Tag Archives: Quilting Bee

Tu-Na Quilts: February Bee Blocks and the Postage Saga

February sure went fast! I’ve been busy with entertaining company, baking pies, sightseeing, and beginning my training on my village sewing group’s longarm quilting machine. Imagine my surprise when I looked at the calendar and I found it to be the last day of the month and those bee blocks had not yet been sewn and had to be mailed that very day. I immediately put foot to the pedal (sewing machine one that is) and turned out some real cute ones. I wanted to keep them all but since I left them until the last minute again with no time to sew any others I had to bid them farewell, squash them in their envelopes and give them to my husband to deliver to the post office.

Now here’s where the story gets interesting. If you read last month’s bee block post here, you may remember that I had quite a bit of discrepancy in the postal rates of almost identical size blocks in identical size envelopes (legal envelope) packed the identical way. February’s blocks proved even more interesting.

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This log cabin block went to Colette in Texas. She wanted scrappy logs made with a true red and not an orangey/red. For some reason, I had difficulty finding a true red but with help from Melva ( Melva Loves Scraps) and my mom and cousin, I think I pulled it off. We could use any block for the center that was bright, happy and makes us smile. Tulips make me happy.

I had two blocks ready in their envelopes as my husband rushed out the door shortly after noontime on February 28th to do some errands. I figured I’d have him mail those two just in case I couldn’t get the other one done. He called me after this visit to the post office and had me guess what each cost to mail. “The one to Australia must have been over $5.00,” I said. “I just went up to the attendant and said ‘regular first class mail’ so the one to Texas cost 70 cents and the one to Australia $1.15,” he replied. I stood there with my mouth open. I know it makes no sense at all. But wait. The story isn’t over.

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Inside Addition went to Susan in Australia. The pattern was initially written for an 8″ unfinished block but Susan adjusted the pattern to be 13″ unfinished. She wanted this block to be monochromatic using mid to dark tones. Since I work with a limited stash here, I used the best I could find to make it work. I think it turned out well.

While he was gone, I completed the third block and had it ready for him to take out on his errands later in the afternoon. My husband enjoys a challenge, so he took the third envelope that was headed to California to see if he could get it as low as 70 cents again.

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Homebase went to Samantha in California. She requested blues or greens for the center.

It almost worked. The attendant initially charged him 70 cents but then decided to see if it fit into a slot. Unfortunately, it was too thick so she charged him 98 cents instead. By now you are probably scratching your head and thinking, how could this be that identical envelopes with approximately the same size blocks could vary so greatly in postage? We are wondering the same thing.

You can find a tutorial for the log cabin here and click printer friendly at the top to display it with pictures. You can find Susan’s adjusted pattern for Inside Addition here on the Bee Inspired Blog. Finally, the pattern for Homebase can be found here. Just in case you want to make some for yourself.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Obviously I didn’t learn my lesson last month; I still waited until the last day to work on my bee blocks. I will try to do better in March.
  2. Instead of thinking of March 31st as the absolute deadline, I am going to give myself March 15th as the deadline for bee blocks but then I’m helping with a bake sale on the 18th so I’ll make the new deadline the 20th.
  3. I get to pick out my block for April for one of the bees so people get to make some for me. But that requires me getting the March block done early for that bee group and sewing a sample block and writing a post about it ahead of time. March is going to be very busy.
  4. Give my husband the bee block envelopes to mail as he gets better rates than I do.
  5. Keep working on  trying to get the envelopes as flat as possible. I have to put the blocks inside a plastic bag inside the envelope. The problem is that I can’t get out all the air and keep it out.

Question: Do you have a postage story? What postal advice do you have for me?

Linking to Love Laugh Quilt for Monday Making and Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday (Buttons on the sidebar) and Design Wall at Patchwork Times.

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