 100 home sewn masks.
There are naysayers. My initial email to my guild mates stated that this was NOT an N95 mask. However, it does provide a barrier with the additional benefit of being a visual reminder to practice social distancing and not to touch your face!
As I was making home sewn masks this week, I applied my decades of nursing experience and I researched. Meanwhile COVID-19 was taking lives - young, old and those of healthcare workers - around the world. PPE (personal protective equipment) supplies are being depleted. Yet healthcare workers and first responders without the proper PPE have continued to show up for work. It’s like sending a firefighter into a burning home with a hose that has NO water.
As I sewed masks, I continued to refine the design/pattern and I reached out to a small contingent of local sewists, asking them to trial my design. It was doable and as such, successful. Thanks to their efforts, coupled with the volunteered help of a talented and amazing DEMQG guild mate, a PDF pattern was created and made available on our local hospital website on 27 March. You can also find it here.
As a nurse, there is a rationale for everything I do. The mask I designed is the equivalent of a manufactured disposable surgical mask. But my design isn’t disposable - you can make them at home, they can be processed and reused! Also, this mask has a pocket for a replaceable HEPA filter. Most importantly, this design does not have a seam down the front that aligns with one's nostrils/nares and mouth.
We ALL need ALL the positivity and forward action against COVID-19 that we can possibly muster. Your contribution could help flatten the curve and who knows, it may save a life.
Please share and help this mask design/pattern go VIRAL in the BEST possible way <3.
Piecefully, Pam @piecefully_pam