I trace them onto dollar store table cloths (the plasticy kind) - they are lightweight enough to be real flexable, and wont rip at all. They have that weird white fuzzy sorta stuff on the back, so I dont even have to pin patterns, it 'sticks' to pretty much any type of fabric so you can just cut it out or trace it.
- I dont pin anything, just hold it as I go, it works most of the time - I sew on the floor with a toddler and a dog helping - There are bits of thread and pins all over the house - there are also bits of fabric from clipping corners all over the place - I dont iron anything either, I hate the iron, I just topstich if I need things to lay flatter.
I have that machine - its easy to use. The instructions arent too bad, if you look in the book on the part on embroidery, there is lots of pics that show you how to do it. You just put the embroidery foot on, put the big embroidery attachment thing on, pick your design and hopp the fabric, thread the machine and push a button and thats it.