About 500 leaves were stitched by members of my community in June and have been represented as an art installation at Mahara Gallery in Waikanae, New Zealand. Topophilia is a collective artwork, which conveys community bonding through creative activity.TopophiliaTopophiliaTopophilia_F2A8477 _F2A8466 _F2A8459_F2A8416Topophilia _F2A8511 TopophiliaTopophiliaTopophilia







One month of stitching leaves within my community was a great experience: people met people, strangers became friends, old taught young, young inspired old, stories were told, serious themes and not so serious themes were discussed, gifts have been exchanged, tears run, some sad ones and some happy ones, and I have learnt, there is so little one can do to bring people a bit closer together in our sometimes cold and busy society. Now, the leaves are sitting and waiting to be installed at Mahara Gallery in Waikanae.

IMG_7932 IMG_7922 Leaf Stitching with Birgit Moffatt Leaf Stitching with Birgit Moffatt Leaf Stitching with Birgit Moffatt
I am inviting everybody to celebrate our creative community to come and see the Leaf Installation TOPOPHILIA at Mahara Gallery in Waikanae!

Wow, what a week.
Three days at Otaki library and Paekakariki library, stitching leaves. Listen to people’s stories, talking, laughing and enjoying company. The library staff was just very supportive and even did stitch some leaves as well. Here some snippets.

leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit MoffattNext weeks activities will be in the Waikanae library:

Tuesday, 21/6  10am – 2pm
Wednesday, 22/6 1pm – 4pm
Thursday, 23/6  9am – 12noon

leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit Moffatt leaf stitch project with Birgit MoffattSee you there!


Today is the official start of Matariki, the leaf stitch activities have kicked off yesterday with a visit at the local market at the Te Horo Hall. Beautiful weather, no wind, so we could do the stitching outside!

IMG_7502From today on I will also post a stitched leaf from a participant each day, till the opening of the exhibition next month.

leaf stitch project by Birgit MoffattLeaf of the day 1 (Pohutukawa)




Kia ora,

I would like to introduce the Leaf Stitch Project today. The project is part of this years Matariki celebration on the Kāpiti coast.

leaf stitch project by Birgit MoffattMatariki is the Māori name for a cluster of stars, also known as the Pleiades, arising on the southern hemisphere horizon every year. In Māori culture it indicates the beginning of the New Year, a time for people to come together, to remember the past, to reflect and to make plans for the future year to come.

Reflecting and discussions around environmental issues are an important part of the celebration of Matariki. It includes giving thanks to the land and remembering to respect and protect nature.

leaf stitch project by Birgit Moffatt
I am providing a space for people in the wider community to come together, connect and share time and give them the opportunity getting engaged in The Leaf Stitch Project by creating a piece of art by stitching onto a dried leaf.

The activities will be held in the four Kāpiti libraries: Ōtaki, Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Paekakariki in during the month of June. Dates and times of these stitch activities see here.

The stitched leaves will be set up in an art installation  at Mahara Gallery in Waikanae in July. I will post more information closer to the date of the exhibition opening.

leaf stitch project by Birgit Moffatt

I am looking forward to meet you there!

I just came back from 5 day felting workshop in Wanganui, organized by Fibre Arts New Zealand. The incredibly talented Pam de Groot thought us to create thee dimensional felt objects with a range of different techniques. It was an awesome week of learning sharing and exchanging ideas with other participants.

felt object by Birgit MoffattSplash

felted spiral by Birgit MoffattSpiral

felt twist by Birgit MoffattTwisted Felt

felted necklace with driftwood by Birgit Moffatt felted necklace with driftwood by Birgit MoffattNecklace

felt vessel by Birgit Moffatt felt vessel by Birgit Moffattand when I came home I just could not stop and felted a boat shaped vessel…



I am offering an introduction to the Māori art of flax weaving in an intensive one day workshop in my studio. This is a workshop suitable for beginners.

What do you get

  • an introduction about types of harakeke and their uses
  • an overview about the tikanga (protocol) of the process of harvesting and using harakeke
  • learn some basic techniques
  • construct and complete a small basket

What to bring

All material and tools are provided. Bring your camera and pen and paper if you wish to take notes (recommended)

Workshop numbers are limited so make sure to book as soon as possible.

Price $ 60 (including tea & coffee, and lunch)kono-flax basket by Birgit Moffatt



This week I took part in a two days kite making workshop with Otaki based kite maker Yvonne de Mill at Whitireia. I am not really a kite fan so I was not quite sure about what to expect and if I would like the result. The first day Yvonne introduced some basic (but important) rules about the structures of kites and gave us a very informative overview about historic and contemporary kites and kite artists around the globe. And she promised that our kites would fly.

This first kite was very basic, made with easy available materials such as food coloring, baking paper, skewers and old video tape for the tails.

kite by Birgit Moffatt kite by Birgit MoffattAnd she was right, they all did fly. And it was exciting indeed.
On the second day, we designed and constructed our own kites. I decided to use natural materials, I found magnolia leaves on the ground already changing color into browns and yellows. They are very sturdy and shiny, easy to stitch. For the frame I gathered some makomako twigs, they are very strong and quite straight. This version does not fly though and the leaves will eventually fade and disintegrate. It will be interesting to see and document how long it takes them to return to the land.

kite by Birgit Moffatt kite by Birgit Moffatt kite by Birgit Moffatt kite by Birgit Moffatt
So I am ready to go to the Otaki Kite Festival this weekend not only watching but also flying my own kite.

During a short visit to Auckland I had the opportunity to visit a few of those lovely eastern beaches north of Auckland. First stop at Hatfield beach, a wide sandy beach with amazing rock formations and little caves shaped by wind, weather and tides. Although only to be admired close up at low tide. Lucky me.

rock formationsrock formations IMG_5820 rock formations rock formations rock formations rock formationsThe second stop was the Wenderholm Regional Park, just a few kilometer north of Hatfield beach. Lovely wooden post beaten by the elements. wooden post wooden post wooden post wooden post
Walking along further along the Puhoi river mouth watching the the rhythm of the waves this piece of wood been tossed and swirled around.piece of woodpiece of wood piece of wood piece of wood IMG_5903 IMG_5904 IMG_5906 IMG_5907


All those sampling is really exciting with often unexpected results. In my studio boxes with little pieces of silks and wool start to pile up so I decided to go one step further and respond in my personal way creating whatever comes out of the flow. Limitation was, only to use the samples of my solar dyeing experiment with exception of the cotton I used as the background.

This piece of backing I stained with mud from the creek running through our farm. I used the thick dark brown mud with a lot of leaf litter, and let the cotton sit in there for about three days. A very tactile and odorous matter…

IMG_5012print stitch dye by Birgit MoffattSome of the silk and merino pieces I eco printed with kapuka leaves.

print stitch dye by Birgit Moffatt

print stitch dye by Birgit Moffattprint stitch dye by Birgit Moffattprint stitch dye by Birgit Moffatt