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.

After 5 years working on th mines in Western Australia, Stu and I came home when we brought the former Mahora Wool Shop. After 2 1/2 years we needed to find new premises as we had out grown our wee shop.

Our new premises at 117a Avenue Road East opposite BB & B in Hastings has given us the chance to expand. We now have a big bright workroom and a larger brighter showroom.

We are expanding our range of JAMONE, ELNA and BABY LOCK sewing machines and Overlockers. We service and repair all Janome and Elna sewing machnes and overlockers. We are the only Authorized Servicemen in the bay. So if your looking for a great sewing machine with on going support and help come in and see us. Everyoe gets a free lesson with every machine sold. You wont leave the shop not knowing how to use your machine thats our Promise

We also hold sewing and creative classes.

If you are ever in this beautiful part of the world, then do pop in to see me and maybe even sign up for a class or two ;-)

We look forward to seeing you


About Us

Why Choose us (not the competitor)

Why Choose us (not the competitor)

Janome is the number 1 sewing machine company in Australia, and one of the largest in New Zealand and the world. A leading innovator, Janome is dedicated to bringing the latest technologies and professional-grade sewing functionalities into the home.

On December 16th, 2019, Janome celebrated the production of its 70 millionth sewing machine, a crowning achievement that represents a rich history and a world-renowned reputation for excellence. We would like to thank our customers for making this outstanding achievement possible. With the support of our loyal customers, and an extensive innovative product range that speaks for itself, we look forward to a bright future bringing you the best quality and functionality in Sewing Machines. On behalf of all our staff at Janome, thank you for being a Janome Sewist.

Award Wining


The Air Thread 2000D Professional is our first air thread overlocker and the easiest Janome overlocker to thread. Janome's push and blow type air threading system is an industry first.


The award winning Continental M7 Professional is the next generation sewing machine. Packed with exciting features including a 7″ LCD colour touch screen with a clock, 400 built-in stitches, and is currently the fastest zig-zag sewing machine at 1300 stitches per minute.


Today Janome delivers the most powerful, sophisticated machines on the market, with patented technology and industry-leading software. Janome's Sewing Machines are recognised throughout the industry for their ease-of-use and unsurpassed stitch quality. Janome Sewing Machines are being sold in over 100 countries worldwide, and we are proud to be the number 1 sewing machine manufacturer in the world for most types of domestic sewing machines.


Elna sewing machines have been around since 1940 with the launch of the Elna # 1, the first compact, portable, electric sewing machine with a free arm (when unfolded, its metal carrying case formed a sewing table). The Elna # 1 was green in color, breaking away from the traditional black, an innovation in itself for the time. The machine was a resounding success and so began Elna's commitment to the home sewing industry.

To stay consistent with its strategy to remain at the forefront of technology, Elna launched the first home ironing machine in 1973. The Elnapress met with tremendous success as it introduced to the world a new way to perform an age old task, innovating the way people iron. The Elnapress was truly the first ironing press designed for the home.

The Elna product line features Elna sewing machines, Elna overlock/sergers and Elnapress ironing machines. The Elna sewing machine and serger categories host a wide range of products, everything from basic mechanical models to high tech computerized ones, capable of sewing intricate embroidery work. And, behind each product stands Elna's dedication to excellence and quality.


Your Passion is OUR PASSION We're here every step of the way to help you build your skills and pursue your passion

Our goals & mission

Our mission is to sell service and teach you our customers and bring the latest technologies and professional grade sewing functionalites to you the home sewer. With high qualitity award wining brands such as Janome, Elna and BabyLock.

Our core values

We're grateful to have bring to the consummers of New Zealand three of the industries most reliable manufacturers of high-quality Sewing Machines and Overlockers for the home Sewer With award winning products that are here to help you one your sewing journey. PRODUCTS CREATED WITH SEWERS IN MIND We understand you and that's why we offer products that are designed for real sewers by real sewers

First Lesson Free

We stand behind our products and with every new machine purchased we offer you one fre one free 1 hour lesson to familiarize you with your new machine.

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