Deep Into Indigo Retreat

Purely Textile: Stitching & Dyeing Weekend July 2019

Deep Into Indigo Retreat

Right now we are asking people to share their interest in Retreating with us:

Stay in the loop, we are making BIG fun plans.

Be sure to check the FAQs in our drop down menu for more details.

If you still have questions, send ’em to us at

I’m in! Where do I sign up?

So excited you’re coming!  You can register here.

And what’s it all about?

Dyeing with indigo, playing with Shibori and batik pattern-making with fabric and paper, hanging out, eating well and getting to make beautiful stuff with your hands. Open-ended creativity and friendship. 

This year we are hosting two (count ’em, TWO!) retreats, each with a different and super fun focus.  

You are looking at the July Deep Into Indigo Retreat now.  Learn more about the June retreat here.

Ok.  So what’s the July Retreat going to be like?

Sometimes, when one has spent days dyeing fabric with indigo, one may take it home and stare at it blankly and think: Now what? 

Well, this year, we have an answer for you! 

We have invited Wisconsin Textile Artist Linda Sweek to inspire us with ideas of what to make with your dyed goodies. 

On Thursday afternoon, after a humdinger of a lunch made by the amazing and talented Jenina Mella, our expert in slow stitching, Linda Sweek will teach us several stitching techniques and inspire us with a project that will be just perfect for the natural fibers that indigo loves so well.

We will work on our projects, breaking for snacks and drinks as needed, until dinner.  If the weather is agreeable, we’ll build a vat or two on Thursday evening. 

Friday morning, after dreaming in stitches all night, we will begin our foray into Shibori and batik techniques.  We’ll make more vats, prep more fabric and spend the rest of our weekend dyeing, making patterns, relaxing, eating, drinking and starting that all over again until Sunday at about 3:00pm, when the vats will close.

With a clear idea (or two or three…) of what we want to make with our fabric thanks to our day with Linda, we’ll be inspired to design patterns with fun projects in mind.

Wait…When and where is this retreat again?

For our Purely Textiles Retreat weekend you can arrive as early as 11:00am Thursday July 11, 2019. We will begin the stitching workshop after lunch, around 1:30pm. Friday the dye workshop begins and runs until around 3:00pm on Sunday July 14, 2019.

The retreat will be held in Westby, WI, which is about 2 hours NW of Madison.  We’ll send you the address and directions along with your retreat confirmation.

Can you tell me a little more about Linda Sweek?

Absolutely! We feel so lucky to have her join us this year!

Linda Sweek has had the good fortune of pursuing her passion of fiber and mixed media art with Linda Sweek Designs and is the founder and host of Sew & Sew Retreats.

Linda started to embroider at the age of eight – to her it was like painting a canvas. Additionally, her grandmother, who was an artist, took her to art museums and galleries for instruction, and welcomed Sweek into her studio to work with clay, pastels and paints. Applying this knowledge of studio art, Linda’s preferred medium became fiber.

Sweek is on the Board of Directors at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilt & Fiber Arts; a member of Midwest Fiber Arts Trail-Cedarburg Spur; the Milwaukee Art Quilters (MArQ); and the Surface Design Association. She has been privileged to exhibit her work in several juried art shows and recently received the 2018 American Quilt Society’s (AQS) 1 st Place for The Ultimate Guild Challenge – SUPPORTING WORDS, with the Milwaukee Art Quilters.

Linda has a bachelor’s degree in professional communications with honors and a minor in liberal arts from Alverno College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She also studied textile and folk art in the U.S., Mexico and Europe, and has explored art museums from Paris to Florence, Vienna to London, Chicago to Honolulu, New York to Mexico City and beyond.

What is the retreat center like?

It’s a delightful, unique place. The lodge is a converted feed mill located just a couple of blocks off the main street in Westby, WI.

The space is divided into 3 individual apartment areas, each having its own bathrooms, kitchen, living and dining areas. The downstairs apartment houses our communal kitchen and eating space.

There is a large, communal conference area with tables where we can work. The conference area adjoins the covered garage space as well as a nice back yard where we can set up our dying activities.

There are many full bathrooms. We are happy to designate a bathroom as a totally chemical free zone, if you require it.  Just let us know.

‘Sup with the food?

I’m glad you asked.  Not to worry, Jennifer will not be cooking!  The very talented and amazing foodie extraordinaire Jenina Mella is going to make all of our meals.  Every dish will be as locally produced as we can manage.

Those of us who attending the 2017 Deep Into Indigo Retreat are still dreaming about her watermelon salad. For Jen, the highlight of 2018 was the hand made granola and that lunch on Sunday.  She never wanted it to end.

For those with special dietary needs, the food will be gluten sensitive, meaning that most dishes won’t have gluten. There will be gluten in the kitchen.

The food will also be vegetarian friendly.  That means that there will be meat, but it will be easy to avoid.

If your dietary needs are more specific, feel free to please bring along your own food.  We cannot offer any discounts on the retreat price. Let us know ahead of time if you are bringing food, so we can make sure there’s room in the fridge.

I am traveling from far, far away.  How do I get there?

Another good question, you are very smart.  You have lots of options. You can fly into the LaCrosse Airport.  A Viroqua native tells us that this is the most expensive option. However, it’s also only an hour away from the retreat center.

Alternative airports are Madison (about 2 hours and 15 minutes away) and Minneapolis (the longest drive at 3 hours but possibly the cheapest airport option).

We’re happy to share your contact information with other retreat peeps  (after you all give us permission) so that you can coordinate ride sharing from the airport of your choice.

Remember, if you have more general questions, please check out our FAQ page.