One thing I love about needlepoint is having an idea for a project in my head and seeing it come out better than I expected once it’s stitched. One thing I hate about stitching is when that idea does not come together. That’s what happened to me earlier this week. I had the idea to make a stitched cupcake version of a tiki drink for my cupcake club. I had cocktail umbrellas. I had a suitably tropical color of canvas (aquamarina). How hard could it be to find a drink to adapt?
It was much harder than I thought. Many tiki drinks come in opaque glasses and were not helpful. Others were colors that would clash. Few of them had interesting tops to be the icing. But I did find one I thought I could adapt. It was one of those layered drinks so there could be shading. I decided I would also add a straw to the drink.
I started to stitch one evening and worked on it diligently. At the end of the evening even though I had stitched plenty, it just didn’t look right. The colors in the cocktail just looked weird in thread. I still had no idea for the frosting. The drink color harmonized with the canvas color so well, it was disappearing. In short, I was frustrated.
This was not what I had envisioned. I’m sure this has happened to you. When it does you have some choices. You could:
Continue to stitch on the project: You have sunk time and money into the project so far. If you abandon it, all that will be lost.
Use what you have & go in a different direction: If what you have done looks good, perhaps you can salvage some or all of it by bringing the piece into better balance. You might have to cut out some stitching, but often these pieces can be saved.
I used to have pieces like this often, but I have learned to pivot and change course when my original idea didn’t work. A piece being out of balance is often a needlepoint problem and might just need a few additions or changes to make it fun to stitch again.
Abandon it: Yes, you don’t need my permission to give up your project. I’ve given up on mine. If there are too many things wrong with it (my case), or if you have learned what you wanted to learn, if it’s too hard, or of you don’t like it — give it up. After all, needlepoint is supposed to be fun!