There are thousands upon thousands of envelopes used every day, for business and personal use and a vast array of envelopes of every colour and size.  They’ve certainly come a long way since they were first used as earliest records say that the Ancient Chinese and the Babylonian’s used clay to protect messages. Around 2,000 BC the Chinese began to use crude hand-made paper to wrap gifts of money and wealthy Japanese men used the same method to send gifts to relatives after a death in the family.

In Medieval times an extra piece of paper was used to fold around the message and sealed with wax using the seal or a ring belonging to the writer. Since the Industrial revolution other inventions and techniques have brought us to what we use today.

I don’t know about you but, when I look for a celebration card, the envelope can be just as appealing as the card itself. If I receive a card in an special envelope I sometimes keep it to recycle and use in another way; and the card too! Anyone who has managed a playgroup/pre-school many years when we had to rely on donations will know where I’m coming from – we’ve been thinking ‘What can I make with this?’ and recycling everything ever since! I even wrap our quilt group Secret Santa gift in fabric – I suppose now I’ll have to up my game and make a fabric envelope for this! . Perhaps when I get time I will write a pattern for it too.

So, I wanted to make this special ENVELOPE block for our Celebrations Blog Hop #CBH2021 and here it is. I hope you have as much making it as I did.

There is a complementary pattern, and it should be available soon in the merchandise.

 Unfinished size 12½” (Finished 12”)

You will need

Background Fabric 1 Fat quarter for pieces A, F, G, H

Dark Fabric 7” x 10” for pieces B, D, E

Contrasting Fabric 3¾” square for piece C

Cutting instructions


Making the Envelope Block

Make a Half Square Triangle (HST) using one (B) Red and one (A) Grey 5” x 5” square.

Draw a diagonal line on the wrong side of grey fabric.

Place the red and grey square, right sides together.

Sew ¼” away from centre line on either side. Cut along the drawn line.

PRESS, this will give you 2 HSTs.

Trim to 4½” square.

Make one more HST block using the same method – this will give you 4 HSTs, but you will only need to use 3 of these.

Place piece D to the LH side of piece C (Contrasting 3¾” square of fabric) RS together. Sew using a ¼” seam. PRESS.

Next, sew piece E (1¼” x 4½” Red strip) to the top of Contrasting square C using a ¼” seam. PRESS.

Sew together 3 HST units and the Contrasting square as shown below. PRESS.

This envelope block should measure 8½” square.

Using pieces F (1” x 8½” strips) sew to either side of your centre block using a ¼” seam. PRESS.

Using pieces G (1” x 9½” strips) sew to the top and bottom of your centre block using a ¼” seam. PRESS.

This should now measure 9½” x 9½” square.

Using piece H (9½” square background GREY fabric) and the centre block, place RS together and sew ¼” away from the edge all the way round.

Draw a line across both diagonals using either chalk, pencil or erasable ink.

Pull the GREY square away from the ‘envelope’ square and carefully snip along the diagonal lines to each corner. Pull the flaps back and PRESS open.

It should now measure 12½” square.  Here is your finished block, doesn’t it look fabulous? Why not have a go yourself? I’d love to see what your blocks so head over to Twitter @quiltsewgo or Instagram: quiltsewgo and share them with me. 

Happy sewing everyone.

Carol L