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I have been feeling really burned out.

Turning something you love and feel compelled to share into an actual business can suck the wind out of your sales (that was a genuine typo, but so perfect I had to keep it).

In my younger days, I would go, go, go, afraid to take a break even if I needed one. I was afraid that taking a break meant breaking up. But when you go, go, go without rest, a breakup is inevitable. 

As I’ve aged, I’ve grown wise to this and feel less guilty about taking breaks. Stepping away still starts with a few nervous twangs, but I do it anyway. This summer I put an away message on my email, closed up shop for the summer, and put no pressure on myself to update Instagram.

I made space for true, slow creativity.

natural colors


As you may already know, I am quite a fan of Katrina Rodabough. A thoughtful maker, mender and kindred soul, I’ve been waiting for a chance to meet her in person. Early this spring she announced that she was teaching a workshop in late summer at her home in the Hudson Valley.

Know what’s really fun to do when you are feeling burnt out? Try something new. 

antique stove in the catskills

Katrina was not teaching alone; she had invited folk artist Sara Buscaglia of Farm & Folk to teach quilting—something I know little about. Perfect!

Arriving in Hudson Valley to my Airbnb, looking out to the Catskills, dare I say I felt myself tear up. My first thought was, “I’ve come to fill my cup”.

a book of dye experimentsMeeting Katrina in her studio, learning her approach to natural dyes, sharing the space with like-minded individuals also trying new things, and eating delicious lunches made by Katrina’s husband under the shade of a garden-side tree—everything was lovely.

dream garden

Katrina Rodabough workshop


Sara dyes all her own fabric for her heirloom quilts using many materials that she grows on her organic farm.

fabric samples

Sara's experimentation and formulas for color got my brain buzzing with ideas. I enjoyed speaking with her about her tests with tannins and over-dyeing, water quality and fabrics. I fell in love with the shades of walnut in the stash of fabric she brought for us along with her samples of tannin tinted cloth that had been dipped in indigo to make dusty blues.

planning a quilt

Taking the time to hand sew these harmonious colors with their earthy vibration was the exhale of my dreams.

quilting outdoors

It felt so good to look at the fabric and designs and ask myself what feels right. Not what will sell or will anyone like it. I let the fabric speak and let myself ponder a new way of making. What do I want? I came back to my creative center, bringing delight back into the process. 

We all couldn’t stop stitching.

quilt in process

As the last hour of the workshop approached, I had this feeling of not wanting to leave. Because this—being with like-minded people, working with colors given by nature, and making something by hand is home. This is PIRTTI. 

My cup overflowed.

capturing quilts

Scraps of fabric are all over my dining room table now. My brain is making notes of dream projects. I am getting excited to get back in the studio and see what comes next. I feel wind in my sails and a path forward.


workshop participants

PS. Katrina and Sara's books are available for purchase in the PIRTTI Bookshop. Ordering through my affiliate link earns me a small commission (roughly $2 a book) which I like to use to support my free community events.

Farm & Folk Quilt Alchemy: A High-Country Guide to Natural Dyeing and Making Heirloom Quilts from Scratch by Sara Larson Buscaglia

Mending Matters: Stitch, Patch, and Repair Your Favorite Denim & More by Katrina Rodabaugh

Make Thrift Mend: Stitch, Patch, Darn, Plant-Dye & Love Your Wardrobe by Katrina Rodabaugh


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