Instead of a layer of batting between layers, I prefer one layer of baby-weight cotton flannel which has been preshrunk in hot water and put under a hot air dryer.
Because the embroidery process shrinks up the fabric a bit as it quilts, cut out the garment from the pattern pieces, cutting 1 inch beyond the cutting line all around the pattern piece.
Each piece will have 4 layers:
- fashion fabric
- cotton flannel
- cotton lining
- and lightweight stabilizer
-Create a sandwich with the fashion fabric on the outside, followed by a layer of the cotton flannel, then a layer of soft cotton and finally a layer of lightweight stabilizer.
-In addition to hand basting layers together around the perimeter of the cut-out pieces with long hand basting stitches; secure layers together with two rows of diagonal stitches which intersect in the middle of the piece.
-Unless you are following the design on the face of the fabric for embroidery, inexperienced free motion quilters can benefit from a drawn out design on the right side of the fabric (air-erasable pens work well here).
-If you want a very pronounced design, use a thicker thread on top of the machine and regular thread in the bobbin.
-Switch to a topstitching needle ‘N’ needle, which has a larger coated eye that prevents the thread from shredding.
-Tighten the top tension to #5.
-Lower the feed dog and put on the darning foot.
-Slide the 4-layer fabric sandwich under the darning foot with the stabilizer against the lowered feed dogs and the fashion fabric on top facing you.
-Even though lowering the darning foot will not hold the fabric securely in position, the foot must be lowered for the stitch to form properly.
-Turn the hand wheel and bring both threads to the top.
-Knot the 2 threads by hand and then create 6 machine knots in place before starting the embroidery process.
-Cut off the ends of the thread so that they will not get caught in the stitches.
-Depress foot pedal full throttle and begin moving the fabric under the needle.
-Even though the machine is sewing very fast, move your fabric slowly or your stitches will get too long.
-With practice, you will get the hang of it.
-After all machine work is completed, pull off the stabilizer.
-Overlay the pattern piece onto all of the embroidered pieces.
-Cut pieces to size and proceed with garment construction.