What We Learned From a Year of Crafting

Making things — masks, quilts, ceramics, mandalas — was a practical and sometimes political response to the moment.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and at the start of the pandemic, the thing everyone needed was masks. To help keep people safe, an army of home sewers banded together last spring to make face coverings and other personal protective equipment for health care workers, family members and strangers.

Stuck at home without the diversions of socializing, travel or dining out, the crafting continued. Americans knitted, crocheted and wove through the lockdown. They made hand-tufted rugs, paper orchids, wooden chess sets, tiny shrines and botanical mandalas.

Sewing machines got hauled out of closets,

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