Katrina Rodabaugh is an artist, author, and crafter working across disciplines to explore environmental and social issues through traditional craft techniques.

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Katrina is teaching a sashiko mending class at our 2017 Sweet Paul Makerie creative retreat in Brooklyn this April! This traditional Japanese sewing technique lends itself beautifully to contemporary crafts. Sashiko is the perfect stitch to mend existing garments and embrace the creative opportunity in repair while extending the lifespan of our wardrobe. In this workshop, they'll discuss traditional sewing techniques like Boro, Sashiko, Kantha, American Quilting and embroidery alongside their modern applications in Visible Mending and Slow Fashion. They'll also consider “Mendfulness” and the need to shift our wardrobes towards more personal and less perfect. The workshop will lead participants through the making of one Sashiko potholder while sharing various inspiration for continuing beyond the classroom. Participants will also have the opportunity to mend one existing garment with the instructor’s assistance so they can leave the workshop with greater confidence and skill.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Sweet Paul Makerie.

1. Where do you live?

I live in a 200-year- old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley in NY. After 10 years in Oakland, CA last October we traded in city life for an old farmhouse and a carriage barn and one acre of land.

2. What inspires you?

My gosh, everything. Finding inspiration hasn’t been so much of the challenge for me as focusing on just one, okay maybe two or three, things at a time. But mostly I’m inspired by the intersection of sustainability and the arts—more specifically textile arts and sustainable practices like slow fashion, mending, and natural dyes.

3. What led you to your path as an artist?

I think I was always an artist but it took some time to make it my career. My mother is a lifelong crafter and I grew up literally at her coattails as she dappled with various textile crafts. I was encouraged to make things. To cook things. To garden alongside her. And I was encouraged to join her in her crafts. I wrote poems and made my own clothes in high school but focused on environmental studies in college. Then I spent a decade working in arts galleries and theaters in major cities before going back to school for a master’s degree in creative writing where I focused on book arts and poetry. It was in graduate school that a professor suggested my early work making dresses and my then current work making books was all part of my path towards fiber arts. A few installations, collaborations, and several exhibitions later in 2013 I started my sustainable fashion project, Make Thrift Mend, abstaining from factory made clothing to focus on making my own garments, buying secondhand, and mending. After several iterations, now my studio work has been focused on sustainable fashion ever since. Somehow my studies in environmental studies, creative writing, and my lifelong work in fiber arts and love of textiles meshed together to create this slow fashion project that has completely stolen my heart.

4. Favorite color?

Indigo blue.

5. Necessary luxury?

Dark chocolate.

6. Guilty pleasure?

Hmm, also dark chocolate.

7. Favorite song?

Currently, probably Country Roads by John Denver. Mostly because of the way my 5-year- old son sings it.

8. Favorite flower?

This is always changing depending on my natural dye experiments. But after the foraged dye vats from this summer I’d have to say Queen Anne’s Lace. Although, I always swoon for lavender lilacs.

9. Who inspires you?

My kids. My husband. My mother. My art friends. My local farmers. Anybody following their dream and leading an adventurous life that feels connected to their ethics. And also, more practically so, the great female artist like Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, and Sheila Hicks.

10. Favorite food?

I think I have to be consistent and go with the numbers 5 and 6: Dark Chocolate. Though I do love to make salads, soups, muffins, scones, and other non-chocolaty foods.

11. Book you can't live without?

Oh my word. Where to start? Depends on the given year. Books and fabrics are the two things I cannot minimize. From poetry to fiction to memoirs to design books I’d have to say my current musts are natural dye books. Natural Color by friend Sasha Duerr and The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar are too current favorites. And anything by Kate Fletcher or Natalie Chanin.

12. Ultimate vacation destination?

The high desert of New Mexico. Also including a wood stove, a long trail for hiking, and definitely a yurt.

13. What are you most looking forward to at the Sweet Paul Makerie?

So many things! The opportunity to commune with other creatives for the weekend, the chance to teach in my old neighborhood in Brooklyn, the opportunity to teach my mending techniques and meet new students, and the chance to become part of the amazing Sweet Paul Makerie community. Thank you for inviting me, such an honor.


Katrina Rodabaugh is an artist, author, and crafter working across disciplines to explore environmental and social issues through traditional craft techniques. Her artwork, designs, and writing have appeared in galleries, theaters, magazines, and various arts venues across the country. She’s received grants, residencies, and awards for her work and earned her MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College where she trained and taught in the Book Arts Studio. Her blog, Made by Katrina, won the Country Living Blue Ribbon Blogger Award. She is currently on a fast fashion fast, Make Thrift Mend, to deepen her commitment to sustainable fashion, sewing, mending, and preserving garments. Her first book, The Paper Playhouse: Awesome Art Projects for Kids Using Paper, Boxes, and Books was published by Quarry Books in January 2015. After 10 years in Oakland, CA she recently moved to the Hudson Valley to renovate a 200-year-old farmhouse and convert a carriage barn into art studios. She's the mother of two young boys. Visit: www.katrinarodabaugh.com




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