Only had the binding and quilting the edges left to do... then my 21 year old White sewing machine made a few clunking noises and seized up with the needle stuck down in the fabric. It took some time and near panic to get it out. After taking the machine panels off, we found that one of the plastic gears (Plastic gears!) had too many teeth worn down and it could no longer engage the bobbin case.
It was only a $99 machine anyway and after years of sewing children's clothes, crafts, and even my daughter's prom gown, it owed me nothing.
The silver lining? DH told me to buy a new one, and to get a good one this time without plastic gears! Yahoo! So i've been reading all the topics here having to do with which features and machines are most appreciated. Got a lot of good advice from you all and I want to say thanks to all those who share such great stuff!