Thank you so much to Faye, Patsijean, Mary, Sarah, Mamafitz, Katherine, Carla, Gwen, Cindy and Summerset for talking back to my confession last week. Some of my TNT patterns are getting pretty worn, and I asked how others deal with this issue.
By far and away, tracing pre-printed patterns onto something else (so that the originals can be preserved) was the most popular solution, with 9 out of 10 people mentioning it.
The only other proposal was to reinforce the existing pattern with cheap, light weight interfacing - 2 people called that out.
And Katherine doesn't worry much about preserving patterns, because her motto is: "So many patterns, so little time..." ;)
The variety in the answers came on the topic of what to use for tracing.
The most commonly given option was some form of official tracing paper - such as Swedish tracing paper (2 votes), PatternEaseTM (1 vote) and pattern making paper (1 vote).
(Note how you can buy ANYTHING from amazon.com these days - pretty soon you'll be able to adopt an orphan or find a mail-order husband through that site...)
Two people also called out tissue paper. Sarah gave a bonus hint for using the tissue paper - she uses different colors to trace off different sizes of the same pattern, making it easy to keep the pieces organized.
On the slightly more unusual side, Cindy uses rolls of that medical exam paper that most of us are familiar with in a different capacity - sitting on in a doctor's office! And Patsijean uses 4 mill plastic sheeting that she gets from a local hardware store. She says she can get 10' x 100' rolls for about $42.
Thank you again to everyone who took the time and trouble to answer! I see some potential additions to my Christmas wish list in this post... ;)