Unique stitching retreats in Maine

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





Here they are! I am very excited, and proud, about these retreats for 2018. Each year I think they get a little better, a little more expansive, a little more relaxed, a little more in line with my values. It gives me great pleasure to share them with you.

This year I am repeating both Slow Fashion and Slow Stitching, as they are so much fun, and I have gotten such positive feedback on them. I debated about adding to my offerings, but this idea with Lauren Taylor just had to be done. I think making your own clothing is so incredibly satisfying and gratifying, I want to share it with more people. Lauren and I put our heads together and came up with this one. I hope it turns you on as much as it does us.

As with last year, I am delaying the actual registration for all these for a month. So take your time, read over the descriptions, think about what you might like to do, how you can make it work. Talk it over with any relevant parties, see if you can make any of them work for you. Do this all without a towering deadline hanging over you. Do feel free to reach out and ask questions if there is some more info you need. Click on each image to be taken to the full description. I will open registration either just before or just after Quiltcon, so that means either February 20th or February 26th. But I will give plenty of warning when I figure that timing out.

Thanks in stitches,


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 in 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
I was so happy to be a part of the slow stitching retreat this year. It was exactly what I needed as I entered my next chapter of life. Staying at Medomak emphasized the joys and ease of living in nature: maybe shower or take a jump in the lake, camaraderie of a group, the magnificent sounds of rural Maine (OH those loons!), no air conditioning (I loved it!), healthy locally grown food for nourishment of the body and mind.
— Martha
Bristolonthetable (1 of 1).jpg


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.....

Cathie's Indigo piece (1 of 1).jpg
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 was a little nervous coming to the retreat but everyone put me at ease. I really appreciated the different skill levels present because you could learn from a breadth of experience. Breaking down the group through rotating days and then having a last recap day was great.
— Amanda
Many of us have “real jobs”, and even though my real job challenges me to think creatively and solve problems on an every day basis, the reward is not as personally fulfilling to me as exercising my creativity and challenging myself as a maker. Making is even better when shared...creating within a community with encouragement and inspiration is an awesome experience. Everyone is so generous with their time and their spirit...sigh...so wonderful!
— Mary Anne
It’s always nice to learn something new, but this was a different learning experience. There was a freedom there, a way to be vulnerable and creative without judgment. It is not hyperbole to say my life was changed.
— Wanda
The people were the best part. And I would come back just to hang out with them... it was a pleasure to get a new take on these skill sets - you always learn new tricks from others! And your teachers were gems, but you already know I think that. Another bit of awesome was four whole days of time where I was required to sit down and make, rather than being continuously distracted by the laundry or the groceries or the flooding basement.
— 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.

Oh, the lady that organized the whole thing. I can’t recall her name... Sandy, Susan, Sammy or Something (just kidding, Sam! 😘) well she was approachable, funny, lovable, quirky, such a kindred spirit and all around fantastic lady. Love you, Sam. Thank you so much!
— Doe
dye sample piles (1 of 1).jpg
Hands Sashiko (1 of 1).jpg

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