Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Napoleon’s Plan: 2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop

2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog HopThis project was very anxiety inducing for me. I tend to improv designs from inspiration photos and don’t follow patterns. Yet, I have never truly designed my own block, let alone written a tutorial for others.

The logistics of getting fabric to arrive in a timely manner in Costa Rica were impractical. A compromise was made; I worked from my own stash of solids and Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs was nice enough to sew my block (and give some feedback) by using the provided “Watermelon Summer” Prairie Cotton Solids from Fabri-Quilt that will be included in the final charity sampler quilts.

True to form, I did not design an original block; however, I modified the method used by another. Blossom Heart Quilts has a great tutorial for a paper pieced Houndstooth block. Being irrationally terrified of paper piecing and wanting to create a multi-color houndstooth block, I embraced Napoleon’s Battle Plan.

Napoleon’s Plan Houndstooth Block Tutorial
It’s a two part plan:
First- We sew up
Then- We see what happens

From 5 Fat Eighth colors cut:
2- 1.5″xWoF Strips
1- 3″xWoF Strip

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Cut 2- 1.5″ x WoF strips from each color

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

3″x WoF strip

Cut the 3″ strip into 3″ squares

Lay out the 1.5″strips in an order that has color combos that make you happy

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

My preferred color order/combinations

Take one strip from each color and shift down (or up if you prefer) to create new pairs.

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Shift 1 strip to create new pairs

Offset the strip ends by 1.5″

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Strips offset before sewing together

Sew strips together and press to the dark

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Strip pair sewn together

Using the 45° line on your ruler, cut triangles down the length of the sewn strips.

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Cut triangles down length of strip

You should get about 7 triangles total

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Cut down length of strip

Repeat for each combo of sewn strips

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

All combos cut and ready to go

To create your block layout, I found it easiest to work from the center diagonal out.

Working with pairs of triangles, the two small triangles will form the upper right corner of the “houndstooth” and two longer triangle sides will form the lower left “tails”

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

A design board or wall is helpful at this point

Once your layout is finalized, sew the 45° triangles on the long side (don’t worry this is not a bias edge) and trim to 3″square

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Trim down to 3″. Oh how I wish I had a bloc lock ruler!

In rows, sew the multi-colored squares to the solid squares and press to the solid square

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Press to the solid square

Sew the rows together, nesting the seams

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Nest the seams and press the rows to one side

Congrats! You have successfully executed Napoleon’s Plan!

Napoleon's Plan Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Final block measures 13″ square unfinished, 12.5″ square finished

Napoleon's Plan Houndstooth Block | Chopping Block Quilts

Finished block in Watermelon Summer colorway sewn by Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs

Now for the real fun stuff
I encourage you to check out my fellow bloggers from today and earlier this week. From 6 fabrics, these immensely creative people have designed 60 different blocks using a whole variety of techniques.

Today’s Host: Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
Hannah @Modern Magnolia Studio
Cindy @Stitchin At Home
Abby @Hashtag Quilt
Lisa @Sunlight in Winter Quilts
Carrie @Chopping Block Quilts
Brianna @The Iron and Needle
Tish @Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Jan @The Colorful Fabriholic
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Beth @Cooking Up Quilts
Leanne @Devoted Quilter
Liz @LizzyClips Design
Kim @Leland Ave Studios
Kitty @Night Quilter

Day 1 Monday Host: Quilting JetGirl
Day 2 Tuesday Host: Meadow Mist Designs
Day 4 Thursday Host: Childlike Fascination

One of my fellow bloggers, Jayne from Twiggy & Opal, has graciously created a Pinterest board of all the blocks from the four-day blog hop.

Inspired by Fabric (Fabri-Quilt) is giving away a 1/2 yard cut of EACH of the 6 Prairie Cloth Solids in the Watermelon Summer colorway.

Watermelon Summer | Prairie Cloth Solids | Fabri-Quilt

Turquoise, Chartreuse, Lapis Blue, Aqua, Coral, White

Visit Stephanie @Late Night Quilter and  Inspired by Fabric for two chances to win!

Oh and wondering what to do with those extras not used in the block? I turned them into quilted soft blocks for my baby niece.

Napoleon's Plan Soft Block | Chopping Block Quilts

I sewed up, this is what happened.

If you have any questions or need clarification on the block construction please let me know.

Thanks for stopping by!

Carrie @ Chopping Block Quilts


28 thoughts on “Napoleon’s Plan: 2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop

  1. I love something can have multiple ways of being constructed. Now we have options, paper piecing or regular piecing. Very cool that you were able to work with Cheryl. Great job on your block and tutorial!


  2. Wow!!! Your block looks so complex but you directions and photos made it very easy to understand. Nice job on coming up with a solution that you couldn’t control regarding the delivery of the fabric!


  3. Wow! I’m impressed that you didn’t let your hesitation about making your own block keep you from participating. I hope it was a fun, creative experience for you! And I’m so glad you and Cheryl were able to work out a solution. Thank you for being involved in the project.


  4. Your block turned out super cool! I was super anxious when designing mine too, for a while I didn’t like anything I was sketching, until I finally arrived on my block. It’s a process that I need to learn to enjoy for sure. It was also my first tutorial/pattern writing also. Great job!


  5. Karen says:

    WOW! This is an amazing block! I’m so grateful that you made the “Plan” clear to all of us. As a beginner, this will have to go on my “when I’ve got a few blocks under control” list, but it’s definitely going on. Congrats for the honor of being a part of this great Hop! (And those blocks are so precious 🙂


  6. Thankfully my fabric arrived in N Ireland in good time, mind you I still left it to the last minute to write up my block, and then my scheduling didn’t work, “went live” two hours late this morning. I love the cheeriness of your block, and the little blocks for your niece. I was thinking of making needle books with the offcuts. Love your blog name too!


  7. A girl after my own heart! I adore your quick method. Strip piecing then cutting is always my pick when possible. I’ve oggled this method for months, and just in the last week dove in with an unrelated project to try it out. It’s fast and effective, and I haven’t had to sacrifice the precision I thought would happen. Thanks for letting people in by showing your block with this method. Awesome!!


  8. Liz says:

    I love the way you worked from an inspiration point and made it your own. The multi-colour houndstooth is a lot of fun. I also appreciate your non-paper piecing directions, and that you managed to avoid those tricky bias edges is a nice bonus. Speaking of bonuses, the soft block you made from your scraps are adorable!


  9. Lisa says:

    Just back from vacation and checking out the other blocks. This one is great. I prefer regular piecing myself so I found this intriguing. Your instructions were great!


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