17 – 29 April 2024

inkle woven belts

inkle woven belts

Travel Lithuania at a leisurely pace with time to absorb it’s unique culture and history. Explore the remarkable architecture, sculpture parks and ethnographic highlights, traditional folklore and arts as we make our way from the capital city of Vilnius through the lush countryside to the Baltic Sea, Kaunas and more. 

Known for its textiles, high quality linen, exquisite traditional embroidery and weaving, the tour includes a stitching workshop with JEN KINGWELL and plenty of background on the cultural highlights provided by tour leader Australian/Lithuanian artist and curator


Reap the benefits of travelling on this ‘slow’ tour with two artists – Jen and Rita – who will help you interpret your adventure in a creative way. A broad cultural excursion this adventure will appeal to textiles artists, art-lovers, history buffs, as well as anyone who might have Lithuanian ancestry – non-stitchers are welcome!


Situated in Northern Europe on the shores of the Baltic Sea, Lithuania is a verdant land of lakes and deep forests, precious amber and ancient castles, where the culture has survived a turbulent history. Populated millennia ago, the many pagan tribes of Lithuania were first united into a Republic in the 1220s. Lithuania was the last country in Europe to convert to Christianity and still maintains many strong pagan cultural traits which are expressed in their art and life. 

Flourishing for a time from the 14th-17th century until the rise of the Russian Empire, it became the battle ground for many conflicts. A brief period of independence between the first and second world wars ended when invaded once again by Germany and Russia and annexed into the Soviet Union in 1944. After 50 years of Soviet occupation Lithuania was the first Baltic State to declare independence in 1990. 

The strength and richness of Lithuanian culture has survived centuries of invasion and conflict and continues to express its unique nature through a wealth of dynamic artists, performers and traditional crafts.

Jen Kingwell

A Midwife by trade who turned her stitching addiction into a career after decades of exploring all areas of the craft world, Jen bought her first patchwork store in 1999. 

Surrounding herself daily with walls of fabric encouraged her to explore colour combinations and push the boundaries when discovering her signature style: which she describes as “traditional blocks with a modern twist” and where her use of colour makes her quilts instantly recognisable. 

A scrap quilter, the more fabrics she can include in any one project the happier she is. Hand stitching is her favourite hobby, and teaching all the tips and tricks she knows brings her great joy. 

Author, fabric and quilt designer, Jen now travels the world teaching and lecturing, but always loves returning to her family and store in Torquay Australia, one of Australia’s most picturesque locations.  

ACTM Director/Artist/Curator Rita Lazauskas


An Australian born Lithuanian, as the child of refugees Rita’s generation was given the task to be custodians of the Lithuanian culture in exile, while the country was suppressed by the Soviet occupation. Surrounded by her mother’s handmade traditional textiles, learning the language, folk dancing and arts throughout her childhood, has provided an inheritance that has continued to enrich her life and art. 

Frequent visits to Lithuania since its independence in 1990 have strengthened her connections. With over thirty years experience working as an artist and curator, in 2011 Rita developed a program of specialist international art & cultural tours to share her enthusiasm for creative travel, but Lithuania holds a special place in her heart.


  • Vilnius, including; city highlights walking tour; Museum of Applied Arts & Design – textiles collections; AUSKIM weaving studio; Židinys Gallery – Tamošaitis textile collection; linen and amber outlets
  • Traku Pilis – 14th century island castle on Lake Galvė
  • Linen Museum housed in an old traditional windmill
  • Pakruojo Dvaras – 19th century historic manor house
  • Kryžių Kalnas (Hill of Crosses)
  • Klaipeda Port and the Baltic Sea, including; the Amber Museum; the Curonian Spit; Raganų Kalnas (Witches’ Mountain); Klaipeda Ethnographic centre textiles collection, and more. 
  • Kaunas, including; Čiurlionis National Art Museum – folk art collections; Rumšiškės open-air ethnographic museum; and The Devils Museum.

…as well as stitching workshops with Jen Kingwell, of course!

DELMONAS – a pocket of inspiration

In Lithuania a ‘Delmonas’ is a stitched and decorated belt-pocket, suspended on a belt or ribbon that serves as a purse or a handbag which is a part of the traditional costume from the south-west region known as Lithuania Minor. It is embroidered with coloured threads and beads and often incorporates meaningful text, initials and date.

As we travel through the country we will explore the many different cultural aspects of Lithuania with a focus on textiles and folklore and develop our own ‘Delmonas’ which will be a fusion of our experiences together. Jen will guide participants to develop a ‘Delmonas’ to look back on and treasure. 

Employing techniques of hand piercing, needle turn appliqué, embroidery embellishment and inspiration drawn from the traditional needle crafts of Lithuania your final ‘Delmonas’ pocket can be suspended on your own belt, a ribbon or traditional Lithuanian inkle-weaving.

Popular Lithuanian motifs we could incorporate might include flowers, plants and animals or  architecture – things like; tulips, mushrooms, berries, pine & oak trees, snowflakes, reindeer, wolves, castles and windmills. Also images from folklore and fairytales such as dragons, witches and devils and more.

We will use Lithuanian fine linen and incorporate traditional motifs and embellishments which can include amber beads or buttons, embroidery or weaving. Some materials will be supplied and a further list of requirements and suggestions will be provided. 

CONTACT ACT to book now!