1. Adhere the pieces to be stitched with Herma Removable adhesive. The sewing machine needle will go through this adhesive without any problems. Other adhesives that I have tried would gunk up the needle and cause the thread to break.
2. Use Singer Premium Ball Point Yellow Band Needles size 70/09. These seem to last a very long time before going dull.
3. Set your machine stitches to a stitch length and a size larger than what you normally sew fabric with. Paper is not forgiving like fabric so it is very easy to rip the paper or if the stitch is too close together it will cut the paper.
4. Tension may need to be loosened slightly. And the foot pressure may need to be slightly decreased so the paper can slide through under the foot easier. Every machine seems to be different.
5. Paper produces a lot of dust. Keep the bobbin area of your machine cleaned. I clean mine every time before I start stitching. Just blow the dust out or use the little brush that comes with your machine.
6. If you stitch over areas where you have inked, sometimes the ink rubs off on the foot of the machine and makes it very difficult to slide through. I use Undo to clean the needle, machine foot and the machine deck.
7. To stitch on PHOTOS, once the photo is adhered in place, lay a piece of vellum over the photo and stitch with a big stitch. Then just tear the vellum away once the stitching is complete. The vellum allows the machine to stitch smoothly. Otherwise the photo sticks to the machine foot and the stitching is uneven and sometimes you will break your machine needle.
*I also highly recommend that you only stitch on photos that you can replace, not originals, just incase you have a stitching disaster.*
8. Bring your end threads through to the back of the page and tie them off so the stitching doesn’t unravel.
9. Use Coats and Clark thread, Dual Duty Plus if it is still available at your stores or their newest Dual Duty XP All Purpose. Older thread with a higher cotton content seems to break. The higher polyester blends work best.
10. Go slow and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE before you really stitch on your layouts, paper is not forgiving like fabric, every mistake shows. And if you make a boo boo that can't be undone, just cover it up with some flowers or let it alone, most likely no one will notice except you!!