free motion quilting · Free Quilt Pattern · Gridsters

Tiny Envelope & More Blocks

Gridsters January 2020

It all started, this idea of Tiny Envelopes, when a) I came down with a bad cold and everything I’d ever done in the world seemed lame and stupid, and b) Carol, our Gridster Queen Bee for January had us all make wee televisions for our signature blocks, in order to match up the larger block of Lori Holt’s vintage TV.

Okay, maybe I exaggerate on the first reason, but this is my THIRD cold of the season, and I am sick and tired of being sick-and-tired.  And I live in sunny Southern California, and no one ever feels sorry for you in the winter.

Then, last night, when the cold and sniffles had interrupted my sleep and I lay there, pondering this (can you tell I’ve been watching Jane Austin’s Sanditon on PBS, where they belabor every point, and examine everything to the point of madness?), following in Carol’s footsteps seemed the way to go.

Tiny Envelope

This little 6″ finished block will be my signature block for when it’s my turn, which is coming right up next month.  Last fall I spent many hours making a variety of my chosen bee block in my quilt program, in preparation for my turn at Queen Bee.

And it was that, which all of a sudden seemed so inane.  So last night this made perfect sense.

Tiny Envelope Illustration

So here are my instructions for making Tiny Envelope blocks, in downloadable PDF form (it’s slightly different than the illustration above):

Tiny Envelope Flier

(The usual caveats apply: don’t download for classes, parties, or your best friend.  Please send them here to this blog to get their own copy.)

Here are a slew of pictures to go along with the Tiny Envelope blocks flier:


All the bits.


I sewed one slender envelope strip on one side, trimmed it; then repeated the process.  Press.


Now take that square that you cut in half and sew to one side, letting the tip of one side of the triangle extend 1/4″ past the edge.  The other side will really extend.  (Pay this no mind.)


Sew the other side on.  You can see the 1/4″ bit of the tip extending on the upper left side. Thankfully, it does the same on the bottom.  Stitch, trimming off that excess first triangle.


Now for the background.  Same idea.  Look for 1/4″ on the lower right edge, and let the rest of the triangle flow off the top.


Sew the other triangle on.  Trim and press.


The sides were bugging me.  I laid a 4″ ruler, so that the 45-degree angles matched up perfectly with my inner envelope, and trimmed both sides.


I sewed on the strips for both sides, then evened up the top, too.


Lower strip is on.  True the whole thing up to 6″ square, or leave it for me to do when you send it.  Either is fine.  And also for my Gridsters, use a background that is lively (no low-volume stuff), but that still reads “light,” like this one.  The envelope part will match the color of your eventual choice next week.  Like that makes any sense, but soon it will.  The rest of you can just make fun little envelope blocks.

In other news blocks…


My friend Simone designs new and interesting blocks for our chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild.  This is the Tri-Ball block that’s coming up to submit to the March drawing.  I really love this one!

Extra HSTs from Tri-Ball

Snowball Triangle Example

Since this has some snowball corners, if you double-sew that seam 1/2″ apart, then cut in between the two lines of stitching, you can get some fun HSTs.

Orange Fields HSH

I’m also re-writing, re-freshing my Home, Sweet Home pattern, and changed up some of the construction techniques, so I made up a new version.  I call this my Orange Grove Houses, especially now that its January and all the citrus is popping out in Southern California!

Quilted My Small World

Lastly, before this cold hit, I was able to finish up the quilting on My Small World. It’s good to hit the pause button now and again, to enjoy the (here comes my Jane Austin voice) fruits of our labors, the blessing of our handiwork.

Now I’m going back to the bed to practice some fainting and work on handling those nasty spells that come over a Victorian woman.  But boy, do I love all the clothes they wear.  It’s worth watching that show, if only to catch a glimpse of Miss Heywood’s dress with the pineapple sleeve caps!


Happy Quilting!

20 thoughts on “Tiny Envelope & More Blocks

  1. 3 things: Your envelope block is cute and clever! Your carpenter star with the houses is genius! And your quilting is amazing on your “small world”! Great inspiration! Thank you!

  2. Love your little envelope block! Thank you for sharing it with those of us that aren’t in the swap. I may have to make one or a dozen to try out the pattern.

    I’m with you on the colds. I am still fighting with one that started Christmas day. The darned cough just won’t go away! Hope you are better quickly.

  3. What a fun post to read this morning. I am excited to make the envelope signature block, but will wait for block instructions to choose colors. (Is it coming next week-January went too fast!) I didn’r realize your small world quilt was as large as it looks in the photo.

  4. The Influenza B has hit hard here with nasty coughs and fevers. I’m so ready for warmer, dryer temps to get rid of all these bugs. I hope you feel better for Road.

    Cute little signature block. They would make a cute quilt with novelty fabrics on the “inside” too.

    Your blocks for Simone are interesting. I’d like to see them in a quilt.

    Love your Small World quilting. Way to go on it!

  5. Hopefully a third cold will be the last cold for you. This envelope block is adorable – thinking it would also be perfect for a greeting card to send special greetings to family and friends. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  6. Your My Small World makes me happy. I own the pattern, but it may become a part of my Archive of 21st Century Quilting Design Collection that I will donate to a university someday with all pieces in pristine condition. I am simultaneously conducting a purchase award program I call the Initiative to Support Innovative But Time-consuming Quilt Design. That’s a pretty active program recently.

  7. I’m sorry to hear about your cold…your THIRD cold no less!!! I hope taking to your bed aids a speedy recovery! I love both the envelope block and your television ones too! The envelope is a great idea for a signature block and perfect for Gridsters! Thanks for sharing your expertise in your time of recuperation! Take care. S

  8. Love the envelope– it would be so cute for a Valentine theme! Also loving Sanditon– I actually read the unfinished manuscript years ago when I had devoured all of her other books. xoxo

  9. Love the envelope signature block idea. It’s perfect in so many ways. Sure hope you get back to full health with no more colds for the season.

  10. Your Orange Grove Houses is so bright and sunny. I haven’t heard of the Jane Austen show – will have to check that out. Hope this cold will be your last of the season! I’ve only had one in a year, feeling lucky (knock on wood).

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