Get to know us

Fabric, Wool & Haberdashery

About Us

Hi, I'm Valmae Garner, the owner of Counting Stitches based in beautiful Hastings.

Having a mum and an elder sister working in the sewing factories, I was taught sewing skills from a very early age. I did attend sewing classes at school for a while but I was "thrown out" due to my cheekiness and unwillingness to follow the rules!

As an adult, I joined the Royal New Zealand Navy as a chef and thats where I met my lovely husband Stu. We were married in Hastings and have gone on to have 3 children - a girl and 2 boys. Sewing was a big part of my life when the children were small but sadly due to my mum becoming unwell, sewing fell by the wayside while I focused on her care.

It was after my mum passed away and I was at a loss of what to do with my time that I discovered a quilting class and that was the real beginning of my sewing passion.

Counting Stitches came when we came home for a holiday while we were working in Western Australia. And found the Mahora Wool Shop For Sale.

Valmae got the chance to build a business from something she loves doing Patchwork, making quilts bags, wall hangings and table runners.

The basic motivation to start a quilting project is heavily based on a quilter seeing an impressive quilt that they really admire, if they don't understand how they, themselves, can complete it, there is no motivation. It is my desire to provide the process and support structure so that the motivation that is created by inspiration results in finished projects.

This is why I trained and became the only Certified Shop in Quiltworx Patterns in New Zealand ...

These beautiful foundation paper pieced designs have unique techniques for quilters with minimal previous experience to be able to create intricate and complex heirloom quality quilts.

Valmae has trained to teach everyone the the overall process to complete these stunning projects.

Our world has gone through some very trying times recently and like a Pheonix we are rising again with our new Studio in Gordon Road. Currently we are renovating our garage to a fabric, patchwork studio with all the lovely fabric I am known for.

Hawkes Bay Largest selection of Batik fabrics, those lovely bold bright and beautiful fabrids from Kaffe Fassett, Anna Maria Horner, Alison Glass and many more.

We will have plenty of accessories and patterns for you to choose from.

We look forward to seeing you @ our studio. We are only open on Saturday's and open 24/7 online.


About Us

Why Choose us (not the competitor)

Why Choose us (not the competitor)

We only sell 100% Cotton Quilting Fabrics from New Zealand and Australian suppliers. We want to support our local business to keep everything as local as we can. While there are no fabric manufacturers physically manufacturing in NZ I strongly support our local distributors to keep NZ working

Award Wining


Best of Show @ Hawkes Bay Patchworkers Exhibition with my Dinner Plate Dahlia Quiltvalmae's dinnerplate dahlia


1st Prize in Traditional Pieced Catagory @ Wine Country Quilts with my Coral Reef Quiltcoral reef

Our goals & mission

Our mission is to inspire you to create heirlooms

Meet our team

Valmae Garner


Stu Garner

Co-Owner/Sewing Machine Technician

Luna-Tui Grace


Jessica Moir


"Awesome service! Helpful, happy, speedy, and kind. Recommend for anyone in need of some retail therapy!"

Fiona Jones

In the media

Retail excellence award 2019

These awards celebrating Kiwi retailers who provide excellent quality service and products to consumers all over New Zealand.

Video interview

Link to a video from a TV promotion or highlight a video on your own Youtube channel. It could be a video advertisement or showreel.

Local magazine feature

Feature article in a local magazine or a niche industry magazine-like fashion or kids toys