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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hidden Treasures in Otaki

I was on a bit of a hunt in Otaki to track down Sanders Ties.  “It’s around here somewhere”, I told Robin, by the Post office”.  No it wasn’t, so as Robin grumbled about not knowing where I was going I checked the instructions sent to me by Leeann of Whangarei.  “There it is, across the road from the Library”.  The colourful sign on the footpath declared that the Factory Shop was open.  I was after some silk off-cuts, and came away with a big bag full of luscious silk pieces for only $5.  What I’ll do with them, I’ve got no idea at this stage, but at that price it would have been criminal not to buy a bag.  That’s my story, anyway!

DSCF2198 Lots of lovely silk off-cuts
DSCF2179 Inside the tie factory

Then we spotted a lovely old church across the road that certainly needed a second look.  Now known as “Keepers”, the former Methodist Church which was built way back in 1891 was moved a short distance to the present position at 19 Aotaki Street, Levin.  Inside was an amazing  treasure trove of goodies.  Proprietors Kathy and Terry warmly welcomed us inside to have a look around, and we discovered we have a friend in common.
DSCF2191Keepers, the 1891 former church

There was such a lot of lovely things to look at.  Terry does wood work and the warm hues of his hand made pieces certainly invite inspection.
DSCF2183 Hand crafted wooden items made by Terry

Kathy’s selection of jams, jellies, sauces, chutneys and relish were inviting displayed.  She also makes shortbread, cakes and fudge.  Now, what shall I take home with me?  A jar of this, and a jar of that, and perhaps one of those as well – it all looks so yummy.

DSCF2182 All sorts of tasty goodies

But it was all the beautiful  craft items that really took my fancy.  Knitted items, soft toys, cushions, and all these lovely aprons.  I’m definitely an apron wearer, I need to be as I’m rather a messy cook, I’m sad to say.  Is that a quilt tucked behind?

DSCF2185Lots of aprons on display
DSCF2186Quilt for sale

As well as offering quilts for sale, Kathy also collects old quilts to keep.  This lovely old vintage unfinished piece of a hexagon quilt still has the backing papers inside.  The patches have been roughly zig-zagged together by machine, and Kathy has plans to unpick the machining and remake it by hand.

DSCF2189 Vintage hexagons

The beautiful old Cathedral Window quilt must be Kathy’s pride and joy, I think, and certainly looks at home in the old church setting.  She purchased this quilt quite some time ago, and has loved it ever since.  Made by Rosalie Gwilliam of Wanganui in 1981, the label states the quilt took over 500 hours to complete.

DSCF2187   Hand made Cathedral Window quilt

I really enjoyed having a look around both of these establishments on our visit to Otaki.  It just goes to show that there are all sorts of hidden treasures in small towns just waiting to be discovered.  If you are passing by, they are well worth checking out.


Nancy J said...

Jenny what a great place, I'll certainly be going there when we go to either Levin or Wgn for Merino fabric. I make merino singlets,tops and camisoles for the family now, available at Global Fabrics Garrett St., Wgn or Levana Textiles in Levin. From $20 t0 $38 per metre, and sometimes seconds are available.widths are 110cm to 148cm, the last I got from Levin was wider than that.Cheers, Jean.

Nancy J said...

Jenny, I did a comment, it went and so did half your words and photos. So I am very relieved they are showing again. Silk, like gold, hard to resist. will definitely call in there. Cheers, Jean

Jenny said...

Thanks for the tip about merino fabric, Jean, I wasn't aware that is was available in Levin.

Leeann said...

Glad you found it!