Sewing Face Masks for Hospitals & Nursing Homes in the Iowa City Area
UPDATED 03/22/2020, 1:40 pm
Members of the Old Capitol Quilters Guild are collaborating with representatives of other local charitable sewing groups, including the UIHC Preemie Project and Days for Girls, to produce a large quantity of face masks that can be used to bridge the shortage of personal protective equipment available to medical staff in our local hospitals and nursing homes.
We are in contact with officials at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and Mercy Hospital in Iowa City and hope to connect with the Iowa City VA Hospital soon. We have also been contacted about making face masks for use in nursing homes and long-term care facilities and will work to fulfill their needs as well.
Both UIHC and Mercy IC are eager to receive handmade face masks from quilters and other seamstresses in our area. They have not yet settled on patterns or preferred materials, however, so we are waiting to hear from them about their specific requirements and preferences. We hope to have details from them early in the week of March 23 and will post information here, on the Guild's Facebook page, and via email to OCQG members as soon as we have it.
As we learn more, we will post information about the patterns and fabric types they specify as well as how to deliver them to each facility. At this time, it appears that each of the hospitals is developing its own set of patterns, so we want to make sure we provide exactly what each facility wants for its own use, so we recommend waiting until we have those specifics instead of starting to sew based on patterns available on various internet sites right now. If you want to get a head start, you could wash the fabric (100% cotton is a common request) you hope to use in HOT water to preshrink it and look to see if you have any 1/4" elastic on hand (It's in short supply nationwide, but we've been able to secure some that we can share as needed. More on that shortly).
Important note about which facilities we're focusing on:
We have also communicated with the two Cedar Rapids hospitals -- Mercy and St. Luke's -- as well as the quilt guild in Cedar Rapids, the East Iowa Heirloom Quilters (EIHQ). Both hospitals are welcoming face masks, but the EIHQ is actively working with them already and has 300 members, so we think they're well covered and hope OCQG members and others in the Johnson County area will focus on the considerable needs here in Iowa City.