2018-19 WINTER workshops

Winter is the time to hunker down and craft! Come to one of our friendly workshops and 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 of experience, 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.

Quilt Studio

Friday 25 January, 22 February, 29 March, Friday 26 April - ALL FULL!

Friday 24 May 2.00-5.00pm £5

Friday 28 June 2.00-5.00pm £5

Saturday Studio

Saturday 26 January 10.30-1.00pm £5

Saturday 23 February 10.30-1.00pm £5

Saturday 30 March 10.30-1.00pm £5

Saturday 27 April 10.30-1.00pm £5

Saturday 25 May 10.30-1.00pm £5

Saturday 29 June 10.30-1.00pm £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, sewing a bag, English Paper Piecing or finalising a quilt binding, 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 a home baked cake, plus as much tea and coffee as you can drink. We’re taking bookings on Studios up until June 2019.

Fabric Wreath Workshop - Mavis Haslam

Thursday 29 November 2.00-4.30pm £10 - FULL!

Saturday 8 December 10.30-1.00pm £10 - FULL!

All levels. ♥ Scrap-friendly.  An ideal project for using tiny scraps of fabric to make a no-sew Christmas wreath, which you can display at home. Using the frame supplied, you’ll finish your wreath in a few hours and the class is suitable for all. You can choose to make a classic red and green Christmas version, maybe a more icy wintery colour scheme, or your own personal colour choice - it’s up to you! To celebrate HOMETOWN’S 10th anniversary, this class is being offered at a very special price (including tea/coffee and a mince pie). You’ll also take home a second frame, as this wreath makes a lovely handmade present.

Saucy and Sweary Embroidery - Mel Forrest

Thursday 29 November 6.30-9.00pm £25 - FULL!

New dates to come in 2019

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 create a lovely hooped embroidery that you can hang on your wall. You can choose a favourite phrase, or we’re sure we can brainstorm something for you. (I have a ongoing 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 will make fabulous one-of-a-kind presents this Christmas. The course fee includes your choice of fabric, thread, embroidery hoop and a glass of vino to get creative juices flowing. Hand sewing.

Follow Mel’s many creative endeavours on stitchmakebake If you would like to be the first to know of the new 2019 dates, call us and leave your contact details.

Luscious Lampshades - Marion Haslam

Course 1 Thursday 4 December 6.30-9.00pm £30

Course 2 Tuesday 29 January 6.30-9.00pm £30 - only 3 spaces left

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!

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Christmas Wreath - Marina Havinden

Course 1 Tuesday 11 December 10.30-1.00pm £30 - FULL!

Course 2 Thursday 13 December 2.00-4.30pm £30 - 2 spaces left

All levels. It wouldn’t be Christmas without a welcoming wreath on your front door. Did you know that Marina (one of the Hometown gals), is a fab florist as well as a talented sewer? During this class you’ll learn how to add blue spruce, eucalyptus and other natural foliage to a pre-mossed frame (all these materials are supplied by us). You can top off your wreath with cones, berries, faux flowers, wired ribbons, and other decorations, all available at the shop. Plus, you’re welcome to bring in your favourite baubles or additional foliage from your garden. We’ve been looking around and wreath workshops can cost up to £70. We have deliberately kept our course fee as low as possible as we want crafting to be accessible to all. The class fee includes a pre-mossed frame, natural foliage and binding wire.

Kate Higgens at Hometown FMMQ

Free Motion Machine Quilting - Kate Higgens

Wednesday 19 December 10.30-4.30pm £40

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 time for Christmas. This is one of our most popular courses, so we’re delighted to welcome back Kate who is an expert in machine quilting, who will 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.

There will be more 2019 dates for this class. Let us know if you’d like to be updated as we release new dates.

Let's Start at the Very Beginning - Marion Haslam

Course 1 Thursday 3 January - 14 February - 5 weeks and break. 7.00-9.30pm £60 - FULL!

Course 2 Tuesday 5 March - 16 April - 5 weeks and break. 7.00-9.30pm £60 - 2 spaces left

Complete Beginners. This is a great course 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. Hand and machine sewing.

Students can complete a quilt in a short period of time on this comprehensive course over 5 evenings. (Note - the 2 week break on 31/1 and 7/2 for course 1 and 2-9/4 for course 2 enables students to continue working on their quilts at home). This is always a popular course which is repeated throughout the year - join us this time!

Four Seasons Applique - Kate Higgens

Wednesday 16 January 10.30-4.30pm £40

Confident Beginners/intermediate.  ♥ Scrap-friendly. Regardless of the weather outside, you can sew yourself into spring. There are four applique panels in total - you can make whichever season you like in the class and the others in your own time. The four panels can be finished as mini quilts or sewn together as a larger panel. The results are charming and unique to each quilter. This is a great workshop for using fused applique to create your panel. Previous workshops sold out in 24 hours, so phone us fast!

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Rags to Riches - Mandy Munroe

Thursday 24 January 10.30-4.30pm £40 - only 3 spaces left

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 (without a ruler!). You’ll sew gentle curves creating positive and negative strips, forming bold modern waves 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.

 See what inspires Mandy at mandymunroemm

Japanese Sashiko Stitching - Marion Haslam

Thursday 31 January 1.30-4.30pm - £20 FULL!

Thursday 21 February 1.30-4.30pm - £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.

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

NEW DATE! Saturday 2 February 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! 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. Course fee includes 50cm of fabric for your cushion - chosen by you on the day.

The Patchwork Taster Day on 13 February is an ideal follow-on to this course - you can save 10% if you book both courses.

Patchwork Taster Day - Mandy Munroe

Wednesday 13 February 10.30-4.30pm £40

Beginners. If you’ve always wanted to have a go at patchwork, our taster day is an ideal introduction. You’ll learn how to measure and rotary cut fabric patches and how to sew them together using quick, modern methods. You’ll be able to sew a variety of block designs. Mandy will also talk about choosing and using colours and you’ll pick up plenty of tips for accurate piecing. The sewn blocks are ideal for making into cushions or the start of a quilt. This is an ideal follow-on course to ‘Getting to Know My Sewing Machine’. If you book both workshops, you can save 10% on the Taster Day. Machine sewn. 

Charming Shadows - Kate Higgens

Thursday 28 February 10.30-4.30pm £40

Intermediate. This workshop uses a charm pack of pre-cut 5in squares and 2 coordinating fabrics. Kate will show you how to sew a lovely throw / wall quilt with an incredible illusion of floating squares. This technique could also be tackled by confident beginners who are good at sewing accurate 1/4in seams. Machine sewn

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Kasbah Quilt - Mandy Munroe

Thursday 21 March 10.30-4.30pm £40 - only 3 spaces left

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.

Introduction to Bookbinding - Sam Sherlock

Spring 2019 dates to be released soon.

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 is returning to the UK and will be teaching with us again. Dates will be published on the website, but if you’d like a heads-up, please call 01634 838880 and leave us your contact details and we’ll make sure you hear first.

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 sewn.

To see more on Sam’s current life in France follow his IG feed at greenpasturesfrance

Elisabeth Beighton-Delille workshops

Another popular tutor at Hometown, Elisabeth will be teaching again with us in 2019, once she’s got over a house move and has unpacked all her fabric!

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.

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.

·                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 £75 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.