Portland quilters unite, make colorful face masks


Quilters sew charcoal-activated filters into their design

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On a typical day, Marrcie Murray would be in the presence of five other quilters — having dinner and drinking wine, putting quilts together for whatever friend or person who needs one.

But last week when Marrcie learned about the face mask shortage, she turned her attention from knitting for fun to knitting to meet the life and death demand for hospital protective masks. 

“We found the pattern online and we went as a group and bought fabric and then I started sewing,” she said.

She and her friends raided Joann’s Fabric and bought as much material as they could get their hands on. Because elastic is in such short supply, they used ribbon for people to tie the masks and they came away with a colorful set of face masks — with charcoal- activated filters sewn into the design.

“This is more protection so essentially you adjust that and then when you wear it you have the charcoal inside,” she said.

These masks are being made in the same space at Portland’s Central Auto Body, where idled auto body workers are ramping production of face shields and sending them along to front line hospital workers and first responders.

It is one of the ways people and companies aren’t standing around and waiting. They’re looking at an obvious need for something as simple as a face mask and taking action that will protect healthcare workers trying to help people survive the virus sweeping sweeping the world.

Continuing Coverage: Coronavirus

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