YAY! It’s our new workshop schedule. settle down, scroll through and give us a call..

When you come to one of our friendly workshops, you’ll meet like-minded people, have fun 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’ classes if you’re trying to make a dent in your fabric stash. Not sure what level of course to take? Read 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.

Please note: several of our workshops are for a maximum of 6 students - so don’t delay in giving us a call or popping in to book your place.

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!

Nine Patch Quilt - Marion Haslam

Wednesday 7 August - 4 September - 5 weeks

7.00-9.30pm £60 - only 2 spaces left!

NEW!

Complete Beginners. If you want to learn how to make a patchwork quilt from start to finish this summer - this is the course for you! Students will learn all the processes in sewing a quilt from choosing the fabrics (you’ll be working with Charm Squares which are great as they are pre-cut!) to accurately sewing the blocks, learning to use a rotary cutter, layering up your quilt, basic machine quilting and binding your finished quilt.

We’ll be working with a traditional nine patch block design and giving it a modern twist. The finished quilt has a couple of design options to make it truly your own. Your quilt can be bright and contemporary, pretty and traditional or paintbox bright depending on the charm packs you use. Students can finish a quilt during this fun and intensive course over 5 sessions. If necessary, you should be prepared to do some sewing between the workshops.

No previous knowledge of patchwork is needed, however, students must know how to use their sewing machine. That is, how to thread up the machine, wind bobbins and sew a straight stitch with an even tension. If you need a recap, sit down with your machine and instruction book for an afternoon of simple sewing to refresh your skills before you book. Machine sewn.

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Kasbah Star Quilt - Mandy Munroe

Thursday 8 August 10.30-4.30pm £40

Intermediate. Welcome to the Kasbah! Let’s call this your summer staycation workshop… This quilt pattern is typical of Mandy’s fresh, modern style and is a fun technique to try. 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 textures, batiks or a rainbow of solids (as shown here), for a bold, modern quilt.

This workshop is suitable for confident beginners, as a follow-on course once they have mastered accurate 1/4in seam allowances or more experienced quilters looking for a new pattern to try. Students can choose to sew a quilt, or use the central blocks only for a fabulous cushion or table topper. Machine sewn.

Saucy and Sweary Embroidery - Mel Forrest

Friday 9 August 6.30-9.00pm £25

All levels. Does modern life sometimes leave you fuming !$*%{~? Do you sometimes have a Malcolm Tucker moment? Do you think that politics and the state of the nation needs commenting on? If so, 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 and is an ideal way to end the week. 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 an on-going list of phrases I want to stitch!).

This is meant to be a light-hearted class for adults - please don’t book if you might be offended by something stronger than ‘crikey’. The course fee includes your choice of fabric, thread, embroidery hoop and a glass of vino to get creative juices flowing. Hand sewing.

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.

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Sew Over It Ultimate Pyjama Bottoms - Mel Forrest

Tuesday 20 August 10.30-4.30pm £60

NEW!

Beginners. If you know how to use a sewing machine, this full day workshop is a great introduction to dressmaking. Mel will guide you through simple garment construction and show you how to read and use a dressmaking pattern. Techniques covered include pattern lay plans and grain lines, understanding and marking pattern notations and finishing seams. By the end of the day you’ll have made a simple pair of pyjama bottoms with an elasticated waist and tie detail - an excellent wardrobe staple. The PJs will work in most of Hometown’s medium weight cotton or linen fabrics. For summer why not sew in a lovely floral lawn, or for a cosy winter option you could choose a brushed cotton.   

This class is suitable for beginner dressmakers who already know how to use a sewing machine. The workshop fee includes your own copy of the Sew Over It pattern which you can take home. Please note that we will be using the standard sizes on the pattern and will not be covering pattern adjustments during the day. Machine sewn.

Follow Mel’s prolific dressmaking adventures on her Instagram page at #stitch_make_bake

Tilly and the Buttons Stevie Dress or Top - Mel Forrest

Tuesday 27 August 10.30-4.30pm £70

NEW!

Beginners. Speedy to sew and a favourite to wear! It’s no surprise that this Tilly and the Buttons pattern has become a classic with fans making it again and again. With no darts, zips or set-in sleeves, Stevie is a satisfyingly quick and easy make. It has a modern, boxy fit, with a round neckline and grown-on sleeves. It closes at the back with a button loop or pretty ties. You can sew it as a top with a cropped hemline that hits the hip or an above-the-knee dress length.

In this full day class, you’ll be guided through simple garment construction and how to use a dressmaking pattern. Mel will cover techniques such as working with interfacing, using different fastenings, creating patch pockets and top stitching. By the end of the workshop, you’ll have sewn a lovely addition to your wardrobe! This class is suitable for beginner dressmakers who already know how to use a sewing machine. The workshop fee includes your own copy of the Tilly and the Buttons pattern. Please note that the pattern is for UK sizes 8-20. You’ll need 1.5m for the top and 2.2m for the dress. Stevie works well with light to medium weight woven fabrics, such as linen, chambray, cotton lawn and viscose and at Hometown we have plenty of options for you to buy. Machine sewn.

Getting to Know My Sewing Machine - Marina Havinden

Saturday 10 August 10.30-4.30pm £40 - FULL!

Thursday 29 August 10.30-4.30pm £40

Saturday 5 October 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+. After this course, students are welcome to sign up for our beginners’ quilt courses or All-levels classes.

To quote from Fiona, a recent student on this course,

“What a wonderful day I had. The tutor was amazing and put us all at ease straight away. She is a credit to your store, as all the staff are. A massive thanks to you.”

Simply Strippy - Mavis Haslam

Saturday 31 August and 14 September 1.30-4.30pm £40

All Levels and scrap friendly. Too much fabric? Too little time? Join Mavis on this quilt-as-you-go 2-part workshop, as this is an ideal technique for making a quilt in ‘bite-size’ pieces. It’s also great for using up odd strips and scraps of fabric which are left over from other projects or which are piling up in your stash. The intention is that you’ll piece and machine quilt blocks for a 9-block quilt on the first session. During the second workshop, you’ll learn how to join the blocks together in order to complete your quilt.

The break between the 2 sessions enables you to continue sewing your blocks at home. Many students have successfully sewn larger quilts at home, after the course, using the same technique.

Machine sewn. Open to all levels of quiltmaker, however, you should be a competent machine sewer. If not, why not refresh your skills on our ‘Getting to Know My Sewing Machine class’?


Let’s Start at the Very Beginning - Marion Haslam

Opt 1: Thursday 5 September - 17 OCTober - only 3 spaces left!

Opt 2: Tuesday 22 October - 3 December

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 accurately 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.

You 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 (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 3 October / 26 November enables students to continue working on their quilts at home).


Introduction to Bookbinding - Sam Sherlock

FRIDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 6.30-9.30PM £35

SATURDAY 7 September 10.30-1.30pm £35- FULL!

SATURDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 3.00-6.00pm £35

All levels. This has been such a popular course at HOMETOWN, we have repeated 5 times in just a few weeks! We’re delighted that Sam has now returned to the UK after a sojourn in France and is teaching with us again. Don’t miss this unusual course - you’ll amaze yourself and others with your newly-learnt skills and the books make great creative journals and wonderful presents.

On this intensive bite-sized workshop, students construct their own handmade fabric-covered book from scratch. 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.

As Mandy comments on the workshop she’s just attended, “Amazing that with some paper, fabric, thread, board and glue (plus a few simple tools) you can make a book!”

If like all of us who have attended this workshop you’d like to make more books, Sam will be selling his bookbinding kits at the class. Just add fabric!

Twisting Windmills - Kate Higgens

Thursday 12 September 10.30-4.30pm £40

Confident Beginners and scrap friendly. Give your quilts a twirl with this fun and fast block design. It’s ideal if you want to make a dent in your scrap bag. However, if you don’t have a stash the size of Snowdon (what, no stash?!), it’s an ideal pattern to sew with a Charm pack. The quilt looks great in both a coordinated colour scheme or as a multi-coloured scrap sensation. This workshop is ideal as a follow-on on course for confident beginners who can sew a 1/4in seam or for experienced quilters simply wanting a reason to rustle up a quick quilt and make a dent in their fabric collection! Machine sewing. 

Tilda Star Block-of-the-Month - Kate Higgens

Wednesday 18 Sept, 16 Oct and 20 Nov 10.30-4.30 (3 days) £120

NEW!

Confident Beginners/Intermediate. Ever since we saw Kate’s lovely quilt at an exhibition, we’ve been wanting her to teach this course. The block-of-the-month format enables students to sew a large quilt with a variety of star patterns, in a logical and achievable time frame. This large quilt (175 x 210cm, 69x83in) is made up of oversized star blocks, each 28in square. The blocks are complemented by a piano keys pieced border. Kate has designed this project, so that the blocks can be quilted as-you-go, by hand or machine, so the final quilt comes together remarkably quickly. If you’d like to make the quilt even larger, (say 96x96in), you could repeat three of the blocks and add more borders

Kate’s quilt looks country cottage-fresh in all these lovely Tilda prints and a pale background. We have a good selection of Tilda patterns in-stock and are happy to order from her entire collections, just for you. Of course, the quilt will work in many other styles and colours of fabrics. As always, the choice is yours! This course is suitable for confident beginners with experience of rotary cutting or intermediate quilters wanting to tackle a larger quilt.

Please note, when booking on this course we will automatically offer you the possibility of paying in 3 equal  instalments. Payments will be taken on the day of booking, then in September and October. Plus as another incentive to join this course, all students will be given a £12 gift voucher which can be used to buy supplies, when at least 6 students have booked.

Machine sewn. Hand or machine quilting.

Free Motion Machine Quilting for Beginners - Kate Higgens

Saturday 21 September 10.30-4.30pm £40 - FILLING FAST…

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 and the first time we’ve scheduled it on a Saturday. Kate is an expert in machine quilting and each time student feedback is really complimentary on how much they’ve learnt. 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.

We’ll be repeating this course, so if you cannot manage this workshop, leave us your details and we’ll contact you with new dates.

Log Cabin Interrupted - Mandy Munroe

Thursday 26 September 10.30-4.30pm £40

Intermediate. Log Cabin has been one of the most well-loved patchwork patterns for more than a century. In this workshop, Mandy has a modern take on this traditional block. You’ll be introducing lots of negative space with an improvisational use of colour - hallmarks of many modern quilts. You’ll concentrate on colour and technique in the 4 block design which will make a stunning wall quilt. This day is ideal for intermediate quilters looking to step outside of the traditional and be more spontaneous with their piecing. Machine sewn.


Getting to Know my Sewing Machine - Marina Havinden

Saturday 5 October 10.30-4.30pm £40

See above for the full course description


Angel over the Houses - Kate Higgens

Thursday 17 October 10.30-4.30pm £40

Intermediate. Whenever we’ve run this workshop before during the winter, it has sold out and we’ve struggled to fit in more classes before Christmas. So this year we’re starting early, to allow time for a repeat. The charming folk art inspired pattern makes a lovely wall quilt featuring both patchwork and applique. It’s lovely to display all year round, but has an added appeal at Christmas with its dark starry skies. It’s an ideal project for scrap busting as you can include your treasured fabrics on the terrace of tiny houses and flying angel. Machine sewn.

Note if you can’t manage this date but would be interested in the next class, leave us your details and we’ll contact you with future dates.


Let’s Start at the Very Beginning - Marion Haslam

Tuesday 22 October - 3 December

6 weeks and break 7.00-9.30pm £70

See above for the full course description.


Luscious Lampshades - Marion Haslam

WEDNESDAY 23 OCTOBER 7.00-9.30pm £30

All levels. Drum roll please! Yes, it’s possible to make a stunning 30cm roll-edged fabric lampshade in just a few hours on the bite-size workshop … when you know how. Your finished shade is suitable for use as a pendant or table/floor lamp and has a universal fitting. 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 and will be unique to your home. No sewing involved.

If you need any further encouragement to book this course at Hometown, we’ve seen several other courses locally for £45, which didn’t include the fabric - a result for Rochester and your favourite quilt shop!

Seminole Hearts - Kate Higgens

Wednesday 30 October 10.30-4.30pm £40

NEW!

Confident Beginners / intermediate. What fun this quilt is to make, using simple Seminole patchwork and modern applique techniques. The finished quilt measures 172x163cm, 68x64in. For a similar effect, use a mixture of really wild fabrics, whether textures, prints or batiks. It could be a real fabric scrap buster. Whilst you won’t finish the quilt top during the workshop, you’ll have all know-how, to finish it at home. As Kate says, “I personally can’t wait to make another using this pattern and I never make two of the same quilt! A truly happy to make, happy to look at quilt.” Machine sewn.

Quilt Studio

FRIDAYs 2.00-5.00pm £5

12 July

26 July Full!

9 August

30 August - only 2 spaces left!

13 SEptember

27 September

11 OCTOBER

25 october

SATURDAYs 10.15-1.00pm £5

27 JULY - only 2 spaces left!

31 AUGUST

28 SEPTEMBER

26 october

Quilt Studio and Saturday Studio are our self-led sessions when you can come and use our workshop space to sew your own projects. Whether you’re whizzing up a Jelly Roll, steadily hand stitching a Kantha quilt, 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 or 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 now we’re 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 ‘request’ list for a second date. A week before each session, we’ll contact you if there are spaces still available. This gives more people a chance to take part. Marina is already geared up to bake more cake!


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. Some of the courses on offer -  Off the Straight and Narrow (improv curved piecing), Logarhythms, String Piecing, Cookie Cutter Applique, various Jelly Roll workshops, Sashiko taster, Quilt Binding, Norfolk Furrows (a Layer Cake workshop) and Log Cabin for Beginners. If there’s a workshop you’ve missed or a subject you’d like repeated, get in touch, so that we can programme new dates with tutors. We’re 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 or Nine Patch Quilt 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.

CLASS PAYMENT AND DISCOUNTS

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!

SMALLPRINT (NOT A LOT) and GDPR

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.

SIGN ME UP - HOW CAN I BOOK?

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.