After the state of Colorado issued Stay-At-Home orders with requirements of wearing some type of mask when venturing outdoors, many Coloradans raced to fashion bandanas, scarves and other home-made masks that ideally can be washed and reused. Weeks ago Colorado Governor Polis launched the www.coloradomaskproject.com to ensure residents have a resource to produce their own masks.

“We’re working to provide all Coloradans with DIY masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19,” Polis said. “Together, we can protect ourselves and keep our communities safe.”

One of our BLC Fellows, Ellen Keckler decided to get busy on her trusty sewing machine to protect herself and family and to share her work with others in need.

“So far I’ve made 45 masks, half out of old pillow cases for family members and half for the Joann Fabrics Take and Make Mask Project which will be donated to local health care facilities or first responders for use as they see fit.  I plan to continue making masks until I run out of fabric and other supplies.”

It typically takes Ellen 20-30 minutes to produce each mask and they are fashioned from a design kit pattern from Joann Fabric. The masks are made of 100% cotton and are quite colorful based on whatever fabric is available.

“I don’t consider myself a seamstress, and I typically use my sewing machine for mending, but I can sew the seams for masks. Luckily I had some old pillowcases and elastic to get started, and the fabric store gave me the cotton material for the donated masks.”

We salute Ellen for taking the initiative along with so many other Coloradans to help keep our communities safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.