How to keep up motivation while tackling a big cross stitch project

We’ve spoken at length about how to get cross stitch inspiration and how cross stitch can help you destress but there is one problem we hear a lot about, especially as we give away epic pokemon cross stitch patterns and that’s burnout.
If you’re a youtube watcher, you’ve probably heard about recent videos on content burnout, where YouTubers are constantly having to churn out video content, and it takes away the fun. Well, that happens with cross stitch too. Sure, you might not have an audience to satisfy, you’re probably your own worst critic, but keeping up your cross stitch mojo, especially when you’re tackling a big project, can be hard. Real hard. But there are ways to solve that problem!

eat sleep stitch repeat cross stitch by stitchkits (Source:
Sometimes this ISN’T what you want. Eat Sleep Stitch Repeat cross stitch by stitchkits (Source:

Stitch up some small projects

One of the greatest ways to get through a big project, or even a rut you might be having, is to pick up small stitches. Those small stitches might take you a weekend, and you might not even be super into them, but they accomplish two things. The first is it gives you that completion high all cross stitchers know, and secondly, it gives you renewed enthusiasm for what you’re currently doing. Yeh, you might be stitching away at the same page for 3 months solid, but doing a throwaway project gives you that perspective that actually, what you’re stitching right now is going to be awesome.

Look for inspiration

We mentioned cross stitch inspiration at the top of this blog, but actually, inspiration is one of the best things for you. Yes, you might come away with a list as long as your arm of things you want to stitch, and might even have a few patterns to boot, but it’ll remind you why you like stitching, and why you like stitching that epic you’re on currently.

Go on a cross stitch holiday

Tried that? Not helping you out? OK, then stop stitching. I know, I know, it sounds stupid, especially if you’re half the way through to just drop it, but separation from cross stitch might actually be exactly what you need. You don’t have to sit there thinking about it either, go out, pick up another hobby, knit, sew or just read a book. I personally play computer games. That break helps you renew, just like a holiday. Not only that, but you might find yourself wanting and wanting to revisit it, and once that happens, you know the rut is over.

Don’t beat yourself up

You’re thinking to yourself “but I’m X of the way through, I can’t stop”. Well, I’m here to tell you its OK. You can stop beating yourself up. I’m the type of person that likes a plan, and I like to stick with it, so if I can’t stitch as much as I planned or the project is taking longer than I expected I tend to beat myself up. But there’s no reason to. It’s OK to be late.

Failure is always an option

And in fact, it’s OK to give up. One of my personal heroes is known for a simple notion; that failure is always an option. Sometimes things just don’t work, and giving up is not only an acceptable thing to do but sometimes, its the best thing to do.

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Kim Mackley

    I like setting a rotation especially if one is a bit tedious or boring I will coordinate it with a pattern I love, like 30 mins to 1 hour a day on one then set it aside and carry on happy stitching

  2. Elaine Cochrane

    All so true! I like to have 2 projects on the go at all times (more than 2 risks UFOs). If one of the projects is more demanding or less interesting, I do a quota of stitching on that first and then allow myself to spend the rest of the day’s stitching time on the other projects. Current demanding project is a vintage tablecloth in long-and-short stitch (I do surface embroidery as well), but after 1 needleful I switch to stitching Sewetrope, which is definitely cross-stitch fun.

  3. Kerry Aggen

    “Failure is always an option.” Best quote ever!!! Love Mythbusters! Two thumbs up for quoting them!!!