2020 Gather & Stitch Retreats

Creative Embroidery, Art, and Culture Tours

Embroider a creative piece inspired by a place and tradition, Learn from local professional artisans, Visit World Heritage cities and villages from another era, Taste wine and local cuisine, Find new inspiration in the beauty of another culture.

ThreadWritten retreats balance sightseeing, studio visits, and hands-on workshops with plenty of time to embroider or work on a personal creative project (knitting, crochet, drawing, photography, writing, etc.). Experience another culture and its 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 and linens of the region.


I thank you with all my heart for what you shared and provided for us. For me it was an incredible experience that I will treasure always. You went above and beyond what I would have expected and I am most grateful. -Deborah F.


Hungarian Written Embroidery Retreat: TRANSYLVANIA, ROMANIA + BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

June 9 - 17, 2020

Rustic village life where Hungarian meets Romanian meets Saxon: practice Hungarian written embroidery (írásos) where it originated, experience traditional culture in the lesser-travelled shadows of the Carpathian mountains. We’ll start the week in Budapest and then take a private bus to Kalotaszeg region of Transylvania to embroider. We’ll visit a semi-annual market that draws people from all over the country (and beyond) and round out the experience with a couple days in a Transylvanian region known for its historic medieval city.

Full details coming soon. Email me to pre-register.


Arraiolos Stitching Retreat: ÉVORA + LISBON, PORTUGAL

August 22 - 29, 2020

Spend 4 days in UNESCO World Heritage City Évora and learn to stitch Arraiolos, a special embroidery stitch used in rug-making since the 1600s. Embroider a pillow in this meditative style, with artisans in the town that bears the tradition’s name, and visit local weavers of the Alentejo region. We’ll also spend 3 days in Lisbon, visiting textile collections and tile-filled streets.

Get to know the country well by joining us for both weeks in Portugal: Viana + Évora, August 15 - 29 and receive a discount.

Full details coming soon. Email me to pre-register.


Travel with ThreadWritten and…

Portuguese Embroidery Retreat: VIANA DO CASTELO, PORTUGAL

August 15 - 22, 2020

Soak in the color and traditions of the lavradeira, the1800s farm girl of the Minho region of Portugal. Create an embroidery inspired by the clothing of the region, learn from a professional embroiderer and visit artisan and weavers’ studios. Spend a day in Porto or lounge by the pool and stitch the day away. Our week culminates with a parade in the Romaria d’Agonia festival, honoring the patron saint of fisherman and the city of Viana do Castelo. Join us and witness a living heritage display of over 600 women in traditional dress walking through the streets!

REGISTRATION IS OPENING SOON! Email me to preregister.

I am still reeling with enthusiasm from our trip. It was such a rich and full experience. I have adopted a new practice [of embroidering every morning], thanks to you…. Richer and fuller each day, as was our trip. -Mary P.

Women dressed for the parade, Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Women dressed for the parade, Viana do Castelo, Portugal

Running into one of our instructors in Viana do Castelo, PT.

Running into one of our instructors in Viana do Castelo, PT.

RELEASE THE DIGITAL WORLD — trade your computer for a needle and thread, pencil and sketchbook

BOND WITH NEW FRIENDS over stitch diagrams and heirloom linens

PRONOUNCE OBRIGADO, köszönöm, and multumesc like you live there

EXPLORE HIDDEN WALKING TRAILS, towns that date back to the Romans, and bustling city streets

LEARN TEXTILE TECHNIQUES from locals with over 30 years of experience

RETURN HOME REFRESHED and inspired, infused with the colors, patterns, and tastes of another culture


Retreat Embroidery by past participants: