Quilting the Groovy Quilt - And a Win :-)

Alyssa @ PileOFabric has been an awesome host hosting the Totally Groovy Quilt Along. I really enjoyed making the quilt. The curves was the big challenge for me and the tutorials provided by Emily Cier and Kate Conklin were very helpful. And guess what? I won the Raffle for the Totally Groovy Quilt Along. YAHOO!
I never win anything, so this was great! More fabrics to buy ;).

I want my Groovy quilt to be all about the Free motion quilting. Because its not that often I have solids/monochromatic prints in my quilts. So, I choose five different FMQ design for this quilt top. One for each color.
Groovy Quilt's FMQ designs

1. Coral - Flower design from Angela Walter's "Free Motion Quilting" book. I really had fun quilting this. But it took be 6 hours just to get through this color in my quilt. Imagine when I will be able to finish my quilt.

Angela's Flower FMQ design

2. Grey - Escargot from Leah Day's 365+ FMQ designs. She also teaches this @ her Craftsy class. Initially I wanted to quilt pebbles here. This was a fun variation of this. No thread or needle issues through this one. Yippee!
Leah's Escargot FMQ design

3. Raspberry - Angela's signature design from YouTube video. Boy this was tough since I didn't really practice doodling on paper. I always find a design easier if I had practiced it on paper before trying on the actually quilt. I guess its the muscle memory thing.
Swirls and Paisley design from Angela Walter
4. Boysenberry - I always wanted to quilt Angela's flowing feathers which you would have seen in many of her quilts. But this seems to be more for Long Arm quilter. I did have difficulty quilting this design especially maneuvering the quilt seemed really hard. And broke my needle at least 2 or 3 times. I am doing something wrong when I'm pulling the fabric towards me while free motion quilting.

Flowing Plume Feather and Swrils&Paisley FMQ designs

5. Pink - I choose another Angela's signature Quilting designs. I got started and my needle broke and I gave up for now.
Quilt Back

Have any of you had needle breaking issue? I use either 90/14(for 40wt thread) or 80/12(for #50wt thread) top-stitch needle from Superior threads. I bet these are some really high quality needles. But it keeps breaking for me every time I pick up my pace with FMQ. I am not so happy with the threading system in my Singer Stylist 9960 DSM either, wondering if the needle is breaking due to thread jamming or am I trying to tug too much :-(.

Someday I will get a new machine where my FMQ can go really smoothly with any thread or needle breaking issue. Just dreaming about it for now.

The most fun FMQ designs to quilt were the Flower and Escargot.
Meanwhile, still have another 20hours of quilting on this puppy.

Happy Quilting!


  1. Looks great so far.

    Honestly, I have more issues with Superior Thread needles breaking. I've stopped using them and I stopped having that problem.

  2. Congrats on the win! :-)

    Your quilting is turning out beautifully! I have had needle-break issues with FMQ but most often, it happens with hitting thick seams or going too fast, or just getting a dud needle to begin with. Obviously, your problem isn't the seams and based on the thread weight, I doubt it's that either. If it's really becoming a problem, try making some sandwiches and testing out if it's the design, the thread, the tension, or even the batting (some battings hate free-motion - don't ask me why…). It may be time for professional machine cleaning, too. Good luck!

  3. Your quilt is gorgeous! And I love the backing fabric! Awesome FMQ!!:) I never used Superior Threads needles. I use either Schmetz universal or microtex usually 80. I would try a different brand. If they still break, it's your machine, not the needles. You may have to take it in for maintenence. :(

  4. The only time needle breakage seem to happen for me is if I tug a bit too much and am going at a higher speed. I, too, have gone back to Schmetz needles. Superior just didn't seem to like my machine (JukiTL2010Q). Your FMQ is wonderful!!! And, yes, the denser the quilting the longer the time investment BUT the results in marvelous!!!!! That is going to be a fab finish!!!! Hugs, Doreen

  5. Wow - this is looking brilliant and when finished is going to be awesome! I use Schmetz 80/12 denim needles for quilting and rarely have a problem. The only couple of times I've broken a needle is moving the fabric too fast which causes the needle to bend and snap. You need to work at creating a balance between your machine's speed and the speed you move the quilt - only practice will get it right for your set up :)

  6. This is fantastic!!! I LOVE all the different patterns but your flowers are amazing and those escargot are so cute!!! I also use Schmetz needles and the only seem to break when I run over something (like my finger:-( Do you use a Supreme Slider? I find that helps stop me from pulling so much which also leads to breaks...

  7. I am a needle breaker and it's definitely my own fault :D, in the last 6 months since I started following various quilting sites I discovered most of my needle break issues are a hand and foot co-ordination problem for me. If I speed up the machine and don't speed up my hands I end up pulling the needle onto the needle plate and breaking it, look at your needle plate and see if you have any dings, even barely visible ones and you'll discover this is a likely contributor to the problem.
    I use Schmetz needles as well 80/12 or I get the Singer titanium quilters needles either in 80/11 pkgs or the variety pack. They are more expensive than Schmetz but I find they last longer and break much less often, I've pieced and quilted 2 quilts (twin size) on one needle before I had to change out. I can't comment on the superior needles since I have never used them, I didn't like superior thread on my Janome that much I do know :D (Wonderfil convert over here lol)

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  9. Your FMS is wonderful! Needle breaking is so frustrating! I recently had that problem and I was breaking Schmetz needles. It turned out to be a machine problem...those little dings that I didn't even see on my needle plate! My timing was also off so after a little visit to the machine man I haven't had the problem again. It turned out that a broken needle was also found somewhere in the workings of my machine! I love your Groovy Quilt!


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