Using skills to keep others safe

Posted April 9, 2020 at 4:00 pm

By Julie Ann Madden

When they learned their fellow community members needed face masks, they stopped their regular sewing projects, dug into their fabric stashes and began creating what the local medical clinic and nursing home staff and fire-and-rescue teams need.

When Lucy Colt, of Akron, was tagged on a Facebook post about the need for face masks and then had a request from Robin Dirks of Akron to help, Lucy’s daughter-in-law, Emily Colt, found her a pattern on the internet, and Lucy began making face masks instead of her usual baby bibs, children’s aprons and such for her Lucy’s Sew Biz craft business.

“It makes me feel useful that I can do something for somebody else,” said Lucy, who made some “fun” ones using fabric with moustaches and camouflage prints for men and hats and flowers for women.

She even made a few with “bugs” fabric — a little appropriate for the Coronavirus “bug” that is causing such a shortage of face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

“There’s a need out there so anybody who has a sewing machine and can sew simple things and they have the time, it would be great for them to do it,” said Lucy.

She does have fabric available. For more information, call Lucy at 712-568-3149.

On Monday morning, Lucy told The Akron Hometowner she has been joined by not only Emily and her granddaughter, Allison Palmer, but fellow Akronite Babette Harris.

On Wednesday, April 1, when Nancy Ruhland, of Akron, saw an RFD-TV show about a 4-H’er making face masks, she remarked to her grandson, Raiden Ericson, she could do that if she could get a pattern. Within moments, Raiden found her a YouTube video tutorial on his cell phone.

Nancy had plenty of scrap fabric as she’d received a tote of fabric from an estate two years ago but hadn’t decided what to do with it.

“When this opened up, I thought I could use it for this,” said Nancy, noting besides regular fabric prints, it includes several sports team prints. “It kind of happened on a whim and since Friday morning, I’ve been sewing face masks.”

“I enjoy sewing,” said Nancy, “and when my sewing can make a difference or help someone that makes it even more rewarding — that I’m not just sewing for whatever — but because it’s helping.”

“I’m so glad my mom taught me to sew so long ago,” she said, adding she’s often asked to repair or alter people’s clothing for her children’s families and coworkers.

When a Heyl truck driver’s wife called The Akron Hometowner looking for someone to make face masks, she was given phone numbers for people known to be making them, and she reached out to Nancy.

Nancy has also received requests after people saw her Facebook post sample.

If one needs face masks or has 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch elastic, please call Nancy at 712-568-3276.

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