Dear Jan,
I have a Janome 10001 and bought it maily to monogram items for my grandkids. My monograms are not coming out professional looking. There are skipped stitches and sometimes it does not cover up the outline stitch the machine makes before it starts the satin stitch. What can I do about this? -Yvette, Oklahoma City

Dear Yvette,

There are several factors which may be causing your unprofessional results such as:

You should slow the embroidery machine down when sewing small letters to reduce the heat caused by friction. The slower you go, the more time the thread has to dissipate heat before any point on the thread segment receives friction again. Also, making sure your machine's movements are in top condition helps ensure accuracy in stitch placement. A sloppy movement can cheat each stitch out of an extra millimeter of critical length.

If your machine hasn't been serviced in a while it may need a professional cleaning and the embroidery arm can be checked.

Of course, all the basics contribute to the success or failure of every embroidery job. You need to use the right size and point of needle, as well as the right backing. I prefer a self-adhesive stabilizer or an iron-on tear away as the fabric is adhered to the stabilizer and I always have perfect results.