Week Long Retreat:

Mushroom Dyeing & Immersive Embroidery Around the Communal Table

September 29 - October 5, 2019


Session 1: Forest Foraging and Mushroom Dyeing

Join us for a unique opportunity to walk into the Maine woods with mycologist Alissa Allen. Alissa has over twenty years of experience researching and dyeing with mushrooms and lichens. We will start with an informative presentation by Alissa and then get hands-on experience searching and picking mushrooms of our own. Students will learn to name and distinguish edible, non-edible and dye-producing fungi. Forest walks are followed by an all-day dyeing workshop, demonstrating how to extract different colors from the gathered mushrooms, to add natural color to thread, yarn and cloth.

Session 2: Immersive Embroidery with Annie Coggan & JORDANA MUNK MARTIN

+ swan’s island company tour and indigo dyeing

During the second session we will revel in the historical context of embroidery in Maine with Annie Coggan and Jordana Martin. Inspired by the rich history of embroidered samplers in Maine, Annie and Jordana will lead us in both presentations as well as stitching exercises. Retreat goers will also enjoy primary embroidery sources at local historical societies and museums.

Thursday afternoon we will be visiting Swan’s Island Company in Northport for a tour and an afternoon dyeing with their master dyer Tony Vinci. Tony will lead us through a hands-on demonstration of how to add color to yarn with indigo and other natural dyes. Participants will be walking away with skeins of Swan’s Island yarn to take home and stitch with. This is a special collaboration between TATTER and Swan’s Island developed specifically for our retreat.


Meals will be provided by Annemarie Ahearn of Salt Water Farm using fresh, local Maine ingredients. We will have the opportunity to dine together at her farm. Private dining experiences will be curated by other well-known chefs and restaurants including Belfast’s Chase’s Daily, Camden’s Long Grain and Rhumb Line, and Rockport’s Seafolk.

Communal Stitching

Each evening we will gather together for a warm, tactile dining experience, and to stitch on a communal tablecloth. This project will bring us together at the end of the day and allow us to engage with each other and the craft that since it’s origin, was practiced in circles, side by side.

This retreat is set in beautiful Mid-coast Maine near the town of Belfast, two hours north of Portland.


Sunday September 29

  • 3 - 5pm - Afternoon arrival/greetings - welcomed at accommodation

  • 6pm - Dinner at Salt Water Farm and introduction to communal tablecloth embroidery project

  • 7:30pm - Presentation by Alissa about mushroom dyeing and/ or instructional embroidery session

Monday September 30

  • 9am - Breakfast

  • 9:30am - Woods walk/mushroom foraging

  • 12pm - Picnic lunch

  • 1:30pm - Mushroom drawing and embroidery sketching in the woods

  • 3:30-4pm - Return to accommodation for afternoon tea

  • 6:30pm - Dinner (location TBD) and Communal Embroidery

Tuesday October 1

  • 9am - Breakfast

  • 9:30am - 12:30pm - Morning mushroom dye session with Alyssa

  • 12:30pm - Sit down lunch

  • 1:30pm - 5pm - Afternoon mushroom dye session with Alyssa

  • 5 - 6pm - Mushroom Cocktail hour

  • 6pm - Dinner at Long Grain and Communal Embroidery

Wednesday October 2

  • 9am - Breakfast and/or free morning in Belfast

  • 10am - 12pm - 1st session mushroom students depart

  • 1pm - 3pm - optional embroidery lesson

  • 3 - 5pm - free afternoon

  • 6pm - Dinner

  • 7:30pm - Historical Maine Embroidery presentation with Annie and communal stitching

Thursday October 3

  • 9am - Breakfast

  • 9:30 - 10am - Embroidery class

  • 12pm - Picnic lunch

  • 1pm - Tour of Swan’s Island Northport and Dyeing experience with master dyer Tony Vinci

  • 3pm - Walking/Swimming/Rest

  • 6pm - Dinner with stitching

Friday October 4

  • 9am - Embroidery class with breakfast

  • 10am - Field trip to Saco and /or Portland

  • 1pm - Lunch in Portland (location TBD)

  • 2pm - Embroidery class

  • 6pm - Dinner with stitching

Saturday October 5

  • 9am - Breakfast and departures