Sunday, August 10, 2008


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!


CJ Stitching and Blooms said...

Hello Kerry, Your, OYAS are wonderful. I have not used any of the ones I bought but hope to on my CQ when ever I get back to it. Hugs Judy

morvoren said...

How are you finding these to use In Cq seams etc Kerry? I have bought some too and delighted with them! Just got to get my brain around attaching them :O) have you any tips to pass on you have tried?
Hugs morvoren

kerrykatiecakeskeb43 said...

I used one in a little patch I had on Clairee's round robin block - it is in a newer post here. I stitched some feather stitch greenery and then put the oya on. I used a matching thread and just came up and caught the oya in enough places to hold it securely -I don't like them "flopping around" - lol. So I stitch them down really well. For seams, just a meandering stem with some leaves and then the odd oya works for me. Hope this helps!

Kathy said...

Love the oyas too. I used a few on my cq heart that Judy and I worked on. I wish I knew how to make them too.