Monday, April 9, 2012

Unbelievable Machine Embroidery on a Home Treadle Machine....Plus a Cottage Garden Blocks Update

Miya Gonzalez's Machine Embroidery Portfolio
My maternal grandfather was a tobacco tenant farmer in a remote agricultural community in western Cuba.  His home, the house my mom grew up in, did not have running water or electricity.  This was the norm in the community.  Everyone had to work hard to make sure no one went hungry.  One way that the woman folk contributed to the family finances was to take in sewing.  Fine embroidery and sewing paid the best rate, but was not a common skill.  Usually, the older sisters in a family would pay to learn from an instructor.  They in turn would teach the younger sisters.  My mom is the baby of 11 so she did not get to attend a class with an instructor.  However, her older sister and cousins did.  Recently, one of her cousins, Ana Gonzalez, found the portfolio album she created to earn her Machine Embroidery Certificate.  As you look at these photos, please remember that these samples were all created on a turn of the century treadle Singer, by kerosene lamplight.  I think you will be amazed!  Click on any photo to see a closeup view.  Enjoy!
Cuadros Calado






There are several more pages and techniques.  I will print more photos in coming blog posts.
I have only been stitching a little here and there since the holidays.  The only new work I have to share are two new Cottage Garden Blocks designed by Jeana Kimball.  Here are the new blocks, Buttercup and Roses.  

Following are the other blocks from the same project that I have completed.

Until next time,
Best stitches,
Mercy in sunny, hot Miami


House Finch



  1. What a wonderful post, Mercy! I love all your blocks, but especially the finch and the cosmos - they look so 3 dimensional. And what a fabulous book! I look forward to seeing more of the pages of the journal.

    Delighted you are posting again.

  2. Hola, tras revisar tu blog he decidido hacerme seguidora para no perderme nada de lo que publiques. ¿sería posible que añadieras un gadget para traducir (por ejemplo google translate)? Para las que no conocemos inglés será mucho más fácil poderte seguir. Gracias y felicidades por los hermosos trabajos que realizas.

    1. Hola Jacquelin!
      Gracias! Trate de agregar un gadget para traducir pero no trabaja bien. Voy a segir buscando.
      Mercy en Miami

    2. Hola Jacquelin!
      Agrege un gadget para traducir el blog. Por favor tarta de usarlo y me deces si trabaja y si te gusta.

      Best stitches,
      Mercy in Miami!

  3. Mercy, how do you do that? Your blocks are absolutely beautiful. I like that you put veins on your leaves and flowers. Makes them look even more real. I can't wait to see what your quilt will look like.

  4. Hi Rhonda,
    Thanks! This is the first time I have been able to successfully add embroidery to applique. In my previous attempts the embroidery always overwhelmed the applique. I think the reason this time it's working so well is because of the scale of the thread; I'm using regular 50 weight cotton thread or 50 weight silk Tire or 100 weight silk YLI and Kimono threads. It seems to be the perfect weight for leaf veins!
    Best stitches,
    Mercy in rainy Miami