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Quilt made out of leftover mask cloths honors COVID-19 survivors

Maggie Nolan took the scraps from making thousands of masks and gave them a purpose.

DENVER — We’ve seen all of the news stories about people making masks to help out during the pandemic. While everyone has a reason for wanting to pitch in, Maggie Nolan’s is personal.

“I am making them for the folks at Uptown Healthcare Center at 18th and Clarkson,” Nolan said. “My son Leland lives there and they take real good care of him.”

Nolan’s son has mental health issues, and needs the extra help a care center provides. These kind of centers were in need of masks early on in the pandemic, so Nolan took to her sewing machine. Since last spring, she has made 2,560 masks. When her own son got COVID-19 last June, she was worried, but even more happy to help.

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“I feel like I’m really doing something to help the situation,” Nolan said.

Her son survived, but Nolan knows firsthand how scary that diagnosis can be. So she took the scraps that come from making so many masks, and put them to creative use. She made a quilt out of mask remnants, to pay tribute to survivors of COVID.

“It’s called ‘Beyond the Mask,” and I dedicated it to people that have survived COVID-19 because I know that it’s scary and frightening.”

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Nolan invites survivors to sign the quilt, that has a large depiction of a mask quilted into the center. She hopes to donate it to a place like History Colorado, so others can honor people like her son Leland—people who made it through the illness.

“In some ways, I think they’ve been a little bit forgotten,” Nolan said.

She is inviting people who have survived COVID-19 to come sign her quilt at South Broadway Christian Church, 23 Lincoln St. It’ll be on display March 9-10 from noon to 5 p.m. The church is also taking appointments to sign the quilt, at 303-722-4679.