Cross Stitching Mid Life Crisis

Right before Christmas, I celebrated my 28th birthday.  And I’m coming up on my 4 year wedding anniversary in February.  Taking a little time for reflection, I realize that all the changes in my life and changes in taste are seeping into my cross stitching.  I find it a bit odd.

This whole revelation started about a year ago when I was updating my “Future Projects Album” that I have on my blog.  I took pictures of the pieces that I wanted to do and compiled it into one large album for easy reference (it hasn’t been updated in awhile so some of the new pieces I have aren’t on there, fyi, as my laptop battery is toast and I haven’t had much computing time lately).  I realized that some of the pieces on there I wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot pole even a year prior.  I’ve seen some other signs outside the stitching world like being excited that my mother-in-law got me a year’s subscription to Family Circle.

Perhaps it will help if I give you some examples. 

In my youth, I was a huge sci-fi/fantasy fan.  Most of the pieces that I wanted to stitch were fantasy related because I thought I was never getting married ever and I wanted to decorate my bedroom in fantasy.  So here were some of the pieces on the docket:


However, these have all moved to the bottom of my stitch list.  Instead I find myself considering stitching these pieces:

Pre-marriage Joy: “Yuck, letters. Boring.”
Joy today: “I think that will look nice in the living room.”

Pre-marriage Joy: “That is soooo country.”
Joy now: “I really like the message.”

Pre-marriage Joy: Doesn’t even notice it in the magazine. Joy today: “Kenny would love that.”

So suddenly, all those samplers that I wrote off as “boring” and would never even consider doing….are now on my stitching list.

Strangely, I have a few pieces that have been on the list that I still really want to stitch that I’ve wanted to stitch for a long time.  Like this one:

Anyone else gone through something like this?  Because I think it’s just plain weird.

About Joy

Rabid stitcher and mother of a preschooler and kindergardener - both with Autism. Stitching is like going to war....with string!

I started playing with string when I was 16 and my mom bought me a Learn-A-Craft kit of a frog (because I love frogs). I discovered that cross stitching is a wonderful hobby when you go to college in the middle of nowhere Minnesota. Now that I'm married with two children, I stitch when I get a chance. Just finished my masters in teaching and hoping to get my first teaching job.

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  1. Hi Joy–It’s interesting to read about changes in taste. Good to know I’m not the only one that goes through that.

    Can you share the name of the chart with the three women? It looks kind of art deco to me, and I’m going through a phase…I’d like to see a close up to make a determination about whether to buy it.

    Thanks, Carol S.

    • Sure, the three women in the picture are from the book “Magical Cross Stitch” published by David and Charles. I think I picked it up at a big box store but I have seen it at Half Price Books occasionally so you might want to check there first before hunting online and stuff.
      The three patterns are “Dark Sorceress,” ‘Fairy Queene,” and “Earth Goddess.” There are a lot of other great patterns in the book including a Sleeping Beauty set, some fairies, some celestial Chinese style dragons, a phoenix and a Pegasus to name a few.

  2. I have selected 13 pieces I just MUST finish in 2013 for BAP Attack’s 2013 Turtle Trot, and 6 of them I wouldn’t even hang in my house. I completely understand. I bought some of these patterns in a moment of consumption to fill a hole in a failing previous marriage 5 or more years ago. I completely get how tastes change with growth. I bet when you look back at 36 or 37, you will see the ones you liked at 28 and think to yourself “what was on my mind?” when I bought that. I don’t believe that money well spent on patterns should go to waste. I would try to swap those unicorn patterns, sell them on ebay, or try to relocate them to a good home because tons of people like to stitch dragons, fantasy, unicorns… The fairies are always popular with EVERYONE. Don’t be discouraged you tastes have changed, find your new love and make that your theme. For this MOMENT.

  3. Joy, I can totally relate to the change in tastes. I’ve noticed it many times ver the years in how I decorate my house (my first apartment was done in all bolds and in my favorite colors and now I’m all about neutrals with accents) and definitely with my stitching. It’s rather fun to see the difference. The stitching that I completed at 20 of the carousel horses now hang in my girls’ rooms and when they out-grow them, they’ll be put away for the one-day grandchildren. It’s a fun process and be sure to keep track of dates when you finish so yo can have fun looking back. 😉

  4. Mike Stewart says:

    Howdy Joy, Time for a man to chime in, you’re weird, I’m weird, we’re all weird. Imagine a society that finds satisfaction making x’s with thread. To some people, that’s pretty weird! I’ve been stitching for over 20 years and my tastes have changed so radically it isn’t even funny. I used to look for “manly” patterns to stitch when I first started, none of that frilly “chick” stuff for me. 20 years later, I’m like you. I look at patterns and think Oh, so and so would like that! or that would look cool hanging in the living room (if the wife let’s me). I agree with Rachel, 10 years down the road (after kids) your opinions will change again. In our weird world, changing your mind is normal. I wish had documented my kits and dream pieces like you did. I don’t have a journal to track my dreams. My suggestion is keep your stitching magazines, when I find myself looking for something for someone I go through back issues of my mags and see something that I didn’t remember. Hang in there and keep documenting, it’s good to have a history and to remind others that in some peoples eyes, we’re not that weird after all!

    • Yeah, I’m a pack rat. The patterns aren’t going ANYWHERE! Mwah ha ha!

      Funny story about the magazines. They were actually my cousin’s but she doesn’t stitch much anymore and she gave them to me and I almost left them behind when I moved after I got married but I had my neighbor retrieve them from my apartment and mail them to me in Texas. 4-4″ binders of late 80s/early 90s mags. Jackpot!

    • I also wish I had a journal. I found some printable pages on a blog and printed copies. I have that to do 2013. My husband stitches as well.

  5. I do that a lot, lol.
    I think we all go through phases and things that I didn’t like years ago, are things I like now.


  6. Sofia Moede says:

    That kind of makes sense. Let us know what happens when you get pregnant! 🙂 I love the last cross stitch picture (the one you still want to stitch.) Where did you get it? Thanks. Sofia

    • Already been pregnant twice (hence the two toddlers). Not planning on a third.

      The last picture is called “Illuminated Manuscript.” It’s out of an old “Cross Stitch and Country Crafts” mag. There’s a second one too. Always been a Renaissance nerd but the two pregnancies have made me too big for my garb. 🙁

  7. Your change in taste is normal for me. I liked large ones then small ones now large again. My stash is overflowing. I pick things up that I know I will never do, just cause they are pretty I would love to finish “Nova” this year 2013. I disliked it last year, maybe too much challenge, now this year I sit here and look at it. I need someone to put the needle in my hand and get going. Stitching is so much fun and I find it lowers blood pressure as well. Maybe bye bye to pills soon!

  8. Tastes change over time. Its very simple.

  9. Its quite natural what you are going through. You might think this odd, if you dont know anything about Astrology…but you are starting/already in/preparing for your first “Saturn Return.” I am attaching a site you can look at to get an idea of what its about. Its only the first site I pulled up, but google it and see what else you come up with.

    The preparation for the return starts around 26. For me, every area of my life changed. I switched jobs. My car broke down. I moved from my home town and broke up with my 4 yr bf.
    The return usually happens between the ages 28-30 and after 30, you are all grown up. 🙂

    p.s. I loved how you wrote “in your youth.” LOL You are still young!!!!!!!! And you will see that the older you get, the less year-numbers matter.

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