I’m focusing on my quilting for now but I’m sure you’ve noticed the quilting world has been making facemasks due to the coronavirus pandemic. Chris called me today for help troubleshooting the sewing machine I had given him years ago … he made a bunch of bandanas a while back so he knows how to sew and he decided he’d make some masks to donate. Using one of the online tutorials, he finished his first one and shared a photo. He’s going to make some more and donate them.

There are lots of patterns and tutorials out there … just google it. These will not protect against the coronavirus but some facilities and medical staff are using them over other masks. There’s a lot of discussion about the usefulness of these but if it makes people feel better to make and use them then there’s probably no harm in doing it as long as people understand they’re not going to prevent someone from getting COVID 19.

This is the tutorial he used – How to sew a face mask.


  1. I’m just confused about this whole cloths face masks thing. If cloth worked so well, why wouldn’t you just tie a scarf around your face instead of going to the trouble of making a mask out of the very same material? I heard that the masks people were buying (locally at the drugstore or Walmart) & wearing weren’t effective so why would cotton be any more so? Especially in a hospital setting with really sick people? I’m just confused. I’d make some if I thought they’d help & weren’t just “busy work” to give the public something to do so they feel like they have some control in what feels like a situation that’s rapidly spinning out of control. Am I just crazy?

  2. I love Chris’s mask! As a retired ER nurse, I too, am very confused about the usefulness of the cotton masks. Probably a real false sense of security. However, if that’s the ONLY option, I’ll take it. I’ve made a couple prototypes and have a better idea for my plan. I’m going to include some mid weight non woven interfacing, shorten the ear elastic a little to be more snug. I’m also going to experiment with a twist tie or pipe cleaner inserted into the nose piece to pinch tight against the nose.

  3. My understanding about the use of the cloth masks in the hospital is that they are worn on top of the N95 masks. There are not enough N95 masks available and some are restricted to one per day. The cloth masks on top can be washed and provide some protection for the medically approved masks.
    Personally, I think they are useful for other folks to wear because the mask reminds you not to touch your mouth or nose. I work in a grocery store and am very very concerned about people’s lack of seriousness about this virus.

  4. Good for him! I have been making masks also for my local Tennessee family. Our niece in the Panama City Area reached out to me needing some for herself as they are in short supply and she said that they will be better than nothing. I’ll be mailing some to her this week with fabric strings, instead of elastic, since that is what she has asked for. I’ve been told that they actually hold up better under their cleaning and sanitizing requirements.

  5. I’m also in the confused category regarding making the cloth masks. So, I haven’t made any. And if I did it would be only for myself. Personally I wouldn’t want to wear a mask someone made. Unless it could be thoroughly sterilized somehow before I put it on. Who knows what home or sewing space it came from? I don’t think the masks, except for authorized medical masks will help with the virus. I’ve been sheltered in place, and I’m staying home. I have plenty of supplies for now. I also think the masks may give a false sense of protection, and people may go out and about.

  6. That looks like a good pattern for the mask. I have also thought about making them but since I found out that they do not offer the protection we thought I am going to hold off. I am also afraid it will give some people the idea that they can go anywhere as long as they are wearing one of these homemade masks.

  7. I’ve been sewing them too. Not too sure they are protecting anyone but maybe better than nothing? Maybe not…

Leave a Reply