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Letters from the Homefront: ‘Quilters in Quarantine’

The following “Letters from the Homefront” account is part of our new initiative, Collecting in Quarantine. Inspired by the poignant letters in the Maryland Historical Society collection documenting past adversities from the Spanish flu of 1918, to the Annapolis yellow fever epidemics of 1793 and 1800, MdHS is calling on Marylanders to send their personal stories of how the pandemic is impacting their lives.

Masks made by Mimi Dietrich
Photo courtesy of Mimi

April 1, 2020 – On this day, Mimi from Catonsville writes:

For the past year, quilters all over Maryland and from all over the US and several countries, have enjoyed my quilt exhibit, Hometown Girl: Contemporary Quilts of Mimi Dietrich, and are looking forward to seeing more quilts at the Maryland Historical Society when a new exhibit opens.

My quilting friends love to buy fabric, quilting supplies, and kits to sew “when we have time”. As the virus started to spread and people were asked to practice social distancing, the quilters were thrilled! Time to sew! Time to make some of the projects we’ve been thinking about!

But wait! During the pandemic, quilters have also been called upon to use their talents and fabric for another purpose, to make masks for health care professionals.

We’ve got this! We’ve got fabric, thread, batting, sewing machines, and even elastic! We’ve got the time, we are home, and we can do something to help the nurses, doctors, and essential workers. There project coordinators collecting masks, taking them to hospitals, nursing homes, hospice, and even to their family and friends.

This week, Hometown Girl made some masks after being asked by a nurse friend. It suddenly became more personal. As I made them, I felt calm, I felt useful, and I felt something else.

Hugs and prayers to all the nurses and doctors, medical personnel, patients, and caregivers. May you all feel our prayers as you wear our masks.

This is what prayer looks like….

Please note: The views, information, and opinions expressed and shared on the underbelly through the Collecting in Quarantine project do not necessarily represent those of the Maryland Historical Society. Our staff does not verify for accuracy the information contained within these submissions. We also do not edit the content beyond minor modifications for formatting or to remove personally identifying information, if applicable. Just like the historic letters in our collection, each letter presents the writer’s own perspective. The primary purpose of this series, with the permission of contributors, is to share and collect the experiences of Marylanders living through the COVID-19 crisis at this moment in time.

To learn more about the Collecting in Quarantine project and how to share a story of your own, click here.