I was free motion quilting yesterday on my new Janome Horizon, and noticed dust on the clear plastic foot that I had on it, and decided to sweep it away with my right finger as I sewed. A terrible moment as the machine jarred and grrrd and I sewed right through the side of my finger. I managed to turn the machine off with my left hand by reaching across, all the time realising that the machine would just keep grinding away as the needle was out of alignment now and unless one instantly turns it off the needle will grind down and break off. I then wound the needle back up with the winder on the right hand end and removed it from my finger. Luckily it had missed the fingernail however it had driven the needle right through my finger and out the other side. Apart from feeling green for a while and stopping the bleeding I have survived.
The lesson of the story, it is just so easy to lose concentration for that one split second and do something utterly stupid like I did. Always turn your machine off before attempting to clean a foot, change a needle etc will now be my new motto!!!