What’s happening in March

Hi everyone,


Welcome to March… I can’t believe how fast this year is going!!


These first few months of 2018 have been especially busy for me – my full time job is always pretty busy; my husband (Jeff) and I have put most of our worldly possessions into storage and have shifted out of our apartment to stay with friends for a few weeks; I’ve been working on a new organisation that some of our Crafty Volunteers may like to be involved with, that will hopefully be launched before the end of the year; I’ve been making shawls for the Cancer Society and baby singlets for NICU; and I’ve been getting myself ready to head away for a cool little adventure to ride motorcycles around Vietnam and Thailand with Jeff and a friend for two months… and today is the day we leave – yippee!


The team will keep things going here – I’ve given my phone to Anna who will field any calls and texts; the first thing I’ll purchase when I get to Ho Chi Minh airport is a SIM card, so I can keep connected; and Anna and Anne will be helping to keep things up to date on line. Our regular Wellington events will keep happening (as will all the events that you are all involved with around the country), and our fabulous Yarn Stash coordinators up and down the country are doing an amazing job running the Charity Yarn Stash Facebook Group. Hugest of thanks to everyone for getting involved and helping out. Crafty Volunteers is a great little organisation, and together we are making a difference to numerous charities and loads of recipients in need of our special kind of love. I’m so proud of all the amazing work that each of you do.


Justice Green project 


We have managed to distribute somewhere around 100kgs of the 143kgs of Justice Green yarn already, and it’s gone to many locations around the country.


We are starting to get the word filtering back from some crafters that its twisting on the bias when being knitted up in stocking stitch. If you are striking the same problem, you might like to consider changing to a pattern that has some texture. Rib patterns seem to work ok, and we’ve had a few fisherman’s rib type jumpers come through that look great.


I’m writing this message on my iPad while waiting to head to the airport, so I’m not including photos in my email/blog this time, however do pop over and take a look at our Facebook or Instagram pics.


Woollen baby clothes project


Our wonderful friends at Kiwi Family Trust have teamed up with Knit World with a goal to make 8000 woollen baby items for charity by the 31st of May… I know that we can help them completely blitz this target and get loads and loads more than that.


Knit World have a couple of pattern suggestions on their Charity Knits page, and you’re welcome to use your favourite pattern.  Do remember to make your items in 100% wool, to give these wee babies the warmth they need for their start in life.


You can drop off your completed items to any Knit World branch in New Zealand, or to Crafty Volunteers c/- Nancys Stitch Studio, 261 Thorndon Quay, Wellington, or directly to our fabulous friend Barbara at Kiwi Family Trust in Christchurch.


Twiddle stuff project – coming in a few months


Barbara from Kiwi Family Trust is teaming up with us for a winter project that we will launch together in May, to make “twiddle items” for dementia patients and people with autism. We will be putting numerous patterns up on the website as well as collating a list of the places around the country that you will be able to deliver them to (we are in contact with numerous organisations at present to provide this list).


Twiddle stuff includes muffs, hand warmers, cushions, lap blankets and quilts, builders or barbecue style aprons – that all have texture and interesting bits and bobs (firmly) attached to them. So start collecting and putting aside your fluffy or bulky yarns and scrap fabrics, along with things like buttons, beads, velcro, ribbons and lace, keys, zips and anything else that you think people would “twiddle” with.


Autism NZ tell me that their people love twiddle blankets that are a heavy weight, and already one of the quilting groups here in Wellington has chosen to make the heavy twiddle blankets as their charity promo for this year.


I’m very much looking forward to seeing all the fantastic creations from this promotion.



That’s it from me for now… as I’m fast running out of time to get this posted before I leave the country… (that will teach me for procrastinating!).


If you’re interested in travel and motorcycles, feel free to follow our adventure in Vietnam and Thailand on our Kiwis Wandering Facebook Page.


Take care everybody, see you in a couple of months, and keep up the great charity crafting work that you all do so well.


Yours – with love, compassion and hope.




Locals helping locals


Hi everybody,

Well, here we are, nearing the end of summer holidays, and nearing the end of the first month of 2018 – where did January go??


Womens Weekly article


Well, I have to say that I’m very humbled by the response to the Womens Weekly article (about how Crafty Volunteers got started) that ran a couple of weeks ago – many thanks to those that commented on it on Facebook, those that shared it with your friends, and to those that contacted us directly after reading the magazine. To say that it’s been a busy few weeks as a result, is somewhat of an understatement…

Crafty Volunteers is a group effort – from the many people who attend the crafting groups that we host, to the individual crafters at home and the crafting groups around the country who make the most amazing things for the various charities that need items for their people, and not forgetting of course, the many people I repeatedly call on for all sorts of support – from admin assistance, to pick up and delivery services, to storing goods, to being a sounding board for my ideas (both good and bad), as well as our awesome Board of Trustees – this recognition is for each and every one of you.

If you didn’t see the article, feel free to read a scanned copy of it HERE.

My hope with this article, is that it will sit in doctors and dentists waiting rooms for many months to come, and that there will be a continuing trickle of new interest in what we do for some time.


Justice Green Project


I’ve spent this week working on some new pages for the website – to provide a load more information about the projects that we promote. We have a new page for the Justice Green Project that will provide more information for people that want to be involved. This project will be ongoing for probably most of this year as there is a significant amount of yarn to craft up.

We will be starting to distribute yarn to crafting groups around the country in the next few weeks, so if your group is keen to get in on this, please do drop us an email to admin@craftyvolunteers.org.nz asking for yarn.

Our projects are about locals making for locals, and it’s so great to be slowly growing our database of crafters nationwide. If you know people that would be interested in being involved in a nationwide community of people crafting for charity, please do forward on this email and invite them to join the email list for their region. As we grow, and as we get to know more about what’s happening in other regions, the emails (which I’m hoping will be every 2-3 weeks) will become more regionally specific.

The more “crafty” people that we can connect with, the more fabulous creations can be made for the charities and organisations that do such great work for people in need around New Zealand.




Who would have thought that a simple “tweet” made by Kiwi woman, Heather McCracken, would have drawn so much media attention?

I missed the first couple of days of this media frenzy (as I don’t really watch/read the news), but I happened to catch her being phone interviewed on Thursday morning on Breakfast TV.  My personal feeling of Jack Tame’s expression and tone, was a little mocking – that he thought that knitting baby things was a bit stupid.

During the interview Jack mentioned that Heather was now living in Pittsburgh USA, and I wondered if anybody was actually turning the “tweet” into a reality – so I contacted her and was delighted to learn that loads of people were taking up the challenge – knitters, crocheters, sewers, quilters were all getting involved. She was blown away by the media attention – at the time I contacted her, she had just been interviewed by the BBC!

The next thing I wondered was whether anybody had asked Jacinda if she was ok with the idea, and was delighted to see later in the day that she had made a media announcement that she was more than happy for people to be making gifts the babies in need, in honour of her baby.

As I’ve followed this over the last few days, I’ve been very interested in people’s comments, both supportive and not depending on their own political opinions, and whether that have really understood the concept of the idea.

My feeling is, that because this promotion will generate more charity crafting for hospitals and baby related organisations around the country, then it’s a massive win-win. Not only do the charities and the end recipients win, but it’s a massive boost in awareness for the concept of crafting, and in particular for charity crafting – which is something I’m personally delighted about.

I wonder whether those that smirk at the thought of crafting for charitable causes, actually understand that it’s worth many millions of dollars every year to the health and poverty sector, and that an awareness campaign like this will bring many more crafters in to the “industry”. Regardless of who this promotion is in honour of – I think the media attention created by it, is absolutely awesome!

If you’re making items for the #knitforjacinda movement (or making baby related items independently of the movement, like so many of you already do), and you’re wondering where to get them to, please do feel free to contact us to help you find a charity or organisation in your local area. Or we could point you in the direction of a crafting group in your area that already has a connection with the charities.


Charity Yarn Stash


Another thing that’s been keeping me busy this week is gathering a group of people together to help receive, sort, store and distribute the yarn that gets donated to Crafty Volunteers. As we are based in Wellington, we will often receive donations of yarn from various places around the country. Ideally, I’d love to find people who are happy to help manage the “charity stash” on a local level in all areas of the country.

I’ve just finalised a page on our website called “Yarn Stash” where we have compiled a list of coordinators who will help maintain the donated yarn distribution on a local level. This will also make it easier for crafters (especially those that are financially restricted and/or mobility restricted) to get access to yarns when they are available. In Greater Wellington, we already have numerous awesome people who have put their hand up to support us with this – thanks so much for getting involved so quickly.

Some of these ladies are members of existing crafting groups, and we are keen for them to share the stash with their group as well as their local community – we don’t mind who has access to it, just as long as it gets made into charity items.

If you are interested in helping in your area (or maybe your crafting group is already doing this), please drop us an email on admin@craftyvolunteers.org.nz with your details (name, suburb, phone # and email address) so we can get them added to the web page, and so we can send local yarn donations your way.

As I’ve previously mentioned, our reach outside of Wellington isn’t huge, however this is something that we are very focused on for this year, and we would love your assistance with this.

It seems my mantra for this year is “locals helping locals” and having a charity yarn stash network all around the country really reinforces the communication and community connection that we are aiming to achieve with Crafty Volunteers.


Crafting Groups around New Zealand


One of our aims is to be the “go to” place for crafters to look to find crafting groups / events around New Zealand. To our knowledge, there isn’t a full Directory of Crafting Groups anywhere in NZ, and we are looking to address that gap in information.  In the future, any time people visit, or shift to a new location, or if they are new to crafting, they will be able to connect with like minded people, simply by checking the National Directory of Crafting Groups / Calendar of Events that we will continue to populate on our website.

This is where we need your help!! Please do tell us of any crafting groups around the country that you’re aware of, so we can get them included in the Directory. This includes knitting and crochet groups, as well as sewing and quilting groups.

We encourage you to take a look at the Events page on the website for the full years schedule, or check out the Current Events on the Crafty Volunteers Charitable Trust of New Zealand Facebook Page. We are adding more all the time, so please do check back regularly.

Because we list and promote crafting events that are run by local crafting groups, please ensure you contact the person indicated in the event details for more information.

And of course, if you would like your crafting group added, please send all the details to admin@craftyvolunteers.org.nz .


Send us your pics


We love the way Instagram will immediately post to our Facebook page (more bang for your social media buck!), and we love receiving pics of the fabulous items that have been made for charity. Crafty people really do enjoy seeing other crafters beautiful work, as it’s always wonderfully inspiring.

If you’ve got any pics that we can put on Instagram/Facebook, please send them to admin@craftyvolunteers.org.nz with a little bit of info about the item and/or your group – so we can share them with everybody. Please do remember to check with any individuals that are captured in the picture, that they are happy for us to put their image out there.

I look forward to hearing from some crafting groups around the country, that are keen to get involved with the Justice Green project… and by the time of the next email (in mid/late February), we hope to be ready to launch another nationwide crafting project that you can all join in with.

Enjoy the last few days of January.


Yours – with love, compassion and hope



Please help us spread the word…


We’d love to reach as many crafters in New Zealand as we can, so that we can help as many charities and organisations do their great work in providing for those in need.

Please share this with your crafty friends and invite them to join the email list for their region.

Click HERE to join

Many hands make light work… thank you for all that you do!




Hello there 2018…

Hi, and Happy New Year to all of the awesomely clever crafters around New Zealand. I trust that you’ve all had a chance to get away and relax, and enjoy some sun and fun with family and friends.

Crafty Volunteers had a massive year in 2017 – and I wish that I could thank each and every one of you personally for your amazing contributions.

Goodbye-2017-Welcome-2018Many of you create beautiful things along with your crafty friends at the crafting groups that you belong to in your region – and you give your items to your local charities. Unfortunately we don’t get to see these lovely creations, so I’m hoping to be able to encourage all the crafters in the regions to post pics directly onto our Facebook page, or tag us in Instagram, or email them thru to us so we can post them for you – people do love to see the finished products, and they get inspiration from what everyone else is up to.

Before I get on to what we’ve got coming up for 2018, I thought we should review what a stellar year we had last year…


2017 was fantastic!


baby singlet smiley face mugWe kicked off fairly early following a request in early February for help from one of the nurses in Wellington NICU – and we were inundated with loads and loads of fantastic premie items – singlets, cardigans, beanies, booties and blankets… just amazing!! We received heaps of emails, or notes with items, from so many of you saying that you knew someone who had been a recipient of care from NICU, and that you wanted to pay back their special kind of support.

We then made plans for a 12 week promotion called Crafters Dozen, that ran from mid-May until mid-August, culminating in a 12 hour event on the 12th of August. Each week we produced a newsletter with a different theme, a different set of items to be made, with patterns and some info about the recipient charities. It was a huge effort for us as organisers, and you all responded in kind. We received many, many hundreds of items, or saw pics of items that you made to give to your local charities. It was truly humbling to see so many people get involved. And at our full day event we got to meet well over 120 new people and either teach them a new skill, or learn something from them. It was a simply superb day!

In June, not that we weren’t already busy enough with the Crafters Dozen… we co-hosted a World Wide Knit in Public Day at Wellington Central Library, and also at Lower Hutt Library, where we had in excess of 50 people in Wgtn and over 30 people at the Hutt. Again, many of these crafters were new to us – and it was fantastic to meet so many talented people.

Womens refuge deliveryIn September, we entered a partnership with the InterContinental Hotel in Wellington, where we receive linen that has been ink or make up stained etc and no longer able to be used by the hotel. It’s all still great quality, and we have been providing this linen to various charities to either use in its current form (like the bath robes that have gone to Womens Refuge and several different Homeless charities), or to be cut up and repurposed into baby cot sheet sets etc, and given to Little Sprouts or Pregnancy Assist. This also led Crafty Volunteers to get involved with the amazing team at Vinnies ReSew, and an introduction to the team at the Remakery – watch this space for many more collaborations with these 2 amazing organisations.

In October, Wellington City Council ran a “Seniors Week” promotion, and invited us to co-host a crafting day at the Library, and help promote some of their other craft related events. It was a fantastic collaboration, and we were delighted to once again meet some new crafters.

Rash shirtsOur final effort for the year saw us get involved with a sewing project. A company called The Formary (who work in the area of textile waste reduction) contacted us when Wellington City Council’s Parks and Recreation department were changing their life guard uniforms, to see if we would run a promotion to get the “Rash Shirts” repurposed, and given to charity. This project saw us utilising the space at Vinnies ReSew, where we received 137 shirts (weighing in at just on 22kg), and convert them into 112 shirts, that now had logos removed, and give them to Foster Hope and Kiwi Family Trust to distribute to children in need of some sun protection this summer. It ended up being a zero-waste project, as every last piece of trimming and thread will be used in some way, even down to stuffing for toys.

Congratulations to everyone who was involved in these projects – your contribution has made the world of difference to a person in need – thank you all so very much!

2017 also saw us jump into the world of Instagram, which has made it easier for us to share some pics from our events, and donations received in real time. Again, we encourage you to send thru pics of your crafting events, and/or donations, so we can share them with all our followers.

Finally – I wanted to offer a huge thanks to the people that have supported the work of running Crafty Volunteers during 2017. From the Board of Trustees, to the people that help with admin, delivering goods to charities, hosting and helping at our regular events, and generally keeping me sane and on track – my sincerest thanks. I may be the driving force, however every contribution that you make helps (to the organisation as well as to me personally) in so many ways – never forget, that this charity is truly a group effort.


Coming up in 2018


I’ve done a bit of planning and goal setting in the quiet time over the holiday break – and we’ve confirmed a few crafting promotions that we will be doing during the course of the year (you’ll have to wait and see what they are, as the year unfolds).

This year, I’m aiming to revamp our website – with one of the key pages being a “regional calendar of events”. Because we are a communications conduit, we are working slowly thru the ever increasing list of crafting groups to see if they would like to be included in our nationwide directory, and would like to have their regular meetings loaded into the calendar. The aim is so that when you are visiting a new town, or have shifted to a new location, you can take a look at Crafty Volunteers website and see what crafting groups are active in that location.

We have grown in strength/following here in Greater Wellington, and I’m very keen to connect with people in the other regions, to help with yarn/fabric distribution, drop off points and other initiatives that we have planned for the coming few years. It’s lots of fun working for a common cause with like-minded people, and we need your help to get the reach out into other regions. While I’m working full time, I really need your support to help connect crafters and charities in other regions.

Following on from the success of the Rash Shirt promotion, and from the Intercontinental donations, we will be commencing a monthly “cutting day” here in Wellington. We will be inviting sewers to take home pre-cut kits, to sew up and return to us to get out to the charities. Because I’m away overseas for March and April, this will be organised to commence in May/June.

So what’s our first project for 2018??


The “Justice Green” project.


During the course of last year, Crafty Volunteers was fortunate enough to have received a huge amount of “Justice Green” yarn from the Dept of Corrections. This beautiful wool was previously used for the Corrections Officers uniforms, and became obsolete when they changed their uniforms some years ago. Fortunately for us, the team at Rimutaka has kept the wool in storage, and when they heard about Crafty Volunteers, they made the very generous offer to us.

Because it came to us as a 1 ply yarn, we talked to the team at Wool Yarns in Lower Hutt, and they agreed not only to process it into a 4 ply for us, but they sponsored doing this too. Wow, what a hugely generous gift from both Corrections, and Wool Yarns! In total we have received 143 kgs of fabulously soft yarn that we are winding into smaller balls to make it easy to get distributed to crafters around the country.

Car full of Justice greenI can tell you that 143kgs of yarn, only just fits into a Suzuki Swift – there was barely enough room for me to be able to change gear as I drove away from collecting it from Wool Yarns, just prior to Christmas.

So, we are now putting a call out to crafting groups around the country, who have a team of knitters and crocheters that would like to make some nice items for charities in your area. Because of its colour, we have pondered over what the best used would be, and have come up with a few ideas –

  1. Jumpers and hoodies for ages 4 thru 16 (particularly boys) to give to Foster Hope and low decile schools, as this is age group often miss out.
  2. Really stretchy rib slouch socks, or footless tube socks, we will be given to District Health Nurses to give to patients who have very swollen feet and legs, and therefore unable to wear socks and slippers (the footless tube socks mean that the nurses can easily check circulation in the patients toes).
  3. Warm shawls and wraps, to be given to patients receiving chemo or dialysis treatments, as these folk can often get chilly while sitting, and can’t wear a sleeve as they have tubes and things attached to them.

wool windingIf you’re involved in a crafting group somewhere in New Zealand, please drop us an email, letting us know which group you’re representing, and a courier address, and we will send a few kg’s of yarn your way. We will be loading a page on the website with some suggested patterns, but do feel free to come up with your own. If you need assistance finding the appropriate charity in your area, please let us know and we’ll find a contact point for you.

Our only request is that you email us loads of photos of your people crafting with this yarn, and of the finished products, so we can share this with the social media world (please don’t send photos of people unless they have agreed to us posting them on Instagram and Facebook).

Because of the logistics of getting this much yarn out to people, we would prefer it if a representative of a crafting group contacted us to send a larger amount, as sending small amount to loads of individuals all around the country is going to be way too difficult, costly and time consuming – I hope you understand.

With regards the cost of the couriers – please note, that pretty much all of the costs of running this charity come out of my pocket, therefore I would sincerely appreciate any donations from crafting groups to cover any courier costs – thanks so much (it’s on my plan for the year to apply for some funding to cover this sort of thing…).


Calendar of Crafting Sessions


As mentioned, one of my intentions for this year is to revamp the website and particularly the Events Page – and I’d love your help with populating this information. Please let us know the name of any crafting groups you’re involved with, who the contact person is, and a contact phone number, as well as where and when you meet. This applies to sewing, quilting, knitting and crochet groups. We’d love to know if your group has members only working on charity work, or if you mix it up with personal projects.

Now that we are a few weeks into the year, there are a number of the crafting groups starting to meet up again after the holiday break. Check out the list of crafting groups/events that we have so far.


Getting out of Greater Wellington


NZ map.pngIt’s hard for me to be able to get out to the rest of the country, as much as I love jumping on my motorcycle and going for a ride… I do have this commitment called a job that I have to hang around for (oh, and a husband that I do enjoy spending time with…). Therefore I’d love your help in spreading the word about Crafty Volunteers.

If you’ve got crafty friends and family, who would like to go on our email list, please do invite them to join. I promise I won’t send too many emails (maybe one or two per month, unless there is some particular urgent request for help in your area).

There will come a time, hopefully soon, that I’ll be able to get around the country and meet you all – and to be able to connect with the charities in your region.


In the meantime – keep up the great work that you all do.

I look forward to hearing from lots of groups to get Justice Green yarn, and to seeing lots of pics coming thru.

Yours – with love, compassion and hope.




We live in an amazing community

There are some amazing things going on in our community…


Vinnies ReSew

I had the very great pleasure on Tuesday night of attending the opening and blessing of Vinnies ReSew – an initiative being run out of the St Vincent De Paul’s site in Kilbirnie, Wellington. It has been established to teach sewing skills to people who have faced challenges in their lives, and who need to upskill themselves in order to increase their potential for employment opportunity. The products that they will be making will mainly go to charitable organisations that they support. They have already collected a good stock of donated fabric, which has been sorted into the most stunning and easily accessible display.

Vinnies ReSew networkWhile there I had the opportunity to network with other people who are doing similar great work. This pic shows myself, with Sarah from Boomerang Bags Wellington, Peter and Trish (and Trish’s children) from The Formary, Caroline from Vinnies ReSew, and Sally from the Sew Good Cooperative which is based out of The Remakery in Naenae.

This amazing collection of people, all have a common goal – of repurposing textile and keeping it from the landfill. There is a teaching/upskilling component to some of these groups, and a very strong desire to produce items for charitable purposes. It was so amazing to see such a huge amount of desire to do good for the community, by doing right by the environment. I applaud each and every one of these people and the initiatives they represent, and felt very humbled to have been in your presence.


Cutting and Sewing day at Vinnies ReSew

Crafty Volunteers is entering into a partnership with some of these organisations (and others) in a project we are calling “Repurposed for Good”, and we will be holding our first Cutting and Sewing day at Vinnies ReSew on Sunday the 19th of November.

rash shirt 2 smallAs mentioned in my last email and blog – we have received 200 Rash Shirts that are no longer fit for purpose, and the organisation that is donating them to us, have asked if they can be repurposed for Foster Hope, and low decile schools, so that kids can be “sun smart” this summer.

We will be cutting the shirts up at the event on the 19th, and we have access to the sewing machines at Vinnies ReSew for those that want to come along and sew. We will also be producing take home packs for people that would prefer to grab a pack and do the sewing at home. As I said last week, we would like the shirts sewn and returned to us by the 10th of December so we can get them distributed to the charities in time for Christmas.

rashshirtcuttingday19nov2017.jpgTherefore we need 3 groups of people to assist us.

  1. Cutters – to come to Vinnies on the 19th to cut fabric – no sewing experience needed (which is great, because I wouldn’t know one end of a sewing machine from the other…)
  2. Sewers – to come to Vinnies on the 19th to start sewing the shirts – you can use their sewing machines, or bring your own (note: there is only one overlocker at Vinnies, and I’m told this sewing would be much easier on an overlocker – but what do I know…)
  3. Sewers – to collect pre-cut packs – to take home to sew, and return by the 10th of December

If you’re available on the day, or can help with at home sewing, it would be HUGELY appreciated.

This little project has been very rapidly pulled together – we were offered the shirts only last week. So I want to offer a big thank you to the people that have helped bring this together.

Next year, we will be bringing a lot more sewing projects your way – so keep an eye out.

Yours – with love, compassion and hope


Help! Do you sew?

Calling Wellington, Kapiti and Hutt crafters,

HELP!!! Do you sew? Or do you know people who sew?

Repurposing donated shirts

We need some sewers (with over-lockers) to assist with a project to repurpose 200 rash shirts that are coming our way in the next week or so. I will need the shirts uplifted pretty quickly after we receive them, as we don’t have any available storage space.

rash shirt 1 smallThe shirts are various sizes (bigger children and smaller adult sizes), and they have corporate logos on them that need to be covered up. It’s been suggested by the organisation supplying them that they could go to Foster Hope or low decile schools, as part of a “sun smart” initiative. Given that, I think it would be great if we could have them turned around in time for the team at Foster Hope to get into their Christmas packs, or schools to issue before they break for the summer holidays. So we would be looking to have them back before the 10th of December.

Once we have seen them, and have decided the best way to repurpose them, we will sort them in to bundles of 10 shirts so it’s not too big a job for anybody. Our thinking is that sewers can chop up one or two shirts, to make “patches” to cover the logos. And some shirts can be chopped up and made into smaller sizes for the younger kids. We will provide the necessary pattern / instructions with the packs. Naturally, the intention is to have as minimal waste going to landfill as possible.

Please can you email me (maggie@craftyvolunteers.org.nz ) by Monday evening if you have an over-locker and would be prepared to take one or more bundles of shirts. At this stage, I’m gathering names and contact details (phone # and suburb), so I can contact those people who offer to assist directly, once we have finalised the details of the project once the shirts have arrived.

rash shirt 2 smallI’m hoping that we can get sufficient sewers in Greater Wellington to complete the project, so we don’t have to incur courier costs (as we are a primarily cashless organisation), however if you’re from outside of Wellington and are keen to help out, please do drop me an email too.

Remember we will hopefully have packs available for collection within the next 10 days, and looking to have them completed and returned before the 10th of December. It will be a great project for sewers to get involved with, and will make a wonderful difference to many children as we head towards the summer holidays.

Interested in donating?

If you’d like to make a cash donation to us (to help cover things like courier costs) we would be most appreciative. We are a Registered Charitable Trust so will provide a receipt for you to furnish as a tax deduction. Our bank account details are – “Crafty Volunteers of New Zealand Charitable Trust”, Kiwibank account # 38-9017-0691144-00 – please put your name as a reference, and drop us an email so we know who to send the receipt to. Many, many thanks.

Would you like to be more involved?

We will have more repurposing types of sewing projects coming our way soon, and because I know nothing about textiles, and have no idea how to sew, I’m looking for a volunteer Sewing Coordinator in Wellington, and potentially a small working group of volunteers to support this role. Again, please drop me an email if you’re interested in being involved – many hands make light work. You’ll get to know some truly lovely people, and you will be contributing to something quite tangible for your community.

Watch this space for more information about this project, and others that will be following. I’m so excited about what we’ve got bubbling away in the background, and can’t wait to be able to tell you more… soon hopefully.

Yours – with (huge amounts of) love, compassion and hope.


Seniors Week reminder

Hi to all of our Wellington, Hutt and Kapiti crafters,

Just a quick reminder regarding a couple of crafting related “Seniors Week” events that are on in the next few days. Feel free to share this with family and friends, and bring them along with you…


The Crafting Group at Seatoun Village Hall are having a “Seniors Week” morning tea at their regular weekly crafting session – tomorrow morning (Thursday 19th October) from 10.00am – 12.00pm. There is a lovely bunch of people that attend the sessions each week, and I’m sure you’ll be made most welcome. If you can’t make it tomorrow, do feel free to join in the fun any other Thursday.

On Saturday 21st October, from 10.00am – 4.00pm, we’ll be supporting the Wellington Central Library’s “Seniors Week” Knit-a-thon. The theme for the day will be Peggy Squares, and we’ll be teaching people to knit and crochet squares, as well as sewing some of the many, many squares that have already been sent in. The completed blankets will be distributed to Womens Refuge and the Night Shelters in and around Greater Wellington.

The Library is providing their usual continuous tea trolley plus some sandwiches and sweets at lunch time. Any contributions towards the food trolley will be most welcome.

If you’re able to come along for some or all of the day, we’d love to see you there.

And remember, you’re always welcome at the monthly crafting session at Wellington Central Library, on the 4th Saturday of each month, from 1.00pm – 4.00pm (excluding December). We have a lot of fun at these sessions – chatting, and sharing crafting tips – and some great friendships have been made. It would be great to see you there.

Take a look at our Events Page to see the other regular crafting events that we are aware of – and if you’re involved in a group and would like us to promote it for you, please drop us a line with the details of where and when, and who the contact person is – we’ll happily add it to our page.

Keep up the great work everybody. 

Yours – with love, compassion and hope.


Celebrating Seniors Week

Hi everyone,

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of all the fantastic items that you all produced during the Crafters Dozen promotion. The volume of wonderful garments, toys, squares and slippers that came in was HUGE! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

It’s nearly 2 months since our Crafters Dozen day at Newlands Community Centre, where over 120 people came along to spend some time with us at some stage during the day. Several people said their goodbye’s, only to show up again later in the day because they enjoyed themselves so much. We taught numerous people how to knit and crochet, and we made some wonderful new friends. A few ladies brought along their sewing machines, which was awesome to see. It was a great venue – you might be able to see in the photo’s just how much the sun was streaming in on us. Thanks heaps to those that helped during the day – we all had such a lovely day, and I know that many of you are keen to do it again.

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It’s only now that the donation bins at our drop off points are managing to contain the volume received between collections. During the promotion and up until just recently, they were overflowing with goodness every time we arrived to collect. Anne and her helpers have had a wonderful time doing deliveries to the charities (check out the boot load of bags – and this was just one of several deliveries…). All of the charities express much gratitude to all of the crafters who have been donating. Once again – thank you!

Seniors Week Knit-a-thon – Peggy Square Blanket session

Wellington City Library have asked Crafty Volunteers to co-host a crafting event at the Library, as part of the City Council’s Seniors Week promotion, which we are delighted to be involved with.

You’re all most welcome to come along on Saturday 21st of October, between 10am and 4pm, and join us making Peggy Squares and/or sewing squares in to blankets. We will be providing needles and yarn, and can teach people to knit and crochet. And the Library will have continuous refreshments, as well as some lovely treats. If you’d like to contribute something tasty for lunch or afternoon tea, it will be very much appreciated.

The blankets that are made will be donated to the Womens Refuge and the Night Shelters around Greater Wellington. So we encourage you to tell your “senior” friends and family about this event – we’d love to see heaps of people there.

If you’re unable to make it, but would like to make squares to contribute to the blankets, please feel free to deliver them either to Wellington City Library, Lower Hutt Library, Tawa Library, or Nancys Stitch Studio on Thorndon Quay (remember to mark them for attention of Crafty Volunteers), and we will get them added to a blanket that gets made in the coming months. And if you’re interested in sewing (or crocheting) squares together, we are always looking for people to do this – we have a never ending supply of squares, and need for blankets.

Please remember, if you’re making squares, the ideal size if 15cm. Many thanks!

Also as part of Seniors Week, the fabulous team at the Seatoun Village Hall, cordially invite people to join them for their weekly session on Thursday the 19th between 10.00am – 12.00pm. This lovely team of crafters are loads of fun to be with, and will make you feel most welcome!

There’s loads more going on around the City for Seniors Week, so check out the other awesome events that the Council are involved with – HERE.

Christmas is coming…

While we are all starting to think about our Christmas plans, and enjoying time with our families, some of our charity partners are putting together their Childrens Christmas packs for those that are unable to spend time with family over the festive season.

We would love to be able to assist with this – and if you are interested in helping out, here’s what is needed…


  • Toys – for children of all ages – toddlers right thru to 16 years (it often the older kids that miss out)
  • Books – new or good quality second hand – again, for ages up to 16 years
  • Toiletries – special soaps, body washes or moisturisers – something to make the children feel a little bit special
  • Hand-made Christmas Cards – with a special note to let them know that people care about them

If you’re making toys, and need some stuffing, please let us know, we have a reasonable amount available.

These items will be distributed to Foster Hope, the Womens Refuge, and to the Childrens Wards at our local Hospitals. I know that these charities will all appreciate everything that you are able to provide at this special time of the year.

We will be delivering them to the charities around the 20th of November, so we would appreciate them coming in by around the 15th. As always, feel free to deliver them to Wellington City Library, Lower Hutt Library, Tawa Library or Nancy’s Stitch Studio – and remember to mark them as being for Crafty Volunteers.

There’s always a need…

We often have people asking “what do you want me to make?”, and our standard response is “whatever you enjoy making, or whatever new thing you’d like to try making”. While at times people feel that this doesn’t answer their question, the reality is, there are so many charities that are in need of the wonderful things that crafters make. So we make a point of gathering up the goodies, and finding the most appropriate charity for it. When we do our deliveries to the charity, we check that the items will be useful, and if not, then we take them away and find another charity that can use the items. If the item is a little unusual, sometimes it may take a few attempts to find the most suitable recipient – and we always find a home for it!

So if you’re ever feeling like you’re not sure what to make – don’t worry, just make whatever you enjoy. The main thing is that it will be made with love.

Wishing you all a lovely rest of October – here’s hoping for some more beautiful sunshine.

Yours with love, compassion and hope