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Tue, 21 May



Paint with Thread Summer School May 2024 ITALY

Draw with a needle, paint with thread and discover in the beautiful region of Abruzzo, central Italy....what could be better?

Paint with Thread Summer School May 2024 ITALY
Paint with Thread Summer School May 2024 ITALY

Time & Location

21 May 2024, 11:30 – 27 May 2024, 04:30

Atessa, 66041 Atessa, Province of Chieti, Italy

About the event

Italian Creative Summer School: An Artistic Adventure in Abruzzo

Discover the delights the beautiful region of Abruzzo, central Italy, whilst learning to draw with a needle and paint with thread. 

This Creative Summer School has a strong stitch bias running alongside location based research and information gathering. You’ll discover experimental approaches to Free Machine Embroidery and discover tips and tricks to help your sewing always run smoothly!  

I'm best known for my expressive and adventurous machine stitch techniques.  I shall show you a range of techniques to ensure you have a broad tool kit of machine mark making possibilites.

This summer school provides you with the opportunity to explore in an inspiring atmosphere with a highly experienced tutor. You’ll leave with a bundle of experiments and ideas which will inspire and full further projects for many moons to come…not to mention great memories of a fantastic creative adventure in this wonderful region of Italy.  It's a workshop & holiday combined, a true creative adventure.

“Dionne’s Summer School has been a great success and an amazing experience visiting stunning locations with lovely companions and following a creative programme which inspired, motivated and challenged in equal measures . Dionne is a brilliant teacher and skilled communicator and this week has enabled me to develop an exciting repertoire for future work . I just can’t wait to return to continue this creative journey. Many thanks to Dionne and the friends I made at La Vecchia Scuola”

Read more reviews here

You could also take a look at some of my Italian inspired pieces

I appreicate that given the last few years of restricted travel that you may like to have a chat about this summer school before you book.  Please feel free to get in touch, I can talk it through with you and offer you the reassurance that you need. +44 (0) 7974747080 

This includes workshop tuition, materials and equipment, lunches and refreshments on the workshop days, workshop transport and welcome meal.

You are responsible for booking flights [approx £150 return at the time of writing] and I shall book your accommodation at Hotel Al Duca [65 - 80 euro per night, payable directly at the hotel], airport transfer 50 euros [if required, payable locally]. 6/7 students per week.  

There's a pleathora of extras:

  • Pasta making with Chef Massimilliano 
  • Massage with Katie from Sopratutto
  • Yoga with one of my favourite yogis
  • Honey tasting in Tornareccio 
  • FREE Guided tour of the Open Air Gallery of Mosiacs in Tornareccio with yours truly!

Example itinerary:

Arrival day – I will be there to greet you on arrival at Ciampino Airport. It's a 2.5 hour transfer to Atessa and Hotel Al Duca, once rested and freshened up everyone is invited to a welcome meal at the hotel.  

Each day of the workshop I will pick you up at 9.30am at Hotel Al Duca and return you there for 5.30pm after a full day of creativity & just in time for aperitivo! Evenings are free time for you to enjoy…

Day one 

Morning – Researching and collecting visual information.  The Abrussese coast line is dotted with spectacular ‘Trabocchi’ [wooden fishing platforms] – they are a truly special feature of the Abruzzo region & perfect visual stimuli! We shall enjoy lunch at a local restaurant near the beach.

Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola I shall introduce a technique to help you develop the images collected that morning.

Day two

Morning – Market day in Atessa!!! So I'll give you some time to take in the sights and sounds as well as picking up a few bargains!  Then  we shall venture into the mountains and work ‘en plein air’ to capture the amazing vistas and landscapes of the Appeninnes: followed by a  traditional mountain lunch at a local Agriturismo.

Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola, I’ll demonstrate another new technique useful for developing that mornings images and incorporate yesterdays ideas and techniques.

Day three

Morning – Tornareccio, the nearest village, is known for its honey and its mosaics – we shall spend the morning investigating the latter through the small alleys, streets and piazzas of this pleasant hillside village: then it's lunch at the local restaurant: Meditteraneo

Afternoon – Back at La Vecchia Scuola we shall look at incorporating further techniques into your new repertoire and discuss how you might move forward with your work.  In the evening there will be the opportunity to learn traditional pasta making skills too...another little thing for your repetoir!! 

Day four

We head to the Trabbochi coast, just 25 minutes away.  We'll use these spectualar fishing platform structures to inspire drawings and stitch - we'll lunch at the coast, there will be time for a swim, a relax on the beach, a gelato or even an aperol spritz!

Day Five

The Final day, but still time to be in the studio and to consider different methods of finishing/mounting/presentation pieces. You’ll have time to complete your work as well as review and evaluate [individually and with the group]…

Departure Day

It's sadly time to say goodbye & I shall collect you from Hotel Al Duca and drop you off back in Pescara at the airport in time for your flight [or coach depending on your onward travel plans]

NB pick up is based around the Stansted/Rome Ciampino flight on Tuesday 21st May 08.05-11.30 , the drop off ties in with the returning Pescara/Stansted flight on Monday 27th May 10.30 -12.05....this is slightly different to the orginal scenario

What workshop supplies will you need to bring? 

Drawing/sketching media – coloured pencils are ideal [sometimes watercolour pencils can be a little softer and give stronger colour] 

A hard back sketchbook minimum A4 size  - I like wire bound Pink Pig books.


Bear in mind it may be very warm – you may like a hat/suncream & a refillable water bottle…

What supplies/materials/equipment will be provided for you at La Vecchia Scuola? 

Papers, basic fabrics, threads, scissors and of course sewing machines.

Getting there

The nearest airport is Pescara there are regular flights from Stansted, UK and other European airports.  I usually co-ordination collection from the main Stansted flight. [FR982 Standsted - Pescara] [FR983 Pescara - Standsted] yet if interested parties are predominently for another part of the country we can look at alternatives - there are plenty of options.  Please contact me for the exact pick up flight times.

Some students find it easier to fly to Rome – there is a bus that connects from right outside the terminal [of both the Roman airports] to Pescara [approx 2.5 hours €27 bookable online] Prontobus If you aim to arrive to coincide with airport collections/drop offs, I can whizz by the bus station to collect you as well 🙂


Hotel Al Duca in Atessa  : Antonio is lovely and incredibly ammenable.  Al Duca is well placed in the centre of Atessa where there are a range of bars and restaurants all in strolling distance.  I will book this on your behalf/I have already provisionally held a series of rooms.

I know this hotel well and it is perfect: its a small, well run hotel which has been recently re-modelled.  Its exceptionally clean and the restaurant is well regarded in the area – there’s free wifi and access to the local public swimming pool a short walk away.

If partners or family would like to join you after you've completed the workshop, then I have a series of options for you - call for a chat, that's the quickest solution!  

If you have a group of like minded friends and would like a tailor-made workshop in Abruzzo, please get in touch and we can make some plans.

For detailed FAQs and any further inquiries, please get in if it's easier +44 7974 747080


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