Most Japanese craft books are written in... well, Japanese. I have been somewhat successful at following diagrams without the benefit of English text, but it is a struggle. Zakka Sewing 25 Japanese Projects for the Household by Therese Laskey + Chika Mori has been translated into English. The first project from the book that I chose to make is a basket to hold my clothespins. But after finishing it, I'm thinking... Easter basket, anyone?
1)dual feeder walking foot - It helps keep the fabric layers from shifting by advancing the upper layer in unison with the bottom layer. I have found it to be especially beneficial when sewing with cotton batting (i.e., Warm & Natural). 2)A light box for tracing is a useful craft room device. My Porta-Trace is equipped with a fold-out support for tilting which isn't essential but provides comfort. Also, for tracing, I recommend a fabric marking pen that has either washable or disappearing ink. 3)Pellon Stitch-N-Tear, which is available at Joanns, pinned or basted to the fabric's backside prevents puckering when embroidering especially on lightweight fabric. Carefully tear away the excess allowing some to remain directly behind the embroidery stitches. This will provide stability and camouflages the thread color and knots.
Note: In Japanese, zakka means "household goods," referring specifically to hand-sewn items for domestic use-tableware, kitchenware, containers of various kinds, even simple clothing.