Unique Stitching retreats in Maine

Expand your creative experience with world class teachers.

Each year is planned over a few months and then announced here. The calendar for 2017 is still being developed so stay tuned. My plan is to release the line-up by the end of January. If you want to be sure not to miss the announcement, sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of the homepage.


For 2016 I have eleven retreats or workshops on the schedule. Click HERE for the full selection, and to read full descriptions of each. I hope you come join us, they're a ton of fun....

AGOS is bringing 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, but encompasses the perfect combination of rural contemplation and urban creativity, with it's agricultural traditions juxtaposed with one of the country's best food scenes in Portland. With these retreats AGOS will corral the best of both 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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I have chosen nurturing locations to serve as the backdrop for such notable craftspeople as Jen Beeman of Grainline Studio, Heather Jones, Cal Patch, Chawne Kimber, Alison Glass, Amber Corcoran & Jaime Jennings of Fancy Tiger Crafts, and Christine Haynes and Alexia Abegg. This is the current line-up for 2016. But I just may have a few more surprises up my sleeve....  For any event at AGOS, you will work in small groups to foster deep practice, and I will organize all of your 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. 

In addition to the rural experience, some of these workshops take a longer and/or more intensive format right here in Portland - America's Foodiest Small City says Bon Appetit. You can use our tools (see the Studios page) in our forty-five hundred square foot space, with some extra flourishes. Catered lunches and farm dinners will be sourced from Portland's pool of incredibly talented chefs. Generally these workshops will be more intensive, focusing on a particular skill or technique, and spending quality time delving into the subject. The group of participants will be small so you can get individual attention, and learn at your pace, not the group's. These workshops are the opposite of the large convention learning atmosphere. Don't get me wrong, I love learning with, and from, a large group of my fellow students, but sometimes you want the time, space, and access to a teacher to slow down and really grasp the material at hand.

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
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Whether the workshop you take is under the studio roof in Portland, or in one of the other beautiful Maine locations, your experience will be unique. I keep the participant size of our offerings small to ensure that you can ask all the questions you need, and spread out with your ideas, materials and creativity. 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. 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 workshops combine a good mix of structure and epiphany. 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:


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