This year marks 5 years since Fiona Clements and I (Fiona Jenkin) started Stitch Kitchen. We couldn’t celebrate on the official date we formally established our not-for-profit trust due to COVID-19, but we wanted to wait until we were in our new space and could celebrate not only the work and achievements of the past, but also show what is inspiring us into the future.
After the epic work preparing the new studio, it was amazing to create a special event to welcome everyone and let it shine.
We were still restricted by COVID-19 protocols and had to limit attendees, but we still had a wonderful mix of people from throughout the city.
Enormous thanks go to everyone who helped prepare the food, and serve the drinks; to those who helped us rearrange the studio including clearing all the sewing machines and even our cutting tables to make room, and setting up the former restaurant dining tables found in the back shed; to the bands who provided fantastic music; and to Roger Mangai for a formal blessing on the space and the community who will be part of it.
After a year-long hunt, and a 3 month delay due to COVID-19 lockdown, we finally had a lease and keys to our brand new studio space, on the ground floor of the Prince of Wales Hotel at 474 Princes Street.
Early in July we closed for 2 weeks during the term break to do our very own 'dream kitchen renovation' :D This included cleaning a decades worth of dust and repainting.
In the end, it took nearly 6 weeks to finish the painting (and there are still a few areas to finish), and work through a myriad of other complications, but it was well worth it. The Valspa paints, in all our fabulous colours, were purchased with the generous help of Mitre 10 Mega.
Very special thanks go to Ken, Christine, Jaquitta, Oliver, Fienie, Lz, Paul, Alison, Ian, Matthew, and Sam for the many hours they volunteered and helped to keep me sane.
As this new studio is roughly twice the size of our old space, we needed a considerable amount of new furniture and fittings. In keeping with our re-use policy, we sourced almost everything second-hand, and in some cases, on its way to become landfill! We are very grateful to the University of Otago Property Services team for allowing us to give a bright new home to old lab and office furniture. Also the DCC Waste Management department with access to the storage warehouse for extra filing cabinets, and ironing boards. Our amazing carpet tiles for our mosaic floor were given by Millers Studio’s and Tak flooring. A few special pieces, such as our tea cabinet and reception desk were sourced from op shops.
It was fabulous fun dreaming of, designing and creating the new studio, and it’s heartwarming to hear responses from people who come into our space and say how ‘light’ ‘spacious’ ‘bright’ ‘cheerful’ ‘inspiring’ and ‘beautifully organised’ everything looks :D
There are (and probably always will be) a few projects still in progress, but our ‘dream kitchen’ is already a joy to welcome people to, teach and be creative.
News, updates and things we find inspiring, from Dunedin's Stitch Kitchen