Maggie Schmidt inquired about a face mask for her mother, expecting something practical. Material and a bit of nose wire. Something to protect her mom, Kris Brown, on her monthly check outs to the oncology unit.

” We didn’t talk about what the mask would appear like, and I didn’t care,” stated Schmidt, of Minneapolis. “I sent her my mom’s address in Iowa, which was it.”

When Schmidt saw an image of the mask her mother received, she captured her breath.

Maggie Thompson, a St. Paul textile artist who’s been stitching up a storm, had actually sent out a light blue mask made from her own mom’s tablecloth, embroidered with flowers. Schmidt considered the grassy field flowers that fill her mother’s yard.

” It was useful and stunning and individual– a gesture of generosity beyond what I anticipated.”

That’s the thing about a mask made by hand during a time of crisis. It’s useful, protective, recommended by the CDC. However in most cases, it’s also deeply personal. Each time I loop my mask around my ears, I consider my grandmother’s hands carefully sewing its pleats.

Now that face masks are part of life, we asked Minnesotans to share their masks and the stories behind them. Those stories include repurposing shirts, bra straps, Homer Hankies. They hinge on material dropped off by a neighbor, a bit of elastic contributed by a friend.

” I might not get flexible after the very first 24, so I bought shoelaces on spools from an online company,” said Jacque Stratton of Eden Grassy Field, who has actually stitched some 80 masks. She’s sent them to her sister-in-law, a doctor, to her mother’s assisted-living center, provided them to her next-door neighbors, her friends, her mail provider.

Some sewers are specialists: Winsome Product and Hackwith Style Home are amongst business pivoting to mask-making. Many beginners, too, are unboxing or dusting off their sewing machines, drawing on skills brand-new and old. Stratton learned to stitch as a kid in 4-H. Newbies are pulling up YouTube tutorials.

Josh Roiland of Appleton, Minn., watched “a two-minute video a lots times and then spent four hours trying to reproduce it.” The pattern was supposed to feature 3 pleats, however he quit after one.

After an injury a couple of years ago, Yuki Tokuda, a Minneapolis dancer, began sewing her own clothes– pretty trousers and frocks in intense, floral prints. Recently, with the remaining material, she started making matching masks. In photos of her head-to-toe appearances, her eyes are smiling.

“I wish to share delight,” she said by phone. “A little piece of happiness in these tough times.”

This content was originally published here.

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