“That’s what’s awesome about this community. I wanted to do something that might help my friend’s daughter, and my quilting friends from EZPZ were all in!”

Sandy Ryan, a longtime Sun City resident, was describing a week-long task that yielded 170 custom-made face masks for her friend’s daughter, a nurse who works at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston and had asked for masks.

EZPZ Quilters is a special interest group of the Sew What Club. Twelve members of the group, including a newcomer, were in on the project.

Ryan has been sewing for 40 years, and has been an EZPZ Quilter for about 10 years. She and her friends had fabric already. “Some of my friends have a whole lot, and no one needed to buy any. What we did have to buy was ¼ inch elastic, so we ordered it from Michaels craft store. We bought their whole stock, and didn’t even have to go into the store. They brought it to the curb.”

The nurse who requested the masks had specific guidelines. She sent a link to a YouTube video which had step-by-step instructions. Each mask had to be made of tightly woven, washable fabric and have a filter pocket. The MUSC nurses are planning to wear them over their surgical masks.

When asked if she would make more, she said, “Well, we’re out of elastic. Maybe I will. We’ll wait and see what happens.”

This was a true community effort. One of Ryan’s quilting buddies, Peggy Binder, said, “(I) was thankful to be able to help out the hospital workers who are going above and beyond for everyone now.”

And another friend, Victoria Black, added, “I was happy to help out our health care workers. It just makes sense. They are working to help keep us safe, so why not do something to help keep them safe?”

Rounding out the mask-making EZPZ team was Carolyn Blymiller, Lana Armstrong, Sharon Frantz, Charlene Gorrell, Marlene Humphrey, Michele Karg, Barb Otto, Dianne Porter and Jeanne Hatton.

The masks were handed off to the nurse by her mom at a meeting place halfway to Charleston.

Ryan, who also made princess and “Frozen” patterned masks for her granddaughters, said of the masks, “This gives an extra layer of protection. This virus is bigger than all of us. It gives us immense pleasure to do something for someone in need. We are all in this together.”

Katherine Mace is a writer who lives in Sun City.