Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Post Quilt Blocks Internationally For Less

This post was originally written for the BeeInspired group. I thought I’d share it here as well.

Before signing up for two international bees where posting quilt blocks to the rest of the world is going to be a monthly activity I did some research into postage costs. Here’s what I found:

1.     Cost variation between parcels and letters is immense!
As you can see from the image below (taken from the Australia Post website) the starting cost for sending a parcel from Australia is $15.85!

Compare that with the price of letters – much better!

2.     Weight matters
That’s the weight of the contents not your personal weight – if you’re happy and healthy then have that slice of cake! As you can see keeping the weight under 50g gives the cheapest option and then there’s a big jump to the next cost scale.

3.     Variations occur across the various countries so check on your local postal websites. StashBee had some resources for US postal services that I’ve included here.


One of the variations I found was in the size limits for envelopes. In Australia our largest size is 26 x 36cm (10" x 14") with the maximum thickness being 20mm (just over ¾ inch). In the US the maximum size is just over 6" x 11 ½" and ¼" thick (US Postal Information on Letter Sizes). That’s still plenty of room for a quilt block though!


Stash Bee has two good articles on packing blocks for posting that I highly recommend reading

I packaged my block inside a zip lock bag. In the end I didn’t close the zip because it fills up with air and I wanted it to sit as flat as possible, and I taped the zip down and added a label with the address as suggested in the second Stash Bee post above.


And here’s what I included for my test run up to the post office (I ditched the crappy homemade gift card before posting the real block and replaced it with something of similar size but way better). When I weighed this on my scales at home it came in very close to 50g and I forgot to ask how much leeway was left, but rest assured that it came in under the weight limit. When I put 50g (0.05kg) into the US Postal Price Calculator it came up with a cost of $2.10 for posting to Australia which isn’t too bad!

Hope you find this helpful!

Monday, 9 January 2017


Well we made it into 2017 – hope your NYE was suitably celebratory – and even though all is not right with the world at least we don’t live in a totalitarian police state, censoring all cultural activity where the U.S. government pacifies the populace by broadcasting game shows where convicted criminals fight for their lives, as predicted in The Running Man.
Not usually being a person who has multiple projects on the go at once I haven’t joined the FAL before, this time I do have several projects in varying stages, not many, mind, but a few.



This one is due in February, I’ve made the blocks, sashed it, quilted it, it just needs a binding, and it will be done. This should be an easy quick finish. Here’s a sneak peek.

2.     I’m joining in the GARDEN SNAILS QUILT ALONG being held jointly on Instagram by @penandpaperpatterns and @gnomeangel. I’ve already made a few blocks, here’s a sneak peek of one that I made with the tail upside down *sigh*. 

     I’m thinking that I will turn these into a couple of mini quilts. I don’t know if they will get finished this quarter but here’s hoping!

3.     I’ve made a start on my PAY IT FORWARD CRAFT gifts and I need to get these done this quarter. There’s no photo for these since it’s secret sewing…

4.     SCRAP PROJECT/S I spent New Year’s Day sorting and re-organising my stash since it had gotten out of hand and the cupboard had become like the Bermuda Triangle. There was fabric in there, that I was positively 100 per cent sure was in there, that seemed to disappear without trace. (I also discovered that I’m down to my last ½ yard of solid white – I almost went into panic mode!) Since I’m in two bees this year I really needed to get things under control so I could find things fairly quickly. In the process of doing this I realised my scrap collection had outgrown its space and needed some serious culling before it becomes too overwhelming.

I’m still sorting through ideas but at this stage I’m thinking of making one large block per month with the aim of making a quilt top by the end of the year. On my short list is either a log cabin type block or a foundation pieced quarter circle block that will check one of my goals of learning to sew circles off my list as well.
I’m leaning towards the latter since it will be a no pressure project and make a good practice piece. I’ve seen one recently that is the inspiration for this idea but can’t seem to find it now. It’s similar to the Improv Fans quilt on this post from Stitched in Colour but not monochromatic.
I’m linking up with the new FAL hosts for 2017. Happy sewing!

  • Sarah - Sew me - Northern Ireland