Do you Railroad your stitches so they lie flatter on your fabric? This is a technique I learned years ago and it really makes a difference in what your finished work looks like.
I know that if I want to enter a project into a craft fair this is one of things the Stitching Judges look for.
Once you get used to railroading, it becomes a habit and your project looks so much nicer and I railroad each stitch not just the top stitch.
It is hard to explain how to railroad so here is a link.
Here is a link that might be useful: Railroading