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Minot Prairie Quilt Guild members make masks for schools

Submitted Photo Bev Cushing, a member of the Minot Prairie Quilt Guild, is shown with Mark Vollmer, superintendent of Minot Public Schools on Wednesday. Vollmer is holding a box of masks made by quilt guild members. The group made slightly under 500 masks to give to elementary schools in Minot.

Several members of the Minot Prairie Quilt Guild are using their sewing skills to make masks to give to schools

“We’ve made a little under 500 for elementary schools in Minot,” said Bev Cushing, a member of the quilt guild. Minot Public Schools’ students are required to wear masks.

About 20 masks have also been given to Bishop Ryan Catholic School in Minot.

“One lady (Merry Green) gave 125 to the Granville School,” Cushing added.

Cushing and Irene Ost, of Norwich, volunteered to coordinate the quilt guild’s mask-making project.

Cushing said several members of the quilt guild, the majority of them from Minot, made the masks.

“Everyone did it on their own,” Cushing said.

Some fabric had been donated for the project and kits were assembled with fabric, elastic for the ears, the nose piece and a couple kinds of patterns, Cushing said.

Creative Dimensions in Minot is a drop off site when the masks have been completed. There’s also a tote full of free fabric and kits at Creative Dimensions, Cushing said.

“Good Vibrations quilt shop in town donated 13 bolts of fabrics – kid-like fabrics with basketballs, footballs… We have a lot of fabrics to use,” Cushing said.

The quilt guild members started the mask-making project about three weeks ago.

“We just did the elementary schools in Minot and will ask members to continue making masks. We’d like to give to the two elementary schools on base and do some of the middle schools and after that to high schools,” Cushing said. There’s a possibility they might also make masks for schools outside Minot.

Cushing said the quilt guild usually makes about 100 quilts a year as a community service project. Those quilts are donated to organizations in need but she said this year those groups couldn’t take quilts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cushing and Irene Ost “got to talking” about what could be done and both volunteered to coordinate the mask-making project. They got fabrics, made kits and distributed them at the quilt guild meeting.

Cushing said each mask takes about 15 to 20 minutes to make. “You just keep on going,” she said. She said she cuts out the masks in the evenings and sews all day. She’s made around 155 masks.

The masks made so far are mainly for Minot Public Schools.

“We divided them amongst all the elementary schools. Patty Bretheim (of Minot) made 200,” Cushing said. Bretheim got cardboard boxes from the grocery store and the masks were divided among the elementary schools. Cushing said a card is placed in the box saying the masks are compliments of the quilt guild.

Some of the quilt guild members making the masks are former teachers or teachers’ aids.

Cushing said doing the project for the kids is just a blessing. “You make things out of love for kids,” she said.

“I was a teacher. Irene, too. We love children and thought this was a nice thing to do for our schools,” Cushing said.

Cushing said anyone who would like to make masks is welcome to join the quilt guild’s mask-making project by calling 839-6635.

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