Lake Conroe resident puts sewing skills to use making face masks

Nancy Garner works on face masks at her sewing machine. (Courtesy Nancy Garner)
Nancy Garner works on face masks at her sewing machine. (Courtesy Nancy Garner)

Nancy Garner works on face masks at her sewing machine. (Courtesy Nancy Garner)

As Lake Conroe resident Nancy Gehr Garner was growing up, she remembers her mother wearing “perfectly starched hats and uniforms” to her job as a nurse. And sometimes, those uniforms would include fabric masks.

And when the coronavirus began spreading across the country, she decided to use her lifelong skill of sewing to provide face masks to those in need in the Lake Conroe area.

“I started this with just fabric that I had,” Garner said. “I didn’t have to leave my house.”

Garner said she looked online and found the Turban Project, a nonprofit that provides headwear for women facing hair loss due to medical issues, and the Deaconess Project, a national health care service that was running a campaign for handmade face masks. Although the Deaconess campaign quickly met its quota, Garner used the instructions and patterns from both nonprofits to create face masks for local entities.

After running through her own supplies, Garner reached out on her Grand Harbor neighborhood’s Facebook page looking for additional fabric.

“I just started sewing,” Garner said. “And I’m not charging anybody.”

Through word of mouth, Garner said she has been making masks for senior care facilities, fire stations, EMS stations and some hospitals. Although fabric face masks are not used to prevent the spread of coronavirus, they can help mitigate the strain for facilities where masks are in short supply.

For those who want to help, Garner said she has received many fabric donations but is still looking for a good supply of elastic. Those who want to help can contact her at

“I’ve got A&M fabric, and I’ve got 'Star Wars' fabric, and I’ve got mustache fabric, and I’ve got 'Duck Dynasty' fabric,” Garner said. “These people who are going to be wearing these masks are going to be adorable, and they’re going to be cheery!”

By Andy Li
Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now works as the reporter for the Conroe/Montgomery edition of Community Impact Newspaper.


Hank's Crab Shack gets and sells several hundred pounds of crawfish daily, especially during the peak of crawfish season. (Morgan Theophil/Community Impact Newspaper)
Hank's Crab Shack serving Katy; 16 Spring-Klein business updates and more Houston-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.

The widening of FM 1097 between Anderson Road and Lake Conroe Hills Drive is expected to kick off in the second quarter of 2021. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
FM 1097 construction continues and 2 other local projects to follow

The widening of FM 1097 between Anderson Road and Lake Conroe Hills Drive is expected to kick off in the second quarter of 2021.

Elections for various local city council and school board positions will take place May 1. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
See candidates who filed for May elections in Montgomery, Willis

Elections include Montgomery City Council, Montgomery ISD and Willis City Council.

Houston City Hall in rainbow lighting
Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce celebrates five years of service

The organization is open to all and serves members throughout the Greater Houston area.

Montgomery County is set to receive its largest first-dose allocation during the week of March 1. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County set to receive largest vaccine allocation yet in first week of March

Nearly 20,000 vaccine doses were allocated to the county's two vaccine hubs and several additional providers for the week of March 1.

A coronavirus vaccine is given at Memorial Hermann's mass vaccine clinic Feb. 26. (Andrew Christman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Memorial Hermann closes out 2nd round of vaccines with 7,000 distributed among 2 clinics

The clinic will continue operations through 5:30 p.m. Feb. 27.

The "grocerant" opened Feb. 26. (Courtesy Lindsay Nichols)
GALLERY: Take a peek inside newly opened Harvest Market 'grocerant' in Woodforest

The two-level “grocerant” features a full dining experience and a grocery store.

The new Fort Bend Epicenter multipurpose facility could be used as a spot for trade shows and sporting events, could act as a large-scale shelter for county residents in an emergency and more. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Large multipurpose complex coming to Fort Bend County; Sugar Land to widen University Blvd. and more top Houston-area news

Read the top business and community news from the past week from the Houston area.

The median price of homes sold in ZIP code 77306 saw the greatest percent increase year over year in January. (Community Impact staff)
Check out this month's featured neighborhood, Crighton Ridge in Conroe

Crighton Ridge, located in Conroe, includes parks, a playground and a pond for residents to enjoy.

Snow covers I-45 in Houston during a winter storm that hit Texas the night of Feb. 14. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Legislators probe energy officials over power failures, lack of preparation heading into winter storm

The Texas Legislature held hearings Feb. 25 with energy companies including Oncor Electric Delivery and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas in response to last week’s historic winter storm, which left millions of Texans without electricity for days.