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News - 10 May 2010
Elizabeth Betts

Former City College student brings ‘Quilty Pleasures’ to Brighton

Elizabeth Betts, a former Bookkeeping and Patchwork & Quilting student at City College Brighton and Hove, has recently opened up a shop dedicated to providing specialist supplies to Brighton’s growing band of DIY craft enthusiasts.

‘Quilty Pleasures’ on Upper Hamilton Road in the Prestonville area of Brighton, stocks a combination of selected contemporary and vintage-inspired printed cotton fabric from brands such as Michael Miller, Amy Butler, Kokka, Sevenberry and Makower - suitable for quilt making and sewers alike. A variety of thread, buttons, ribbons, haberdashery and reference books are also stocked.

The craft of Patchwork and Quilting is currently experiencing a huge revival in the UK with the Victoria and Albert museum honouring the tradition with a major exhibition featuring historical quilts as well as contemporary work by Tracey Emin and Tuner prize winner Grayson Perry.

Of her time at City College, Elizabeth says: “The patchwork and quilting course taught me skills in a specialised area of craft and it gave me a new passion and direction in my life. But I found that there was nowhere in Brighton or Hove specialising in patchwork and quilting so I either had to travel far or get supplies via mail order. Having identified a niche in the market, starting my own shop combines working for myself and doing something that I’m passionate about. It’s been a steep learning curve and I sourced a lot of the stock by looking at things I bought in the past and really liked and then finding out who the wholesaler or the manufacturer was and contacting them directly. Getting the business up and running has taken a lot longer and been far more difficult than I ever thought it would be but we got there in the end and I’m quite proud!”

“The bookkeeping course at City College gave me skills that I would have had to have paid someone else to provide and it’s given me greater understanding of the business side of running the shop which combines well with the fun, creative side that I developed on the other course. It was also significant that the courses were part time and allowed me to study while my two children were young.”

City College Principal Phil Frier says: “I’m delighted to see former students like Elizabeth using the skills they’ve learnt at City College to start their own businesses. It sums up what the Further Education sector is all about. Coming out of the dark days of the recession, it’s great to see enterprising Brightonians showing the type of initiative and drive needed to boost the local economy.”

For further information on Quilty Pleasures, contact Elizabeth Betts on 01273 563032 or email website For City College media enquiries, please call Brian Bell, Marketing Communications Officer, on 01273 667788 Ext. 488 or email website

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