Unique stitching retreats in Maine

Dive into your creative practice with the support and encouragement of some of our day's leading Makers.

A Gathering of Stitches is proud to bring a lovely line-up of thoughtful Makers to Maine for the Summer of 2017. Our retreats this year will focus on slowing down your practice, your pace, your breath, and your mind to allow yourself the time and space to absorb some new ideas about Making. Our mantra this year is Slow.  Slow Stitching, Slow Fashion, Slow Maine. Come join Cal Patch, Katrina Rodabaugh, and Jessica Lewis Stevens for a week of Slow Fashion on the beach in July at the Ferry Beach Park Association. Or if quilting is more your thing, come in August and hang out with Chawne Kimber, Heather Jones, and Kim Eichler-Messmer for some sweet stitching in the woods at Medomak Retreat Center. You can read more about Slow Fashion Here, and Slow Stitching Here.

AGOS brings some of the top names in Modern Stitching to this grand corner of the country for a series of in-depth gatherings. Maine is off the beaten track, an oasis from the fast-paced life so many of us live. The speed of life is a little slower here, allowing your creative mind to wander where it will. With these retreats AGOS incorporates the best of both the quiet and the stimulation, to create unique opportunities for stitchers with some of the most creative minds (and hands) in the world of stitching. Bring your quilting and garment sewing practice to Maine and see what you go home with.

I loved every minute of it. I was a little nervous when I arrived because I’d never been to a retreat like that and I was so far from home and, quite frankly, it was the first time I was alone in almost a decade. You greeted me with a hug that instantly put me at ease and I totally knew I was in the right place.
— Erin
When you come together “with your people,” it’s the greatest joy in the world and your entire soul is fed. With Amy, Heather, and Samantha at the helm, we opened up our hearts and creative minds. The most beautiful color stories and quilt blocks were created, and new friendships made.
— Martha
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For any event at AGOS, you will work in small groups to foster deep practice, giving you the opportunity to ask all the questions you might have, with time and space to explore the answers. I take care of all the basic necessities so you can relax and focus on the making. There is a reason why so many artists and writers find Maine the perfect place to create. There is plenty of space - psychic and physical - for creating up here.  Making happens in all sorts of settings, creativity is sparked by our surroundings, conversations we have, vistas we see, meals we share.  Maine is ripe for such inspiration with it's rustic beauty, the immersion in Nature, and the slower pace. I try and do all the advance work so when you show up, all this inspiration is just waiting for you.....

What a wonderful weekend of fun, learning and growing - also tasty food and the Salt water farm dinner was fabulous. Best of all I felt stretched in my thinking and use of color as well as creating new, different, dynamic shapes and designs for my quilts. The best investment in my quilting I have ever made! Cannot wait to do more.
— Robin
You have achieved the perfect formula for retreats:
Outstanding organization + great teacher + nurturing space
— Emily
This was my first sewing class and I had such a great time - and left feeling so much more confident - that I can’t wait for the next one. It was so lovely to meet people just as excited about sewing as I am and even better, ones so generous with their support and kindness. I loved the format, the food, the company, and the time to really dig in to our projects. I actually arrived thinking that I wouldn’t be able to sew for 8 hours a day! But I realized there that it’s completely different to sew when sewing is all you have to do rather than sitting down at the machine after work.
— Erika


I believe that few experiences in life cannot be made better by stitching. Truly... Whether you do it to escape, or you choose it as your avocation, stitching is a way to connect us to our ancestors, our community, and ourselves.  When we engage in these tactile analog traditions we remember our ability to create, to make, to change, to connect. AGOS gives you the opportunity to turn off the day-to-day noises (or at least turn the volume way down) and turn up your creative voice. My retreats combine a good mix of structure and epiphany.  There is always time to process what you're learning in the moment.  And if you really just need to go for a walk, that's totally cool.  I want you to return to your daily life feeling renewed, energized and maybe a little jazzed about a new skill.



If you'd like to read more about the background of these retreats read my blog post here. You can read about the 2015 retreats below:

Amy Butler and Heather Jones

Chawne Kimber & Carolyn Friedlander at the Slow Stitching Retreat


~Other folks have written lovely things about my retreats as well. Check out what they have to say below:


Fancy Tiger Crafts

Kitty Wilkin, Night Quilter

Karin Jordan, Leigh Laurel Studios

Kristin Shields: Medomak Magic; Slow Stitching 1 (Carolyn Friedlander); Slow Stitching 2 (Chawne Kimber);

Elisa Albury: Slow Stitching Reflections

Lauren Taylor (LLADYBIRD)

The days with Carolyn and Chawne were damn near perfect - the weather helped, but the time together and relaxed atmosphere was lovely.
— Tracy
The retreat and the experience exceeded my expectations. In the days and weeks leading up to the retreat I was tired and needed a break from work and my life. Before I got to the retreat, I hoped it would be a place to unwind, relax and that it would help me regain my creative mojo. I experienced all of that and more.
— Heather