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Thread: Quilts that Hurt My Eyes

  1. #1
    Senior Member hannajo's Avatar
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    Quilts that Hurt My Eyes

    I finally got to the American Folk Art Museum in NYC. Gorgeous old quilts, a gift shop, and a 911 memorial quilt are a must-see for any quilter visiting New York. (fyi, if you go, the museum has 2 locations several blocks apart.) But a strange thing happened to me. While gazing at quilts with Bethlehem star and lone star patterns, I felt slightly dizzy, the quilt appeared to be moving around, and my eyes began to hurt. They probably were already slightly strained from reading the plaques without reading glasses. So I just stopped looking at those quilts. But when I caught one of them out of the corner of my eye, the room would start spinning again. The only blame I can give to the quilts is that the color schemes and points were so perfect, they created a 3D effect that my eyes just couldn't handle. I've seen these patterns plenty of times here and elsewhere on the net with no such effect.

    Does this happen to anyone else, or am I alone?
    ~hannajo~
    I know enough to know that I don't know enough.

  2. #2
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    I've not heard of it happening, but I imagine with the right lighting and color placement it could affect people. My Dad doesn't care for bargello quilts because of they way they draw his eyes around. Glad I found that out early on, as I was thinking about making one for him.

    Cheers, K

  3. #3
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    it could be as corginole has said the colors and lights combined. and it could be the fatigue. i think that a nice nap would do wonders so you can run right back and look more.
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

  4. #4
    Member Threadbanger's Avatar
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    I'm an eye doctor in real life when I'm not quilting. What you've described sounds like eye fatigue. To go from looking at quilts at a distance and then up close (especially when not wearing the correct eyeglass or contact lens prescription) really makes the eyes work more than they should. That can cause headaches, feelings that either one or both eyes are turning more than they should and all other manner of visual discomfort. However, if it happens again, I'd get in for a check up as soon as possible.

  5. #5
    Senior Member hannajo's Avatar
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    Thanks, Dr. Threadbanger. What you wrote really makes sense. I do need to get to an eye doctor. My eyes are basically a complicated mess (although others are far worse off than me), and I need to take care of them better, which includes always taking reading glasses with me. I constantly wear contacts for moderate/severe nearsightedness, and only recently started with reading glasses. I'm still bitter, because when I moved 2 years ago, I left behind a wonderful eye doctor, and have yet to find another of his caliber.
    ~hannajo~
    I know enough to know that I don't know enough.

  6. #6
    Super Member ptquilts's Avatar
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    I get that kind of "movement" when looking at red on green (bright colors) quilts.

  7. #7
    Senior Member cinnya's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=hannajo;4672012]Thanks, Dr. Threadbanger.
    I am sorry, but that was just too cute..
    Christina


  8. #8
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    I occasionally have trouble getting dizzy looking at certain patterns but my problem stems from severe head trauma from a car crash.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
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  9. #9
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    Blue light kills my eyes. Blue christmas lights, blue neon signs, any kind of blue lights. The worst is the new headlights they came out with. Makes me crazy. Like staring at a strobe light. I think I'm getting old...

  10. #10
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    This is so weird. I was looking at a quilt on the board today and asked my DH to come sit in my chair and look at the quilt; I asked him if it looked 3D and he said no. But when I looked at it, it looked 3D and made me dizzy.
    Joyce

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  11. #11
    Member Threadbanger's Avatar
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    I'd love to be your eye doctor, hannajo, but I'm afraid I'm a bit too far away! Don't wait too long to get checked. More often than not, the prescription needed for your eyes will change every couple of years. We just want to #1 make sure you are wearing the best correction possible so you can SEE and #2 make sure there aren't any diseases going on that could cause vision loss down the road.

  12. #12
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Sometimes the squiggely patterns in fabric can create a very dizzying sensation. For me, I have to be careful with lighting too. One of the local quilt shows uses fluorescent lights that flicker at a frequency that give me fits. (I really shouldn't go there) But, they always have surprises so I just deal with it.

    Martina
    Martina
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  13. #13
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    I have had some things happen like that, too...especially when I am cutting out fabric that is any shade of red, against the backdrop of my green cutting mat. Since they are opposites on the color wheel, I know that is not unusual. At my quilt group today we were just discussing this topic. One of the ladies was choosing a backing fabric for a quilt, the colors in the fabric were red, black, white, and yellow print...it seemed to do the "pulsate and jump" trick, too...she did buy some of it, but is going to do a pieced backing so she can "break up" some of the dizzying pattern. I also know that eye fatigue can really play tricks with one's eyes.
    Take care all,
    Kif
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  14. #14
    Senior Member hannajo's Avatar
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    It's interesting a few of you mentioned red/green quilts. The quilt that really made my eyes go bonkers was white, off-white, yellow, and I think a little orange.
    ~hannajo~
    I know enough to know that I don't know enough.

  15. #15
    Junior Member glassnquilts's Avatar
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    Ironing fabric with same size white and dark stripes makes me dizzy.
    Theresa

  16. #16
    Senior Member snow's Avatar
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    Take care of your eyes you only have two!!

  17. #17
    Junior Member Taino Jan's Avatar
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    Interesting topic!
    Rules of Life:1-Don't take anything personally 2-Integrity of words and deeds 3-Don't make assumptions 4-Do your best

  18. #18
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the problem with vertigo.. Not a nice feeling.. but yes you need to get things checked out.. Don't procrastinate..
    Also thanks for mentioning the musem.. I need to do it.. Didn't know it existed..
    Barri

  19. #19
    Senior Member Becka's Avatar
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    I haven't experienced this in particular, but some quilt color or print combinations have threatened headaches. I'm also light-sensitive, so it might be the bright colors.

    I have a friend that quilts for charity, and has to be careful about color combinations because some of her recipients are epileptic, and certain color combinations and/or patterns can trigger an episode. I hadn't ever thought of it until talking to her.
    "When I'm dead and gone there ain't anybody goin' to think o' the floors I've swept, and the tables I've scrubbed, and the old clothes I've patched, and the stockin's I've darnedÂ…But when one of my grandchildren sleeps on one of those quilts, they'll think about me, and, wherever I am then, I'll know I ain't forgotten." from 'Aunt Jane of Kentucky' by Eliza Calvert Hall

  20. #20
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    If that happened to me, I'd be expecting a migraine.Lots of weird things with a migrane auora.For instance, seeing 1/2 of my DHs face sent me to emerg twice.They were sure ut was a stroke.

    They called in a neuro Dr who put me thru the wringer & turned out to be migraines of the eyes.
    BTW....I never look at bargello quilts.
    Pat

  21. #21
    Senior Member AprilG's Avatar
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    I'm so glad that I am not the only one! Some quilts just make me physically ill. I can't get my balance and have even fallen. It is not just quilts, anything with an extremely random path or colors that "dance". I enjoy looking at all quilts but, I try to avoid looking at the "jiggly" ones.
    April
    Is there a doctor in the house? I just got bit by the quilting bug!

  22. #22
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I play around with my EQ a lot, and find that quite often I end up with designs that make my eyes spin, LOL
    Certain colors or fabrics can really make for spectacular effects, however, I have often wondered what they would look like in real life
    This topic is very interesting, I didn't realize that so many had issues with colors/ designs. I will keep all of this in mind for the future, as many of mine will be and have been donated. Thank you for all of the great information
    “The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.” Sam Levenson

  23. #23
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    It happens to me sometimes too. A lot of it is the design of the fabric and the bright colors.
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  24. #24
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    I have selected fabric before while on the bolt then when it was rolled out on cutting table my eyes starting juping and I was getting dizzy so I asked them not to cut it lol
    Grandmas are just antique little girls!!

  25. #25
    Senior Member MisDixie's Avatar
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    I did a one block wonder, black with purple, red and green fabric. Not my favorite print, big roses. When trying to lay out the blocks I got dizzy and sick. Couldn't handle the movement and colour. So I spaced them with plain black. Good job that top was for the fun of learning a how to do a OBW cause I still feel funny when I look at it!

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