I’ve just had a week of holiday in New Zealand visiting family and enjoying old haunts. I also got lucky enough to go to two quilt shows and a couple of shops. (I mean quilt shops of course, the rest don’t count).

Luckily for me Rose City Quilters and Horowhenua Quilters were both having exhibitions. My favourite piece was “Breaking Wave” by Dianne Southey The wave is amazing and works so well. It’s an absolutely fabulous piece.

“Breaking Wave” by Dianne Southey

The next quilt,  “Wholecloth in colour” by Linda Newsome is not only brilliantly executed, but absolutely charming. Each circular medallion is a delight.

Wholecloth in Colour by Linda Newsome

The Best of Show was “The Desert Columns: Sinai and Palestine” by Erilyn McMillan. I liked the use of the quilting to make movement in the sand hills.

“The Desert Columns: Sinai and Palestine” by Erilyn McMillan

Childhood memories by Wendy O’Neill is a great design for a memory quilt. I love the idea of the reel of film unspooling cross the quilt. The whole design of the quilt works elegantly and the photos do not dominate, but add that extra level of interest.

Here are some of the lovely quilters from Palmerston North (Rose City Quilters) with the raffle quilt.

Now the roses aren’t yet out, but I had a lovely walk through the camellias. What’s not to like?

The China Challenge from the Horowhenua Quilters was a lot of fun. I liked the varied interpretations of the theme.

My favourite from this show was “Catch a falling Star by Anna Williams”. The quilting was lovely.

Catch a Falling Star by Anna Williams

A very cute quilt made by Wilma Minnee entitled “Old English Garden” is delightful in its details. The paving stones are individual pieces of fabric about the size of your little fingernail. The flower detail is embroidered.

“Old English Garden” by Wilma Minnee

I really enjoyed a quick visit to Wellington checking out old haunts. This is Seatoun, a suburb on the other side of the airport. It’s one side of the harbour heads. I just love it. You can still get fresh shellfish on the rocks and the fishing boats come in with fresh seafood.

I only got to visit one quiltshop in Wellington: “Stitchbird” in Kilbirnie near the airport. It’s a lovely shop with a fresh contemporary look, lots of fabric, gadgets and novelty items. Here’s a quick pic of Lynda, the proprietor.

Lynda at Stitchbird, Kilbirnie


  1. Abigail Sheridan de Graaff

    Loved reading this Sue. Rose City Quilters was the second quilt show I ever went to – after helping out at Kowhai Quilters Quilt Show in Feilding. Ruapehu looks magnificent – such a great road trip head up or down SH1. This has bought back so many memories and is all located in our patch of NZ – thanks!!

    1. Sue Griffiths Post author

      I’m glad it brought back happy memories Abigail. It seemed like it was a weekend for quilt shows, though I missed the one in Wellington – I could have gone, but the traffic getting back out is horrendous, even leaving at 4.30 we crawled down to Kapiti, (the plus side was getting some good photos of the island). It’ll be good when the new road is finished. The Horowhenua quilt show was at Nga Tawa and the rose city one at PNGHS. I was so pleased with that photo of Ruapehu, I got Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Mt Taranaki as well. Amazingly lucky.

  2. Corinne Curtis

    Thank you for sharing your trip and the pictures. Brings back a lot of memories for me. There is something quite special and different too about quilting in the antipodes – I suspect it is a bit like NZ regionalist painting – the light is different, and so the way light and colour is used in quilting is quite different too.

    1. Sue Griffiths Post author

      Corinne, you are so right. The light is so different and so is, I think, the colour perception. I think New Zealand has a very saturated palette with the blues and greens, whereas Australia often has a dustier palette, more olive, dark teal and rust. I noticed Switzerland tends to have a clear clean palette, whereas England has a very soft palette. These are generalisations of course, and I know we all pursue our own particular tastes. Did you like my pic of Ruapehu?, so lucky to get it so clear from a plane window.