If you've been sewing for any length of time you know how important it is to backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam to reinforce the stitches so they don't come undone. Well, here's a little tip to make your backstitch serve you well by preventing the machine from eating your fabric:
When you start a seam, place the fabric under the presser foot so that the needle is about a half an inch in from the back edge of the fabric, and backstitch to the edge of the fabric before stitching forward, rather than starting right at the edge.
By starting with the backstitch, your machine can grab and move the fabric because the feed dogs and presser foot are in full contact with the fabric. If the edge of the fabric is placed up against the presser foot to start, rather than being fully underneath it, the machine cannot move the fabric as easily, and the needle will often just "chew" at the edge and create a knotted ball inside the machine under the needle plate.