Merced County Times Newspaper
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Local seamstress fashions stylish face masks for hospital workers

'God just gave me another way of giving,' she says



To Beverly Thomas, a local resident in her 60s, giving is a way of life.

She is sewing face masks to give to others, and she recently took some to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.

She told the Times, “When I go to UC Davis in Sacramento, I give masks to the nurses and nurse practitioners. I gave one to my oncologist.

“They were very happy. It is a blessing — I love giving things.

“I think they’ll use them. This pandemic seems like it’s going to go on for awhile.

“I also made masks for my pastor and his family. My pastor said behind his mask, he wasn’t smiling much.  So I got an iron-on patch for him and since his school colors were purple and yellow, I made a purple and yellow smile on his mask.

“I made 35 or 40 masks, mostly for family and friends, using scrap fabric I had at home.

“I made a lion mask for my grandson, and a giraffe mask for my daughter-in-law.

“I made a cheetah one for my neighbor across the street who is about 10 or 11.

“Everyone in his family had a mask except him, so I asked him what is his favorite animal, and I made him his own custom cheetah.

“One of my neighbors had heart surgery, so I made a mask for him, and then another neighbor wanted one, and I made one for her.

“I love creative things and I had a lot of fun!

“God just gave me another way of giving.

“I think I will probably make some more masks.”

Thomas has been sewing since she was very young.

She told the Times, “My mom was a professional seamstress and as a little girl, I had the most beautiful wardrobe.

“She taught me to sew. I used to make my own clothes when I was a teenager.

“I also took Home Ec in school,  and I liked Home Ec.  I think sewing is a lost art now.  I don’t think they teach it any more. I used to play around with the sewing machine.

“The one thing I make the most now is pillows, or I make curtains.

“When I decided to sew face masks, my husband found a you tube video.

“I saw a pattern I thought I could pull off.

“When I watched the video, I took notes and then made my own pattern out of a paper bag.”

Those who receive Thomas’ masks are fortunate because she and her husband have just returned home after living out of state for many years.

She told the Times, “We left California about 35 years ago, and we returned last year to be near mom and dad, who live in Vallejo.  We feel blessed to have come back to California.”

She explained, “My dad retired from the Air Force. I am an Atwater High grad. I went to Merced Junior College. Then my best friends from college and I went to San Jose State together.

“After I got married, my husband worked for the airline industry for 28 years, and he retired from American Airlines in Pennsylvania. Then he was a train engineer. So we were in Pennsylvania, and then St. Louis for seven years.

“We have just returned home. I still consider California home, after about 35 years.

“I see my best friends from college a lot now.

“It really feels like I’ve come home, and it feels wonderful.”


Beverly Thomas, a local resident whose mother was a professional seamstress, makes beautiful face masks and gives them to hospital workers and family and friends.
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