Friday, 30 October 2009

Pumpkin pie

These are the mini-pumpkin pies, they were good, made with rough-puff pastry as a base, they went quickly. The 2 large pies, well they got eaten before I remembered to photograph them. Yum...... The little cakes were made by the hostess for our Friday gathering. They were good too....

Pumpkin Pie

Turkish pumpkins have green skins, I recently got asked if we have orange or green skin pumpkins in England. Orange - usually. It's all the same inside. Turks candy pumpkin. I make soup, or risotto and for the first time in many, many moons, pumpkin pie. The littles asked for it (they must have heard about it from a book)
So, since today was (another) school holiday, we made pumpkin pie. I used fresh pumpkin of course and since there are no 'pie crusts' here, 500g of short crust pastry and some frozen rough puff for the mini ones.
It was delicious, a little too sweet, but that could have been a counting error, many cooks and all..... We made 24 small ones (fairy cake size) and a couple of big deep ones - a lot of mixture. I did take pictures, but the memory stick is in my camera, under my neighbours couch, where I hid it away from No3. The beginning of our Halloween social bonanza. I hope to retrieve it tomorrow, whilst similarly hoping that no other child has had it's mits on the afore mentioned camera......

Thursday, 29 October 2009

86 years old

Today is Cumhuriyet Bayramı - a national holiday, the celebration of the forming of modern Turkey. T1 and T2 went to Atatürk's summer house a couple of weeks ago. We had a long discussion about what today means, and they insisted that Atatürk brings candy to all the children today. I guess they have mixed it up with Şeker Bayramı (the candy giving at the end of Ramadan) and perhaps the impending Halloween. At least they now agree that Atatürk is dead and not on holiday. Doğum günün kutlu olsun.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Tuesday, 27 October 2009


I got this piece a while ago, I realise it's not really 'oya' but was sold as such.... it's a kind of looped crotchetting/tatting using thick clear monfilament as a base. Very interesting, stiff, and unlike many of the scarves I own it's a long 'shawl' that is decorated at both ends.

Monday, 26 October 2009

My local quilter

I've been trying to catch my local quilter when he was open and when there was a parking slot, for a while - like 4 years.... I finally managed it. Aydogan is from the black sea area, but has been making quilts for 45 years, he had a shop in the covered bazaar but moved out of there. Turkish quilts are whole cloth, quite thick, backed with cotton, filled with either wool or cotton. The top layer is usually satin, silk is his preferred fabric, though cotton satin is good. He doesn't like to use either polyester filling or polyester satin, but the customer is king bringing these fabrics to him. He usually supplies the filling.
These quilts are re-made from time to time, washing them makes them lumpy. So you take them to the quilter, open them up, wash the layers separately and he re-stitches them.
The technique is different to 'American quilting' he makes a 'bag' of the two layers, open at one end. He then fills it with the 'stuffing' which then gets whacked with a bamboo stick till it is even and compressed. He then sews the 3 layers together. The stitches are large, the thread thick and the needle huge. He 'draws' the patterns using bamboo sticks again which he stitches along. then infills them building up the design. The low level stage is where all this happens.
This chap was very friendly, I went in with T1 who asked a gazillion questions - he answered each one with grace and care saying that the only way for children to learn is to be told the correct answer. He had a huge folder of 'show' quilts that he'd done for exhibitions and the like, quite stunning stuff. the ones hanging here were waiting for their owners to come and collect them. Each one took a day to do.

Sunday, 25 October 2009


I was in Boyner and they have an array of nice soft furnishings for the new season. I like buyers taste usually..... I was drawn to the circle embroidered cushions.... the lower picture is a little blurred, but it was a felt like material that had the circles 'dripped' in a thick glittery paint. Interesting....

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Last from the market

This 'scarf' was a construction to be amazed at, it had probably 4lb of sequins and charms, no real structure apart from the sequin threads and at 10YTL I wonder who made any profit.
I am the kind of gal who saves my favourite chocolate till the end - when I found this 'garment' I was slightly shocked in a bemused type of way, I wasn't expecting to find it - or the other colourways - lime green, red and orange. If you can't figure out what it is - then I am not going to destroy your innocence!

Friday, 23 October 2009

More from the market

Lots of quilts, I didn't check out the tags, but reasonably quality.... of course I can make one myself so walked on by......

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Broken Teapot?

Now I know where to go, should I break my teapot's handle.... This stall is on Yeşilköy Market. I have known about this market for a very long time, but in the 4.5 years I've lived here I had never made the trip there, until yesterday. Amazing. It was jam packed full of women, Turkish women shop in packs. Thank goodness for mobile phones and small 'cafes' strategically placed to re-group and eat gözleme. It was an eye-opener to say the least. I struggled to take any pictures, but found this super cool blog - the ceaseless stream of females was quite overwhelming.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

So darn cute....

I've coveted amigurumi for so long, have tried to wangle a piece but to no avail. I happened upon this 'mushroom' hair clip by the Dutch kidswear producers Oilily - super cool. I can admire this from a distance, this is something for sure I never want to figure out how to make, like I need something new to do??

Monday, 19 October 2009

Back to life

- back to reality?

So I took a blogging break, I would love to tell tales of exotic travels, and wild experiences.... alas nothing of the kind, the most exotic thing has been several trips to the Dr, and the wildest thing - perhaps our new friendly street dog that my neighbour has taken in called Osman.....

The Blogging Quilters Show has been a roaring success, bringing more than 1200 new visitors to the blog over the last week, and providing me with a distraction from things I should be doing.
The funniest thing over the past week and a bit happened this morning..... I have used the same local hairdresser for nearly 5 years, the kid of place where you sit and wait, because it'll only be 10 mins before someone is free, or you do your shopping and go back. The same chap has done my hair for all but 9 months of that time.... today, he asked what my name was..... I was so surprised. I told him, but forgot to ask what they call me..... nice comments only please!

Friday, 9 October 2009


Earlier this year I took part in the bloggers quilt festival, it was great, over 250 visitors to my blog, I visited more than 200 blogs, found some great ones that I wouldn't have stumbled across before. This is my entry for the Autumn Festival..... A big cheer for Amy - great idea!
I made this quilt forever ago, but I love it. It was for the Show that Empire Quilters in New York, had in 2002, it won a ribbon. I then entered it into the 'Transforming Traditions' (juried) show at Dean Clough with the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, again 2002. 63 by 86 cm, 25 by 34 inches.
It was the beginning of a really productive time for me.
Plain cotton, fused, fused binding, machine quilted.
Inspired by Karen Stone's technique.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Serdar Özkan - The Missing Rose

I had this book recommended to me a while back, only to be told it was published just in Turkish - alas, I have a copy - my own, inscribed by the author, copy - in English. It's been translated into 27 languages...
Quite an interesting author, went to the same school as Orhan Pamuk, this is his first book, and he is the 3rd largest selling Turkish author. I will reserve judgement till I get to the end, but it is very readable, so far.

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