Thursday, 9 February 2017

Finding my stitching mojo

I realised towards the end of last year that I had lost my stitching mojo.  I’m not sure whether it was all the work I had done in preparation for the Convention stalls in September and November, or something else, but I wasn’t really doing any stitching.  I wasn’t doing that much designing either.  I mean, I was coming up with ideas and starting patterns for a lot of them, but I wasn’t finalising the patterns and I certainly wasn’t getting any new ones uploaded to Etsy.  I’d come home from work and play on my phone (card games, SimCity Builder, board game style apps) and that was about it.  The stitching bug had vanished.

I’ve gone through periods like this many times over the 19 years since I first learnt to stitch.  Periods of time where I didn’t pick up a needle at all.  Maybe I had been working on a big project and gotten sick of it, maybe I didn’t have any new patterns that were leaping off the shelf shouting “stitching me now”. They’d last 6 months or so (longer if I was doing something else crafty) and then I’d pick up the needle again and start stitching.  I usually replaced stitching with something else – lots of reading (back in the days before I discovered audiobooks, and before they were so readily available) or scrapbooking or other creative pursuits. 

However this was the first time in a long time that one of these “lulls” had taken over, and certainly the first since I’d started designing my own patterns.  As I said earlier it was probably the result of feeling a bit burnt-out, both from Convention prep, and from my full-time job.  I just wasn’t in a productive, crafty mood, and I wasn’t sure how to get back there.

Thankfully, three things happened at the end of year which got me my mojo back:
  1. My brother sent me a message asking for a customised pattern
  2. A friend had a birthday
  3. School holidays started.
I taught my brother (now 29) how to stitch a couple of years ago.  We’re a pretty crafty family (mum quilts, dad does woodwork, my middle brother can paint and draw, I stitch).  The eldest of my three brothers had never really done any handiwork.  He acts and does improv., that’s his creative outlet.  However when he wanted to make a present for his new girlfriend, I taught him to cross stitch so he could stitch a pug dog face.  Since then he’s stitched a couple of my pieces which I’ve done up in kit-form for him (which I love because when we’re at Melbourne conventions I can say “cross-stitch is pretty easy to pick up - I taught my brother here to stitch”).  Before Christmas he sent me a message saying he wanted to stitch a Rocky Horror Picture Show piece for his girlfriend for her birthday (January) and could I design him something.  Which I did, and which re-kindled my desire to design, and finish off pieces (and get them listed!).
Rocky Horror Picture Show cross stitch pattern
available from my Etsy store.
The customised piece stitched by my brother.
He did an amazing job.
A friend had a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy themed birthday party.  Because she’s a new friend (we met at a couple of Conventions this year as fellow stitchy store-holders), I’ve never made her anything.  Because she’s also crafty, I knew she’d appreciate a hand-made gift.  So I designed, and stitched, her a Hitchhiker's piece (which is also now on Etsy), so some stitching and design mojo was located.
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cross stitch
available from my Etsy Store.
The piece I stitched for my friend.
I work as an Occupational Therapist in the state schools.  As a public servant, I’m not entitled to the school holidays (just the regular 4 weeks everyone gets), however I am able to work additional hours to Accrue Days Off.  Between ADO and rec leave I was able to take the 5 weeks of the school holidays off, which meant I was able to stop, sleep, relax and recharge the batteries.  I went home to visit my family for 3 weeks which was lovely.  With nothing else to occupy my time, I was able to sit down with the laptop for hours on end and (finally!) list a whole heap of patterns that had been almost finished for months.  I was able to design a heap of new ones, and I was able to stitch.  So much stitching.  It was bliss.

And so I found my stitching mojo again.  I have finished so many new pieces over the last couple of months.  I have listed so many new patterns I’m going to have to re-print my Convention catalogues.  More importantly, I want to stitch.  Yes I still spend time playing on my phone (my mother got me addicted to PokemonGo over Christmas) but I’m also spending at least an hour (or 2 or 3) each night stitching, and I’m feeling happy and relaxed again. 

Now to work on my social media mojo… but that’s a whole other story.

Happy Stitching!


  1. Great new designs Roslyn. Glad your stitchy bug returned.


  2. So glad you got your stitching mojo back. Here's to seeing lots of projects and updates over the next few weeks! :)

  3. I know how you feel...last year just wasn't my stitching year, but I'm grateful to you for all your patterns! They are worth the wait!