Sewing Machine Setup for Machine Appliqué
Make certain your machine is clean and in good working order.
Install a new size 60/8, 70/10, 75/11, or 80/12 sharp embroidery needle in your machine.
Wind a bobbin with cotton 60-weight embroidery thread or bobbin-fill thread.
Thread the needle with matching or complementary-color cotton 60-weight embroidery thread.
Set your machine for a zigzag stitch with a width between 1 and 3.5 millimeters (about 1/8" wide) and a stitch length between .5 and 1 millimeter. (Larger pieces can accommodate a wider, denser appliqué stitch than smaller appliqué shapes can.)
If possible, set your machine in the "needle down" position, and turn down the speed.
When stitching, use a stabilizer behind the appliqué foundation to prevent puckering.
Position the presser foot so that the left swing of the needle is on the appliqué and the right swing of the needle is just on the outer edge of the appliqué, grazing the appliqué foundation.
Begin stitching on a curve or straight edge, not at an inner or outer point.