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August 7th, 2018.

A local quilting enthusiast has taken the hobby she is passionate about and turned it into a business. The Patchwork Cat will open this coming Saturday - August the 11th - offering a wide range of sewing fabrics and materials, traditional English quilting lessons, other crafting classes and a coffee shop.

Owner Sara Williams explains: “I am excited and nervous in equal measure but quite busy, so am not thinking about the opening too much. I hope the shop will be a community base offering, not only for some great products and classes but a place for people to come together and socialise too.”

Sara, who quit her job running an accounts department for a construction firm, became hooked on quilting four years ago after she joined a local class. But after finding she had limited time to do it she decided to set up her own business.

“I originally asked for a sewing machine one Christmas as I wanted to make my own clothes, but that didn’t exactly work out how I planned, so I instead joined a class and absolutely loved it. It was more of a social class where we met up once a month and would pick up tips from each other. It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon.

“I got a bit obsessed with quilting and still really enjoy it, but realised I didn’t have enough time to do it and work, so I decided if I could make it my job I would.”

The quilting classes that Sara and her teachers will be offering cover one of the most ancient forms of patchwork, called English Paper Piecing, which involves using paper to create the pattern and sewing fabric to it before finally removing the paper once it’s finished.

Sarah hopes the classes will also offer a social element as well as teaching sewing techniques and is keen to ensure classes are open to all ages and abilities. A number of guest teachers will be coming to visit and there will be classes for both adults and children.

Mum-of-two Sara said: “I hope it can help combat isolation and become a bit of a community hub with the café. We want to appeal to all ages, experienced quilters and sewing enthusiasts as well as those who have never done it before but fancy giving it a go.

“There’s no other shop like it in the town and while we have been setting up, so many people have put their head around the door and expressed an interest or said how nice it is to see something like this opening up. It’s already got a loyal following and I really hope we can build on that.”

The shop in Newhaven Square is being opened by Mayor Paul Boswell with members of Newhaven’s Chamber of Commerce on Saturday.

For more information about classes visit