Machine embroidery is a craft that definitely takes some practice to learn in order to get reliable results from your machine every time.

Disasters happen just like they do with any other type of sewing and like those other types, there are fixes you can use to remedy those disasters.

Whether you’re working on a machine like the Janome Memory Craft 12000 machine or you have a professional model, it’s all the same.

Check the things that more commonly cause embroidery disasters so you can work all the bugs out and finish with a beautifully stitched design.

Machine Maintained and Properly Set Up?

When your embroidery designs won’t come out right, stop everything and go back to the beginning.

Take your embroidery machine apart, clean it, oil it if necessary, then re-thread it and put on a new needle, one that will work for the fabric you’re using.

Then test everything on some scrap fabric and adjust thread tension if necessary.

Most stitching problems resolve pretty easily with a quick cleaning and machine reset like this, so don’t skip this step.

2. Using the Right Fabric, Thread, and Stabilizer for the Design?

Machine embroidery is easy to do as long as you use the right combination of material.

The fabric, thread, and stabilizer must all work together with the specific design you’re stitching to produce optimal results.

Make sure you’ve chosen an appropriate fabric for your design and that the stabilizer is the correct one for that fabric.

The needle you use must also work well for the fabric and the thread should be thick or thin enough to give the kind of fill needed for your fabric and design type.

Test it all out before you attempt your final design, trying different combinations until you get a good result.

3. Is There A Problem With the Digital Art?

When your embroidery machine is running well and the fabric, stabilizer, and thread are combining well, the last thing to check is the digital art itself.

A lot of things can go wrong with embroidery art, so you’ll have to troubleshoot this to narrow down the problem.

Look into these possibilities and then go as far back as necessary with the design or the machine to when everything was working correctly and investigate closer:

  • If you’re trying to embroider a design you’ve used before that’s worked fine, that suggests a problem with the machine itself, not the art; so go back and check the other things again.
  • If you’ve resized previously working art, this suggests there’s a problem with how much it was resized. Some designs only look good at certain sizes and shrinking or enlarging them too much can alter the way they look and how the machine stitches them.
  • If you’re creating your own art or have edited previously correct art in some other way, something from Point A to Point B is off. Merging designs, changing stitch patterns, mirroring, and details lost or gained can affect everything from stitch density and puckering to messy outlining, shifting, and more.
  • If it’s new art that you downloaded or purchased, the data could be either damaged or saved in a format that your machine doesn’t recognize. Double-check these possibilities by reviewing file formats, and re-downloading and/or going back to the source art to see if that’s the problem. 

4. Is the Machine Running Too Fast?

If you’re running into stitch quality or thread breakage issues, your embroidery machine may be turned up to stitch too fast.

Try slowing the machine down, especially if you’re using metallic or specialty thread as sometimes that can do the trick.

Only So Many Things Can Go Wrong

As complex as stitching problems with your Janome embroidery machine might seem, there are only so many things that can go wrong.

Fortunately, most problems are caused by simple things like poor thread tension that you can fix with a re-thread or incorrect choice of stabilizer or needle with your fabric and design.

Art issues might take a bit more effort to figure out, but as long as you remember to backtrack to the point that everything was working to pinpoint the problem, you should be able to make whatever adjustment is needed to move forward with your embroidery design!