The Local ‘War Effort’

Well, as President Trump said in one of his early March pandemic press conferences,  we are “at war with the invisible enemy.”  We are not able to mobilize (i.e., the STAY HOME order), but we have sewing machines and we know how to use them. 

Calaveras County’s Health Care District is doing its best to get masks and hand sanitizer out so everyone has one.  Yes, that means EVERYONE in Calaveras county. Even those who “don’t believe in” masking. 

The Independence Hall Quilters (IHQ) made and supplied Arnold’s Big Trees Market & Murphys’ Sierra Market with face masks, to give away to residents.

Guild President, Mary Sue Budrow (pictured), shows her multiple bags stuffed with ready-to-go facemasks.  She sets a great example for our guild members!

The photo was cropped and zoomed-in – due to Social Distancing.  We were not standing this close.  [ In case you wondered ]



A special THANK YOU to all our seamstresses who worked hard and long hours, making the guild look good

Listed in alphabetical order:

Laura Baughman, Sue Bishop, Mary Sue Budrow,  Linda Cornman, Cathy Fitzpatrick, Nancy Gardner, Kelly Green, Karin Harlan, Deanna Hoy, Carol Hutcheson, Tish Lightfoot, Anne Osincup, Jackie Sullivan, Jean Schwisow, Larie Tippetts, Linda VanBerckelaer, Doreen Whiteman, and Margaret Zavertnik


We at IHQ also want to acknowledge the many quilt guilds, across the country, who are sewing masks and donating them to first responders, hospitals, grocery stores, and who knows where else.

♥  TTFN  ♥

Masks For All

Dr. Smart modeling good behavior

During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC has now begun recommending that everyone wear a face covering when they go out in public.
In response to this and the fact that commercial medical masks are in limited supply and needed for medical and first responder personnel, Mark Twain Health Care District has commissioned the local manufacturing of 5,000 masks by Blue Mt Custom Fabrications in West Point, and are being distributed free of charge to anyone who would like one.
Blue Mtn. Custom Fabrications has been in business for 25 years and specializes in commercial contract sewing.
Because it takes a village to respond quickly enough to make a difference, many seamstresses around the county have been employed to help make all of these masks. One group, in particular, is the Independence Hall Quilters group out of Arnold. They have responded to this effort quickly and with eagerness.
“I am getting phone calls daily from IHQ members wanting to help with the next order,” laughs Jodi, a member who is coordinating the effort. “At first, I had a fear of having to make 200+ masks by myself – I should have known better because our ladies are amazing!”
COVID-19 has put a stop on the guild’s fundraising at local events. They sell raffle tickets to win a “Scholarship Quilt” that funds scholarships for graduating Brett Harte High School seniors. IHQ hopes to make up some of these losses by donating payment for the masks to the scholarship account.
An example of the pandemic’s far-reaching effect on even a small county’s volunteer organizations.
These masks (pictured) are available at local markets in the communities of Calaveras County. A full list of the participating markets can be found online at For more information, call Peggy at 754-4468.