Today there are about two hundred traditional quilt makers left in Istanbul, yet just ten or fifteen years ago, Istanbul's Chamber of Quilters had 1200 members. In the 17th century Evliya Çelebi wrote that there were 105 quilt maker’s shops in the Grand Bazaar alone, but today most of these have gone, although the Quilters Association still has its building there. The quilt shops whose displays of brilliantly coloured quilts, each one with its unique intricate designs like the patterns of dreams, once lit up every side street are now becoming a rare sight. Since modern quilts filled with artificial fibre and quilt covers became popular, traditional Turkish quilt making has been steadily disappearing.
In quilting, the facing fabric and prepare the lining of cambric or unbleached muslin. This is then covered with satin or printed cotton if the quilt is for everyday use, and then the pattern is sewn.' While a quilt with a simple design can be made in one and a half days, a complex pattern may take a week or even as much as a month to complete. The motifs are myriad: lozenges, pears, stars, tulips, clover leaves, vines, carnations, violets, daisies and many more.
Reference: Birgül Göker Photos Servet Dilber/Skylife
Some selected examples (please click on pictures to enlarge):