It looks like “Murder” to me….

It looks like “Murder” to me….

This is a very short post for my “Bee Inspired” Quilty buddies across the cyber world. This month one of our group is dealing with the  worry, unease, and anxiety that comes when a family member is sick.  Karen, my whole family reaches out to yours with a sincere hope that your dad rebounds from his illness and makes a good recovery.

When Karen asked for volunteers to switch Queen Bee months  so that she could help her mom and dad, I offered, even though I had not completely decided what Block I was going to request from you.  Fortunately  my newest project was screaming for help.  I am calling the quilt “It looks like Murder to Me”.

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Crazy Coloured Crows!

See my sample block below for these  fabulously wingy things.  I think  they are awaaaaay too cute.  Amirite? Just sayin….

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FYI…a group of crows is a called a  “Murder”.  And, because my block is made up of  4 crows,  technically speaking each block is an actual  “Murder” of crows. Who knew…

Block Information

Please make 4 bird segments similar or not similar to the four in the block above but don’t sew them together.  I want to mix and match your crows with some I’ve made and with some plain blocks and possibly some trees I’m imagining up even as I write this.

As you may or may not know, I love love love colour, so please indulge me by

  • using  lots of brightly coloured,  or black on white, or white on black,  fabrics for the 3 1/2″ square body pieces.
  • If you used black/white fabric for the 3 1/2″ square body parts, then please use bright coloured fabric on the 1 1/2 x 3 1/2″ body rectangles (or vice versa of course).
  • The itty bitty beaks can be colourful scraps that contrast with the other fabrics.
  • Legs can be any colour that strikes your fancy.
  • The backgrounds can be as scrappy (or not!) as you like using low volume fabrics.  (I used the same fabric for all the background pieces in the lower left segment above and I think that looks great in one segment too.)
  • let your improv wings soar (pun intended).  The birds can stand facing either left or right …beaks can be big or small…legs can be straight or on an angle.  Really, seriously, whatever floats your boat.

As you can tell by my blog post, I have an unorthodox relationship with the crows that inhabit my tiny world, and I want to celebrate it with this quirky little quilt.  I cannot wait to see the finished blocks.

Ladies, when you are finished your blocks, please make a short post on our Facebook page to say they are in the mail, but don’t post any pictures of your crows…I’m planning a contest to see if we are getting to know each other well enough yet to be able to tell who made each crow.   I will post lots of pics I promise.  I’m already all a-twitter to see them…sigh…I am so pathetic. 

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February Block Request for Sue

February Block Request for Sue

Hello everyone! It’s my turn to request our block this month – how exciting! I can’t wait to see what you all do!

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For my block I’m requesting the Inside Addition block originally designed by Jessica (@alittlegressica) at 8″ unfinished.

 

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I want mine to finish at 12 ½” (13″ unfinished). Upsizing it is fairly simple.

Here’s what you will need

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4 HST units with an unfinished size of 5 ½̎  using background and feature fabrics

(I’m not including cutting measurements or sewing techniques here. I know everyone has their own favourite HST method. I like to make mine oversized and trim. Links to resources are included at the bottom of the post);

4 x 3″ squares background fabric

2 x 3″ squares feature fabric

1 x  3″ x 8″ strip feature fabric

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Sew 2 background squares to either end of the feature fabric strip and sew two feature fabric squares to one background fabric square each; sew the HST units to the 2 square units; then the two sewn sections to the centre strip and admire! (That’s black arrow, then green arrow, then red

As promised, here are some links:

Blossom Heart Quilts triangle tutorials (with the maths!)

http://www.blossomheartquilts.com/2016/01/hst-tutorials-tips-accuracy/?v=6cc98ba2045f

For focus colours I’m looking for a rainbow of mid to dark tones, something like those used in these two quilts from No Hats in the House and Carla at Grace and Favour. You can use solids or blender prints; hand-dyes and batiks are welcome. You can go as scrappy as you like with these just so long as the block remains monochromatic.

For backgrounds please use low volume solids or prints in white or cream.

You will note, if you check the two quilts above that the option for making the block with the low volume fabric as the feature has been used in some of the blocks – take up this option if you want to!

In the interests of keeping your postage down since I note that some of you only have very thin letter limits, this month I’m going to ask you to tell me about the area you live in when you post your block back on this blog. I stole this idea from Emily’s post in Stash Bee and I apologise, Emily, if you were intending to use it for your month. I’m fascinated by where you are and I confess to searching Google earth for some of you to find out exactly where you live and see what major town or landmark you might be close to, so tell me more!

I hope you have fun with this and don’t forget to read my post on sending blocks cheaply before you post!!!!!

POST QUILT BLOCKS INTERNATIONALLY FOR LESS

 

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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!

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Compare that with the price of letters – much better!

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  1. 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.

  1. Variations occur across the various countries

so check on your local postal websites. Stash Bee had some resources for US postal services that I’ve included here.

ENVELOPE SIZES

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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!

PACKAGING YOUR BLOCK

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

The Inside Scoop on Lower Postage Rates

Best Practice Tip For Mailing Blocks

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.

 WEIGHING IT ALL UP

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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 all find this helpful!