Making and Donating Face Masks and Surgical Caps


by Susan Schwandt, President GAAQG

We have two healthcare facilities in our area that can use our help—St. Joseph Mercy and Beaumont-Wayne. Many of our GAAQG members and friends are sewing masks for St. Joseph Mercy Hospital staff, as well as for others. We are hearing many conflicting voices on which materials to use. A GAAQG member reached out to St. Joe’s for clarification on hand-sewn face mask materials accepted by the St. Joe hospitals.

Fabric Face Masks

The following excerpted information came from the Manager, Emergency Management, St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, Brighton, Chelsea and Livingston :

  • Pattern, elastic or ties?: Most of us are using the Deaconess pattern, or some variation of it, from cotton quilting-weight fabric. Per St Joseph, cotton quilting fabric is fine. St. Joe’s will accept both masks with elastic AND masks with ties. We don’t need to worry about elastic degrading because staff members are taking their own masks home to wash them. St. Joe’s staff is thankful for whatever the community provides.
  • Variations: We have been told varying things about using/not (a) flannel, (b) a third inner layer of cotton OR knit OR different filter material, as well as (c) wire to make the masks fit better around the nose.  Per the St Joseph Manager: My sister used a twist tie for the top of the mask so that I could form it around my nose so my glasses won’t fog. I realize this takes longer and almost all of the masks do not have that. I am sure a lighter weight flannel would be fine. I have not seen any with heavy flannel. The ones I have seen are two layers of fabric.
  • Pattern information:
  • Drop-off:
    • Masks can be dropped off at the Catherine’s House entrance around the back of the Towsley Health Building, 5361 MacAuley Drive (St. Joe Mercy Hospital Ann Arbor complex). Donations are taken inside. Please prewash the masks before delivering them. Livingston Hospital & Chelsea offer additional drop-off points.
    • Ann Arbor Sewing Center  is also a drop-off site for the St. Joseph Mercy Hospital masks. There will be a drop off box at the back of the store by Monday to deposit masks in. Put them in a clean plastic Ziploc® bag.
    • The Quilting Season will share information on how you can make and donate a mask in Mary Lindquist’s newsletter.

Please note: St. Joe’s runs out of masks on a daily basis. If they ever did have an oversupply, they would be shared with our other hospitals.

Promedica Health System in the Toledo area also accepts hand-sewn face masks. You must use their pattern and material:

Surgical Caps

Beaumont Wayne is out of surgical caps. They are asking for homemade donations. You can deliver caps to Susan Schwandt and leave them on the front porch. Please contact Susan to make the drop-off arrangements at

We are stronger together and we are making a difference!
Thank you!

Susan Schwandt

President GAAQG

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This post was written by Kathy Johnson

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