Work of art . . . Altrusa Oamaru service committee chairwoman Robyn Moynihan holds the heirloom quilt being auctioned to raise money for community initiatives. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

There are always treasures to be found at Altrusa’s annual Bazaar.

A carton of squares of fabric anonymously donated for last year’s event has been transformed into an heirloom quilt, which is now up for auction to boost this year’s fundraising efforts.

Altrusa Oamaru service committee chairwoman Robyn Moynihan said about two-thirds of the donated squares were complete, but there was no picture or pattern included in the donation.

It was decided the squares would have more value if they were sewn into a quilt, and an ‘‘amazing’’ local woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, offered to piece it all together, Mrs Moynihan said.

‘‘She saw the potential, I suppose, of all those squares.’’

The ‘‘friend of Altrusa’’ spent many hours on its construction, using some of her own heirloom laces to finish it, and the final product — measuring 1.95m by 1.95m — was ‘‘fabulous’’, Mrs Moynihan said.

The quilt has been listed on TradeMe, and can be found by searching ‘‘Altrusa Charity Auction’’. It would only sell for the right price, she said.

‘‘It is a work of art. Anyone who knows anything about quilting or fabric art will see the value in it.’’

In the detail . . . A carton of squares of fabric donated for last year’s Bazaar has been transformed into an heirloom quilt.

This year’s Bazaar will be held on August 6-7 at the Scottish Hall, and Altrusa is now accepting donations of fabric, wool, haberdashery, bags, scarves and jewellery for the event.

‘‘The locals donate everything they have left over — unwanted craft items, fabric, unfinished projects, there’s always a lot of that — and we sort it all out, many many hours go into measuring and pricing, and it’s really popular,’’ Mrs Moynihan said.

Bigger items, such as sewing machines and spinning wheels, had also been donated in previous years, and the event usually raised more than $4000 each year.

‘‘We really do appreciate everyone who goes to the trouble of bringing us stuff.

‘‘When they are donating stuff, they really are donating funds to the community.’’

Along with the the money raised from the quilt sale, proceeds from this year’s Bazaar will go towards paying for a term’s swimming lessons for about 20 Oamaru primary school children, tertiary scholarships for two secondary school pupils for their future studies, and other community projects.

Lockdowns in recent years had prompted somewhat of a craft resurgence, and Mrs Moynihan hoped the momentum would continue and attract more people to the Bazaar.

There was something for everyone at the two-day sale — from the more experienced crafts people who arrived early waiting for the doors to open, to the ‘‘kids who might have $2 to spend’’ on fabric or buttons, Mrs Moynihan said.

Altrusa did a lot of good in the community, and had about 30 members at present.
Mrs Moynihan, who has been involved for about 10 years, said ‘‘anyone at all’’ could become a member, and she encouraged anyone interested to get in touch.

The group meets at the Star and Garter for a dinner twice a month — on the second and fourth Mondays of the month.

Anyone interested in joining Altrusa can contact Mrs Moynihan on 027 431-2858. Anyone with items to donate to this year’s Bazaar can drop them off at the Real Food Pantry in Eden St or call Lynne Isbister on 027 712-0075 to organise collection.