Sewing Enthusiasts Lend Helping Hand To Make Much-Needed Surgical Masks

Lisa Spalding, owner of The Quilt Foundry in Maumee, holds the surgical masks she has helped sew for medical workers. Spalding has coordinated a volunteer effort with the sewing community to collect hand-sewn surgical masks. Information about the masks can be found on the website at MIRROR PHOTOS BY NANCY GAGNET
The Quilt Foundry in Maumee has switched gears from sewing quilts to sewing much-needed medical face masks. A drop-off bin is convienently located outside of the shop to make donating the masks much easier.

BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — When Quilt Foundry owner Lisa Spalding heard that hospitals and other health care facilities were in dire need of hand-sewn medical face masks, she knew she could help.

With an e-mail contact list of 1,500 sewing enthusiasts, Spalding reached out with a plea for donations, and in no time at all, the masks started coming in.

“It’s just gone crazy. In two days, we had nearly 100 masks dropped off,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine that our country does not have enough masks for our health care workers. It’s crazy.” 

Penny Miklovic, the prayer quilt coordinator for Maumee United Methodist Church, is also coordinating efforts to sew medical masks and is working in conjunction with the Quilt Foundry.

“I’ve already had five women call me today to ask about sewing the masks,” she said.

While the church volunteers have plenty of fabric, they are low on elastic and so are the local craft stores.

The masks must be 100-percent cotton fabric and those making them are using their own supplies. Spalding said they are not difficult to make for an avid sewer, who can turn one out in about 10 minutes. The masks are two different sizes; one is used as a mask cover and all can be washed and re-used, she said. 

The sewn masks will be donated to local hospitals, hospice facilities or other medical organizations.

For Spalding, the need for masks hits home because she has elderly parents and a child with disabilities.

“It affects me. You want to make sure that the people who are seeing them are wearing the masks,” she said. “It feels good that we are doing something to help – we have the resources.”

Those interested in donating elastic for the masks may drop it off at the Maumee United Methodist Church, which is located at 405 Sackett St. For more information, please call the church at (419) 893-8761.

The Quilt Foundry, which is located at 234 W. Wayne St., has an outside bin for mask donation drop-off. For information about sewing the masks, please visit The Quilt Foundry website at

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