How I experienced a mental block on embroidery and why you should prioritize your health

How I experienced mental block on embroidery

Heeey guys! I'm so sorry that this this place has been inactive for so long!

I was sort of fighting with some inner “demons” which I'm going to share about through this post. But now I'm back and I hope to keep a steady writing pace starting from this month (you will get an insight to November posts in the end of this one).

Special shout-out to all the precious people who sent me messages on e-mail and Instagram, you have no idea how much it meant to me! I love you! Thank you!


The story of my mental block


We get so many useful tips on embroidery but time after time we still neglect the simplest rules... Don't tell me I'm the only one! 😅

Keep all the food and drinks away while embroidering” - yet I do have a cup of tea on my desk sometimes.

Embroider while sitting at the desk and keep your back straight”. Am I the only one who likes embroidering half lying in my bed?

Embroider with the daylight”. ..and here's where my worst mistake happened.

Always knew this rule and actually embroidering with the natural daylight near the window has always been my favorite thing. Yet once in a while, when I was “in the mood” I did embroider in the evening with only artificial lighting on.

The problem was that the lighting in my room wasn't the best – it was quite dim and definitely didn't fit such detailed work as stitching. But the “nothing bad will happen if I stitch just a little” like always ruled in my head.

Until one day. Or, rather, one night. When I woke up around 3-4 a.m. and suddenly had one of my eyes literally bawling out with tears. I couldn't stop it, I was wiping the tears away and they only kept pouring down my face. It came with some itching and pain and.. ugh...

The fact that it happened only with one eye kind of made it even worse, because it created this uncomfortable feeling of disbalance.. One eye was fine and the other a total mess. I went to the bathroom and spent a long time washing my face until the tears finally stopped. My eye felt hurt and tired. And I was scared.

No need to say that the next day I decided to take a break from embroidery because the eyes needed rest. But that break took much longer than I expected.


Fear and anxiety


I wondered if I could call it an “embroiderer's block” using the analogy of the writer's block and artist's block, but in the end these terms seemed slightly different to me... The latter ones are normally used in a situation when you experience a lack of inspiration and ideas. A slump. Empty head. The muse has left the building.

It was different for me. I had a whole sketchbook with ideas I wanted to bring to life and lists for future posts. The thing that stopped me was not the lack of inspiration. What stopped me was fear and anxiety.

I just couldn't take the needle in my hands, every time asking myself if my eyes had enough rest and if it wouldn't hurt them more, so “maybe I need a little more time...” Because of that I also stopped visiting Pinterest and Instagram because seeing all the beautiful embroideries completed by other stitchers only increased my anxiety. The fact that the blog didn't update for a long time, even though you kept sending encouraging messages, also contributed to the feeling of guilt. As the time passed without me making a single stitch a day (even though I knew perfectly well that my eyes were okay since long time ago), it only made me even more anxious.

A mess, what can I say...

Getting back to the stitching world


I got back little by little. Some days I would just take out my embroidery stuff and sit with it. The other days I would literally do only a couple of stitches and then find a convenient excuse to stop. After a while I got back reading posts on my fave embroidery blogs. Then I returned to Pinterest – this time instead of feeling anxious and guilty and closing the site quickly after looking at others' works, I felt inspiration and awe and it made me smile.

The last bit that got me back was a message from lovely Doris (thank you again!) whose letter was so bright and energetic that it charged my batteries up to the sky and the next day I was already embroidering full force.

All in all, the “block” took me more than two months, whereas the coming back stage continued for about a month... I think? I don't remember very well, to be honest, it was all very slow, haha.

So, over three months of productive work were wasted. Why? Because I disregarded the simplest rules of hand embroidery.

Prioritize your health!


Please don't repeat my mistakes!

Be careful with your health: especially your eyesight. Keep your embroidery on the level of chest when you work, or even further away if your eyesight allows you.

If your eyesight is not perfect get yourself glasses for hand embroidery. Yes, separate ones exactly for hand embroidery – you will wear them only while stitching. Visit a specialist for this and tell them you need glasses for fine work. Or even better – take a piece of embroidery with you to the ophthalmologist so that the glasses are adjusted perfectly for you to see the details.

ALWAYS embroider either in the daylight or with the daylight bulbs in the evening. I had all the bulbs in the room changed to the daylight ones, so that I can work in the evening if I get in the mood. Now in the evening it is even brighter than in the day 😅

Now as for the blog


I'm planning to get back with a steady posting routine in November.

First of all, continuing with the topic of long and short stitch, we will embroider one of Trish Burr's needlepainting miniatures. It will be a first time experience for me. I did shading before but oh... stitching the project of Trish Burr makes me really nervous. Her works are simply gorgeous! 😍 I'm taking the Pansies project from the Miniature Needle Painting Embroidery book. So if you have it, get on this adventurous ride together with me! (If you still don't have it - I strongly recommend purchasing. Worthy investment)


Secondly, I'm going to speak about the hows and whys of binding the embroidery hoop, my method of transferring the patterns, and as always, hope to finish some projects and share them with you :) 

How have you been? Have you experienced any problems with health because of your stitching passion? Share below so that we all learn how to avoid the troubles!