Gather and Stitch: Portugal — A Cultural Textile Retreat

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August 10 - 17, 2019

Spend a week near Viana do Castelo, Portugal exploring the traditions of embroidery, weaving, and the clothing of the lavradeira, the local farm girl of the 1800s.

Embroider with a professional artisan, visit Porto and Ponte de Lima, meet a traditional weaver at her studio where she grows her linen from seed and a heritage-certified embroiderer in business making traditional and contemporary pieces for over 30 years. Finish the week with the annual Mordomias parade, part of the annual Romaria Senhora d’Agonia festival, a living ethnographic display of over 600 women in traditional costume walking through the streets.

We’ll balance day trips, studio visits, and hands-on workshops with daily embroidery and plenty of time at the house to stitch or work on a personal creative project (knitting, crochet, drawing, photography, writing, etc.) if you so choose. This is a time to experience Portuguese culture and textile traditions, create, and take a break from your normal pace of life.

Even if you’ve never picked up a needle and thread, you are welcome. Advanced embroiderers will enjoy learning different stitches and patterns specific to the traditional clothing of the region.

 Details of women preparing to walk in the Mordomias parade, August 2018. Left: Woman carrying an Easter “palmitos,” optional workshop offering.

Details of women preparing to walk in the Mordomias parade, August 2018. Left: Woman carrying an Easter “palmitos,” optional workshop offering.

Mordomias Parade in Viana do Castelo, Portugal, part of the Romaria Sra. d'Agonia 2018. Over 600 women dressed in traditional clothing file through the streets.

 Embroiderer at work on a traditional blouse near Viana do Castelo.

Embroiderer at work on a traditional blouse near Viana do Castelo.

 Guide Regina with Isilda at her embroidery studio.

Guide Regina with Isilda at her embroidery studio.

Maria giving a demonstration at the festival in Viana do Castelo, August, 2018. We will visit her studio.

 Crossing the bridge in Ponte de Lima, the first city of Portugal, established in 1125.

Crossing the bridge in Ponte de Lima, the first city of Portugal, established in 1125.

Join a small group of embroiderers and textile lovers for 7 nights in a renovated 1892 farmhouse with beautiful gardens, outside of Viana do Castelo.

Enjoy traditional food served at the farmhouse as well as meals out in Ponte de Lima, Porto, and Viana do Castelo. We’ll indulge in the delicious regional cuisine: seafood, fresh vegetables, cheese, bread, and wine.

Most days will include time stitching together. Embroidery and workshop materials will be provided. Feel free to bring your favorite supplies and a personal project in progress.

Optional workshops include palmitos (woven palm and paper ornaments) and natural dying fabric and thread with local plants.

Non-embroidering spouses or partners are welcome, too. The farm is a wonderful place to read, write, and relax in between meals and outings. A walking trail passes by the property and rental bikes are available.

 Our farmhouse and gardens for the week near Viana do Castelo.

Our farmhouse and gardens for the week near Viana do Castelo.

Group maximum: 12. Shared and single rooms are available. Each room has double bed(s) and its own bathroom. Bring a friend or we will pair you up with another guest. Invite your spouse or partner (ask me about a non-workshop participant discount) or enjoy a room to yourself. If you’d like to share a room with a friend or your partner, please indicate so on the registration form.

FEES

Airfare to and from Lisbon Not Included:

Shared Room (2 double beds): $2900

Single Room (1 double bed): $3300

Deposit (nonrefundable): $900

To register please read the Terms and Conditions HERE and fill out the Registration Form HERE.

ITINERARY

Saturday, August 10

1:00 Meet in Lisbon for private bus ride to the Minho region.

Arrive at the farmhouse and get settled.

Welcome dinner.

Sunday, August 11

Breakfast at the house.

Introduction to the textiles of the region. Morning stitching practice.

Lunch at the house.

Village walk, rest. Relax. Optional preparation for natural dyeing workshop on Thursday.

Dinner at the house.

Monday, August 12

Breakfast at the house.

PONTE DE LIMA: morning visit to traditional linen weaver’s studio.

Guided tour, lunch and free time in Ponte de Lima, vinho verde tasting at a vineyard.

Dinner at the house.

Evening daily stitching practice.

Tuesday, August 13

Breakfast at the house.

5 hour embroidery workshop with professional artisan and translator and lunch together at the house.

Visit local, certified, embroidery studio.

Dinner at the house.

Time on your own.

Wednesday, August 14

Breakfast at the house.

Day trip to PORTO. Explore tile-covered buildings, old churches, museums, and shops.

Lunch together and free time on your own.

Dinner at the house.

Evening stitching practice or time on your own.

Thursday, August 15

Breakfast at the house.

Morning daily stitching practice.

Lunch at the house.

Optional palmitos, traditional woven palm leaf craft, or natural dyeing workshop with foraged plants.

Dinner at the house.

Time on your own.

Friday, August 16

Breakfast at the house.

VIANA DO CASTELO: Visit the town and the Costume Museum.

Lunch on your own and free time.

Gather for the Mordomias parade in the afternoon.

Special closing dinner.

Evening stitching practice and pack up.

Saturday, August 17

Breakfast at the house.

Private bus back to Lisbon.

Depart to return home or continue your stay in Portugal on your own.

Please note: Itinerary subject to small changes due to weather, opportunities, and the desires of the group.

 The city of Porto and the Douro River.

The city of Porto and the Douro River.

For more information go to Terms and Conditions HERE.

To register please fill out the Registration Form HERE.