Envelope Quilt tutorial

I've made this quilt twice now:

And have been asked several times for the tutorial ... so here it is:

Update ... the brown in the to quilt is Kona Coffee by Robert Kaufman (thanks for asking GoneAussieQuilter).

The quilt by the numbers:
The quilt is based on 5" squares, turned into half-square triangles (HSTs), which make 8" blocks.

You will want to start with a variety of prints and one solid color.

Each block is made from two solid 5" squares and 2 print 5" squares (the same print).

In the brown quilt above, all 4 prints were the same in each block.  In the white quilt, the HSTs that comprise the base of the envelope were the same print, and the reversed out HST (or the top of the envelope) was made from a different print.  Up to you on which you prefer.

As each block is comprised of 4 squares (2 print and 2 solid), you can calculate how many squares, and therefore how much fabric you will need, by simply counting the number of blocks you intend to use and multiply that number by 2.

Example:  A quilt that is 6 blocks wide x 8 blocks tall would be 48 blocks in total (and yield a quilt ~48" x 64").  Doing the math, you would need 48 x 2 = 96 print squares and 48 x 2 = 96 solid squares.

Making the blocks:
First ... chain stitching the squares to make half-square triangles:

Mark the squares from corner to corner (I choose to mark the solids)
Sandwich it with the print square (right sides together) and then stitch 1/4" on either side of the line
Your square will look like this 
I chain stitch a number of these squares together, clip and then chain stitch again in the other direction.  This saves a lot of time in the creation of the blocks.
Cut down the line (between the two stitched lines) 
Press the seams open and arrange the 4 HST like this
Sew together at seams to create this block
Each finished block measures 8.5" and is comprised of 2 print squares and 2 solid squares.

As you can see from my two quilts at the beginning of this post, I laid them out so the 'top of the envelope' points one direction in one row and the in the other direction for the next row.

Here's a couple of different options:

Top of envelope left to right, varied by row

All envelop tops pointing to the left
Alternating envelope top by column
As you can see, there are a variety of different patterns that you can make.  Mine are most symmetrical because ... well ... that's me.  But you could also use a random pattern as well.
My newest version -- putting all the envelop tops in the same direction
Let me know if you have any questions.

Hope my US & UK friends are having a great long weekend.  I am looking forward to getting a little running in.

All the best


  1. Now don't forget your UK friends...we're having a long weekend too as tomorrow is a bank holiday!!!!

  2. It's a great quilt, thanks for taking the time to put together this tutorial!

  3. Hooray!!! Thanks for this tutorial, Lisa! I can't wait to make this one. I'm working on my second quilt by the "five plus one square block quilt" - it's a great pattern and I'm sure this one will be too!!

  4. Thank you Lisa - this is a great quilt, and I am already pulling fabrics in my head!

  5. Thanks for a great tutorial, Lisa! I love this quilt :)

  6. Thanks for sharing! I love HSTs and this quilt looks so happy. It's always good news when you get a pretty envelope addressed to you in the mail :)

  7. I really like the tutorial. I'm planning on making this quilt. thanks for sharing. Evita

  8. Visiting from Sarah's blog today! What a cool quilt! I'm old school enough to remember sending a lot of letters before the days of email, and I still love pretty envelopes, even if in a quilt! Thanks for the tutorial. Definitely bookmarking this one!

  9. Awesome quilt! Can I ask you what solid you paired with those fabrics? They work perfectly with the Momo...

  10. Another great tutorial! I am definitely going to try this one this weekend. Thanks for all the great pictures, makes the work go easier.

  11. This is such an unusual quilt I just love it. You should submit it to the Moda Bake Shop!


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