A small group of just thirty stitchers will spend five days in exploration of line, color, and stitch at a contemplative pace. Surrounded by the woods, on the edge of a lake, with the rustic beauty and charm of Maine as the backdrop. Small groups, individual pacing, natural inspiration-this will be a week for unwinding and exploring....
Would you like to slow down and spend some quality time with your stitching? Maine is a beautiful place to turn down the volume, shut off the email, leave the phone in your room, and spend some time with a needle and thread. This year three world class sewists and makers: Chawne Kimber; Denyse Schmidt; and Maura Ambrose, will share their time, their stitches, their color, and their spirit with you for five days in Washington, ME, August of 2017.
Join Chawne, Denyse, Maura, and I at the Medomak Retreat Center in Washington, ME where you can relax, unwind and dive into your stitching practice. You will sleep in a modern yet rustic cabin, eat three meals a day with the community, and spend as much time as you like with color, needle, and thread. Each day will be spent with Chawne, Denyse, or Maura, learning their techniques and tips, and practicing new skills or sharpening old ones. The emphasis here is on settling into your Making practice and letting the rest of it float away....
~Chawne is an integral part of the Slow Stitching retreat, having been a founding instructor. This year she returns to teach pieced letters. if you've got something you want to say in your quilts, Chawne will give you the tools to use your words in your Making....!
~Denyse will be teaching hand sewing. "The women of the Hawaiian Islands developed a uniquely bold style of quilting characterized by large, stylized botanical motifs. Learn to create your own variation of a Hawaiian-style appliqué based on plants or flowers we collect on a lovely Maine walk, or your own style of doodling; and work toward mastering my favorite needle‐turn appliqué method. I’ll guide you through drawing your design, or working with the motif featured in my second book (Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration), cutting and basting your motif, and teaching you the meditative and portable method of needle‐turn appliqué. Plan on making a baby or wall‐hanging size quilt 42 inches square, or create a small piece to (possibly) finish during the week."
~Maura will share her knowledge of dyeing with natural materials. "We'll focus on the basics of natural dyeing. We'll discuss harvesting, growing, and sourcing materials, and the basics of setting up a dye kitchen. I'll share my process for preparing fabric for natural dyeing and discuss the benefits of mordants. We'll experiment with a variety of natural sources including indigo, madder roots, and osage wood chips. We'll explore a variety of shibori and other resist techniques used for creating surfaces designs. I'll do some demonstrations and then we'll all dive in. We'll have plenty of time for discussion, questions, and reveling in the magic of natural color."
You will spend a day with each teacher, with plenty of time for inspirational wanderings. On the fourth day we will have a small field trip to the coast, and a couple of fabulous local fabric stores. Or if you prefer, you can go for a swim, take a hike, do some stitching, some reading, or whatever your heart desires. This year I am adding a fabric swap to the mix. In the interests of both consuming less and moving fabric through the community outside of the world of commerce. The focus will be on slowing down, taking time, connecting to your practice, the community, and your inner voice. Evenings will be open for more stitching, star gazing, cricket concerts, bonfires, chatting, and anything else you might like to do in Maine in August....
Chawne is a quilter and embroiderer known for detailed pixelated stitch portraits and for her use of bold colors in her original improvisational quilt designs. She has never shied away from a challenge due to tedium and has never met a color she didn't think had potential. Hand piecing, hand quilting, and very, very, slow machine stitching are just her speed. When not stitching, Chawne can be found knitting, teaching math, or proving theorems. You can see more of her work on her blog, Completely Cauchy.
Denyse Schmidt has been making quilts as a commercial venture since 1996.
A former graphic designer and graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Denyse has helped to change the way we think about quilts. Intrigued by the rich historical nature of quilts and inspired by beauty born of necessity, Denyse adds her distinctive aesthetic sensibility – clean, spare lines, rich color and bold graphics – to this rich art form. Though firmly rooted in the techniques of American quilt-making, Denyse is renowned for her fresh, offbeat approach to design and color and has won acclaim from the worlds of art, design and craft. As author of Denyse Schmidt Quilts (Chronicle Books, 2005) and Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration (STC Craft, 2012), fabric designer for FreeSpirit , and teacher of a series of popular improvisational patchwork piecing workshops – Denyse continues to inspire with her witty take on tradition. Denyse’s studio is located in a historic factory building in Bridgeport, Connecticut. You can find more about Denyse on her website.
Maura Grace Ambrose is a quilter and natural dye artist in Bastrop, Texas and the creative force behind Folk Fibers. She received a BFA from Savannah College of Art & Design and spent the next seven years working as a photographer, pre-school teacher, and organic farmer. She combined these loves to launch her first collection of naturally dyed, crib-sized quilts in 2011.
Her work has been featured in Martha Stewart Living, American Craft Magazine, Country Living, Design Sponge and more. She's collaborated with Levi's and Terrain on a series of bespoke quilts, organized quilting circles at Fortune 500 companies, and produced work for multiple permanent installations.
Her distinctive use of color and appreciation for traditional design result in timeless works of art. She hand-dyes fabric from homegrown and foraged sources, favoring plants native to central Texas. Each of her pieces are hand-quilted with Japanese sashiko thread before being packaged in a heirloom cedar box.
Maura regularly shares her creative process with thousands of Instagram and Facebook followers and teaches workshops on her woodland property outside of Austin. Maura's website is here.
Registration includes lodging in a cabin with one roommate, all meals, and all instruction for five days. The cabins are rustic and spare, but modern and comfortable. There is a limited number of private cabins available for an extra $200. Let me know quickly if this is your preference. If you are coming with a friend, just let me know when you register and I'll put you in the same cabin. We can accommodate most dietary restrictions within reason, just alert us to your needs in advance.
A supply list will be sent out at least a month in advance of your arrival in Maine.
Otherwise, all you have to do is get yourself here, I'll take care of the rest. I will send out recommendations for what to wear and bring in advance. The food at camp is simple, wholesome, and satisfying. Please notify me of food allergies, or if you are Vegetarian (specify if you do/do not eat dairy, eggs, fish, etc…) , but we suggest that unless you have a specific condition, you will find plenty to nourish you during your time at camp.
Our fabulous massage therapist, Lori Cressler will return to further assist in slowing us all down.... Massages can be scheduled upon arrival.
Medomak Retreat Center is in Washington, Maine, about 80 minutes from the Portland airport, 3 hours drive from Boston, 7 hours drive from NYC. Washington is only 30 minutes inland from Camden. The campus has 250 acres of blueberry fields and forest, with trails for hiking, tennis courts, and lakefront where canoes and kayaks are available. The cabins are clean but spare and you have two choices of arrangements. Share a cabin with one other for the $1,500, or if you'd like a more intimate experience pay another $200 for a private cabin, just let me know your preference in the form and I will adjust your registration fee. Do note that there is a limited number of private cabins available.
In order to give you plenty of time to check, and double check, your schedule, and confer with partners, bosses, children, parents, and pets, to make sure this will work for you, I delay the opening of registration. You will be able to register on Monday March 5th at 3:00pm EST. I will announce this opening in my newsletter! So if you are not on the newsletter email list, sign up now! The link is at the bottom of the home page. You will need to pay a non-refundable deposit to register. Then we will make arrangements for how you want to pay your balance.