Having bought my Janome 15000 last October I was offered a free training day on it from Janome. I always take up such offers. There is always something new to learn even if you have sewn all your life, though I do try to wait at least 6 months from buying a machine so I can get to know it and understand what I need help with.
There was a downside to this offer. There is only one Janome training centre in UK and that’s in Stockport. This is 236 miles away from me and there is no way I could have travelled there, had my training day, and travelled back in one day so I had to stay over night. This proved a nightmare.
I stayed at a traditional B&B place about 5 miles away from the centre. My room was cold – the radiators were barely on – the water was tepid and they must have had the lowest power lightbulbs possible in the room. I could hardly see anything! I actually slept with an outdoor fleece on and my hat as I was so cold.
At about 6.30 am a car alarm went off – 3 times – so I wasn’t late for breakfast! Again another disaster – boot leather bacon, barely toasted bread and warm milk on stale corn flakes. When checking out they charged me £5 over what they had quoted and tried to take the full amount even though I had paid a £10 deposit. They sent me an email to write a review. I wrote an honest one and got a really rude email back from the supposed ‘manager’. This did not surprize me given the level of customer service.
I would not advise anyone to stay at Oakfield Lodge in Marple.
It took about an hour to travel the 5 miles from the B&B to the centre during the rush hour, though it was fairly easy to find. Here is what it looks like –
There were only 3 of us on the course and Ann White welcomed us into the training room and introduced us to our machines for the day. They all looked familiar of course – mine was the Janome 15000v1 (it had the blue bit under the screen) though it had been up graded to v2 and it worked beautifully.
The training room was very pleasant with lots of light – though we had to close the blinds a bit and turn off some lights as we couldn’t see the details on the screen. Ann was projecting images of what she was doing on her machine so we could follow along. You can see this in this photo.
Here we are at our buffet lunch break. Still talking sewing of course. Ann is the one at the front. She knew everything there was to know about how to use the machine. The project for the day was to make an iPad cover, but it can also be used for other tablets or to cover a book for example. There were lots of different techniques introduced using lots of different feet and though I had already experimented with the things described it was good to know I was doing things right!
Ann is a great teacher and listened to and answered all our questions – or demonstrated and give advice on anything we asked. We all wanted to try out the Acufil quilting using the computer program, transferring it to the machine, hooping the stabilizer and fabric and stitching it all out.
There wasn’t time to finish the project, so that is on my agenda to complete over the next month or so – and will be another post for you!
The training room itself was inspirational – there were so many ideas and items on the wall, and several books of examples that had been stitched out. I could have spent several hours just looking through them and seeing what someones imagination, in conjunction with the machine, had produced.
Here are just a few photos of the things displayed. Click on them to zoom in.
We finished the day at about 4.30 pm (we had started around 10 am I think). I was so tired and really didn’t fancy the 5 hr trip back, but set off after setting the sat nav for home. I’m so glad I used it. Again I was travelling in the rush hour and had no idea where I was going in Stockport so just followed it blindly. All went well until I got to Birmingham where there was a traffic jam – it took me 45 mins to travel 5 miles at one point.
I had planned to stop for a rest but having been held up I decided to just carry on and get home. I arrived back at 9.30pm to lovely meal cooked by my husband and a wonderful glass of wine – I needed it. It took me a while to relax and recover – probably a few days, but I am really glad I made the effort.
I can’t fault Janome customer service. Every person I have ever had any contact with at Janome has been pleasant and customer focused but also concerned to help with any issues. What more can you ask from a sewing machine manufacturer.