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

White Chicken Chili | Chopping Block Quilts

Brought to you by the letter “G”

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “G” for Green!  It has nothing to do with quilting, this is one is all about green foods!

Ever buy a bunch of celery at the grocery store to have it go limp a day later? Super frustrating. Thankfully there is an easy and (relatively) quick fix.

Sad Celery | Chopping Block Quilts

Sad Celery

Celery is a vegetable that loved boggy/swampy conditions and has a high water content. When it slumps over it’s due to a loss of water. To fix this you simply need to cut off the bottom of the stalks (about an inch) and place in a glass of water.

Happy Celery | Chopping Block Quilts

Happy, re-hydrated celery

After a few hours they perk right back up.  I then store my celery in a tupperware with a few paper towels in the fridge.  This keeps them nice and hydrated and will last me the rest of the week while I use them up.  One of my instagram friends (@kringelb) also said this trick works with sad carrots.

What is celery good for? Well it’s an essential ingredient in my White Chili. Funny it’s called white chili when most of the ingredients are also green.  I cannot take total credit for this recipe. I picked it up in Trader Joe’s many many years ago.  It has become one of those meals I can make on auto-pilot and I usually have the ingredients on hand. Italics are the substitutes I make here in Costa Rica.

White Chicken Chili

1 can chicken broth 1 cup chicken bullion season in warm water
2 cans cannellini beans (drained) Substitute other white beans or garbanzos
1 jar salsa verde (any brand, watch the heat rating)
1 bag frozen corn 1 can of corn
1 pkg (~1lb) ground chicken or turkey Cooked shredded chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 yellow or white onion (or 1 onion if you like them) chopped
2-3 garlic cloves (depending on what you like)
2-3 celery stalks chopped
2 poblano peppers seeded & chopped 1 jalapeno without seeds
Cumin, salt, pepper to season to taste (aka SPC or Lilly, Marshall and Ted)
Shredded Chicken | Chopping Block Quilts

Kitchen Aid Mixer: Preferred method to shred chicken

  • Saute onions and garlic. Add ground chicken & season w/ salt, pepper & cumin. Strain grease.
  • Add chopped celery and peppers, cook for few minutes to get juices from celery
  • Add beans, salsa verde, corn, broth and seasonings. I usually fill half the empty salsa verde jar with the broth or water & shake to get extra salsa out of the jar.
  • Season again with SPC to taste.
  • Simmer. The longer the better. This tastes amazing the next day.
Top with any combination of the following (or all):

Diced Avocado
Cheese (pepper jack or monterey or cheddar or your favorite)
Sour Cream
Tortilla chips (or corn tortillas baked crispy)

White Chicken Chili | Chopping Block Quilts

White Chicken Chili with ALL the toppings 😀

For the final green food I present Spicy Guacahummus. This is a great snack food, is awesome on sammiches, and great as a mayo substitute in tuna salad.

Spicy Guacahummus

1 can garbanzos (drain and reserve juice)
1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into chunks
1 ripe avocado
3-4 garlic cloves
2 limes, juiced
Handful of Cilantro

  • In a blender combine garbanzos, jalapeno, avocado, garlic cloves, cilantro, lime juice, and a few tablespoons of EVOO the reserved garbanzo juice.
  • Add salt, pepper and cumin to liking. Blend. If mixture is too thick, add a little more of the garbanzo juice and blend until desired consistency is achieved.

Serve with home-baked whole wheat pita chips or put on your favorite sammich. I have no idea how long Guacahummus will last in the fridge as it usually disappears within 24 hours.

Guacahummus | Chopping Block Quilts

Guacahummus and Whole Wheat Pita Chips

Buen Provecho!


Yuma QAL Sardinia Finished Flimsy

I’ve been a bit MIA lately, but that’s only because I’ve been rushing to finish my Yuma QAL top.

I decided to enlarge the original pattern from a 64″ x 64″ to a queen size quilt. Using EQ7 I recreated the design, extended the rows, and added a few additional ones.The finished flimsy comes in at 90″ x 88″.

There have been a few lessons I’ve learned while working on this top.

#1- Measure twice, cut once but read the directions THREE times (or more).  Originally I planned on using a yellow for the top but the fabric I had did not play well with the chartreuse in the prints. After a trip to the local fabric shop (a topic for another post), the only fabric they had that went with my selected (and cut) prints was a mushroom grey-brown solid.

Prints cut and ready to go. Sardinia by Jessica Swift for Blend Fabrics.

Prints cut and ready to go. Sardinia by Jessica Swift for Blend Fabrics.

I did not pay close enough attention to the instructions when it came to cutting background fabric and ended up needing to purchase more of the mushroom solid. At least I have more scraps to play with for the backing.

Scraps to play with for the back

Scraps to play with for the back

#2- Make a plan and stick to it.  There are some fabrics that are not placed in my preferred symmetrical(ish) manner. This is because I made a plan, changed the plan, did not print out said plan, and did not double check the layout on my “design bed”.

Laying out the pieces on my

Laying out the pieces on my “design bed”

#3 Pin, pin, pin. When sewing triangles, it’s important points line up and don’t shift. After this quilt, I am totally seeing the value in the Marti Michelle’s corner trimmers and really want one now. Perhaps something to get when I visit the states in October…

The Good, the bad and the ugly pieced points

The Good, the bad and the ugly pieced points

Overall, I am happy with the finished top and excited to start piecing the back. I have a few ideas and feel free to play since it will be more of a secondary top. As for the quilting, I have a few ideas but need to let them marinate. I will be quilting the whole thing on my domestic Singer and this is by far the largest quilt I will attempt. I need to get my courage up.

Finished Queen Size Yuma Flimsy

Finished Queen Size Yuma Flimsy

Flimsy on a Queen Size Bed

Flimsy on a Queen Size Bed

Before I do all that, I am jumping over to the Meadow Mystery QAL and piecing some no-waste flying geese (a new technique I have been wanting to try).

To end on a positive note, Dora wants to remind everyone to take time and smell the (tropical) flowers.

IsaDora Paulina Gozer Sombra | Chopping Block Quilts

Carrie @ Chopping Block Quilts

Linking up like crazy to:
WIP’s Be Gone @ A Quilting Reader’s Garden
Fabric Frenzy Friday @ Forth Worth Fabric Studio
Can I get a Whoop Whoop? @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Needle & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation
Show & Tell Tuesday @ I Have to Say