Got my sewing machine back today after trekking halfway across the county... The good news is that they didn't charge me anything and that it's now nice and clean inside. The (not precisely bad) other news is that there was nothing wrong with it. Get this - the foot pedal has a switch on it that changes it from high speed to low speed. On the low speed, it's a lot noisier than on the high speed. Now, before you assume I should have read the manual and would thereby know this already I do have a good excuse (and it's not that I'm secretly male and therefore incapable of reading manuals!) - when I bought the machine, I got the wrong manual. I sent it back and they were supposed to send me the right manual, but they never did. I finally decided I couldn't be bothered to chase them up on it (after I did it once and got no reply) - and to buy one directly from Janome cost over five quid, plus postage, so I was too annoyed to get one that way.
So anyway, I have a nice clean machine which works and a manual which is almost right for the machine (I had the shop give me one - they don't have precisely the right one, but it's nearly the same machine - we'll see how that goes!). And actually, it's nice to know about the speed on the foot pedal, as that will be really good for when the girls use the machine.
So once I got the machine back, I decided to do a little sewing - I made a bunch of these batik four patches, which use 3 inch squares - they all came out of my batik scrap bin. They will be the centres for a batik framed four patch block for a swap on quilting.about.com. I love batiks and I knew I could do this swap from stash, and a lot of it just from scraps, so I couldn't resist.