I got half way thru this quilt last week after many thread breaks and two broken needles.
The teacher finally decided that the needle was at fault and it did have a burr on the tip when we removed it. The needles we tried didn't improved the situation. So then she sent me off to her quilt shop across town to pick up more needles that were a different brand. This was a good thing as I was getting frustrated and needed a break. The new needle helped tremendously and I was able to finish with almost no problems, except a few skipped stitches. I was just glad to stop. This quilt pattern is a modified Fons & Porter design.