Quilters become sewists to meet demand for pandemic supplies

When there is a need, the Dolores Mountain Quilters endeavor to meet that need. One hundred thirty members strong, the guild rose to meet the immediate need for face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Located in Dolores, Colorado in the Four Corners area, the guild, in normal circumstances provides fellowship with other quilters during our first Tuesday meeting, hosts a biannual quilt show and supports Montezuma County charities, nursing homes, preschools and families who have suffered a set-back with donated quilts. At Christmas, the guild stuffs homemade stockings for children in custodial care.

As the COVID-19 virus marches across the country and Colorado, Dolores Mountain Quilters had to cancel our April meeting. That didn’t stop us from sewing. As the need for an increased supply of face masks was recognized by Montezuma County Public Health, our community of quilters has shared their time, talents and supplies from their “stashes” to produce face masks for distribution to many local groups. Masks are dropped off at our President’s front porch and picked up or delivered to recipients, all while respecting social distancing.

As of mid April, the Dolores Mountain Quilters has made and contributed close to 2000 face masks during a five week period. Recipients include hospitals in Cortez, Shiprock (NM), Crown Point (NM), the Montezuma County Sheriff’s Department and Sheriff’s Posse, City of Cortez Police, Veteran’s Outreach Center, the Bridge Emergency Shelter, and Ute Mountain Victim Advocates. Masks donated to Montezuma County Public Health are distributed to retailers, restaurants and the general public. Additionally, most members have made masks for their personal use and that of family, friends, neighbors, both locally and nationally. Masks have been sent to Denver, Kirkland Air Force base, and as far as Florida by members.

As supplies in individual members stashes are depleted, Dolores Mountain Quilters received fabric donations from Stitch, a Durango, Colorado quilt store. Local retailer Cortez Quilt Company maintained hours by appointment to further re-supply of sewing supplies. Members also trade needed supplies.

If you would like to help, either sew or provide sewing supplies, please contact Suzanne Butterfield, President of the Dolores Mountain Quilters at 404-374-6558 or Jan Mussler, Vice President at 970-565-9122. Currently, we could use tightly woven 100% cotton fabric and 1/4 inch wide elastic. Batik fabric in particular is tightly woven. Light gauge covered wire is useful for forming a tighter nose seal as are pipe cleaners.