2019 workshops

Having repeated popular classes throughout the early months of the year, it’s now time to have a whole new season of workshops. The website will be updated with new dates over the next few weeks - as soon as something is online, you can book your space! 

We have just released NEW dates for SEVERAL WORKSHOPS. scroll down for more details.

When you come to one of our friendly workshops, you’ll meet like-minded people and learn a new skill. Classes are open to all from 12 years (under 16s should be accompanied by an adult). There are topics for all levels, including complete beginners. Look out for our ‘♥ Scrap-friendly’ symbol if you are trying to make a dent in your fabric stash. If you’re not sure what level of course to take, see the end section or ask us for advice. As always, we aim to keep our prices as reasonable as possible, to encourage everyone to craft and sew.

The best way to book courses is by phone (01634 838880) or in person. Do leave your contact details and the classes in which you're interested if the answerphone kicks in  – we regularly check messages and bookings are taken in order. Or pop into the store and book in person. Please note that as we're a busy shop, we can respond to phone enquiries faster than email messages.

And once you’ve come on a course or bought our fabric we love to see what you’ve made. Use the hashtags #hometownworkshop and #hometownrochester for a show-and-tell!

Quilt Studio

Friday 28 June 2.00-5.00pm £5 - (only 2 spaces left)

Friday 12 July 2.00-5.00pm £5

Friday 26 July 2.00-5.00pm £5 (only 2 spaces left)

Friday 9 August 2.00-5.00pm £5

Friday 30 August 2.00-5.00pm £5 (only 2 spaces left)

Saturday Studio

Saturday 29 June 10.15-1.00pm £5

Saturday 27 June 10.15 - 1.00pm £5

Saturday 27 July 10.15-1.00pm £5

Saturday 31 August 10.15-1.00pm £5

Quilt Studio and Saturday Studio are our self-led sessions when you can come and use our workshop spaces to sew your own projects. Whether you are whizzing up a Jelly Roll, Kantha quilting, English Paper Piecing, Pom pomming or starting a new dressmaking pattern, you’re free to work on your own project with like-minded folk in a sociable setting. You can choose to sew by hand or machine. (Sewing machines are available to hire for £3 a session, if you want to travel light). At every Studio we provide home baked cake, plus as much tea and coffee as you can drink. Sessions must be booked in advance so we know how many to bake for.

Our Friday sessions have been so popular, there’s been a waiting list, so, we’re now putting on an extra date each month. To open up the Studio to as many sewers as possible, you can make a firm booking for one Friday per month and then go on the reserve list for the second date. A week before each session, we’ll contact you if there are still spaces available. This gives more people a chance to take part. Marina is already geared up to bake more cakes!

Saucy and Sweary Embroidery - Mel Forrest

More dates coming soon!

All Levels. Does modern life sometimes leave you fuming !$*%{#? Do you sometimes have a Malcolm Tucker moment? Join us on this liberating, fun workshop and you can let rip with some hand embroidery. It’s just the thing to embrace your inner potty-mouthed sewist. Mel will show you how to commit your thoughts to stitch and you’ll create a lovely hooped embroidery to hang on your wall. You can choose a favourite phrase, or we’re sure we can brainstorm something for you. (I have a on-going list of phrases I want to stitch!) This is meant to be a light hearted class for over-16s - please don’t book, if you might be offended by something stronger than ‘crikey’… The finished hoops make fabulous one-of-a-kind presents. The course fee includes your choice of fabric, thread, embroidery hoop and a glass of vino to get creative juices flowing. Hand sewing.

Luscious Lampshades - Marion Haslam

Saturday 6 July 2.30-5.30pm £30

All levels. Yes, it’s possible to make a stunning 30cm rolled-edge fabric lampshade in just a few hours on this bite size course when you know how… Suitable for use as a pendant or a table/floor lamp, the course fee includes all the lampshade equipment you’ll need, plus your choice of retro, modern, traditional or pretty fabric. The results look very professional. No sewing involved. If you need any further encouragement to book this course at Hometown, we’ve seen several other lampshade courses for £45 locally, which didn’t include the fabric - a result for Rochester!

Kate Higgens at Hometown FMMQ

Free Motion Machine Quilting - Kate Higgens  

New dates coming soon! 

Beginners. Have you a growing pile of unfinished quilt tops? Well, come on this introduction to machine quilting and you’ll get a quilt finished in no time at all. This is one of our most popular courses, so we’re delighted to welcome back Kate who is an expert in machine quilting. She’ll teach you all about stitching, threads and tension. During the morning you’ll have plenty of time for practical exercises and trying out different patterns on your machine. After lunch you can continue with sample stitching, or you can machine quilt a cushion cover or a prepared small quilt top you have brought along (maximum cot quilt size). Machine sewing. 

Let's Start at the Very Beginning - Marion Haslam

Opt 1 -Tuesday 25 June - 6 August - 6 weeks and break*. 7.00-9.30pm £70

Opt 2 -Thursday 5 September - 17 October - 6 weeks and break* 7.00-9.30pm £70

Complete Beginners. This is one of our most popular courses and is great for new sewers wanting to make their first patchwork quilt, but not knowing where to start. The finished quilt is around 112x112cm, ideal as a sofa throw, or baby quilt. The classes cover choosing colours, fabrics and wadding; preparing and sewing your patches, block layouts and borders; learning to use a rotary cutter; hand quilting and finishing your quilt. To allow students more time to learn about hand quilting, Marion has added another week to the course. Hand and machine sewing.

Students can complete a quilt in a short period of time on this comprehensive course over 6 evenings. Students should know how to use a sewing machine before signing up for this course (ie straight stitching with an even tension and be able to thread up their machines and wind bobbins). If you need a refresher, sign up first for the Getting to Know Your Sewing Machine workshop. (*Note - the 1 week break on 30 July or 3 October enables students to continue working on their quilts at home).

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Rags to Riches - Mandy Munroe

Call us if you’d like this course repeated soon!

Intermediate.  ♥ Scrap-friendly. Mandy is well known for her love of modern techniques and on this workshop you’ll learn the skill of free form cutting. You’ll sew gentle improv blocks with positive and negative strips, forming bold modern blocks for a throw quilt. This is a great project for making in-roads into your fabric stash, as you’ll be able to incorporate fat quarters, half metres and even 6in wide strips. Ideal for intermediate quilters and confident beginners wanting to try a new abstract, improv style of piecing. You’ll also become an expert at using your rotary cutter. Machine sewn.


Japanese Sashiko Stitching - Marion Haslam

Saturday 17 August 2.00-5.00pm - £20 FULL!

All levels. Japanese stitch techniques such as Sashiko and Boro are really becoming popular for both decorative stitching on projects and as a way to visibly-mend clothes. Come and learn the art of Sashiko, which has been used on Japanese garments for more than one hundred years. Sashiko stitching can be used on its own or in combination with patchwork. Depending on the speed at which you work, you should be able to mark up and hand sew a cushion front, or several smaller blocks which could be used in a table runner, coasters or a small wall quilt. Plus, if you have a finished quilt top that you are interested in decorating with Sashiko, bring that along too for discussion on possible designs. Hand sewn. (Just as an aside I have seen a similar course elsewhere charging £50 for the same course length - whoah!)

Phone and leave us your contact details if you would like to know of future Sashiko workshop dates.

Getting to Know My Sewing Machine - Marina Havinden

Saturday 8 June 10.30-4.30pm £40 - FULL!

Saturday 10 August 10.30-4.30pm £40

Thursday 29 August 10.30-4.30pm £40

Complete Beginners. Do you have a sewing machine which is still in its box? Are you unsure how to start? Not a clue what a bobbin is, or whether to choose zig zag over straight stitch? If so, this is the class for you. During the morning, Marina will show you what essentials you need to know about your new ‘best friend’, how to thread up your machine and most importantly, get stitching! This workshop is also suitable for new sewers, thinking of buying a sewing machine, but wanting to have a ‘test drive’ first, or rusty sewers who haven’t used a machine for years and who want a refresher course.

In the afternoon, you’ll sew a simple cushion cover, so you can go home knowing you’ve completed your first project and can officially call yourself a sewer. Machine sewn. Your course fee includes 50cm of fabric to make your cushion - chosen by you on the day from the 1800 options we stock!  Note this course is available to all students 12 years+.

Introduction to Bookbinding - Sam Sherlock

Friday 31 May 6.30-9.30pm £35 FULL!

Friday 21 June 6.30-9.30pm £35 - 1 space left!

Saturday 22 June 10.30-1.30pm £35 FULL!

Friday 5 July 6.30-9.30pm £35

Saturday 6 July 10.30-1.30pm £35 full!

All levels. This has been such a popular course at HOMETOWN, it was repeated 3 times in just a few weeks! We are delighted that Sam has now returned to the UK after a sojourn in France and is teaching with us again.

On this bite-sized workshop, students construct their own handmade fabric-covered book. You'll prepare and hand stitch the inner papers using traditional methods and then make the spine and hardback fabric cover. At the end of the workshop, you'll go home with a finished journal. The paper, fabric and all the specialist materials  are included in the course fee. No specialist skills are needed except accurate cutting and hand to eye coordination! Hand work.

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Kasbah Quilt - Mandy Munroe

Call us if you’d like this course repeated soon!

Intermediate. Welcome to the Kasbah! This fresh modern pattern is a fun technique, ideal for a dramatic cushion or full-on quilt. It’s a fantastic design for showcasing your favourite fabrics against a neutral background. You could either choose a collection of coordinating patterns or play with a rainbow of solids, textures or batiks for a bold, modern quilt. At Mandy’s recent workshop in Scotland, the students’ choice of fabrics and colours resulted in very different finished quilts. Let’s see what global colour palettes inspire Hometown quilters! This workshop would also be suitable for confident beginners who have mastered accurate 1/4in seam allowances. Machine sewn.

WORKSHOPS ON DEMAND and requests taken!

Alternatively, if you have a group of friends and wish to come on a workshop together, we can try and schedule a date just for you. For this type of workshop-on-demand, we need a minimum of 6 students. Ask us for more details. If there is a workshop you have missed or a subject you would like repeated, do let us know, so that we can programme new dates with tutors. We are currently developing new classes for children - so do let us know if you’d like further details when these are ready.

HOMETOWN useful info and FAQs

Please read the following carefully so you know what level of course to sign up for.

·                Beginners - suitable for all students with no previous knowledge of patchwork and quilting. We’ll explain all the processes and jargon! Note: if it’s a machine-sewn class you must be familiar with your sewing machine (threading the machine, filling bobbins, straight stitching etc) before you come on the course. If not, you should sign up first for our Getting to Know your Sewing Machine class.

·                All levels - simple techniques suitable for all levels of experience. Realistically, on 1 day courses, tutors concentrate on the specific technique (usually the quilt top) and not all aspects of making a quilt. (For complete beginners’ courses, you should sign up for the Start at the Very Beginning course as you will make a finished quilt and learn many basic quilt making processes.

·                Beginners+ and Intermediate – students should have been quiltmaking on their own or have completed a beginners’ class to be familiar with the general basis of patchwork. Students should be competent machine sewers and have experience with using rotary cutting equipment.

Access: All courses take place at HOMETOWN, 62 High Street, Rochester. There are several car parks nearby and we are a 5 minute level walk from Rochester stations. Sorry, as there are stairs there is no wheelchair access to the workshop area.

Costs and payment: The class fee includes tea and coffee throughout the class. For day classes you can bring your own packed lunch or buy it from one of the many delis, tea rooms or coffee shops in Rochester during the lunch break.


At HOMETOWN we aim to keep the cost of classes as affordable as possible as we want to encourage everyone to sew. This does mean that we need a minimum of 6 students to make courses viable. If you want a course to run, please book early as we need to confirm materials lists to students a minimum of 2 weeks in advance of the course. We regularly benchmark our prices against other quilt shops and sewing cafes and we know other venues which charge up to £90 for day classes and £120 for Beginners’ quilt courses of a similar length!

Once you have booked, a materials and equipment list will be emailed to you before the class. If courses are full, or you are interested in another date for a class please give us your contact details as we may be able to schedule a new date subject to tutor availability. In this case we contact those on the waiting list first with the new dates.

Sewing machine hire: We have four class sewing machines (Bernina and Brother), subject to availability. These must be booked in advance. The charge is £5 per day/bite-size class or £7.50 for longer courses. Please add this to your booking form if needed.

Saving you money:  HOMETOWN has the following schemes you can enjoy:

Deposit scheme - the first class in this series must be paid for in full. For subsequent courses you can pay a £10 deposit. To take advantage of the deposit scheme, your credit/debit card details are taken and the balance is debited 1 month before the course. Your card receipt will be given to you at the class.

Workshop Loyalty Card - Each time you attend a workshop or course*, you’ll get a stamp on your card. Once you have 5 stamps, you’ll receive a £5 gift card to spend in-store. (*the BOM course counts as 3 stamps!). Students who have attended classes since 2013 already have a card set up for them and we’ve handed out many completed gift cards in the past 5 years.

Cutting equipment discount - students booking on any of this season’s courses are entitled to a £5 discount if they buy any combination of a self-healing mat, rotary cutter, and ruler or blades totalling £30 or more, within one month of attending their last course.

Loyalty Card - each time you spend £10 on products in-store, you’ll receive a Loyalty Card stamp. Redeem a full card of stamps for 1 metre of fabric or a book of your choice. Yay more fabric!


Cancellation policy: Please read! If a student cancels, giving 15 days notice, a refund will be given, less £2.50 to cover costs. We cannot give refunds or arrange course transfers with less than 15 days notice, but you are welcome to find a substitute to take your place if you cannot attend. So, please check dates carefully, before booking! If there are insufficient numbers and HOMETOWN has to cancel a course, a full refund will be given.

For details of our GDPR policy, please look at our Contacts page.


Call us on 01634 838880 or book in person at the shop. We're open Tuesday-Saturday 10.00-5.00pm. For enquiries our email is hello@hometownrochester.co.uk Please note - we do not take bookings via Social Media as we like to keep your data private.