Not Just a ‘Sew Sew’ Quarantine Project

Author: Carroll University

Published Date: 5/22/2020

Categories: Faculty and Staff Pioneers Persevere


sewing supplies

During the Safer at Home order, many Wisconsinites found themselves with a bit more time on their hands. For some, that meant catching up with their Netflix queue, keeping up with the kids or cooking up a storm.

Susan Hornung, assistant director for the Campus Center, chose a different tack. After the order was put in place in March, she decided to help others.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to make masks,” she said, thinking first of her student workers at the Campus Center, colleagues and family. “I didn’t know their capabilities for getting one.”

First came choosing the right material. Hornung remembered there were bedsheets from her husband’s great aunt tucked away in her basement. “They were pristine and folded neatly in a box. It was good old-fashioned cotton material, and I thought she’d get a big kick out of it using to help people,” she said.

Next, she found a hospital-recommended pattern online. But the plain white sheets were a bit boring and needed some zing. “So I bought some orange dye and tie-dyed some and plain-dyed others. Then people started asking for them.”

Hornung was delighted when she saw colleague Matt Sirinek wearing one of her masks during a video call. Altogether, she was able to squeeze 37 masks out of the heirloom sheets.

In the meantime, Carroll University has been busy ensuring that everyone will have masks when they return to campus. Not only will they be functional, they’ll be fashionable, designed in Carroll colors. The masks are expected to be delivered in mid-June.

Hornung gave the Carroll-created designs a thumbs-up. “These are fun, and a lot more professional than mine,” she said.

In Difficult Times, PIONEERS Persevere