I was quilting a quilt yesterday, and my machine started skipping stitches. I also noticed that it seemed to vary in tension as it stitched. "Maybe it's the crappy backing I'm using." I thought. "Maybe it can't stitch over those busy intersections." I thought, although it has before. Then I attempted to apply the binding - straight stitching, no seams, and it started skipping worse. I changed the needle, I changed the thread, I oiled places that were squeaking. It would skip, and then stitch right over the same place.
I can hear it skip stitches. It sounds different. And it's worse. Finally it refused to sew a small section over and over. The nearest repair place is an hour away, and I don't have a regular repairman. AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHH!