I did machine embroidery for a living for quite a number of years. My experience has been with the "professional" machines which run fifty million times faster than the home sew kind, but I agree with the stabilizer comment shared. There are tear away kinds, when you don't wish the bulk behind, or like when doing the towels. Leaves a cleaner backside
There is also a water soluable topping available. It is clear plastic-y stuff that is good when embroidering on fleece or anything with a "pile" like fur, corduroy, etc. You just press it in the hoop with the fabric, or you can pin it over the top, too. Once you start stitching, you can remove the pins. It is sticky when you first start to wash it out. Often a wet toothbrush helps to release it from the design. For like doing Christmas stocking tops, where you don't wish to wash the whole item. It rips away from most of the design before you start to wet things.
A good pair of cuticle scissors comes in handy for snipping the "contact" threads. Those places where the needle skips over to do another part of the design. It is sometimes good to snip those as you go, before you change to the next color, so they don't get caught up underneath the next color of the design. It just depends on what you plan to do with it, i.e the style of the design. Sometimes they will be hidden, and you can skip that step.
And don't forget that there is Frey Check..a product to seal the thread end tails. That does wonders for making sure your design does not unravel. And I can't stress enough to use quality threads. It will ease any further frustrations.
And yes, you will have mishaps with projects. It is a good idea when trying a new design to make a test piece. Those you can always turn into patches for a tote, or something else. Try to test on a fabric similar to what you plan to be using the design on. I had an apron at work that I used to test out the new designs with. It was beautiful and colorful. I gave it to a friend.
Enough of my ramblings here. I can't wait to see what you moth ball collectors come up with this next year!