Crafty stuff, Reviews: resources, books, museums

Friday Review: Village Books & Crafts, Palmerston North

I’ve been meaning to write this review for ages, and ages, and just haven’t gotten around to it.

Village Books and Crafts
318 College Street
Palmerston North
Email:  Village Books and Crafts

What it is:

Village Books and Crafts is a small, friendly locally owned store, teaching centre, and mail order company.  It stocks everything you could ever want for quilting, fibre, and surface design.  And Dianne Southey, the proprietor, knows everything you could want to know about quilting, fibre art, and surface design.

Piles and piles of quilting and fabric goodness

The Good:

So much delicious quilting and crafting pogey bait!  Silk ribbons!  Lace (on sale as the store was clearing out its stash, so I picked up a bunch), embroidery floss, buttons (one of the largest selection of novelty buttons in New Zealand), thread, fabric, jewellery fixings…the list goes on and on.

Look at the sewing themed buttons! Aren't they adorable!

Buttons, buttons, and more buttons!

Threads and yarns and ribbons in every colour

There is even oodles of stuff that I have no idea what to do with – fancy interfacings and fabric dyes, doll bits, and acorns (I still don’t know what those are for).

Tiny, tiny buttons for sewing on dolls clothes

Fear not though, the shop is scattered with inspiration pieces, and guides to all the obscure stuff and new technology.  And (as mentioned above), Dianne can tell you everything about everything in the shop.

Jewellery making pogey bait

Inspiration for spring quilts, and autumn quilts, and art quilts, and everything in between

But wait, there’s more!*  Half of the space at Village Books and Crafts is dedicated not to yummy purchasables, but to work tables, where Dianne holds classes, and workshops, and has guest teachers in.  So you can take workshops and learn how to use all the amazing obscure stuff! When I visited the work tables were full of sale items and wonderful finished quilts, but usually they are full of sewing machines and rotary cutters and women (and the occasional man) doing fabulous stuff.

The work tables, laden with wonderful quilts and sale items

The Bad:

It’s all the way up in Palmerston North.  That is a two hour drive from Wellington.  And not on the way to anything I usually want to go to.  And while I think that Palmy gets a very undeserved rap,** it is still a bit far to drive on a regular basis just to attend textile workshops and enjoy quilting pogey bait.

One of my favourite things about craft shops is all these colours!

Also, sadly, VB&C doesn’t carrying wool felt because of the lack of demand, and the high price.  I love wool felt.  There are so many wool felt crafts I want to try.  But not if I have to order it from the US.  So the lack of wool felt makes me very sad.

So much goodness, but no wool felt.

Even if you can’t get wool felt, there are lots of other things that you might want to get from VB&C, and you might not be in Palmy.  Hooray for mail orders!  You can call up and get everything the shop stocks, and a bit more, and Dianne will explain everything you need to know about it, from Teric (Synthrapol) detergent, to ExtravOrganza, to hand dyed silk cocoons, to Lutradur.

The Ugly:

I do not like dolls.  Occasionally they are not totally creepy, but that is the best I can say.  And these ones are totally creepy.

Totally creepy. Even if they only take up 1/10th of the shot

Also, possibly the only thing creepier than loose dolls head are whole rows of doll eye buttons.  *Shudder*

Everywhere I move they seem to follow me!

*It’s a New Zealand reference.

**John Cleese called it “miserable” and told the newspapers “if you wish to kill yourself but lack the courage to, I think a visit to Palmerston North will do the trick”.  So unfair.  I love Palmy.  It’s pretty.  And has great op shops and craft stores.  Granted it’s not exciting.  And I don’t want to live there.  But it’s not miserable.  It’s sedate, pastoral, and bucolic.  Very restful.  Not suicide inducing at all.

1 Comment

  1. Diane is always ready to give advice and whenever I visited the shop she was never ‘too busy’ to help or give ideas. Palmy North is so lucky with 7 quilt shops within 1/2 hour. Now I’m in Lower Hutt I save money. But give me Palmy anyday. It’s so easy to get around, so friendly and right in the middle of everywhere.

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