Tu-Na Quilts: Catching up with the March Bee Blocks and the Continuing Postage Saga

I got a bit behind. Actually, I got a lot behind with making my Bee blocks. I had a family emergency earlier this spring which took me away from quilting and blogging. In fact, I was supposed to be the April Queen Bee for two of the Bees but I didn’t want to take the time to sew up a block and write a blog post. I asked for a volunteer in each of those Bees to take over my month. My hive mates were gracious and understanding. Two hive mates jumped right in and volunteered to post for April and I was assigned a month later this year. By the end of April, I was caught up with all the March and April (coming under a separate post) blocks.

8a

This block is called Checker. It went to Sherry in New Jersey.

Because it was already two weeks into April and this was supposed to have been mailed by the end of March, I decided to make two blocks.  To save on postage, I used a suggestion from one of my readers and wrapped each block in Saran Wrap instead of using a Ziploc bag. I also decided to send each block in its own envelope. It must have worked as each envelope went for 49 cents.

9a

Sherry chose orange and yellow half square triangles, gray rectangles with purple sashing. Yes these are purple. I think this block was 14.5″ square.

This was a fast block to sew. You can find the pattern for Checker here just in case you want to make some too. 

11a

This 14.5″ square block went to Shauna in Texas.

Next up were some star blocks. I made one in pink and the other in purple. Falling behind with making the Bee blocks was so easy to do. However, these star blocks were so fun to make that I made another one as payment for being late (more quilting interest). I packaged each in a separate envelope and they shipped for 49 cents each. Evidently they fit through a 1/4″ slot at the post office allowing them to ship at the regular first class rate.

12a

Shauna asked that we use either a bright pink or a bright purple for the star. I think this quilt is going to look great!

 

You can find the patterns for these star blocks here or here. I bet you can’t stop with making just two.

The last blocks for March went to Kate in England. I have to admit I was a bit scared to tackle these improv blocks. When I bake, I follow recipes very closely. When I sew, I follow the pattern instructions closely. However, improv blocks allow for creativity and freely cutting without exact dimensions. Eek!! My brain doesn’t do improv.

Kate, who blogs at Smiles from Kate, started her tutorial post with this:  “If you haven’t done any (improv blocks) before you don’t know what you have been missing and the great thing about a Bee is it takes you out of your comfort zone and you never know you may just find your perfect quilting technique.” It did take me out of my comfort zone. I think they came out very nice. I think this quilt is going to look smashing.

30a

These blocks were 15 1/2″ square.

 

You can find the pattern for these trees and gnomes on Kate’s blog post here or in the original post where she discovered them here.

35a

Kate asked that we make any number of gnomes and trees as long as there were one of each for a total of 6 per block. She says all the bee members made the same number: 4 trees and 2 gnomes (except for my extra block). My original plan was to make one block with 1 gnome and 5 trees and make the other block with 5 gnomes and 1 tree. Well, something happened as I made 7 trees instead of 6. Not wanting to have an orphan block, I adjusted the number of gnomes I needed and came up with this layout. Only after viewing the pictures, did I notice that I had put the gnomes and trees in the same positions in each block leaving the plain blocks in the same location. Talk about my not being able to think outside the box.

 

I carefully packaged each block and put them in separate envelopes. My husband and I discussed that they might be too thick to fit through the 1/4″ slot if the post office attendant brought it out to test them. In an effort to flatten them, we put a pile of heavy books on top. In the morning, they seemed even thicker than the night before. Sure enough, the envelopes were too thick and it would cost $3.23 per envelope. Upon further questioning we found out that we could save money if they were bundled together. So my husband, who had taken tape along with him to the post office, whipped out the tape and taped the envelopes together. This package now cost $4.16 saving us $2.30.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Sewing an improv block is hard for me to do. Now that I have tried it, I might make more.
  2. The end of the month comes very quickly.
  3. Going to the post office to mail the Bee blocks can be entertaining.
  4. Sometimes, I can’t think outside of the box.

Question: What blocks would you like to try but haven’t yet?

Linking to Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? and Finished or Not Friday. Buttons are on the sidebar.

I’ll be back in a few days with pics and info about the April Bee blocks, You’ll agree that the post is really for the birds.

Karen

Tu-Na Quilts

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22 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: Catching up with the March Bee Blocks and the Continuing Postage Saga

  1. sue7oaks

    Great blocks, Karen. I particularly like the star blocks and I have my eye on the Checker block as a possibility for the future. Can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!

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  2. kathy70

    I like all the blocks you shared today, but my favorite is the star block. I can already see that as a quilt with stars of every color scattered about. I am sure I would have several family members volunteer to be the caretaker of that quilt.

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  3. smilesfromkate

    I love the blocks you sent me Karen, they fit in the quilt perfectly. I hope you will feel confident to try more improv, I’m just a beginner myself but it is so much fun and what have you got to loose but fabric? A star block quilt is on my wishlist, I do like yours and I love the low volume background, although mine would be improv, maybe next year? (giggles)

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  4. Little Quiltsong

    You made beautiful blocks and so glad the postage worked out :)! Love, love the star block – I’m always looking for smaller quilts for children, and I think this one would be a special one (just using less blocks). Thank you for sharing the links!

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  5. rl2b2017

    Good Morning Karen,
    I love all the blocks you shared with us. I am not good at improv or random for that matter. Sometimes it is just too comfortable in the box to climb out . . . ~smile
    Roseanne

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  6. piecefulwendy

    I like all the blocks too, and you know I’m drawn to those improv blocks. I’m just itching to try a bit more improv, once I get my current projects completed. All the rules and whatnot of the post office boggle my mind. My mother was postmaster for years and I never realized until now all that she had to know in that job. Glad you were able to get it figured out. Can’t wait to see what Kate does with them!

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  7. Jayne

    You never know what life will bring you! How lucky to have understanding bee mates for just such occasions!I love the little trees and gnomes! Actually all your blocks. Congrats on getting caught up!

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  8. Kathleen McCormick

    Looks like you have “recuperated”. It is always important to pay attention to what we need to do, but sometimes hard to get back into things. Love the improv blocks and yes, I need to do more too.

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  9. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: April Bee Blocks are Done and Mailed | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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