Community seamstresses sew masks for Gunnison Valley Health

Calling all sewers

By Kendra Walker

Some seamstresses in Gunnison County have been putting their sewing skills to good use this week by sewing masks for Gunnison Valley Health.

It started with GVH Foundation coordinator Tammy Scott sending out a message on Facebook with a sewing pattern for a COVID-19 fabric mask, sharing that she would coordinate pick-ups and delivery of homemade masks for anybody interested in helping.

“There were a couple of quilting groups in Gunnison who said they’d love to do this,” said Scott, who had received about 45 masks from Crested Butte and Gunnison as of Tuesday afternoon. The masks will then go to GVH later this week and get given out to the workers who need them, she said. The masks will most likely go to non-patient contact workers in order to save medical-grade masks for those working directly with patients.

“The nice thing about this is they can be washable. We won’t have to throw them away,” said Scott. There are a variety of patterns online, she noted, for anyone interested in joining the sewing cause.

Gunnison resident Marla Larson is one of the quilters helping to sew masks. “It just kind of came about organically from Facebook,” she said. She knows of five others in Gunnison making the masks right now. “Tammy has been great—she’ll pick them up as they’re ready,” said Larson.

Larson said once you figure out a pattern, the masks take about 20 to 30 minutes to piece together and she uses fabric that’s 100 percent cotton. She also recommends pre-washing the fabric so that the masks are pre-shrunk. “I’m planning to make them as long as needed,” she said, but noted that elastic for the ties has started to become scarce in the community and online. “Everybody across the country has been buying elastic right now.”

But Larson is happy to contribute to the effort and notes the giving nature of the Gunnison Valley community. “People are willing to step up and do anything,” she said. “And we have rooms of fabric. If somebody wants to do it, we’ll hook them up.”

Scott continues to make the rounds of pick-ups as masks get made, distributing them to where they’re needed most at the hospital. “Our healthcare workers, bless their hearts, are in there on the ground floor and there’s so many people in the community who want to help in some way,” said Scott.

For sewers interested in helping make masks, check out the COVID-19 fabric mask pattern and tutorial posted on Gunnison Valley Health Facebook page and email Tammy Scott at to coordinate a pick-up.

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