Time to hang up needles

Threads Needlecrafts owner Sue McKinney is closing her patchwork and embroidery shop in Dunedin. Photo: Shawn McAvinue
Threads Needlecrafts owner Sue McKinney is closing her patchwork and embroidery shop in Dunedin. Photo: Shawn McAvinue

A Dunedin patchwork and embroidery shop is closing after 35 years of business.

Threads Needlecrafts owner Sue McKinney opened her store in Wanaka in 1983.

‘‘I was the first person in New Zealand to open a patchwork and embroidery store.’’

She opened another shop, with the same business name, in Moray Pl, Dunedin about two years later,

In 1986, she and her late husband Robb McKinney moved to Dunedin so their two children could be raised in a city.

When the family moved to Dunedin, she sold the Wanaka business as a going concern and it was renamed.

In 1988, she moved her business to a shop in Princes St, near The Savoy, for a 10-year lease.

After that the business moved to Centre City Mall, and had remained there for the past 20 years.

Business had been ‘‘difficult’’ in the past three years as more people bought fabric online, she said.

More people were buying cheap fabric online from China.

‘‘It’s been the killer.’’

She sold only cotton from the United States because it was better quality, she said.

Another contributing factor was fewer young people were doing patchwork and embroidery.

Her shop lease expires at the end of next month and she decided it was the right time to ‘‘bow out’’ and retire.

She had no plans to slow down when she got a ‘‘taste of freedom’’.

‘‘I’m an ultra marathon runner, a gym junkie and do yoga — I’ll be able to do that any hour of the day now rather than just in the morning or night.’’

Customers had been ‘‘shocked’’ by the shop closure but had been ‘‘glad’’ for her.

‘‘I’ve seen generations grow up . . . the number of people I’ve got to know really well is just lovely.’’

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