The supplies are: heat transfer pattern, fabric, interfacing or stabalizer, pins, scissors, iron and ironing board. The Alphabet Sampler pattern will be used for our example today. For fabric, I am using a tight woven quilters cotton. For the Interfacing, use a ultra light weight fusible interfacing. Pellon makes several varieties that work great of this. 44FPKG8 is my Pellon interfacing choice for today's project. Interfacing is an optional step in this process, but I will feel that it keeps my stitches looking cleaner as there is less movement in the fibers of the fabric.
To start off, prepare your fabric by ironing it really well. Getting all the bumps and folds out will really help in transferring your pattern nicely. The next step is to adhere the interfacing to your fabric. One side of fusible interfacing has a texture on it. Simply rub it between you fingers and you can feel the small adhesive/glue dots on one side. Place the interfacing on your ironing board with the adhesive side up. (Double check this or you will adhere the interfacing to your ironing board!) Lay your pressed fabric centered on top of this and iron. It is really important to take your time with this step. Pressing the fabric really well as to make sure the fusible interfacing will stay attached to your fabric as you move and bend it while stitching.
Lay your peviously prepared fabric right side up (interfacing down) on your ironing board. Center the Alphabet Sampler pattern tracing side up on your fabric. It is very important to control the movement of the pieces as you iron. A great way to do this is to pin your fabric and pattern directly to your ironing board. Next TURN THE STEAM OFF on your iron. Carefully iron your pattern. Try using slow movement as not to shift your paper. To make sure you applied heat evenly, take a pin or two out and peek at each letter. After you feel confident that everything is transferred, step back and admire your work!
If you have a digital copy or would like reuse your paper copy, tracing the image onto your fabric might be a good choice. It is great if you have a light box, otherwise a sunny window works perfectly.
Before the tracing, you must pick your writing instrument. There are temporary and permanent choices. For temporary, there are several brands of pens on the market that are washable. They usually have blue ink. These are great because if you make an error in tracing, you can simply wash out the ink after stitching. My personal favorite choice is a Sukura Pigma Micron Pen. This is a permanent pen, so attention to detail is very important. I have also heard of people using a mechanical pencil, however, I have not tried this method myself.
Prepare your fabric as directed above. If you are using a permanent marker, you can iron the interfacing on after you are done tracing. If you are using a washable pen, you must iron on your interfacing BEFORE you trace. If you iron on your washable ink tracing, the iron will heat set the ink and it will not longer be washable.
Set up your transfer station in a comfortable and well lit spot. Washi tape is a great for taping your pattern to the window (tracing side up) and then taping your fabric over that. It is important that your fabric does not move as you trace, so tape generously! Make sure you can see the pattern though the fabric as well. Simply trace away and take breaks often!
To create your pattern with transfer paper, prepare your fabric according to the directions in the Heat Transfer section. With your interfacing fused to your pattern, use washi tape to tape them to a hard surface. Next you layer your transfer paper and then embroidery pattern with the tracing side facing up.
Again, it is important that your pattern does not shift during tracing, so grab that washi tap! I prefer to use a ball point pen to copy the letters. The firm pressure of the pen will create a transfer of the image onto the fabric.
There are many brands of transfer paper on the market. Saral is a great brand that I prefer to use. It comes in a variety of colors. The white works perfectly if you want your pattern on a darker color fabric. The transfer also washes out of fabric.