Oyas have become a passion of mine ever since I discovered them while learning more about crazy quilting. I give a big thank you to Rengin for introducing me to them! They are popular motifs in crazy quilting even if not common because of being fairly difficult to find.
So, what are oyas? These delicate yet sturdy flowers are a tradional form of needlelace created in Turkey. The making of Oyas can be dated as far back to 2000 BC. They are made as a trim to adorn scarves and other pieces of clothing, as seen below. Smaller than a dime, these three dimensional blossoms are made by hand using a sewing needle or pin and thread. There are many varieties but sewing needle oyas were usually done with silk thread. The variety of flower represented by the oya edging on scarves, etc. conveyed different meanings. In looking at different oyas, I originally thought that the ones of red peppers were an indication of just how far the "southwestern" look had travelled. However, in my reading I discovered a young wife wearing these oyas was indicating her relationship with her husband was hot and spicy!
Oyas are a uniquely Anatolian handicraft so the word "oya" has no translation in other languages. It is commonly known as "Turkish lace" in Europe. Hopefully this is a form of needlework that will not disappear.
I hope at one point to be able to learn to make oyas. Wish me luck!