M is for Masks and Marsalis

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Joann’s Fabrics has sent links for mask-making directions to all its email subscribers, so sewers can make protective masks for hospitals and for their families and friends. Unfortuantely, the directions I like best (see video below) call for 1/4″ elastic. There is no 1/4″ elastic to be found anywhere. (Amazon had no-name spools of elastic from 3rd-party sellers, but the comments indicated the quality was disappointing.)

So I opted to try this design with ties. I like it, but it took me an hour and a half to make one.

face mask; Covid-19

After making three of these, I thought, there’s got to be a quicker way. So I watched lots of YouTube videos, and decided to try this one:

I bought 4 packages of hair elastics at the dollar store. (I was very optimistic.) It took me 30 minutes to make one. (I guess I’m a slow sewer.) However, it’s very uncomfortable to wear; the ponytail holders keep slipping off my ears. So don’t set up an assembly line until you’ve made one and tried it out. (The purple and green one below.)

IMG_0550

My original plan was to make a bazillion of these, first for my husband and me, then for our kids, and finally for our neighbors. Now I’ll be happy if I can just get a few more done before the pandemic is over (and I’m praying for it to be over soon).

I made one more mask last night. This time I used 1/4″ bias binding for the ties so I wouldn’t have to make them. It didn’t save me any time, since it was very hard to sew neatly on the skinny binding:

If you don’t like the masks I made, maybe you’ll like some of these.

The news program I watch has a segment about the remarkable people whose lives have been taken by this virus. Ordinary people who were loved by their families, communities, and coworkers, distinguished by accomplishments of excellence and kindness. Most were relatively unknown outside their own circles, but one hit me especially hard.

Ellis Marsalis, Jr. was born November 14, 1934. During high school, he played saxophone, but switched to piano while majoring in music at Dillard University. During the 1950s and 60s, he played professionally with jazz greats like Al Hirt and Cannonball Adderly. He was a greatly respected teacher at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (where one of his students was Harry Connick, Jr.), University of New Orleans, and Xavier University of Louisiana. He recorded 20 albums, and was the patriarch of a great musical family. You may have heard of some of his sons, including trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and saxophonist Branford Marsalis (who was the bandleader for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno for a time).

On April 1, 2020, Ellis Marsalis, Jr. succumbed to pneumonia brought on by the Covid-19 virus. Rest in peace. You are so missed.

a-to-z HEADER [2020] to size v2

4 responses »

  1. Yes, there really have been so many tragic losses because of this virus. Actually, they are all tragic losses. Two other people from the music world, among so many, who were also taken were Hal Willner and John Prine. Hal Willner was the current musical director at Saturday Night LIve for many years and a well-respected record producer. He was perhaps a touch more avant garde than the mainstream producers. John Prine’s passing was one which was especially heartbreaking for me. He was a wonderful, witty singer-songwriter who’s songs were covered by many other artists as well. His name may not be familiar to you, but you’ve certainly heard some of his songs. If not, seek out one called “Hello In There” and see if it doesn’t make you cry. John Prine beat cancer twice, but this virus was too much for his poor body to take. Stay well, Andrea! My best to you and the rest of the family!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your masks are lovely! I had a similar notion to make lots of masks. I had some elastic on hand, but it only made 4 masks before it ran out. I, too, tried the hair ties, but they were way too short to stay behind my ears. I gave up. No more mask making for me. We have one for each person in my household. That’ll have to do!

    Liked by 1 person

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