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Sewing Retreats Blog
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September 6 -16, 2023
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Sew & Sew Retreats are purposeful getaways that are aimed at

rescuing you from your everyday routine and whisking you off to an

exceptional location to bask in the happiness you find in creating with textiles.

All levels of experience will enjoy the workshops, from beginners to advanced!

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Heidi Parkes

"I’m excited to guide students in making a quilt that celebrates French textiles and being in France!"

The gifted quilt artist and teacher Heidi Parkes will join us for the duration of the retreat. She will conduct an on-going workshop while at Chateau Dumas.

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Per Heidi, "In this unique multi-location experience, we will enjoy focused class time, casual shared sewing time, and learn to mix our stitching with moments of transport. Guiding students in finding their own creative voice and method for depicting the trip is one of my specialties. 

  • Learn about a magpie aesthetic that allows us to quickly see, filter, and depict the experiences that resonate with us. 

  • Discover ways of ethically sourcing inspiration from our cultural surroundings with appreciation and respect. 

  • Connect with intuitive ways of making that free us from decision fatigue, allowing us to work in collaboration and connection with the rhythms of travel.

  • Acquire hand piecing techniques that are quick and beautiful, along with embroidery, and methods for incorporating lace and ribbon.


Before we head to France, we’ll connect on Zoom to meet our fellow travelers. Students will also receive access to a private class web page with videos of my favorite stitches, so that they can practice technique while anticipating the trip. Students will also access my online Improv Hand Quilting class for support in turning your quilt tops into quilts after returning home.


While in France, I will offer instruction, guide students in one-on-one mentoring for their quilts, and spark some engaging group conversations about making, where we can expand on the poetry of our process and deepen our understanding of French fabrics and aesthetics."

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Linda Sweek

"I LOVE FRANCE! About 20 years ago, I said someday I'd like to take a group to Europe for a textile retreat. Someday has come! 

Even though I am the host of Celebrate French Textiles, I love to teach. I am happy to be teaching two workshops using French textiles!

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Embroidery is a charming overlay embellishment that, similar to the coloring book, can also be a wonderful Mindfulness experience. In this workshop we will combine embroidery with relaxation and Mindfulness, including a short time of silence, plus hand yoga with Heidi. We will practice a Mindfulness exercise, and then the focus is on the act of making.


The group will embroider French fabrics to create a lovely, embroidered piece. We will finish our embroidered fabric into a sachet filled with lavender – a natural stress reliever.

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Making coiled fabric baskets is a textile project I love. Baskets are fun and artsy, plus there is a peaceful rhythm to making them. And I am so very excited to make these baskets with fabric from Provence! Provencal fabrics convey the sunshine and vibrant colors of Southern France, the sun-drenched colors of happiness.

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Rebecca Devaney

"Your Textile retreat sounds fabulous, I'm delighted to share my passion for luxury textiles, fashion and embroidery that's woven into the fabric of Paris!"

In Paris we'll have an embroidery workshop with haute couture embroider Rebecca Devaney. This will be held at Au Ver à Soie, the world's leading silk thread manufacturer, which is an exclusive opportunity with Rebecca as they are closed to the public. Plus Rebecca owns Textile Tours of Paris and she will be our guide for the haberdasheries and flea markets!

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Per Rebecca, "In this exclusive embroidery workshop, we will be hosted at the legendary Au Ver à Soie, filled with old world charm, their offices are usually open to industry professionals only. We will be welcomed by Nathalie Botherel, the fifth generation of this family run business and she will give us a glimpse behind the scenes to reveal the fascinating story of how Au Ver à Soie has manufactured the finest French silk threads for over 200 years. We will have the pleasure of embroidering with these exquisite silk threads in the workshop that follows! 


Rebecca has created Samplers of Seduction, a luxury collection of limited edition embroidery kits inspired by vintage French designs. The first edition, A Brief Dictionary of Stitches, introduces the 17 basic embroidery stitches and contains only the highest quality and award-winning materials used in the Haute Couture embroidery ateliers of Paris; hand-crafted heirloom scissors, sharp needles, wooden embroidery hoops, Italian linen and of course, Au Ver à Soie silk threads! Rebecca is passionate about supporting craftspeople and has considered every last detail in this collection, in the ateliers of Paris, skilled artisans hand-crafted the gorgeous boxes, bound the pages of the beautiful stitch booklets and screen printed the vintage embroidery designs. These artisans combine centuries of savoir-faire and many of them have received the prestigious Enterprise du Patrimoine Vivant award from the French Government for their continued contribution to French heritage and culture.


One of the many pleasures of embroidery is that it takes time. After we have enjoyed the introductory workshop at Au Ver à Soie, Rebecca is very kindly giving us life-time access to her online course A Brief Dictionary of Stitches, so that we may continue our embroidered adventure at our own leisure and have a fabulous reminder of our time in Au Ver à Soie.

For more info about the silks of Au Ver a Soie, please read my blog post."

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Sew & Sew Retreats brings together people with a similar interest and then offers the opportunity to spend memorable moments creating, learning, exploring, relaxing and laughing with like-minded people. I hope you will join us!


Registration is Full

Space is Limited.

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