A stitch in time saves lives

Altrusa International of Timaru members (from left) Karen Liddy, Maureen Skinner and Raewyn...
Altrusa International of Timaru members (from left) Karen Liddy, Maureen Skinner and Raewyn Hutton check out some of the fabric that will be for sale on Sunday. PHOTO: CLAIRE ALLISON
Altrusa International of Timaru is hoping this weekend’s fundraiser will have a material benefit for the community.

The service group’s Fabric and Craft Fair is being held in the West End Hall on Sunday from 10am to 12 noon.

It offered thousands of lengths of fabric, balls and skeins of wool and a multitude of craft supplies, all sold at bargain prices to raise funds — with most items under $10.

This year, club members aim to raise enough money to buy a portable automated external defibrillator for Age Concern South Canterbury to have available during its activities and bus trips.

Fair organiser Karen Liddy said Age Concern had previously had to borrow a defibrillator.

"They suggested they would love one of their own, and we’re happy to help."

Mrs Liddy said Timaru’s Altrusa branch had been holding a fabric sale for at least a decade — the first held in the now-demolished St Paul’s Church Hall in Seddon St — and it had quickly become a must on the calendar for keen crafters and dressmakers.

Altrusa always received huge amounts of support from the community, from generous donations of fabric, wool, crafting and patchwork items, and then from buyers keen to stock up their supplies.

While the annual sale had traditionally been held in September-October, the club had decided this year to bring it forward, giving people the chance to buy supplies for winter projects.

Members spent hours measuring, folding, labelling and pricing donations ready for the two-hour sale, with smaller pieces useful for crafts and longer lengths of up to 5m-6m.