What Do You Do When You’re in a Stitching Rut?

Well, here I am … still not finished with my Green Dragon Bookmark. He’s almost finished, but after not being able to stitch for a long period of time and then after being sick for about a week I ended up in this rut where I’m just not motivated to go and pick it up right now. I noticed a few other folks in our Facebook community also mentioned recently that they’re in a bit of a stitching rut as well.

What do you do when you’re in a stitching rut?

I’ve just been working with my transcription clients and on my websites, and if I’m not at my desk working then I’m hanging out with hubby and/or the kids. I haven’t picked up anything crafty in at least two weeks. I might have put 10 stitches into my bookmark since my last progress update with a photo. The problem there is it’s making me a little cranky, I need to find my creative mojo again. I’m sure a few others have experienced this as well.

I’d love to hear from you about what you do when you’re in a rut or have lost your mojo. Please, leave a comment here to share your tips and advice. I look forward to reading everyone’s experiences and comments.

Happy Stitching,

About Loretta

Passionate stitcher. Mom of four amazing young men. Wife to a comic book geek who makes me smile every day. Transcriptionist by trade. Gluten-free by necessity. Writer at heart. Seeker of knowledge and reader of novels. Dreamer of big colorful creative dreams.


  1. K.k. via STNA's Facebook Fan Page says:

    let me know the answer, please.

  2. Chrissie via STNA's Facebook Fan Page says:

    there’s two ways I understand th at question: Time and work-wise. Time-wise, if a week goes by and I haven’t been able to stitch, I start looking for time – as in MAKING time!!! Work wise, well, I’m in that kind of rut right now. Spent three hours on Angle Of Summer and while I got some progress done in one area, I worked for over an hour in one area and got nowhere. Had to keep taking out stitches, re-stitching only to have to take those out. AARRRGGGHHHHH!!!!

  3. Sometimes I just make myself stitch a little bit and that will help to motivate me to want to stitch more. I have a project that came in a kit and I have already run out of several of the colors, so I am having trouble convincing myself to keep going. My plan is to finish the colors I have and see if I can fill in the rest with some of the colors from the project, if not then I will try to match to colors in my stash, but since I know there is additional work involved, there has been very little progress. I will say that each time I stitch a bit more on that project, I think about how happy I will be when I finish it.

    • That is so frustrating when it’s a kit and you run out of the provided supplies! 🙁 Sometimes you can call or email the manufacturer and let them know what happened and they will send additional supplies, but it can take a really long time to get them it seems. What brand of kit is it?

  4. I had my cross stitch project stare at me once for around 8 months! I just could not get into it no matter what… kept thinking that “one of these days” I will have to get at it but never happened. Then one day I thought I had better get at it because there was another project I wanted to start on. Because I do all my work on a “lap scroll” frame I was not going to “unbaste” it to remove it. Besides, one thing I have never done is leave one project to start another. I always finish what I have started … my own personal stitching rule. So I picked it up and have not put it down since! This was about 2 years ago. That was also about the time I discovered all the wonderful patterns to be had on eBay and all the great cross stitch websites out there. I have a ton of patterns now to keep me motivated because I can’t wait to get at them all! I have been stitching since I was a teenager in the “hippie” era when I would embroider stuff on denim jackets, jeans, etc. and then eventually discovered cross stitch and haven’t looked back since! Love it! The best hobby in the world!

  5. i can relate to you guys. it took me for a rather large sampler 8 to 9 months. somedays when i goofed i wanted to chuck the whole thing in. i didn’t want to in the end. i was so pleased that i was surprised that my cousin had it professionally framed. that was the one i was giving it to for a christmas gift.

  6. Maybe it’s not the best idea, but when I’m sick of a project and can’t get motivated to continue with it, I start something new. Preferably something small that will stitch up quickly so I get a feeling of accomplishment and I can go back to the other project re-invigorated and ready to finish it.

  7. Anita Sorrells says:

    My response is very similar to Helens. I seem to find when I am in a real stitching rut, that just picking out a different project (often one of my WIPS that are waiting to be stitched) puts me back in the right frame of mind. I find this especially true when I am working on a larger project that seems to be bogged down.

    The other thing I do, is I give myself time for another hobby. In my case it is reading. Sometimes I just have to give myself a week to read a book and then I feel like coming back to my first love.

    Always, if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing, then there is no sense doing it….so find something that brings that enjoyment back.

  8. Sharon 1220 says:

    I’m in the “start something else” camp. I have a piece that I need to finish, I was going to finish it before January (2005). I had to put it away in order to get ready to move, and I just haven’t been motivated to finish it, because the perfect place for it no longer exists (well, it is still in the old house). I won’t start another cross stitch project, but I have done a couple of needle punch projects, and a lot of knitting and crochet. One of these days, I’ll get around to finishing it, then I can start another cross stitch project.

  9. I sometimes get to many on the go and get overwhelmed with which one to finish. I was working on the Christmas Eve (Prairie Schooler) and managed to miscount and now border is the not the same on the top and bottom. Not sure if I should take it out or just make the 2 separate corners a bit different from the 2 top ones. Sorry about the rambling, but when I get in a rut I take a smaller project and then I feel something is being completed.

    Sometimes I just get into a good book and the stitching feeling will come back

    Happy Stitching to all

  10. So glad to know I’m not the only one with this problem! I always feel guilty for having spent so much time and money on this hobby, and then not have any motivation for it. I usually do what other stitchers have already said – do something else until you get your motivation back.

    One trick I have to is to read something from the Victorian era, where the women are always engaged in needlework. Reading about their work helps me get back to mine 😀

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