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You need to use a darning presser foot--there are several designs of darning feet made by Bernina or generic brands (be sure the generic model has the appropriate attachment for your particular Bernina). You can find metal or plastic, clear or solid foot, open or closed toe, spring-loaded hopper or not, etc. Drop the feed dogs. If it is thinner fabric (lighter weight than denim), it sometimes helps to put the fabric in an embroidery hoop (upside down with the fabric next to the needle plate). If the hole is small, you can use the little hoop that should have been included in your Bernina accessory kit. Then you manually move the fabric back & forth, up & down under the presser foot while stitching.
Bernina has feet that are specific to their machines only. They have old and new style feet depending when the machine was made. You cannot put generic low, high, slant or snap on feet on a Bernina sewing machine.
Something with in your machine seems to be shorting out. Since it is many years old I suspect you have wires that the insuation is rotten and making a short. I have seen this before. Should get it repaired if it's worth it. You could be shocked or hurt.
Be sure that you regularly clean and oil your Bernina. If not oiled regularly, the old oil turns to varnish and actually freezes the parts. Some people believe something is wrong with the motor or foot control, when really it just needs some TLC to keep it running smoothly.
May be one of several issues--depends on the model Bernina. Could be a problem with the foot control. I had to replace a carbon brush in the foot control of my 930. (A new foot control could cost over $160!)
Repair Bernina Type 290 Foot Control Pedal http://sewing.patternreview.com/SewingDiscussions/topic/92721 https://tv-sewingcenter.com/bernina/bernina-830-fire-hazard Sewing Foot Control Replacement
Or some machines (mostly older models, ie 830 Records) have carbon brushes on the motor that wear with age. Once they've worn down, they no longer make constant contact giving you the "intermittent" issue. I've replaced carbon brushes on some older Berninas--usually found somewhere around the motor (look for a screw or knob on the motor). You can buy replacements a lot of places. I've purchased them on eBay.
Not sure. It could be something to do with the foot control, power cord, or the motor. Does the light come on? If so, it's probably not the power cord. If you have access to another foot control and power cord, that is an easy way to test. Otherwise, might be best to take it to a Bernina technician.