Learn all about upcoming modern sewing events and retreats with our ongoing Go + Sew series! Samantha Lindgren from A Gathering of Stitches fills us in on summer quilting retreats in Maine. Registration is now open!

The Event: A Gathering of Stitches Quilting Retreats
A Gathering of Stitches is proud to offer quality learning opportunities for sewists that focus on time, space and individual attention for those who want to move their craft forward. For 2016 we have three retreats for quilters that showcase the talents of four respected names in the modern quilting world.

  • Melissa Averinos, winner of Best in Show for QuiltCon Pasadena this year, will be teaching her face making process.
  • Heather Jones comes Maine to share a special weekend working through the concepts of her first book, Quilt Local, with the rustic beauty of Maine as the inspiration.
  • Chawne Kimber returns, joined by Allison Glass, for our Slow Stitching Weekend of contemplative stitching in the woods of Maine.

Chawne with Quilts

Where + When?

  • Melissa’s workshop will take place in our Portland studios the weekend of April 30 and May 1st.
  • Heather’s weekend will take place at Saturday Cove Farm, our own private location, in Northport, Maine, June 22-26
  • The Slow Stitching Weekend will return to Medomak Retreat Center in Washington, Maine (a former summer camp) on August 8-12.

Heather in a workshop.

How much does it cost, and what’s included?

  • Making Faces with Melissa costs $300 and includes the use of our fully-equipped studio here in Portland.
  • Quilt Local, which includes lodging, all meals and instruction at our own private farmhouse in Northport, costs $1,500. We’ll celebrate our last night with a special farm meal at Salt Water Farm in Rockport, and there will be a day of exploring the Maine coast.
  • Our Slow Stitching retreat includes all lodging, all meals and instruction at a rustic yet modern, former summer camp, in the woods of Washington, Maine for the price of $1,100.

Lodging Options:
Housing is included in the Slow Stitching and Quilt Local events. Making Faces takes place in Portland where there are a wide array of lodging options. Our website has a list with links on the Nitty Gritty page.

How many years has the event been presented, and how many people typically attend?
This is the second year these events have taken place, and while we are very new, we have been extremely gratified by the number of returning attendees. All our workshops are small to ensure you get as much attention and guidance as you need and want. The largest class size we have is fifteen. Most are capped at ten participants. We offer an alternative to convention center learning, and a respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

What does a typical day (class?) look like?
Workshops vary depending on the teacher and subject matter, but we usually start around 9:00 in the morning, work to a noon lunch with some tasty food, take a little breather and then start up again at 1:30 p.m. Days wrap up around 5 or 6 in the evening, but can extend depending on the group’s needs. Along the way there are many opportunities for discovery whether that be sharing ideas and experiences, laughter or deep concentration. The emphasis is on the teachers and the group, and their needs and pace. While this is instruction, it feels much more like a relaxed party with stitching friends. We take care of the daily details so you can focus on making. For the residential retreats, sewing at any hour is possible. At last year’s Slow Stitching retreat there were some serious night-time barn sewing jams! A visit to the blog, Stitches, on our website will offer up all sorts of pictures and words from past participants.

Are there other things to do in the area?
Maine in the summer months is pretty much heaven. Warm days rarely get over 75 and the evenings are cool enough for a light sweater. Maine is full of opportunities for hiking, biking, swimming, sailing, walking, eating and generally blissing out on beautiful landscape. If you’ve never visited Maine, these retreats are a great starting point to dive in to the Pine Tree state. Portland has a world-class (no joke) food scene, so if you like good food, it’s a great place to visit! In the past, participants have extended their visits beyond the retreat to do some touring of the state. We can point you in the right direction!