ARP — Mendy Brittian is known for her quilting as the owner of Foster Creek Designs Quilts Crafts & More, where her two employees are her mother, Karen Foster, and her dog, Bonnie.
But the duo also have a combined 42 years in the health care field. When a friend asked if they could make masks, Mendy sewed into action.
“I have a friend who owns an ER in Paris and they had a shortage of masks because they gave so many to patients, they said they needed 100 ASAP,” said Brittian, who not only made them but delivered them on her day off.
From there, the orders started coming in.
“I posted it on Facebook and it exploded. I thought maybe a few people would want them here and there, but no, it was 40 or 50 at a time, some 20 and 30,” she said. “We took some to our doctor, another to a physician at the cancer center and it snowballed. Orders kept coming in, Carthage, Lufkin, they need them everywhere apparently.”
Mendy worked for the former ETMC orthopedic practice for 10 years while Karen worked for a local surgeon for 32 years.
“We’ve been making them every day, 11 to 12 hours a day,” Brittian explained. “I have 350 left to make and I’ve made 500 to 600 in the last week and a half. Just when we thought we were getting somewhere, I needed another 50 for the first ER.
“People are saying, ‘I heard you are making masks?’ Yes, I’ll keep making them until there’s not any fabric left,” she added.
Mendy has been a quilter for 26 years, starting when she was 14. She’s a member of the Quilters’ Guild of East Texas and the Tyler Modern Quilt Guild.
She has put all her other quilting projects aside from clients to focus entirely on making masks.
Mendy bought the elastic and fabric from Joann Fabrics and Crafts had in Tyler and her mother bought what she could in material at Hobby Lobby. In addition to the places all over East Texas, her masks have already been distributed to doctors at Tyler Internal Medicine and UT Health East Texas.