Saturday, 5 March 2016

Patchwork Glasses

So it was just under a year ago that I started wearing reading glasses. I found it quite a depressing experience and also a slight struggle to get used to the practical aspect of wearing them initially. Well, in just under a year I've gone from only slightly needing them, and sometimes skipping wearing them, to being almost incapable of reading small print without them. More depressing than ever! Nobody told me that as soon as you do start wearing glasses your eyes quickly become completely reliant on them and your unaided sight deteriorates so much more rapidly. Definitely lessons to be learned there with other body parts!

I have another eye test booked for next week because I'm pretty sure it's now more than just being dependent on the reading glasses I have. Using a screen and hand sewing have become a definite strain on my eyes too. So in an effort to reconcile myself with this new sad state of affairs I finally finished up the mini quilt I started last year when first trying to adjust to said glasses.

The text came from a poem, Desiderata, which you can find here on Wikipedia. I am trying hard to be completely convinced by my words from last year:

"These lines seemed very appropriate to me at the time. And although they don't completely dissolve my dislike of ageing, I do definitely feel that I'm wiser, more mature and confident in myself, a more balanced person than when I was a spring chicken, so perhaps the need for reading glasses (as well as numerous other physical signs!) is a reasonable trade off for my accumulated wisdom and experience!"

I wrote more about how I go about printing on fabric back then too. I did warn in that post that my printing does not lead to colour fast results, so is only useful when you won't be washing your item. Sadly I didn't heed my own warning sufficiently carefully, not quite enough accumulated wisdom and experience! I had used a water soluble pen to doodle a few lines on to the fabric to follow when starting the quilting. And just the tiniest amount of water to rinse off the pen also set my ink running.

I wasn't feeling the love with this project enough to start again from scratch, so I just reprinted my words, cut them out and sewed them over the smudged mess.

After all, give it another year or two and everything will look like a blurry mess anyway!
The glasses themselves are made from patchworked fabric, lots of very small scraps in shades of green. And I think there's definitely a gap in the market for real patchwork spectacle frames. That would make the whole situation much more bearable! Glasses cases come, or can be made, in all kinds of patterns/fabrics/designs but the glasses themselves are just not quite there yet.

So wish me luck for next week with round 2 at the Opticians!



  1. I much prefer how the mini quilt turned out, Sally, even though I am sorry it took some running ink to get it to this point. I think that the effect of having the words cut out and appliqued down is much more organic and reads a lot more like an optical eye chart that way. I also really agree about glasses - they have slews of options, but more in the form of frame size and shape than color.

    I had Lasik eye surgery in August of 2009. I was been drastically nearsighted my entire life; some of my early primer school photos in the early 80s are rather fun to look back on - glasses were not very stylish accessories back then. Anyway, when I had surgery, my eyesight was somewhere between 20/500 and 20/600 and it had been years since I could see the large "E" at the top of a typical eye chart unaided. I now have 20/30 in my right eye and adamantly refuse to get glasses until required for safety by law because I believe that once I get used to the aid, my eyesight will just deteriorate again.

    I will definitely be wishing you luck next week. <3

  2. I think it probably is an age thing. I have worn glasses since childhood for short sightedness, I didn't wear them that often, my prescription wasn't that strong. Slowly over the years it got to the point where I had to wear glasses for driving. Then three years ago I got varifocals, when I had my eyes tested last year even the optician who had predicted that within five or six year I would be wearing glasses all the time, was shocked at the detoriation in my eyesight. I didn't wear my glasses that much then but now find myself having to wear them more and more.

    Hope you get on alright next week :)

  3. I've always worn glasses or contacts so I'm just used to them on my face, the whole vary focal thing has taken some getting used to though!
    I love this mini quilt and that you made something lovely despite your reservations.

  4. Good luck! I've been wearing glasses my whole life, I feel naked without them :-)

  5. I needed reading glasses at 40, but never wore them. Now that I'm over 50, I can't live without them. This quilt and the poem, definitely resonate with me.

  6. I prefer the words sewn on... I think I would have even if the first ones hadn't smudged. It's a fun and lovely piece and definitely beautiful words.

    I feel you on the glasses thing. For a long time (even when I was in University) I had needed reading glasses on and off. Mostly, it was to help my eyes not get so tired. But know, threading the sewing machine is impossible without them. I find myself extending things at arms reach to read labels at the grocery store... *sigh* I keep reminding myself that my eyes wouldn't need a rest if I didn't use them so much : photography, art, reading... they are well used, they deserve some rest. :-)

  7. I wear reading glasses too, though can manage without them a lot of the time. I find for sewing they are extremely helpful, but if I am watching tv at the same time I end up pulling them down to the very tip of my nose so that the television isn't blurry when I look up! I am seriously considering half-moon specs next time I renew; they would make my life so much easier! X

  8. I didn't realise how much I needed glasses till I had to wear some. Made such a difference to me!!! No more squinting or straining my eyes. Initially it was just for reading, computer, concerts, etc, but now I wear multifocals all the time. I used to think reading from an overhead projector was blurry for everyone. Now I know it's not.

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