Originally Mum and I both worked for a business in Cuckfield called Sussex Crafts. When they wanted to move on, we purchased the patchwork side of their business. That's when we called it The Patchwork Dog and Basket. The name was decided by my auntie in a pub one night.
We opened in Cuckfield in 2004 and then moved to The Needlemakers in Lewes three years later, which suited us a lot better. This place, which we moved into two months ago, is our final destination, we hope.
Having a patchwork shop was always mum's dream. She's the one with City and Guilds patchwork and quilting qualifications. I've only been working full-time for the business for the past three years. Before that I was at university studying social anthropology with comparative religion – which doesn't necessarily set you up for a career in anything!
Our most well-known supplier is Liberty of London. In the patchwork world, Moda Fabrics is the buzzword. Their fabrics are specifically manufactured and designed for patchwork quilting. They're the Nike Air Max of patchwork fabrics.
We've run workshops from the very beginning. At first it was just a table in the shop, then it became a business called 'Made in Lewes'. A wonderfully creative lady called Mandy Shaw does all sorts of amazing workshops with us; she writes loads of books, she's on Kirstie Allsopp's television show and is a presenter on the new Create and Craft TV channel.
I think quilting is a kind of therapy. It's about taking time to make something genuinely useful. That's definitely what appeals to me.
As told to Mark Bridge
2 Mount Place. 01273 483886.
First published in Viva Lewes magazine issue 102 March 2015.