Plain to patchwork - an article of ataahua (beauty).

"Wings over South Canterbury" designed and created by Marie Temple of Geraldine and presented in 1999. This beautiful quilted wall hanging hangs in the Timaru Council, on the wall at the reception. At the back we have Mt Cook sticking up like a sore thumb and the chilly Lake Pukaki. On the banks of Lake Tekapo is the Church of the Good Shepherd, and the Round Hill ski field. Motuariki Island is the island in Lake Tekapo. A glider sores above the arid Mackenzie Country. South Canterbury's south boundary is the mighty Waitaki flowing to the sea with a hydro dam releasing water, see the mist. To the north the Rangitata, a braided river, with terraced banks and boulders that roll when in flood, known for its salmon fishing and raft race. Mount Peel homestead is way up there on the south bank with some patches of native bush. The foothills soon turn into the downs spotted with sheep, hay bales, a musterer with a horse and faithfull collie dog, deer farms, Friesian dairy cows and but I can imagine there are centre pivot irrigators in those paddocks, grain crops, shelter belts, gorse hedges and trampers on the outskirts of Timaru. Timaru, Caroline Bay, Hydro Grand, Ashbury Park and the Champagne Tree are visible with sea gulls and a whale heading out to sea and straight roads - SH1. It is like an I spy quilt. What am I missing? Every time I look at it I see something else. Marie also designed the car snug below and the wood pigeon wall hanging. You can also see Marie's work at the annual Winchester Show in March - patchwork section.

"'Wings over South Canterbury" - Timaru Council Office, 2010. South Canterbury is clean and green.

Quilting has been enjoying a comeback since the mid 80’s in New Zealand.

Challenge Quilts

The annual New Zealand Hoffman Challenge is one of New Zealand’s main quilt competitions. The competition is currently organised by Betty Twaddle of Needle ‘n Thread, Talbot Street, Geraldine, in conjunction with Tiffanies Treasures, who are the distributors of Hoffman Fabrics in New Zealand. 2010 photos a & b  "The NZ rules are that it must NOT be square or rectangular, but must fit within a metre square, hence all the interesting shapes that you saw. There has to be a recognisable amount of the challenge fabric (not just the binding). The quilts are judged and usually about 20 are selected as finalists to travel the country for approximately 12 months until March 2011. " The chosen fabric for the 2011 challenge was a paisley design. 2011 Betty has a passion for the crafts which prompted her to take on the shop in Geraldine in 2006. She has years of experience in the finer points of craftwork, sewing and knitting and has a lot to offer customers by way of advice and service. 2012 Something to crow about.

22 November, 2011 Ashburton online Classy, life-like quilt wins
By John Keast - Ride With Me, was the winning entry in the Hoffman Challenge quilting competition. The quilt was made by Joanne Mitchell of Geraldine. Joanne Mitchell's quilt comes to life as you stand before it. It is a work of art, an intricate blend of ideas, classy quilting and electronics. The quilt, Ride With Me, was named best in show and viewers' choice in the Hoffman Challenge, a first-up trans-Tasman quilting challenge on display in Geraldine as part of the town's successful Arts and Plants Festival. The Hoffman Challenge (named after a US cotton company) is run in New Zealand by Needle n Thread, a Geraldine quilting, sewing and knitting store run by Betty Twaddle, who began making her own clothes as a child and who started quilting 25 years ago. She has just returned from Deloraine in Tasmania, where the New Zealand and Australian entries in the Hoffman Challenge were displayed at the Tasmanian craft fair. It attracted more than 25,000 visitors over a weekend, proceeds going to Rotary International. New Zealand quilters have been entering the Hoffman Challenge for many years, but it is Australia's first foray into the challenge. The Hoffman is one of New Zealand's main quilting competitions - and Geraldine, per population, has a lot of quilters, perhaps 60 or more. Some attend classes; others work alone, creating a wide range of quilts. Some take hundreds of hours to finish; some are done by machine, some by hand. Quilters entering the Hoffman have to adhere to rules, one of which is that quilts not be square or rectangular. Hence the giddy array of entries in the challenge: a preening peacock, an Indian chief war shield, one based on a Beatles theme, and a petal-shaped entry inspired by the blooms seen dancing on their stems after the fury of the September earthquake. And there is Ride With Me, a carousel and leaping white horse. As you approach the quilt, led lights on the carousel twinkle and music plays. Diane Brittlebank, the curator of the Deloraine show in Tasmania, and in Geraldine for last weekend's festival, said Australian quilters had a lot to do to catch up with their Kiwi counterparts. Mrs Twaddle has just returned from Deloraine with the entries, which were attracting a lot of interest in Geraldine. Best in show, Joanne Mitchell, Geraldine; best traditional with twist, Pot of Fireworks, Tracey Marshall, Temuka; best contemporary, Masquerade, Cindy Watkins, Tasmania. Mrs Twaddle said: ``I'd rather quilt and sew than garden. To relax is to sit and sew.''

Joanne had a motion sensor sewn into the quilt and as you walk close to the quilt lights flash and music plays.

Commemorative work

When St. Anne's Church turned 150 on Sunday, March 10, 2013 The Rt. Rev. Bishop Victoria Matthews dedicated a commemorative patchwork wall-hanging designed and created by Marie Temple. The ceremony was followed by a pot-luck lunch and speeches in the Pleasant Valley Hall. William Vance wrote "A man must know a place before he can faithfully write about it." Well, Marie knows her Pleasant Valley. For a lifetime she had gazed on it and here has used her artistic licence to create this beauty, it is a piece of art. The hanging features two triptychs. Three lancet windows looking out to the Four Peaks - Devils Peak, Fiery Peak, Waihi Peak, Tripps Peak and the green valley surrounded by native bush filled with the three birds - waxeye, fantail and a wood pigeon perched on three branches- fuchsia, kowhai and berries. Not elderberries which grow in the valley. Barkers use to make wine from them. In the foreground there is a cabbage tree, three rabbits, bracken, two lambs, Marie Temple 2013, two lambs and ewe. The three inner lancet windows feature: the angel - replicate of the three angels on the Burdon plot in the churchyard cemetery behind the church. The church with its green roof and the lovely simplistic entrance sign and a jewel in the crown of Canterbury stained glass windows - the beautiful 1925 Veronica Whall 'Two Angels in a vine' altar window which was made in London.

Inside St. Anne's, Pleasant Valley. Click on the hot spot on wall.  Photo taken Sunday 10 March 2013 by Winsome.

The altar window was donated by Mrs Mildred Burdon in 1925, in memory of her friend Ethel H. Moffat. Veronica Whall was a niece of the late Mrs Moffat. Ethel was a sister of Christopher Whall a prominent stained glass artist in England. The work consists of two lancets. The motif for the major lights is of grape vines - the vine being the symbol of Christ "the true vine" and the grapes signifying the sacrament of the Holy Communion. The vertical vine trunks emphasise the main framework of the window. Two angels, holding a rose between them, feature in the apex of the window. Above the rose feature the letters IHS, which are the first three letters of the Greek spelling of Jesus. The window was dedicated on 7 March 1926. The rose is a symbol of St. Mary BV  in the RC faith. Eleven of her windows are found in Canterbury, four of them are in the Christchurch Nurses' Memorial Chapel and another two are in St. Thomas, in Woodbury, the Turton and Burdon (the alter window) memorial windows.  

Quilts are an art form and meant to be handed down. Workmanship, aesthetics and condition are important not the age of the quilt.

Farm quilts - design and create a quilt top with your property's actual paddock blocks with appliquéd water races and river boundary, woolshed and implement shed, native bush and shelter belts, the homestead and vegetable garden and hen house, driveway and ponds. If it is a dairy farm back it with material featuring Holsteins. If a sheep farm - sheep and so on. It will be different shades of green with a dark green bias binding and a beautiful keepsake. Make one for each grandchild as a play quilt. Sign and date the quilt with the name of the property and your initials and year. If you do it let me know, thanks. 

A remembrance of a community. Centennial Project - another challenge. Remember a wall hanging does not have to be square. Many districts centennials are coming up within the next few years so initiate a wall hanging for the district hall and make it a community effort. Using the original survey map for the settlement, someone might have the old cloth map, (by now it will be falling apart), use it as a guide to create blocks of each original property boundary and with embroidery name each farm or run. Include the road names, bridges and plantations and war memorial and community hall and named hills. If you do it let me know, thanks.  

Mystery Quit

A group of friends, (6), organised by just one.... decided to participate in the making of a mystery quilt. The fabric choices were made and the first set of instructions arrived, then the second and the third and so on! Each month we assembled the blocks by instruction, with no idea as to what the final result would be. There were many guesses but we were all are so far off the beaten track when the last of the instructions were delivered and the design was revealed! A marvellous project to accomplish with a great group of friends, will be fun and motivating.

Text on Textiles 

Words in designs can be found on quilts from the classic signature quilts to works of art featuring prose, poetry and Biblical scripture are not uncommon, e.g. Wilson St. and the wedding quilt below, dated. A quilt with hand writing the same - so someone was appointed in charge of transcribing the names of a list of donors. To generate a realistic image try using the computer's pixels. In churches you find quilted and embroidered alter cloths, banners and wall hangings. All Saints

Geraldine 2009. In churches you find quilted and embroidered alter cloths, banners and wall hangings.

Church Banners

Many churches have beautiful alter cloths, table falls and banners often hand stitched by parishioners.

Presbyterian Church, Cox St Geraldine.
Church Banners - Usually two on display at any given time. Made by Dorothy Young, Doreen Blair, Nora Coulter, Marie Temple, Jenny Scriggins, Jenny Bennett.

Presbyterian Church, Cox St Geraldine. Nov. 2009

Anglican Church, Talbot St, Geraldine
Church Banner made by Ngaire Grandi, Mary Lyons, Mary Crane.

Photo taken April 2012
Roy Entwistle, a stained glass artist, a parishioner of St. Mary's Geraldine and former art teacher, designed and made two windows in St Mary's in Geraldine, also designed the tapestry banner in the parish church in Geraldine- a large cross with the apricot background.

A Signature Quilt

Does anyone have an old South Canterbury signature quilt? Here is a signature quilt top created by a Timaru church guild, probably for a hospital in England, for soldiers serving overseas, in 1917. 
The Geraldine Museum has a tablecloth that was embroidered to raise funds for the Second World War from the Orari bridge district. Everyone that signed it, paid to put their name on the cloth so a district's social history is preserved in fabric.

Timaru Herald, 11 May 1889, Page 2
The bazaar and gift auction in connection with the Wesleyan Church, Temuka, and in aid of the building fund of the new church, were opened yesterday in the Volunteer Hall. The building was tastefully decorated for the occasion, and the stalls more conveniently arranged. The stalls were presided over by Mesdames J. and E. Brown, Bunn, Holwell, Harrison, and Bezzant, assisted by the Misses Brown. There was a first-class collection of ornamental and useful articles. The refreshment stall was in the care of Mesdames Holwell, Barrett, Longson, and Spooner. Mrs Fawdray had charge of the produce stall, upon which was displayed an assortment of fruits, vegetables, and poultry, all the lined of their kind. A bran pie was attended by Mrs G. Lynch. The autograph quilt, a prominent feature of the bazaar, consisted of 617 squares of silk, upon each of which initials were worked. The centre of the quilt represented the facade of the church and below was the name of the Rev. R. B. Buun, and "October, 1883," the date when the foundation stone was laid, the whole being wadded and quilted, and highly creditable to those who had taken part in its production.

Timaru Herald, 7 May 1873, Page 3
Timaru Hospital — We are requested to acknowledge on the part of the Managers of the above institution the receipt of a very handsome bed quilt, worked by several ladies residing in Timaru. The quilt is a large one and is tastefully worked. Interspersed here and there in the pattern of the cover, are some well executed scripture texts, done with marking ink on white calico. A second quilt intended for the women's ward is in course of preparation which will be finished in a few days.

Calico in NZ is the same fabric that is called muslin in the US. Muslin in NZ is what you might call cheese cloth in the US.

South Canterbury Patchwork Groups


Geraldine Patchwork Group - Care quilts.
Waimate Patchwork Group
Pleasant Point - has a group
Chatty Patchers, Fairlie
Twizel Patchworkers
Temuka Patchwork Group - meets every 2nd Tuesday at a variety of locations.
The Obsessive Quilters Club, meet every Thursday night from 7pm – 10pm & the first Saturday of every month from 9.30am – 3.30pm Obsession 2 Quilt, 239 King Street, Temuka, on the bypass, ½ km N. of town.
Timaru Patchwork and Quilters - 2nd Wednesday of the month at the South Canterbury Art Society rooms on Gleniti Rd.  Held an exhibition "Art in Quilts" at the Aigantighe in August 2020. The genre has evolved and widened to encompass the many forms of quilting shown in this exhibition. Traditionally, the only stipulation for a quilt was that it consists of 3 layers (top, batting and backing) that were sandwiched together and quilted. The resulting variations from this have lead to a groundswell of enthusiasm around the world - quilts have become sought after artworks that are both decorative and practical.

Geraldine Patchwork Group - approximately 45 people meet regularly to share knowledge born of experience and to enjoy the camaraderie of membership. Usually exhibits during festivals at the St Mary’s Anglican Church in Geraldine, opposite the cinema. The group started in 1985. Up to 23 members of the Geraldine Patchwork Group created wall-hangings around the theme Geraldine – the last 150 Years in 2008. Their work depicted iconic buildings and places from memories and photographs of the early days in and around Geraldine. The flax mill, sawmill, the Bank of New Zealand, and Morrison's, the brick building are some of the buildings that have become fabric art subjects. In 2008 they also did a rhododendron theme and in 2009 a  'Go Geraldine' challenge for the mid Nov. Geraldine Festival. During the annual Geraldine Festival in November the Geraldine Patchwork Group displays new work at St. Mary's Anglican Church. There is also viewers choice challenge. Often you see Marie Temple's work. In Nov. 2012 the groups triptych challenge involved creating three quilts that are variants on a theme. They were stunning.  A community that cares.

Geraldine Arts & Plants Festival Quilt Show - Triptych challenge. The harvesters look like Marie Temple's work.

The Courier Thursday, October 16, 2014 Patchworkers show they know their ABCs
Patchworkers are piecing together their final touches in preparation for the Geraldine Arts & Plants Festival. Members of the Geraldine Patchwork Group have been meeting regularly, armed with the many tools and fabric needed to create their crafts in time for next month’s showcase. The group, which has an official membership of 28, along with casual members, will display their works of art at the Geraldine Historical Society’s museum extension from November 14 - 16. It is an event the group spends countless hours preparing for. This year members decided to add an ‘‘ABC Challenge’’ to their exhibition. Members were given a letter at random, which they had to feature in a creation of their choice. Whatever you made, you had to have three things featured in the creation starting with that letter.’ However, the typical options like A for apple and B for ball were not allowed. Marie Temple drew the short straw — the letter Z. But she rose to the challenge. ‘‘I thought, I’m not going to do zebra and zoo. I like doing scenes so I did from zero to zenith and the zone in between.’’ Quilts, wall hangings and bags are among the items being made by the group. However, the group is not exclusively about patchwork. People do any craft here. People embroider, others knit. The group has also taken part in Anzac commemorations this year, creating wall hangings which feature fields of poppies.  

The Geraldine News 15 Nov. 2017.
About 25 of the 35 strong Geraldine Patchwork and Craft group gathered for their regular Thursday meeting at the St John ambulance rooms. "We are very busy preparing for our exhibition, which will be held at the RSA rooms over the Arts and Plants festival weekend. We start as one festival is over preparing for the next. We never show the same item twice. Maureen Booth says the group has been exhibiting at the festival since 1087 or 1988 when they had a single table at the Geraldine primary School. "I started the group when I moved from Christchurch in 1986. Actually, I joined the embroidery group to learn embroidery, but everyone wanted to learn patchwork. "

Anzac Remembered Quilts

I was at the Anzac event at the Rangitata Aerodrome 26th August 2014. The Geraldine Patchwork group had their beautiful Remembrance and Peace quilts on display. No photos as my camera battery was flat. US has quilts of valor and Australia has Aussie Hero Quilts (and laundry bags).


5000 Poppies

Through Polygon Wood
by Meredith Atilemile

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(In dappled shade of leafy trees
thick undergrowth of fern and bush)
I saw the bare and jagged branches reaching for Heaven.

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(The damp path well-defined and solid)
I smelled the stinking, hungry mud.

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(Green and yellow light
Sweet scent of hidden flowers)
I tasted the searing poison of gas.

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(Birds twittering
and calling to each other)
I heard the screech of shells, roaring explosions, cries of pain.

Through Polygon Wood we walked
(Gentle breeze passing through the leaves)
I felt the sighs of a generation lost.

Timaru Library July 2015
Local crafters, supported by the Aoraki Embroiderers' Guild, have created hundreds of poppies and attached them to a WW1 greatcoat on display in the Timaru Library August 2015.  In July 2015 the poppy wall, crocheted poppys attached to a soldiers grey blanket, made by The Aoraki Embroiderers’ Guild for an exhibition was donated to the SC Museum.

Commemorative ANZAC quilt made by the Timaru Patch workers and Quilters Group on display in the Timaru Library August 2015. Hanging on a curved wall.

Quilts in Public Places

Fairlie - Two Peace quilts in Fairlie were created to celebrate 50 years since VJ Day. Women from the area contributed samplers to create the quilts which hang in the Mackenzie Community Centre. Each quilt has 3 x 5 blocks and four of the blocks depict the dove of peace. Another The Red Cross. In August 2017 a patchwork wall art by Heather Whitehead was hung in the Mackenzie Community Library.

A bookcase quilt. An idea for a quilting group. Saw this in the Fairlie school/community library in October 2017.

This quilt is hanging in the Mackenzie County Council Office, Main St. Fairlie. Welders Gibson's Bros. Engineering.


The wall hanging quilt below is at the Timaru Hospital. Photo taken October 2017. A springtime scene with rolling downs with a paddock of round bales and another paddock of sheep with a John Deere tractor in the distance and a farmer's flatbed truck.

Another wall hanging can be found in the Geraldine Public Library. Photo taken Feb. 2018. Note the honour board in the background. I see Mt Cook peaking through a saddle, rolling down countryside, a town with three churches, sheep, a mother watching her two children play along the stream back of the the Waihi River.

In NZ in Geraldine. The beautiful 2004 Geraldine Library quilt, "Life in Geraldine" was designed by Marie Temple but it was a team effort by the Geraldine patchwork group. The quilt features the snowcapped Four Peaks range, a road to the Geraldine Downs with houses with corrugation iron roofs, painted red, a chimney with smoke going up. Below the Downs and countyside is Geraldine District High School and the swimming baths. See the 'Welcome to Geraldine' sign there too. Poplars are beside the Rangitata River with the activities of fly fisherman after salmon and the Rangitata white water rafting. Native bush and ornamental trees, a herd of Frisian dairy cattle, a flock of sheep and red deer farming. The block beside the deer is the quilters at work; see the sewing machine. The Big Tree at Peel Forest and campervans and facilities at Clarke Flat, a tourist bus in town in front of the complex opposite the old Post Office, Barkers Berry Barn, bakery, cafe's, cheese shop etc. Girl Guides and Boy Scouts campfire, a garden, a tramper with map will travel. The sign post reads to the left Te Moana, Hilton, Orari and to the right Waihi Gorge and Peel Forest. On the green - the sports of golf, cricket and the cricketer has been bowled out, the stumps are flying off and Geraldine Rugby Football Club and see the two bowlers with their sunhats on. There is an artist painting 'en plein air' the Rangitata Valley and horses grazing on the Orari race course and 'mainly music'. Mainly Music at St Mary’s is a weekly music and movement session for young children and their families. I can see flowers and a little waterfall representing The Waihi River Walkway starts behind the war memorial on Talbot Street across the road from the library.

Timaru Herald 14 July 2009
PATCHED UP: Convenor Doreen Blair, left, and project manager Marie Temple of the Geraldine Patchwork Group, with Joanne Mitchell's vintage car patchwork quilt of a 1923 Delage Model and in the background is Mrs Temple's quilt called Gateway to the Mountains. Photo by Natasha Martin/ The Timaru Herald. More than 40 members from as far as Hinds, Fairlie, Temuka and Rangitata took part in a challenge to design the most fitting patchwork for Go Geraldine, the district's promotional association. Twenty-two entries were received from members, who came up with designs such as a skiing cat chasing mice on skis to Talbot Forest Cheese, which is one of the association's sponsors. Go Geraldine board member Roger Payne said the challenge was a great example of community spirit and the association would use some of the crafts in future promotions. The patchwork will be displayed at the Arts and Plants Festival in November, with some for sale.

Paint job's not a patch on the cover by Katarina Filipe - The Timaru Herald 16/11/2009
Marie Temple and Mrs Joanne Mitchell made a quilt cover. It's warm, soft and colourful – and it keeps Mrs Mitchell's Smart car snug.  Outside the Geraldine Patchwork Group's display at the 21st Geraldine Arts and Plants Festival market day on Saturday, people were admiring the car's outfit and tourists were posing for photos next to it. The quilted car cover made its debut at last year's Geraldine Christmas parade, but the weekend festival was the second time it had been out in public, Mrs Mitchell said. About 35 members in the group helped make the quilt by producing 40 individual blocks, which Mrs Mitchell and Marie Temple put together. It took them four days to get the quilt big enough – and safe enough – to fit on the car. Mrs Mitchell said they needed to make sure the doors could still open and the driver could see out the windows. The quilt had been stuck onto the doors using Velcro and a bulldog nose clip.

  Special cosy shelter. Geraldine. Nov. 2009. Marie Temple's challenge.

Timaru Courier Thursday, June 10, 2010 5
Quilts a warm finishing touch to upgrade by Rachael Comer
A Group of Temuka women has helped piece together the final touches on the upgrade of the Wallingford Rest Home. The Temuka Patchwork Group has donated 32 lap quilts, one for each of the new rooms built in the home as part of its $3.5 million makeover. The project was the biggest the group had attempted and had taken about 18 months to complete. We had the idea we wanted to do something for the community. The idea went from a few quilts for the elderly, to a wallhanging for the home to doing quilts. The project had been a team effort from the group’s 18 members. It’s the biggest thing we have undertaken. The home was built on the site of the old Temuka Maternity Hospital 25 years ago and given to the Temuka and District Aged Persons’ Welfare Society by the district health board. Presbyterian Support now owns and runs the rest home. The complex was built with 42 beds but in recent years there have been as few as 18 residents in the home. It is now catering for 30 residents. The home now has 32 en suite rooms.

Every two years, even years, the Timaru Patchwork and Quilters group has a major exhibition. They meet every second Wednesday in a church hall and usually has an exhibit and demonstration at the annual Rose Festival on Caroline Bay, November. Since 1984 there have been national and mini quilt symposiums in NZ. These are hosted by volunteer guilds throughout NZ. Mountains to the Sea was the mini-symposium presented by Timaru Patchwork and Quilters’ Group April 2010. There was a raffle quilt. The challenge quilt themes for the Mountains to the Sea symposium were "Sand Sea and Sail" and - "From the Alps to the Coast or Anywhere In Between."  The Remarkable Symposium was the next one, April 2011. History.

Timaru Courier, July 22, 2010 pg15
The Timaru Plunket Family centre have received a generous donation of 30 beautiful quilts from the Timaru patchwork Quilters team.

"We do community things as well. It's part of what we do."  

Quilt in the Geraldine Resource center in April 2014. Wood pigeon near the top with a morepork, below it is a  is a bellbird, koromako, is enjoying nectar from the kowhai tree. Fantail on a vine. The cat is sleeping while the mice are playing.

5 Sept. 2007 When Angela Curry's Rosewell home was almost completely destroyed by fire last month one of the possessions she lost was a quilt made from frocks which spanned generations of her family. This was unbeknown to the Geraldine Patchwork Group when, this week, they generously donated a handmade quilt to Mrs Curry to show their support in her time of need. Mrs Curry said so many people had thought of kind and practical ways to help her since the fire and she was delighted with the quilt. "So many things went (in the fire) but now my needs are so much simpler. "By the time I get a bed I'm going to need it," she laughed. Geraldine Patchwork group member Maureen Booth said the group thoroughly enjoyed making the emergency quilts. "It's lovely to be able to give things away like this. We have a lot of fun getting together to do it." The group had held a "midnight madness" to make the quilt, stitching from 2pm to midnight. As well as the quilt given to Mrs Curry, the Geraldine group has donated several others to flood victims in Milton, former Geraldine Mayor Eulla Williamson for her work in the community, and four to the Mackenzie Lodge retirement home. Patchwork group member Mary Crane said the material had been donated from a wide group of people and it had been a team effort to make the quilt. The green background of Mrs Curry's quilt was to resemble the grass and flowers of the garden. Mrs Curry had lived on the property for 34 years and runs the farm on her own.

The Timaru Courier 25 March 2010 pg 13
Quilters gather for conference in Twizel by Ann Cockburn Twizel Patchworkers member.
Twizel Patchworkers are a small informal group of women who meet weekly from 10am to 3pm on Thursday at the Twizel Church Hall.
On Saturday, March 13, we held our inaugural ‘‘Gathering of the Quilts’’ conference at the Lake Ruataniwha rowing complex. We welcomed almost 100 visitors to view and display quilts, and listen to guest speaker Sue Spigel, the Quilter in Residence at Christchurch Cathedral, as she talked about her work’s progression from the earliest days to experiments with natural eco dyes on silk and wool. We are looking forward to her next exhibition later this year. Our challenge — ‘‘Reflecting the Mackenzie’’ — was well supported, with a diverse range of mini quilts produced by visitors and locals. Many thanks to the organisers, the shops and visitors who came from as far away as Gore and Christchurch, and our sponsors, all of whom helped to create a very special day in Twizel.  

Embroidery is still in.

Temuka Embroiderers' Guild meets Monday 10am to 2pm at the St. John Ambulance Rooms, King Street, Temuka.  Bring our own lunch. They have an extensive library. many types of embroidery are worked by members e.g. Hardanger, Assisi, crewel Work, Cross Stitch, Ribbon Embroidery, Black Work, Mountmellick, Stump Work, Bargelio etc.

The Timaru Public Library wall hanging. The Timaru Public Library wall hanging done by the Aorangi Embroideries Guild
The Timaru Public Library wall hanging done by the Aorangi Embroideries Guild 1990. It is quite a treasure and well situated in the library out of the light. At the bottom - Caroline Bay in the 1860s, then at the turn of the century and 1990. The sheep brands around the merino ram's head are: Acland & Tripp, MacDonald, Studholme, the diamond is R.H. Rhodes and G. Rhodes and far right is Butler.

1890 TIMARU What do you see? White building has got me stumped. 1990
a. Moa hunters, from the coast to the mountains leaving rock art in
the limestone rock shelters.
1a Timaru Coastline [writing]
1.b . Merino ram and brands.
1.c. Shanks pony, packhorses, stage coach, wagon, a Mokihi, (flax canoe), train, bicycle.
1d. Brick works
1e. Parr's windmill
2a. Blacksmith's smithy
2b.Richard Pearce's flight
The Lovelock oak, 1936 Olympic gold medal
2d. Grain, hay stacks, sheaves waiting to be stooked
2e. Churches - Chalmers, Sacred Heart Basilica, St Mary's, Salvation Army, ?Banks Street Methodist
2f. Transportation
2g. Downs, foothills and mountains
2h. Hydro dam, Waitaki because of arches, pylons, street lighting portraying power. Water storage though 2 colours strange.
3a Museum of South Canterbury, Aigantighe, Timaru Library
3b. Theatre Royal
3c. Port Loop Bridge
3d. ?Lake. Man with golf clubs!
3e. Black and white sheep bred for spinning
3f. Transportation
3g. Education 'remember learning is fun in all ways'
3h.  Llamas were brought into SC by Brian Bassett-Smith who owned the Hadlow Game farm.
3g. Aerial view of city
Landing service building
Railway track, Changing sheds on Bay,
Donkey – rides popular in bygone days,
white building???

Hydro Grand Hotel at back behind merry-go-round and cabbage trees
Band rotunda built in1904, trypot, soundshell
Memorial wall light – years ago they lit the whole wall
Bluestone shelter below railway line by under bridge entry to Bay
Larva from Mt Horrible to the sea
Bay Hall, tearooms in front where we used to buy ice creams
Paddling pool
Maori Park swimming baths in front of Lighthouse
Port of Timaru and Dashing Rocks
Two Thumb Range with Fox's Peak and Mt Cook

Kiwi quilters are up with the world's best and there is a huge pool of creativity out there, this is a nation of do-it-yourselfers. "If your image of a serious quilter is a grandmotherly type bent over a stretched-out quilt taking tiny stitches, rub your eyes and look again. She's probably sitting at her laptop computer calling up quilting web sites to find out about new products, learn new techniques, collect free patterns and purchase materials online. Quilting may be an American activity tied to our history, but today's quilters are anything but old-fashioned. While most of the work is still done by hand, quilters love all the fancy sewing machines and gadgets adding to the quilting adventure." Houston Chronicle 28 Oct. 2000. The average age of quilters seems to be dropping, with many young people taking it up and the guilds are full of professional woman and housewives.  I attended the Houston Quilt show in 2009 and ladies were raving about The New Zealand Quilter. They say it is one of the best quilting journals in the world. Quilts in Public Places.

Quilts break the craft art barrier.

Marie Temple's 'Four peaks Roundup. 2010, copyrighted. Used here with Marie's permission.
This colourful eye-catching  2' x 2' 6" wall hanging 'Four Peaks Roundup' was on display at the annual Geraldine Arts and Plants Festival mid November 2010 was made by Marie Temple and was not for sale. Design and photo are copyrighted by Marie Temple. Marie used her artistic licence and added other mediums e.g.: wool for the tussock to the left, a 3D effect.  There was another one there in Arts and Plants Festival 2011 - quilts. All slightly different and another.

A quilt is a sandwich - top, batting and backing.

Nov. 2011
2009  2010 Lake Ruataniwha


Today A& P Shows (Agricultural and Pastoral shows) are good places to see fine quilts, knitted toys, show jumping, shearing, wood chopping, Highland dancing, sheep dog trails and more. The Ashburton Show is the last weekend in October. The Fairlie Show is always on Easter Monday and the Winchester Show in March. The shows have always had fancy work exhibits but items have changed up over the years. It can be difficulty to shot a quilt at a show. The quilt could be hanging crooked; the background busy, too much light, signs "do not touch" are showing etc, so shoot digital so you can see what you have captured. "It's very motivating for the average quilter to see work like this."

First prize, a Golliwogg quilt. You don't see quilts like this pattern in the States. Second prize. New quilters are often cautious with colour, and will begin to use more traditional combinations before branching out. A large coverlet - a candlewick quilt for a bride in 2008. Candlewicking is a traditional form of embroidery based on the colonial knot. Quilts were been given as wedding presents in the 19th century and still given today. Memory quilts are a wonderful way to commemmorate a special occasion like a wedding, or a special anniversary or birthday. They are totally unique.  A beautiful native wood pigeon machine appliquéd wall hanging with bead work by Marie Temple, of Geraldine, 2009.
  Or this but African American's would love it. They are collecting "black dolls" and quilts. Kiwiana - A native wood pigeon and two black fantails and one pied. It's the friendship, the sharing, the creation. It takes months to complete a quilt. It's no wonder that most quilters keep their work, or give it to family, because it is a labour of love. A beautiful communion table fall designed by Joyce Binney and presented to the people of St. Paul's, Timaru on the 90th anniversary of the church in 2007. In 2012 used at Communion services at Chalmers.
At quilt shows look at the different designs and fabrics people use and share ideas with other quilters.

Theo Schoon in the late 1940s surveyed the Maori rock drawings in South Canterbury. He brought attention to preservation of these artworks and which had the unfortunate side effect of popularising them. Items such as scarves, tea towels, stamps, peanut butter jars, Weet-Bix cards printed with rock art images appeared in souvenir shops and the like. Kiwiana of all sorts are on the rise. Crafts using recognisable Kiwi motifs are also on the rise. Contemporary artists have begun to use textiles and  kiwiana in a way they never did before.  In 1994, New Zealand Post released a set of stamps depicting kiwiana items including a pavlova, fish and chips, rugby boots and ball, and a black singlet and gumboots. Old kiwiana tea towels and scarves are being made into cushions and kiwiana fabrics are being used in clothing design, with things such as grandma's doilies being used as pockets and on quilts. Also using blankets in craft is big all over the country as blankets are accessible and affordable, so far. The new big thing is using Crown Lynn. Artists are making pendants out of pieces of Crown Lynn and plates are being used as clock faces. In the past a woman would make a tea cosy or a hot water bottle cover on the machine and add the decorative bits by hand, today it is with quilts. Tea cosies were the ultimate symbol of domesticity and that whole social history thing where people sat around with a pot of tea and told stories over old blankets well in the future it will be over the quilts of today.

Fairlie Show 2016 Machine sewing.

2009 Ashburton Show. Soft toy, hand knitted with soft eyes/accessories. $5 to the winner.  Men do knit. First prize to Raymond.
Men do become interested in embroidery and patchwork but there were still a lot of "closet patchworkers" out there. More men are realising the satisfaction that comes from sitting down and creating a design from an idea in their head.

Temuka & Geraldine A & P Show
Winchester Showgrounds - Saturday March 1, 2008
The Timaru Herald 2/03/2008

Patchwork Cushion: 	M W Temple 1, Mrs B A Stonehouse 2. 
Patchwork Bag: 		Mrs B A Stonehouse 1, M W Temple 2, Mrs M Joy 3. 
Bed quilt or knee rug: 	Mrs M Joy 1. 
Small Wall Hanging: 	M W Temple 1, Mrs B O' Connor 2, Mrs M Joy 3. 
Large Wall Hanging: 	M W Temple 1, Mrs E Burton 2, Mrs E Burton 3. 
Children's Cot Quilt: 	Mrs Helen Carroll 1. 
Traditional Quilt: 	V Knowles 1. 
Contemporary Quilt: 	Mrs E Burton 1. 

Handmade Card: 		Mrs L M L Lines 1, S Lilley 2. 
Bear, Fabric: 		Mrs B A Stonehouse 1. 
Specimen of Craft (large): V Knowles 1, Mrs B O' Connor 2. 
Embroidered Article: Cross Stitch (including running thread): A Friend 1, N Brown 2, N Brown 3. 
Embroidered Cushion (in wool or cotton): Mrs F M Greaves 1. 
Fancy Pin Cushion: 	Mrs B A Stonehouse 1. 
Article in Tapestry: 	Mrs B O' Connor 1. 
Beaded Article: 	Mrs F M Greaves 1, Mrs F M Greaves 2.

Child's multi Coloured Garment: 	J Gee 1, Mrs F M Greaves 2, Mrs R Lilley 3. 
Poncho: 				Mrs F M Greaves 1. 
Pair Knitted Bootees: 			Mrs F M Greaves 1, S Lilley 2, Mrs F M Greaves 3. 
Baby's Beanie: 				Mrs F M Greaves 1, Mrs F M Greaves 2, W Lilley 3. 
Child's Garment, in 4 ply: wool: 	Mrs F M Greaves 1, Jean Gee 2. 
Garment in 8 ply: wool: 		Mrs F M Greaves 1, Mrs L De Geest 2, W Lilley 3.
Tea Cosy: 				Mrs R Lilley 1, W Lilley 2, Mrs F M Greaves 3. 
Handknitted fingerless gloves: 		Mrs F M Greaves 1. 
Hat & Scarf set in feather wool: textured Yarn: Mrs F M Greaves 1. 
Soft Toy Knitted: 			Mrs R Lilley 1. 
Hat, hand knitted: 			J Gee 1, Mrs F M Greaves 2, Mrs F M Greaves 3. 

Jar Raspberry Jam: 	Mrs G Rapsey 1, Mrs G Rapsey 2 
2. Jar Strawberry Jam: 	Mrs G Rapsey 1. 
Jar Apricot Jam: 	Mrs G Rapsey 1. 
Jar Lemon Honey: 	Mrs G Rapsey 1. 
Jar Marmalade, homemade: Mrs G Rapsey 1. 
Jar Chutney: 		Mrs G Rapsey 1. 
Jar Tomato Relish: 	Mrs G Rapsey 1, Max Paterson 2. 
Jar Relish: 		Mrs G Rapsey 1, 
Bottle Tomato Sauce: 	Mrs G Rapsey 1. 
Bottle Plum Sauce: 	Mrs G Rapsey 1. 
Jar Apple Jelly: 	Mrs G Rapsey 1. 

Class 709 RASPBERRY JAM, one pot, a $5 voucher to the winner, Ashburton Show 2009
A hundred years earlier I see two men took first place in the fancy work section and in 2009 at the Ashburton Show in the knitted soft toy section, Raymond was the winner. Way to go!

Timaru Herald, 10 January 1891, Page 3
Temuka Floral and Horticultural Society.
Patrons, Rev T A Hamilton, Mr A E G Rhodes M.H.R., Mr JTM Hayhurst J.P. ; President, Mr E Cutten ; Vice-Presidents, Sir William Blunden, Rev J Dickson, Rev Father Fauvel, Mr M Quinn J.P., Mr J Talbot J.P., Mr J Guild J.P., Mr J Blyth ; Hon Treasurer, Mr E C Dann ; Hon Secretary, Mr W N Cathro ; Committee of Management, Messrs P Wareing (chairman), F Saunders, W G Rutland, Job Brown, A W Mann, H T Clinch, G Prattley, E Brown, J Bennett, E Whitehead, G Smith - (Main Rood), J Hooper, and R. Metson ; judges, Messers H Crooks (Christchurch), Langdon and Cross (Timaru), A B Lowe (Timaru), extra exhibits, Rev T A Hamilton, and Mesdames Campbell, P Wareing, Hamilton, and Brown. The second annual show in connection with the Temuka Floral and Horticultural Society took place on Thursday in the Volunteer Hall, Temuka. The large drill shed was carefully arranged so that the exhibits might be displayed to the best advantage. In the smaller hall there was an exhibition of needlework and works of art, and also a refreshment stall, at which Mr D McCaskill presided.
Ladies' fancy work:

Miss G Wareing was first for mantel drape
Mrs Fitzgerald for afternoon tea cloth
Mrs Beri for fancy slippers and smoking cap
Mrs D Hoare for bracket
Miss Thompson for quilt
Mrs H Goody for patchwork quilt
Mrs C Hornbrook for hand-made stockings
Miss Langridge for knitted article
Miss A Charters for crochet work
Miss Hoare for cushion and painting on glass
Mrs McCulloch for crazy work
Mr Brewer for macramé
Miss Quinn for poonah painting
Miss L Hoare for oil painting
Miss M Quinn for water colour
Miss M Coughland for drawing
Master P Rutland for mapping
Miss Swaney for leather work
Miss A Wareing for Berlin work
Misses A Wareing and J Coughland for bead work
Miss E Brosnahan for artificial flowers
Misses Kelland, Findlay, and E Cooper for plain sewing
Miss Young for cross stitch
Mr. Meston for cone work
Miss G Greaves for darning
Miss Findlay for button holing
Mrs Waaka for fancy flax baskets.   

Timaru Herald, 14 January 1899, Page 3 Temuka Floral and Horticultural Society.
The tenth annual show was held in the Volunteer buildings, Temuka, on Thursday, and as anticipated there was not only a splendid display of fruits, flowers, and vegetables, but the miscellaneous section was particularly well represented. Prizes for fancy and plain needlework were well divided, but there were not many exhibits in each class. The prize-winners, were Mrs C. Storey (patchwork quilt), Mrs Brown (knitted quilt), Mrs G. McCulloch (knitted socks and stockings), Mesdames G. McCullough and, Beri (patchwork), Miss Connell (mantel drape), Miss T. Wareing (afternoon tea cloth), Miss Cruickshank (mount mellic work), Miss Lily Roulston (drawn thread work).

 Upcycle: someone will take something, say a doily their grandmother crocheted, and turn it into an evening purse or appliqué doilies onto quilt blocks, or a solid pillowcase, frame in a shadow box, an embroidered table cloth with peoples initials turned into a bedspread, etc. Mother's unpicked flour bags and made handkerchiefs, pillowcases and baby dresses. Materials were used and reused. Knickers needed mended. Wedding dresses and christening dresses were saved or upcycled by removing the sleeves and train and used as ball gowns.

Manawatu Herald, 4 August 1898, Page 4

Evening Post, 20 February 1937, Page 18
In the days of our great-grandmothers, patchwork was one of the chief interests housewives had in common. It is a true cottage industry, and was made by house wives for their cottages. But, nevertheless, its interest has become worldwide. People who seek individual items for the home have adopted the patchwork idea; and it is specially suited for the four-posters that are fast returning to favour. For the woman who loves her home and cherishes fine needlework, patchwork will hold special interest, especially if the soft pastel shades are blended together harmoniously. Many intricate designs may be worked. If a cover is done in plain- square or block pattern, it will have a never failing-interest. Women of bygone days had special, names for every pattern. Some bore names as: The crazy patch, birds in the air, the carpenter's wheel, tiger lily, princess feather, early rose of Sharon, the lone apple, the side mill, the pride of the forest, little red schoolhouse, the lotus flower, spice pink, and a variety of others.
Most of the designs were based upon geometrical pattern, which goes to show that abstract design was as popular then as now. One very fine quilt recently seen in Sydney was more than one hundred arid fifty years old. The work in this quilt was equal, to the finest-of tapestry. Every strip of material was three eighths of an inch, wide; the largest strip being five inches, long. Each strip was sewn on to a large piece of material, and each minute strip could be lifted and examined beneath, but no sewing was visible. The quilt was a work of art, and not appliqued as many quilts of that period, were. The introduction of domestic art into home-life creates home interest, and develops self-expression in craftwork. It will open a wider field of knowledge to the housewife increase her home interest, and give her that confidence which comes from getting past the outside of things to their intrinsic, meaning. Patchwork in leather form is ideal for car cushions, shopping bags, sun porches, and numerous other uses. Applique is also on the patchwork idea, and brings together a variety of colours in an individual design. This form of needlecraft Is the application of one material to another without insertion. Bedspreads, cushion covers, tablecloths, and. supper sets, may be designed and carried out in this interesting way. Mass production has, for many years, discouraged the art of the needleworker, but, in spite of this, needlework is coming slowly, into its own again. It is the common, the simple things in life that make us content.

Evening Post, 2 September 1878, Page 2
Timaru. District Court. Norman Mace, for larceny of a counterpane, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to three years.

Timaru Herald
, 14 February 1884, Page 3 Marriage Myth - Unmarried
It is considered unfortunate for a young lady who completes a patchwork quilt without assistance, the reason assigned being that this kind of fancy work is generally made a social occupation, and that the person who it thus employs her time must either move little in society, or she be of an unsocial temperament.

Timaru Herald, 8 November 1889, Page 2
The quilt which has been worked by the ladies of the Baptist Church in aid of the funds was disposed of last evening, the fortune winner being Mrs Smith, of North street. The quilt is a very large and beautiful one. It is all of patchwork, different ladies having worked different sections of it, and on the various pitches are the autographs of the many subscribers worked in coloured silk. The whole effect is very fine indeed. To pass the evening a social tea was held, at which a very pleasant time was spent, and the attendance was good, despite the wet weather. 

Timaru Herald, 25 May 1895, Page 3
The annual sale of work and social evening of the Congregationalists of Timaru was held yesterday in the large gallery of the Church. A good-sized stall was well loaded with useful and ornamental goods, in great variety, made or presented by members of the congregation. The principal gifts were a beautiful inlaid and occasional table made by Mr Fonseca, who had put a great deal of skilful work into it, and a handsome silk patchwork quilt, made by two ladies.

Timaru Herald, 14 November 1896, Page 2
The ladies of St. Mary's Guild intend giving another of the very popular sixpenny concerts on Wednesday, 18th November, in order to give holders of tickets for the lace bedspread, etc., worked by the guild, an opportunity of being present at the drawing.

Star 28 November 1900, Page 1 The Jubilee Exhibition
The Home Industries Section. The exhibits. Needlework
From St Mary's Guild, Timaru, comes a handsome linen bedspread, with a broad border of drawn-thread work and Mount Mellick embroidery, with lace butterflies inserted in the corners. The pillow-slips that go with it are similarly embroidered.

Timaru Herald, 29 November 1900, Page 3
The following awards have been announced for Timaru and Oamaru competitors in connection with the home industrial section at the Jubilee Industrial Exhibition:—
Plain needlework, knickerbocker suit, Mrs C. C. Empson, certificate;
decorated needlework, Miss B. Rutherford, highly commended;
needlework, Miss B. Butt, Glenavy, silver medal
drawn work, Vida Anderson, silver medal
Class B, Mrs Matheson, commended, best dressed baby doll as baby Rita Glover
silver medal special for crochet and knitted quilt, Mrs R. W. Steel, Glenavy
patchwork quilt, C. E. Bateman, certificate.

Timaru Herald, 12 December 1900, Page 3
A sale of work, etc., in aid of the funds of the Primitive Methodist Church was opened in the Assembly Rooms yesterday afternoon by the Rev. Mr Buttle, on behalf of the ladies of the church named. It has been very well arranged, and the stalls are nicely draped m bright colours. The work stalls, in charge of Mesdames Holland, Taylor, and Mason, and Miss Budd, contain a large assortment of useful and ornamental needlework and other articles of domestic manufacture. There is a well-supplied toy and fancy stall m charge of Mesdames Peake and Penrose. Among the fancy goods an article which is on exhibition only will attract much attention. This is a large crazy-patchwork quilt, all in plush, 1400 pieces of innumerable colours, and all seams feather-stitched. The varied colours of the silk plush give it a brilliant appearance. It is the work of Mrs Peake, an elderly lady, who is reasonably proud of her handiwork. Her son supplies for exhibition a case of stuffed New Zealand birds, and for sale a hat-rack of bullocks' horns very nicely polished. A curio on the work stall should be noted, a miniature old stage coach whittled out of wood with a pocket-knife by an old resident. There is a flower and pot plant stall in charge of Misses Beswick (2) and Hoskins ; a refreshment stall under Mesdames Boothroyd, Peacock, Freeme, and Leah, at which tea and light refreshments can be obtained. There was an excellent attendance at the sale of work last evening, and the ladies m attendance at the stalls, and their young assistants, did a fairly good business. The Rev. Mr Woodward greatly assisted in making time pass pleasantly, by showing a number of slides of Dickens' "Christina's Carol, or Marley's Ghost." The pictures were well shown by the aid of Mr Woodward's powerful lantern. For this evening there will be other special attractions. The Congregational Young People's Union will give a musical programme, tableaux, etc., and four of the members will give an instrumentals quartette— the Band contest piece. 

Otago Witness 19 June 1901, Page 62
Assistant (after cutting off 17 patterns): "Will there be anything more to-day, madam?"
Miss Grabber: "No, thank you; but, let me see, I think you had better let me have another pattern. My mother is so very particular. Cut a piece off that roll under your hand."
Small Sister (loud enough to be overheard): "Why, Annie, mother said she wasn't going to have any blue in that crazy quilt, "cause it fades so."

Evening Post, 5 October 1901, Page 2
Fold upon fold,
Yellow as gold,
Woven by delicate fingers of old,
Here in its place
Grandmother's lace
Lies like a dream of her maidenhood's grace.

Fragrance of rose
Out of it flows,
Leaves of the past that its meshes inclose
Sweets of old days,
Lavender sprays,
All that a maid in her treasure-chest lays.

Fair as her head,
Thread over thread,
Sleeps the old lace that she wore when she wed.
Beautiful day!-
But fold it away,
Grandmother's lace, and the rose, and the spray!
- James Buckham in Lippincott's Magazine.

Bush Advocate, 13 July 1905, Page 6 A Chat about bedrooms.
Blanket, also, must be thought of. These (three for each bed) must be good and large. The old-fashioned cotton counterpane, heavy but not warm, and the Mareella quilt are seldom seen now. A pretty coloured linen bed spread or a coarse white canvas one embroidered with coloured threads will look much better. A young bride of my acquaintance has made a really lovely white linen bed-spread in drawn thread work. It took some months to complete, but the result is exquisite.

Otago Witness, 16 May 1906, Page 35 Waihao Downs
May 10 -A most successful garden party and sale of work was held at Waihao Downs on April 26 in the ground of Mr E. Richards. It is estimated that between 200 and 300 persons were present. The sale of work was in aid of the Vicarage Fund, and realised over £80. The stallholders were Mrs Richards, assisted by Mrs Harrison and the Misses Huret, refreshments; Miss Kelcher and Mrs Wrathall, produce ; Mrs Hurst and Mrs Lamas, work table: Misses J. Smith, L. Richards, A. Hurst, and Wregdale, sweet stall and bran pie: Miss McCarthy and Miss B. Kelcher, art gallery and curio exhibition. At this latter many old and valuable exhibits- were shown by Mrs Hurst, of Brooklands, and included poems written by Hannah More, and published on single sheets after the fashion of that time; a Kentish Gazette of 1782, a quilt made in 1740, and a wedding dress worn in 1720 and again in 1747. Mrs Lomas exhibited some old china, Mrs Wrathall a curious pipe 250 years old. A sheep-guessing competition interested the men folk, and the baby show was the centre of interest for the married ladies, while the young girls were interested in the fortunes told by a gipsy who resided in a tent under the trees. During the afternoon short speeches were made by the Rev. C. C. Oldham (vicar of Waihao parish), Rev. M'Kenzie Gibson (Waimate), and the Ven. Archdeacon Harper (Timaru). The vicarage is nearing completion, and occupies a commanding position between the Forks bridge and the Waihao Downs railway station. Visitors from Waimate and all parts of the district were present, and all seemed satisfied both with the day's outing and the results of the sale. 

Real Kiwi recycling. Woollen jerseys were unravelled and yarn washed in skiens rolled into balls and re knitted again into jerseys and rugs. Towels get turned into facewashers, bath mats, hand towels or dish rags at the end of life. Recycling is fun.  The old cloth flour were used for years for various purposes. Sew on a draw-cord and they were shoe bags, laundry bags, library bags and...

Dorothea Bremer (1858 -1926) married John Worthington in 1881.  Lived at Waitohi and later Point.
My great-grandmother's embroidery work. She lived at Waitohi and later Point.


Fancy Dress photo taken in Fairlie Primary School grounds, 1938-39. Jack Shears made all the tomahawks. It looks as though there is pupils from a mixture of classes from the primary school perhaps Std 4 to 6. The costumes appear to be made from sugar bags some dyed a darker tone. Left to Right. Back row: June Carlton,  Shirley Bray, Kristine James, John Shears, Ngaio Whitehead, Anne Goodwin, Eric Kerr, Murray Robb, Ian Siegert, Bessie Bray, Harry Dore aka Honk, Eddie Wall, Colin McKinnon.
Front row:  Graham Manchester, Betty Edward, ?, John Sullivan, George Everest, Valerie Gillingham, Betty Burgess, Alison Kerr, Donald Matheson.

The large 70lb jute sugar bags had many uses in the 1930s - with a sewing machine were turned into clothes peg bags, aprons, baby's creeping overall, curtains, outerwear, bath mats, backing for mats, cushions, girl's hats, knife cleaner's,
a pot mitt backed with sugar bag, children's Indian costumes etc, pulling threads from the sacking and threading coloured wool through them.  70lbs is half the weight for a sack. A sack was the container for the sale of coal, potatoes and the like with 8 sacks making half a ton (16 a ton).

Cotton salt bags (5 lbs) were a lot finer and made good handkerchiefs. A bit of lace or embroidery and they were excellent. Had crocheted edgings and were used for handkerchiefs - very soft after a few boil-ups in the copper.

Sugar bags. At home mum used every bit of them. As kids we made oven cloths and embroidered them with wool, at school we made aprons with gingham edging. Dad took his morning tea when driving the tractor in a bag with a shoulder strap all made from sugar bag....I can still see him going out the gate with it slung over his shoulder.  Flour bags were precious too. Mum made my brother's pants and lined them with flour bag, washed and the brand removed. I don't know how she did that in those days. I made my cooking apron for school out of a flour bag and it had a gingham border. I embroidered my name on my cap which we were given a pattern for had elastic across the back to hold it on and was peaked in the front. It was hard to get material in those days and money was tight. M.T. Feb. 2014.

New Zealand Herald, 10 August 1929, Page 8 USE FOR OLD LINEN.
Old linen sheets worn right away in the middle, can be turned to very good purpose. Tray cloths, tea napkins, tea cosy cover, and so on, can be made up from the smaller sound parts, and the worn parts can be used up as tea towels. If a large tablecloth is desired, the best plan is to cut four square or oblong pieces of exactly the same size. These are made up quite separately, hemstitched and embroidered, and are then joined together into one large cloth with lace insertion. The whole is surrounded with a deeper edging to match the insertion. The effect is good, and the insertion and hemstitching show up well on the dark surface of the table.

Old tea-towels turned into aprons.

Women and men recycled the empty 4 gallon kerosene tins to line shelves, make egg baskets, flower pots, footstools, nailboxes, boilers, dishes, ballot box, bucket to put walnuts in when picking them up, for transferring hot water from the copper to washing tubs, to hold No.8 wire, etc. drum or a tinoline (musical instrument), a grit box for feeding hens just a small hole cut, a measure to feed horses oats, roofing iron, etc. Cut in half lengthways, fold over the edges, attack wooden handles and you have a washup bowl a foot bath, etc. Cut the top off, fold the raw edges, attach a handle and you have a bucket, a pine cone container by the fire, a coal bucket for the coal range or whatever you like. 

The Brisbane Courier 22 April 1929 THE USEFUL KEROSENE TIN
The number of uses found for the kerosene tin in the home is legion. As a measure it holds 301b. of wheat, 28lb. of maize or potatoes, 251b. of barley, or 10 1b. of bran. Roughly, it forms a half-bushel measure, and it holds four gallons of liquid when holes are allowed for the handle. In many bush homes the Christmas dinner is cooked in it, and it can be used as an ice chest when dropped down the well at the end of a rope. Cut about 3in. from the bottom, it is a cake dish; halved lengthways, it becomes a useful baking dish for meat or bread, or a tray for drying or striking seeds safe from the reach of ants. With a slit cut in one side, and the flap out, it makes a good letter-box or filled with concrete, ideal piers, that are white-ant proof, for the homestead. Cut diagonally along its length, it provides two hanging shelves. Halved across, it is a dog's dish or water trough for the fowls. With one side of each cut out, six tins, in their cases nailed together, form an excellent makeshift for a chest of drawers. With the aid of a regulated spirit lamp, an incubator can be made.
    The humble article has occupied an important position in the primitive household. In it she boils the corn beef, and the cabbage and the Christmas pudding; carries water from the creek, milk from the cow, gathers fruit in the orchard, honey from the hive. By its aid she scrubs, washes, baths the baby, waters the garden, feeds the fowls, and she converts it into a burden bearer for sugar, flour, and rice in the storeroom, the humble article has occupied an important position in the primitive household. For above all things the kerosene tin preaches in season and out of season the power of a colonising force of adaptability. SMH

Nothing wasted in those days. Sweater, hand knitted, wool, wore it until it wore out. A Sherwood Downs milk cow and a county seat - a milk stool.

Cabbage Tree sculptured in corrugated iron by Jeff Thomson 2005. Nelson.

Knitting patterns 

Our work table in 1894: To a certain extent fancy work changes its character year by year, but there are some two or three kinds which rarely relax their hold on popular favor. Among these knitting seems most important on account of its utility and ease of performance. Most people like knitting, and it is a perfect blessing to the aged and dim sighted.
1893 Vandyke edging picture
1893 Simplest knitted lace pattern
1894 Knitted fringe
1895 Knitted leaf edging 
1887 Gentleman's jersey
1887 Knitted gloves
1893 Baby's bootee
1894 Knitted vest, crochet shawl, knitted petticoat
1915 Balaclava with flaps
1921 Baby's first shoes
A simple spider stitch pattern for a shawl, 1890 - another for a antimacassar, a piece of fabric which is draped over the head or arms of a sofa or chair.

 18 different knitting patterns 1950s.

Hot water bottle cover- Make it out of any odds and ends of knitting wool. Knit two oblongs to fit the bottle. Blanket stitch the two sides and bottom to form a bag, and blanket stitch closely round the open top. Knit two tabs about an inch wide and two inches long, with a button hole at the end of each. Sew these to one side of the top, and sew two buttons on the other side.

A patchwork pram cover is an ideal baby gift. Make it in two colours, such as blue and white, or pink and blue. Knit squares about three inches by three inches, until you form a cover. You can use any knitting pattern you like, though garter stitch is most effective.

A tea cosy need not be made in the shape of a doll, a dog or a cottage. People are now collecting vintage needlecraft.

Knitted tea cosy with a toast rack. If the wool is fine it is well to make it double in contrasting shades, sewing the pieces together when finished. The size will depend upon the size of the teapot, but a moderate square will stretch to over any ordinary pot. Two squares have to be knitted (if there is a lining there must be four squares) in either plain knitting or two pearl and two plain on any fancy stitch. The squares are then sewed together with the same wool, leaving a slit at either side, one for the handle of the teapot and the other for the spout. A ribbon or a plaited strand of the wool is threaded through the top, which has been left open, and is drawn together and tied inside. The bottom is left open. If desired a small tassel or bobble of the wool, or a bow of the ribbon, fixed to the top for convenience in lifting off.

Have a crafty day! Knit and knatter.

Timaru Herald, 10 August 1914, Page 8 Fishermen's Cap
The following recipe for making Fishermen's caps is given by Mrs Jacob: Minimum size—No. 4 ply Beehive wool, fast blue: No. 14. steel needles. Cast on 110 stitches circular knitting. Knit plain 14½ inches. Cast off. Turn up 1 inch at one end and hem or finish with 2 inches of ribbing; gather the other end up tightly and firmly, and finish with small hanging tassel. Amount of wool required—2oz.

Ashburton Guardian, 4 September 1918, Page 5
Six local men departing for camp had each been presented with a parcel containing a balaclava, a pair of mitts, two pairs of socks, a scarf, and a "housewife."

New Zealand Herald, 7 December 1918, Page 6
A friend was asking him if he had ever looked for a needle in a haystack. Oh, yes!" said he. And I found it. It was a knitting needle, in one of those knitting bags, belonging to my wife, and it was as big as a haystack!"

Evening Post, 22 May 1931, Page 8 Knitting craze
During the war every woman knitted for the soldiers, now every woman seems to be knitting something for herself. The boom is largely a a fashion and is considered a thrift measure only in part. Jumpers, cardigans, vests and men's pullovers are the most popular garments for home knitting. Countless small orders of wool are also put in for beret and scarf sets and for tea cosies. All this must be very cheering to the grazier.

Auckland Star, 1 March 1937, Page 8
Tea cosies are in great favour but no two are quite alike. Woollen gollowogs and ragmuffins grin from their places among scarves, belts, berets, cushion covers and doll's' clothing. A knitting bag is given a rainbow effect by the combination of odds and ends of the brightest colour. A bedspread of knitted patches is attractive.

1932 Summer knitting - bathing costumes, beach cloaks 

"You're not going to sit around and do nothing, I've got some needles and some wool." said an Aunt to a 12 year old. "Since that day I've knitted jerseys, teddies, blankets. I'm just a knitter." she laughed.

Observer, 29 August 1885, Page 4 Knitted Comforter.
Double knitting makes one delightfully soft and warm. Use either double Berlin wool or four- thread fleecy, and wooden pins. Cast on any even number of stitches. Knit the first stitch, wool forward, take off one as if for purling, wool back, knit one, putting the wool twice round the needle; repeat to end of row. When the comforter is the length desired cast off, and make short fringe at the ends. Always knit one row plain at the beginning and end and crochet the fringe.

Otago Witness
24 August 1893, Page 46
The following edging for a quilt is much shorter than usual :— Material : Strutt's knitting cotton, No. 4, four threads ; wood needles. No. 4; Walker's bell gauge. Cast on 16, knit plain row ; first row, thread forward, knit two together, knit one, thread forward, knit two together, knit three, thread forward, knit one, thread forward, knit seven ; second row, knit seven, thread forward, knit three, thread forward, knit two together, knit three, thread forward, knit two together, knit one ;third row, thread forward, knit two together, knit one, thread forward, knit two together twice, thread forward, knit five, thread forward; knit seven ; fourth row, bind off three, knit three, thread forward, knit two together, knit three, knit two together, thread forward, knit two together, knit one, thread forward, knit two together, knit one ; fifth row, thread forward, knit two together, knit one, thread forward, knit two together, knit one, thread forward, knit two together, knit one, knit two together, thread forward, knit five; sixth row, knit six, thread forward, knit three together, thread forward, knit four, thread forward, knit two together, knit one. 

Otautau Standard and Wallace County Chronicle, 16 August 1932, Page 2
The Ranger Company of Girls art knitting- Peggy squares to make quilts for the Unemployed Relief. They would be grateful to residents for donations of odd skeins of wool or woollen garments for unravelling that would help this object.  

July 2010 Strathallan Knitting Group - is a dedicated group of residents at Strathallan Life Care Village is awash with a sea of coloured garments. Among the collection are 126 rugs, 153 scarves, 163 jerseys and 186 hats which residents have made over the past year. They work with the aid agency Mission Without Borders, who deliver the knitted goods to the Ukraine. There are several knitting groups in South Canterbury.

The Loving Stitch A history of Knitting and Spinning in New Zealand, Heather Nicholson University Press

Beanies, scarves and fingerless gloves the trend in 2010 in Timaru among the younger set.

  A Timaru made quilt. Used as a raffle quilt, first prize, in April 2010.
"You don't buy a wedding present for someone - you quilt something."

Otago Witness 11 Oct 1873, Pg 19 Select Poetry

I feel that I must be getting old - for I am turn'd fourscore -
And the children wonder that day by day I can over my patchwork pore;
But each neat square, as I sew it in, has a tale of its own to tell,
And I often live in the past as I gaze on patterns I once knew well.

That bit of pink was the first new pink ever worn by my little Jane;
Ah, me! She is wrinkled and widow'd now, and will never wear pink again,
But I see the smile on her father's face as he fondled her on his knee,
And he said, as he pinch'd her dimple cheek; she would grow up just like me.

And that is a piece of the dress I wore on the day that my lover came,
Asking me - I was then eighteen - to share his home and name;
I heard his footstep, and well I mind that, as my gown I hook'd,
I gave a sidelong glance at the glass, and thought how nice I look'd.

And there is bit of another dress that I wore one day in spring,
When the hand that will never clasp mine any more on my finger placed this ring;
And well I remember how rosy I bush'd at the compliments he would pay;
But, of course, I did look pretty, I know, in my suit of silver-grey.

Silk! No, child; in those olden days a good strong print or a stuff
For a village lass - though I was the belle - was consider'd grand enough;
And somehow, I think it were better now if maidens spent less in show,
But I am old-fashioned, and my ideas were moulded too long ago.

Ah, child, how short life seems at the most, now I sit in my mother's chair,
And sew a bit of the old, old dress that I saw her mother wear -
This red and brown with the yellow scroll, thought handsome once, I ween;
But the patterns they made when I was a girl are seldom now to be seen.

Oh, the changeful years, the changeful years! That fragment of white and blue
Is a bit of the frock that my daughter's child for her babe has just bought new;
And I sit and muse of the present and past till my head sinks down on my breast,
And I wonder who would go on with this quilt if Granny were laid to rest.
Mary Frances Adams 

Cover Stories

Quilts and throws are much more than functional necessities to ward off the cold on winter nights or hide shabby pieces of furniture. They are reflections of the skills and identities of their makers. They exemplify the techniques of traditional patchwork craft and exhibit a range of styles from plain and functional to elaborate and fashionable. To many they are nothing short of works of art.

South Library Library, Christchurch, Quilt Display -  2003, 2006
Central Library, Christchurch - quilt
150 Library Welcome panels CHCH
Modern beds 1896 
A History of Old New Zealand Quilts, Maori & Pakeha, rural & urban, as a Journal in Thread 1840-1950 c.1991 - c.1993
A few museums around the country will have quilts.
Free patterns 

Patch progress - Ballantyne’s in Christchurch might still have a mighty fabric department in 2004
From the Listener archive: Columnists January 8-14 2005 Vol 197 No 3374
Patch’s progress by Douglas Lloyd Jenkins
One of the sadder moments of 2004, in a craft and design sense at least, was the last day of the fabric department at Smith & Caughey. With the racks of Auckland’s last great department store nearly bare and the remaining fabrics marked down, it wasn’t just that they would no longer be offering what were once called notions. It was also that the staff behind the counters would not be there to offer advice to those who might not entirely understand fabrics, but who liked the sensation of a particular cloth as it ran through their fingers. There may still be fabric barns, and the Spotlight chain is a wonder to behold, but don’t ask staff behind their counters for any more advice than where to find the bias binding. Smith & Caughey was one of the last bastions of quality fabrics and haberdashery in Auckland’s inner city, and it was also pretty much the last bastion of any fabric or haberdashery in the CBD. When you remember those trips into town to buy fabric for a special dress or outfit, that in itself suggests a significant change in the way that the inner city operates. Accordingly, the demise of Smith & Caughey’s fabric department caused a moment of reflection in the local press. However, this is not solely an Auckland thing. Ballantyne’s in Christchurch might still have a mighty fabric department, but if someone bothered to compile the statistics, you would probably find that across the country the fabric retailers are retrenching.

Sewing – something that used to be a mainstream craft activity – has in the last decade become a specialist hobby. The decline, however, seems for the moment to have been contained to the field of home dressmaking. New Zealanders of a certain age will remember with some affection the clothes made for them by their mothers. The teenagers who now slope around the malls in interchangeable, off-the-peg ensembles bought from chain stores would never countenance home sewing – text one of them and ask. Yet, although the fabric shops might be disappearing, craft supply shops (and their Internet equivalents) seem to be doing rather nicely. So, somewhere out there people are still sewing – but what?

Jan. 2005, Auckland was transformed from the City of Sails into the City of Quilts, as it hosted the 11th National Quilting Symposium, involving quiltmakers from around the world. In this age where projected attendance figures for cultural events are habitually inflated, it is worthwhile to ponder the idea that official claims that the symposium will bring more than 2000 quilters to the city are probably a little on the low side. Although many were busy quilting and patchworking at workshops and special events, and thus get counted, others took the opportunity to see one or more of at least 20 exhibitions of historical and contemporary quilts on show at venues across the city. The range of exhibitions was enormous – and it attests to the audience pulling power of the quilt that most of the city’s exhibiting institutions have come on board with related exhibitions. Up on the hill, the Auckland Museum had three exhibitions,  including an exhibition of historical quilts from the museum’s collection, many of which have never before been seen publicly.

The interest that New Zealand women have in quilting is relatively new. Although Pamela Fitzgerald’s book Warm Heritage illustrates that the pastime has some fairly solid roots here, it is only in recent times that the raw numbers of women who make quilts have grown so significantly. In part, the popularity of contemporary quilting can be traced back to the US, where quilting has become a central part of contemporary women’s culture. The quilt might not have its origins in the US, but Americans have made the art form their own, and one with immense popular appeal. Historical quilts reach spectacular prices in auction rooms and the top contemporary quiltmakers sell their works for six-figure sums. Contemporary quilting is so engrained in US popular culture that it even features in an episode of The Simpsons – although as always with anything that the super-sensitive Lisa is involved in, it ends badly – at least for the quilt. 

Another thing we did as a family was to make 'colonial' quilts. These were made from old woollens tacked together and then covered. Very warm but a bit heavy.

Warm Heritage: Old patchwork quilts and coverlets in New Zealand and the women who made them, by Pamela Fitzgerald (Bateman, $49.99, 2003). 143 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm x21 cm. Includes bibliographical references (p. 140-142) and index. Over 20 years’ research has gone into this big, handsomely illustrated volume of colonial quilts; it forms a strange, vivid, secret history of New Zealand. And it’s gorgeous to look at. This extensively researched book looks at historic quilts and coverlets in New Zealand, from those brought out as family heirlooms with the earliest settlers, through to quilts created up to the 1950s. Beginning with an overview of the history of quilting in general, Pamela FitzGerald then examines the techniques and textiles used by New Zealand quilters from colonial times. Over 20 years of research has gone into finding and documenting the best examples of the quilt-makers art in this country, and examining the lives of the women who often spent years creating these breathtaking works. Many of the quilts featured are well over 100 years old, and were often stitched in the settlers' homeland before coming to New Zealand. There are quilts from France, England, Wales, Ireland, North America and Switzerland, as well as those created in New Zealand. Martha's quilt. Pamela died 10 Dec. 2010.

Home crafts have made a comeback 

In the fifties and sixties on cold winter nights - no quilts but rugs

Never came across quilting in NZ. Knitting was the only thing my Mother & I did but my Aunt did a lot of embroidery, cloths, hankies (standard Xmas gift !) and doilies. A.L.

OW wrote in 2010: I did not hear of anyone quilting when I was younger. My parents had a store brought eiderdown (feather filled) and us kids had bedspreads, grey army blankets, the heavy golden yellow and white woollen Kaiapoi blankets and hand crocheted woollen rugs (afghans) with dark navy borders or a pure wool tartan rug, that you usually get for a 21st birthday gift, (I still have mine at the foot of the bed, the label is long gone) to wrap up on a cold winter's evening while reading or watching TV. Knitting was an evening activity. We knitted woollen jerseys and wore them until they disintegrated. You developed an attachment to them and on the farm, we were always outside, if we weren't wearing it, we tied it round our waist, and put them back on again, when it cooled down about 4 o'clock. We also had hand knitted woollen hats with a basket weave stitch and a pompom and we used a wooden mushroom to darn the old woollen rugby socks. Mum knitted a lot and spun, using an old dark varnished wheel then an Ashford spinning wheel from Ashburton. I also did embroidery, used the transfer pattern for dresser sets. My sister crocheted. I did tapestry too so did my grandmother and aunt. We got electricity on at Sherwood in mid-1957 and a television set in 1965. We often played cards - euchre, five hundred and chess at the small round table near the fireplace in the living room. We kids made rat tails, it was a fad. I suppose most boys and girls did. They could be made into rugs or hats but we never did. Some call it French knitting. My grandmother, Mum's side, was good at needlework and tatted around linens and added beads to the doilies for the one that when over the milk jug to keep out the flies and she knitted. Had a golliwog, mine had a pale lemon waist coat, hand knitted. I wonder what happen to it! She sewed too, in those days, 1920s, there was no money to buy clothes. I know Mum would wash the flour sacks and lay the sacks out on the grass overnight when there was a frost expected to bleach the writing off. I don't understand how that works but everyone did it that way. She would use the bleached flour sacks for pillowcases, handkerchiefs and tea towels as they were 100% cotton and other women used them to line boys and men's shorts. They didn't throw them away. Back then, after WWII, in NZ, table cloths were 100% linen, made from linen flax, a pain to iron, and were also laid outside on the grass to dry.  Our kitchen had three large tilt bins - flour, sugar and bread and would easily take the 60lb bags. We took the sacks to school for the Home Economic classes to practice sewing and pulling threads.

Mum used flour sacks as dusters - she was not a sewer!!!

Hand made rug. Knitted peggy squares from wool yarn. W.G.
"Peggy square" was the NZ version of "Granny square." A Peggy square could be either crochet or knit. The squares in this 1961 rug joined by plain black crochet with a black shell crocheted border, created a nice contrast. Usually sits on the on bed end to pull up if cold or used on a picnic.

W.G wrote in 2010: I knitted, encouraged by your aunt whom when we visited SP at Sherwood Downs, my mother in admiration said "never did less than an oz a day" (no balls then - you wound your own!) I used the sewing machine - no store bought dresses. Daily worn aprons even hats were hand made. I crocheted, did Hardanger and tatted, enjoyed smocking which was in vogue and embroidery - table and dresser sets to be starched and admired. I didn't know who quilted. Maybe it wasn't call quilting. I don't remember anyone who did in today's understanding of the term, quilt then - but for us, a quilt was homemade, the bed size envelope stitched into tubes and shapes with openings for stuffing them full of washed home-kill hen, goose or duck feathers and then the opening closed - warm in winter along with crocheted rugs on the bed or they were used as ground cover on picnics to sit on. My mother had a mother who sewed and knitted for all her grandchildren - when she died, I did the machine sewing for family. My mother crocheted and embroidered all her life and always remember her rag mats at door, bath side or sink on a linoleum floor - either made using fabric squares cut using no longer wanted garments or material usually woollen, machine stitched across centre and folded and the next row repeating that and stitched close to the first make a design on a sugar bag backing form a tufted surface or torn fabric lengths plaited and hand stitched together in ever widening circles or rug or tapestry made with balls of coloured wool on a canvas with a stencilled picture using an rug hook rather like an egg beater. We would compete in Easter show and church fairs. Learning to knit... everyone made Peggy squares, crochet squares using up end balls of wool and guess even boys did French knitting with the wooden cotton reel with four tacks and the monotonous circling and making crochet loops using a nail until the ensuing tube when long enough was meant to be wound into a circular mat and stitched to hold it together possibly for a teapot mat... but more often the endeavour was abandoned in favour of far more entertaining things to do!

Handmade - 288 crocheted squares.  W.G. -  (Never thought I would be photographing my clothesline!)
The squares are joined with crochet and usually has a fringe.

M.T. wrote in 2010:. When I was young I did lots of it because there was no television. I did learn to tat with a shuttle but didn't get spinster gt aunt did beautiful work and taught me. I still have some of her doilies and table covers here. I did a lot of embroidery. Mum bought us transfer tray covers and aprons to embroider. Fancy work cotton came in hanks but soon became tangled so we cut slits in a piece of cardboard and wound them on to it, then we used 2 or 3 strands to do our satin or stem stitch, following the lines carefully! When the sewing was finished I crocheted around the edge to finish it off. Crochet was a lot easier as it only needed a crochet hook to pull the thread through. I did tapestry too; only small ones with wool and they were used for cushion covers. I have seen them on piano stools or framed for the wall. My brother-in-law did a beauty of horses, huge, which still hangs on their wall today.
Later on I did a bit of cross stitch but it was very 'fiddly'.  I still have pieces I did before we got married. When I was in Waimate we all knitted. I can still see us in the nurses' lounge, knitting away. I did all my own sewing too; no bought dresses in those days. When our daughter was a baby I did a patchwork quilt for her cot. I used scraps of material over from my dressmaking and sewed them together then backed it and filled with old nylon Dacron then. I never did any spinning, I suppose because Mum never took it up. We played euchre, five hundred and canasta. They were great days when I think back. Cards were fun but my grandmother wouldn't allow us to play on Sundays.

W.G. A crocheted afghan. A soft woollen blanket, crocheted or knitted, usually in a geometric pattern.

G.O. wrote: What I can remember was my mother knitting jumpers and cardigans for our family, but no sewing. I had not heard of quilting when I was younger. We had a quilt filled of feathers called 'Feather Down Covers', covered either with white cotton or calico (a duvet). Not very exotic only practical. These uninteresting covers must have been the norm as I didn't come from a poor family.  

O.S. Had a duvet or bedspread. I don't remember having homemade crochet or knitted rugs-although I do remember the big stone hot water bottles to warm up the bed!

J.S Fairlie1930s. I had one made by my Gran from fabric samples hand stitched together and with a blanket on the reverse. I actually slept on the verandah and had a canvas cover on my bed to keep the drips off in the morning. Used a hotty which would be frozen in the morning at the bottom of the bed. Brrrrr now but I loved it then. Off around my trap line down in Bourne's paddock to the left just before the Allandale Bridge over the Opihi well before the sun was up.

Aunty Bessie's work in the 1970s. A crocheted rug with 96 peggy squares.

G.R. wrote in 2010: Mum was too busy looking after 5 kids and running the farm to do stuff that did not have a practical purpose but what she did do (and taught me) is as follows:-
She knitted like a demon (lacy stuff, Aran jerseys, socks, you name it...)
Hand embroidery, cross-stitch, tapestries
Sewed all our clothes, darning, mending etc.
Crochet (fine and normal). Neither of us enjoyed tatting - too slow!
Lots of art work, India ink drawings with tinsel, and glue behind glass. (Not oils, pastels or water colour art) But she sure appreciated colours!
Spinning (from her own wool) came when she retired (and still had a few sheep) and she began to spin and knit for tourists. (No, I did not learn that, but I still wear the results).
Rag rugs, cotton reel knitting (for rugs).
Sheepskin curing (too much like hard work for me...)
No quilting as we know it today, but plenty of patchwork items from clothes we had grown out of spare material, spare wool etc... But when you factor in that our food was grown by her, bacon cured by her, butter churned by her, (we kids did not like that butter, nor having to churn the stuff, but we sure loved the cream from the house cow - usually milked by her), and consider everything else she did, I feel deeply honoured to have been taught so much. I sometimes wonder when she slept!!! We had the phone before we had electricity (mid '50's saw us still having to use 'Aladdin Lamps', wick cleaning etc.) and of course, the phone was a party line. My kids are fascinated that we all learned to drive by the time we were 10, that when we went to the 'pictures', someone would play the piano for sound, and that our primary school had only 10 kids in it and that the young ones (the 'primmers' ) were taught by the older kids in the 'standards', that we had hot chocolate every day at school, that we rode our ponies 5 miles to school each day, that 'spud-picking' season meant that us kids could eat half cooked potatoes straight out of the big bon-fires, that you had to swing a chook around a few times before you cut its head off and that you could squirt cow's milk straight from the teat into your mouth and it was delicious! 

"That's how we learnt, wasn't it, from Mum."

Blankets and eiderdowns on the bed in winter. I can recall the winter roses being frozen in their vase on the mantelpiece of our front room. Snow nearly up to the window ledge of the house and the water in the pipes frozen for some days.  Fairlie 1950s A.S.

A fair on The Green on New Year's Day 2015, a clothes horse with blankets displayed. The grey blanket very common in the 1950s when it was used by campers and scouts and still common today going for $25. Not an army blanket, they would have a broad arrow logo. The crocheted blanket was being sold for $75 made from odd bits of wool and synthetic yarn. Clothes horses probably still found in most homes in NZ are portable A frame airer folderble plastic coated wire that can be shifted into the sun or in front of a fireplace. At Timaru Hospital the nurses had a large drying room on the ground floor of the old nurses home dividing into bins with rods going across at different heights. On the farm we had the hot water cylinder cupboard with shelving good for airing clothes in wet and wintry weather also good for warming a new found pet lamb when snow was on the ground!

People are now using old blankets in crafts as they are accessible and affordable e.g. tote bags, teddy bears, ponchos, Christmas tree skirts, Christmas stockings...

The Clothesline Said So Much:
A clothes line was a news forecast to neighbours passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep when clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link, for neighbours always knew,
If company had stopped on by to spend a night or two.

For then you'd see the fancy sheets and towels upon the line;
You'd see the company tablecloths with intricate design.

The line announced a baby's birth to folks who lived inside,
As brand new infant clothes were hung so carefully with pride.

The ages of the children could so readily be known
By watching how the sizes changed you'd know how much they'd grown.

It also told when illness struck as extra sheets were hung;
Then night-clothes, and a bathrobe too, haphazardly were strung.

It said "Gone on vacation now", when lines hung limp and bare.
It told "We're back!" when full lines sagged with not an inch to spare.

New folks in town were scorned upon, if washing was dingy grey,
As neighbours raised their brows, and looked disgustedly away.

But clotheslines now are of the past, for dryers make work less,
Now what goes on inside a home, is anybodies guess.

I really miss that way of life; it was a friendly sign,
When neighbours knew each other best, by what was on the line.

Author Unknown  

The clothes line is still used on the farm, April 2014. Dog kennels in the back with an old copper and fire wood and a shelter belt of tall old pines and marcocarpa trees.

Home crafts have made a comeback and it's more than just a reintroduction of textile crafts.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, 1847
"Women are supposed to be very calm generally; but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex." - Jane, Chapter 12.

Star 23 May 1899, Page 2
His mamma: "Do you think Minnie will make a good housewife, George? Do you think she knows anything about mending for instance?"
George: " About, mending! Why, that's her strongest point I once saw her mend a punctured tyre in just ten minutes, by the watch."  


I remember the cheese of my childhood,
And the bread that we cut with a knife
When the children helped with the housework,
And the men went to work not the wife.

The cheese never needed a fridge,
And the bread was so crusty and hot
The children were seldom unhappy
And the wife was content with her lot.

I remember the milk from the bottle,
With the yummy cream on the top,
Our dinner came hot from the oven,
And not from the fridge; in the shop.

The kids were a lot more contented,
They didn't need money for kicks,
Just a game with their mates in the road,
And sometimes the Saturday flicks.

I remember the shop on the corner,
Where a pen'orth of sweets was sold
Do you think I'm a bit too nostalgic?
Or is it...I'm just getting old?

I remember the 'loo' was the lav
And the bogey man came in the night,
It wasn't the least bit funny
Going "out back" with no light.

The interesting items we perused
From the newspapers cut into squares,
And hung on a peg in the loo,
It took little to keep us amused.

The clothes were boiled in the copper
With plenty of rich foamy suds
But the ironing seemed never ending
As Mum pressed everyone's 'duds'.

I remember the slap on my backside,
And the taste of soap if I swore
Anorexia and diets weren't heard of
And we hadn't much choice what we wore.

Do you think that bruised our ego?
Or our initiative was destroyed?
We ate what was put on the table
And I think life was better enjoyed.


South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project