I took my machine to the shop tonight, and luckily the talented and kind lady that works there took pity upon me and fixed her on the spot with no charge.
My Bernina has a rotary hook bobbin case, and apparently the teeny tiny little screw (one of them) had fallen out during my shirring fiasco. That was what was causing all the noise. Oh, that and the fact that I DON'T OIL MY MACHINE ENOUGH and the lady was talking in baby talk "oh, is she thirsty? she's so thirsty!" It was kind of weird. Buuuuut, when they're fixing my mistakes for free, I just smile and nod and promise to oil the machine more often.
Which is kind of funny because for the first twenty-five years of my sewing life I never oiled a machine once. And now I need to do it almost every day according to her.
But it does sound better and is forming real stitches again, so all is good with the world. I'm back in the game, baby! I hope to start my vintage pattern contest entry tomorrow, if all goes right and there are no more catastrophes like me ruining my sewing machine or losing another Blackberry. No, those foibles were from the past. My future is looking really good.