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Friday 26 May 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Art, Features


Quilting group sew bonds of friendship
Retired school teacher Tekura Ruaporo, 88, is pictured with the cushion covers she delicately hand-sewed. MELINA ETCHES/23052524

The women in the Vaimaanga Vainetini sewing group meet each week to chat, share a meal and sew together.

At the age of 88, retired school teacher Tekura Ruaporo is the eldest of the team and the most experienced in tivaivai sewing. She is pictured with the cushion covers she delicately hand-sewed  

Ruaporo was taught sewing skills by her mother, the late Titi Numanga, who was a renowned teacher of the craft.

Yesterday the women celebrated the end of another successful sewing workshop with a bold and colourful display of tivaivai cushions and bed covers, block printed pareau and bed spreads at the Vaimaanga Meeting House.

The chairperson of the Vaimaanga Vainetini, Vaine Boaza said the women had been working on their pieces week after week.

“Coming together to sew, we have made new friendships and it’s good – we talk, eat and see how each other is doing.”

The women’s community project was funded by a grant from the Ministry of Internal Affair, Boaza added.