Remember this little kaleidoscope design I showed you last week?
Well, I expected to finish it the very day we spoke about it.
I mean, it’s not as if it’s a high pressure stitching job. It’s not as if there’s any difficult techniques involved. After all, it’s just Fun Stitching. It’s an easy Afternoon Finish.
But you know, sometimes, things don’t always go as planned.
Have you ever noticed with your embroidery projects that, sometimes, it just takes one wrong stitch or one wrong decision to throw you off the project for a bit?
This happens to me more frequently than I like – but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Now, take the photo above. All was going along just swimmingly until I started putting in the buttonhole stitching around the large peaks worked in chain stitch. You can see the little buttonholed area at the top of the photo.
And wow. That threw me off. I didn’t like it at all. And it’s been over a week since I’ve picked the piece up to fix it.
Writers have Writer’s Block, and stitchers have Stitcher’s Block.
If you’ve been stitching for a while, chances are, you’ve experienced Stitcher’s Block.
It’s Not a Bad Thing
Stitcher’s Block is not necessarily a bad thing.
When you come to a screeching halt in a project because something has gone amuck, you have an opportunity. You have an opportunity to step back, to distance yourself from the project for a little while.
And this distance gives your mind time to stew, time to consider, time to generate new ideas, even if you don’t consciously spend the time away thinking long and hard about the project that you abandoned in frustration. It’s still there in your head, and it’s working itself out.
The real problem is when you let Stitcher’s Block become a permanent wall. If you make up your mind never to scale the wall, then chances are, you’ll be stuck for good.
The Benefit of Stepping Away
But if you give yourself time and just step away for a bit, you will reach some level of clarity.
When you return to your project, two things can happen:
1. You might decide that the glitch that halted you isn’t so bad after all. You might actually find yourself satisfied with it and able to move on, right where you left off.
2. With fresh eyes on the piece, you might have a Genius Moment and know exactly what you want to do, to fix the original point of dissatisfaction.
Oh. And there is a third option.
But while I’m flailing about on my motivational spiel here, do I really want to mention it?
Ok, I will.
The third option:
You might revisit the project and find yourself increasingly dissatisfied with the entire thing. You might discover your instincts were right. You might realize the whole piece stinks and it’s time to do away with it permanently.
And you know, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. If it’s hanging around your neck like a millstone and it’s keeping you from moving forward creatively, getting rid of it – or at least allowing yourself to pack it up and put it away semi-permanently – may be the only answer.
It’s Not an Excuse!
It sounds like I’m gearing up for an excuse to turf this little project, doesn’t it?
Not at all! I took it up yesterday and discovered a new path to follow. Thanks to the break from it, my Stitcher’s Block has dissipated, and now I’m happily moving along on it once again.
Stitcher’s Block and You
Have you ever experienced Stitcher’s Block? What do you do to overcome it? What kind of decisions do you find yourself making that help you to move on?
Do you have any advice for those who might be experiencing something similar right now, and who might need an extra nudge to get going again?
We’d all love to hear your input! Feel free to join the conversation below!