I pinned it out on some cardboard (so it wouldn't distort the overall shape), and proceeded to "melt" away what I could with the heat gun.
Oops, you can see I got a little carried away and burnt the fabric in a few spots.
...and voila !
So, some things I learned:
1. As you can see, the open patterns made a bolder design when melted.
2. Connected lines did better when melted too...because there was a place to "cling" as it shrank. (See how the dots and Xs look a bit messy?) (Plus they were very tedious to snip after freemotioning...no fun.)
3. The more detailed stitching on the front made the pattern to dense to melt away.
4. I like using the heat gun. :)\
5. It is hard to dig out stitches with the seam ripper on craft felt.
6. I do like the texture, and the "skeleton" feel of it.
7. Next time I might just omit the linen and stack 2 different colors of craft felt with the same color thread in top and bobbin. With a piece of fabric somewhere...but not the whole background...