When an advertisement was placed in the Horowhenua Chronicle in 1989 appealing for women who wanted to form an embroidery club, it met with a huge response.

The Levin Embroiders Guild, which celebrated its 30th "Pearl" anniversary at the weekend with a high tea at Thompson House, had 80 women turn up to that initial meeting and is still going strong.

Although there were ebbs and flows in membership - the club has a current membership of 32 - club president Sharon Crosbie said there was recently an upsurge in the popularity of their craft.

"All over the world people are getting into crafts and making things. People are saying 'my mother used to do this or my grandmother used to do this...it's not a young person's thing, but it should be.


"It's not only stitching, its companionship and socialising and getting together with other guilds. Its is very satisfying and very relaxing. You get in the zone," she said.

Embroidery was an art form dating back 2000 years and could take many forms. Any work lived in the imagination of the artist, she said.

Vivienne Burling, 78, was at that first meeting 30 years ago and had been stitching ever since. She had the honour of cutting the birthday cake.

Mrs Burling said some woman could work on a particular piece for three months or more.

"But you have something to show for it, at the end of it. I don't own a computer and I like to spend my time with a needle and thread," she said.