Tu-Na Travels: Day Five in Paris and Prepping the Background Pieces

Tu-Na Travels: Day Five in Paris and Prepping the Background Pieces

Today was the day of selfies. As I was looking at our vacation photos, I discovered more selfies taken this day than all the other days in Paris combined. Probably because we had to stand in line at the Palace of Versailles and the lines moved slowly.

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The lines were long and we had to wait almost three hours to enter. Once inside the gate, we had to wait again to enter the Palace and once we were finished looking inside, we had to wait in yet another line outside to enter the palace grounds.

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Here we are with King Louis XIV

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and Marie Antoinette.

I could show you about 50 more of us, but since this is a quilting blog, I want to keep it at least a little bit about quilting. I wonder if you’d like to make a quilt for this bed?

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Or maybe this one pictured below? The sign said “Queen’s Room.” So does that mean the one above is the King’s room? I don’t remember.

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This is just a very small part of the grounds which included many ponds and fountains.

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Here’s one of them.

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After a long train ride back to our apartment, we dined on this light supper which included some fruit, a sandwich, some good and expensive cheese, paprika Pringles and, of course, some French wine.

What I learned today….dimanche, April 20, 2014

  1. Do not go to the Palace of Versailles on an Easter Sunday. About a million other people decided to do the same. Lines were long and moved very slowly.
  2. We did a lot of standing today: standing still, standing in line, standing around, standing and smiling—we never knew whose photograph we might end up on.
  3. We did not see it all (Palace and grounds). We will have to come back.
  4. French Kings sure knew how to live in luxury. The Palace and grounds were very beautiful.

Poodle Block Tips:

Part cinq (5): Prepping the Background Pieces

We will work with only five pieces for this part. But we are getting one step closer to being done. Aren’t you so excited? Don’t you just love the way I’m prolonging this block? Especially, if you are sewing along. No, really, I thought that by breaking it into manageable steps, it is doable for even the beginner sewer (or is it sewist?).

Sally refers to these pieces as “white” in her right facing poodle tutorial on The Objects of Design blog. Adding to the confusion for you, I will refer to them as background (just because it is less confusing for me and well, maybe for you, too).

Find the Above Back and Under Belly background pieces and two 1.25″ square body extra pieces plus one 2.75″ square body piece. (Note: This is one of the corrections from Sally’s tutorial as she asks for a 2″ piece but you will need to use the 2.75″.)

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Now place one 1.25″ body square on the bottom left corner of the Above Back piece as pictured below.


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Place a 1.25″ body square on the top right corner and a 2.75″ body square on the left side of the Under Belly piece as pictured below. Now flip those corners. (Draw a diagonal line, sew, trim seam to 1/4″ and press.) Refer to Part 3-Prepping the Furry Accents for a step by step explanation of how to do this if needed. The next four pictures will show you how to make a bonus block with half-square triangles.

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I draw a line diagonally from corner to corner, and because I also don’t want to waste fabric, I draw another line 1/2″ towards the outside corner on these bigger pieces. I sew close to these lines, not on them but a needles width to the right of the line towards the corner. (This picture has been edited to show the correct corner to flip on that large square).


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Then I cut between the seams (each will have a 1/4″ seam allowance).



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After pressing the seams, I square my bonus block. This one will square to 2″. I love doing this.

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And there’s my bonus block for another project! Did you make one too?

You may ask, “Why didn’t you do that on all the other corners we flipped?” Since I am a visual learner and you may be to, I thought I’d show you what happens. There is a point when it just doesn’t pay. And those small squares would only give you a block that squares to 1/2″ unfinished. Now I don’t have any sewing projects needing that small of blocks because there would be nothing left after sewing it as it would all go into the seam allowance.

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There’s that little half -inch square. Cute but worthless.

After pressing all your seams, square the Above Back piece to 3.5″ x 5″ and the Under Belly piece to 2.75″ x 6.5″. Now stand back and admire your hard work.


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This picture has been edited to show the correct larger flipped corner. If your piece doesn’t look like this one with these corners flipped this way, you’ll be needing to recut the pieces and reflip those corners. It took me a bit to discover this mistake.


That’s it for part 5. Coming soon: Part six (6) Building the Frame Around our Pampered Pooch. It’s coming along nicely.

Here are the previous poodle posts just in case you need to catch up to figure out what is going on this month at Bee Inspired. We’ve all gone on vacation—don’t we wish—to Paris. Well, maybe at least in our minds and imaginations.

Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for… You will find the pattern link for the poodle block in this post as well as why I chose this block.

Tu-Na Travels: Day One in Paris which includes Part un (1): Pattern and Fabric Selection

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips which includes Part deux (2): Cutting and Anatomy Labeling

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three in Paris and Prepping Those Furry Pieces which includes Part trois (3): Prepping the Furry Accent Pieces (Foot poofs, Tail, and Ear) 

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four in Paris and Prepping the Poodle Body Parts which includes Part quatre (4) Prepping the Poodle Body Parts.

Coming soon: Part six (6) Building the Frame Around our Pampered Pooch

What I Learned Today:

  1. Pictures do not do justice to the beauty found in and around Paris.
  2. Some things just have to be experienced.
  3. Don’t waste my time making bonus half-square triangle blocks on every corner I flip. Only do the ones that would give me a respectable and useable finished piece.

Question: Have you visited a unique place where people live or lived? Where?

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more about my journey or follow me, please visit my blog Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. Thank you for visiting Bee Inspired.

Au Revoir

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats


Tu-Na Travels: Day Four in Paris and Prepping the Poodle Body Parts

Tu-Na Travels: Day Four in Paris and Prepping the Poodle Body Parts

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This was the only day it rained during our stay in Paris. After booking our tickets, we read to avoid going to Paris in April because it is their rainy season. But we found it to be beautiful then.


Day Four in Paris found us at the Museum D’Orsay but first we grabbed our usual French breakfast.

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Nutella for breakfast!! It tasted so much better in Germany and Paris than here at home.

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Maybe it didn’t take much to amuse us, but we found this huge jar of nutella fascinating. We spied it on the second level of the Eiffel Tower.

Speaking of large things, I couldn’t help but get excited at the things I found in the market across the street from our apartment.

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We can buy celery at the grocery stores in North Dakota but not this big or with leaves. It looked so fresh.

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Look at all the variety of tomatoes to choose. Here in North Dakota, we have two choices of tomatoes: expensive and more expensive.

No photography was allowed in the D’Orsay but we found other things in Paris to take photos to remember this day and give us a taste of what Paris was all about.

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We saw many motorcycles in Paris, both parked and being driven. They even park them on the sidewalks.

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There were many bike racks where one could rent a bike. We saw lots of bicyclists, too, weaving in and around the traffic.

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We enjoyed seeing the beautiful architecture

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and interesting buildings complete with rooftop gardens.

What I learned today..Samedi, April 19, 2014

  1. Ten days in Paris will not be long enough!
  2. I can easily ignore “No, you cannot buy anymore souvenirs.” How could I refuse making the apron purchase when the sales person decreased the price, added some potholders, and threw in a free keychain of the Eiffel tower?
  3. Crepes with strawberry jam or Croissants and Nutella makes a good French breakfast. We finally got to breakfast on time downstairs–not at the McDonalds. The apartment offered breakfast on another floor at an extra cost.
  4. Today at the Museum D’Orsay I heard a quote credited to Renoir, a French painter. “All I like is skin, a young girl’s skin, that is pink and shows good circulation.” That explains a lot of the paintings of nakedness and angel babies that we’ve seen.

Poodle Block Tips:

Part quatre (4) Prepping the Poodle Body Parts.

You’re probably discovering how handy these labels are and if you haven’t, you will.

Sally from The Objects of Design refers to the body pieces as “light” in her right facing poodle tutorial but here I will refer to them as body pieces to continue to add to your confusion. Well, I hope not, as I do find it easier when referring to them this way.

You will need the pieces marked as: Top of head, Nose, Body, Chest, and the two marked Foot. Set the Body piece aside for now.

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You will also need 9 of the 1.25″ square background extra pieces. Sally refers to these as “white” in her tutorial. Lay a background square on the right corners of the Nose, the bottom right corner of the Chest, the top two corners on the Top of the head piece, and the right side of each of the feet (Foot) pieces as pictured below.

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Now flip those corners. Draw a diagonal line–as pictured above, stitch, trim seam to 1/4″, and press towards the dark side for now. I go into this step in more detail in the Part 3 post.

At this point, I like to square the pieces:

  • Top of head and Chest each square to 2.75″ x 3.5″
  • Nose squares to 2.75″
  • each of the feet (Foot) squares to 1.25″ x 2″

The last seams for this project right now will be adding a 1.25″ background square to the left of each foot piece.

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Lay a 1.25″ background square on the left side of each foot with right sides together and stitch 1/4″ from edge. Press. Trim to 1.25″ x 2.75″.

Now stand back and admire your hard work.

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We didn’t need to do anything with the piece labeled Body.

There’s these poodle body parts all pampered and prepped and ready for the next step. It won’t be long now and you’ll be hearing him or her bark. In fact, my husband thinks he heard a dog barking and we don’t have a real one, that is. After investigating, we found this in the mailbox from Jennifer, The Inquiring Quilter, from Indiana.

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It’s beautiful!!! (Is it a she or a he?) Thank you, Jennifer! And also thank you for the three 1.5″ squares of these wonderful fabrics. They will make a nice addition to my postage stamp quilt.

Here are the previous poodle posts just in case you need to catch up to figure out what we are doing.

Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for… You will find the pattern link for the poodle block in this post as well as why I chose this block.

Tu-Na Travels: Day One in Paris which includes Part un (1): Pattern and Fabric Selection

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips which includes Part deux (2): Cutting and Anatomy Labeling

Tu-Na Travels: Day Three in Paris and Prepping Those Furry Pieces which includes Part trois (3): Prepping the Furry Accent Pieces (Foot poofs, Tail, and Ear) 

Coming soon: Part cinq (5): Prepping the Background Pieces (We are getting closer to done. Oh, no, I may run out of parts to sew before I run out of days that I learned things in Paris.)

What I Learned Today:
  1. Everything is easier when broken into steps.
  2. I haven’t eaten Nutella for a very long time.
  3. My sons are very handy. Today, they installed two, LED, under cabinet, lights above my cutting mat and sewing machine. Of course, that meant that the sewing room was off limits to me for the day.
  4. My husband was excited to see Jennifer’s poodle, too. I told him there would be more coming and I said, “Won’t that be fun?” to which he remarked, “As long as I don’t have to take them out for a walk.”

Question: How would you eat a Croissant? Nutella or Jam or ____?

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips

Tu-Na Travels: Day Two in Paris and Poodle Block Cutting Tips

On the second day of Paris, my true love gave to me:

A walk to the Eiffel tower during the day and another one at night,

and some great looking and delicious French desserts.


This was our first selfie we ever took. By the end of the trip, we would become better at it. My sister took many of our selfie pictures of our Europe trip and created a calendar with them which she gifted to us for Christmas that year.


We would hike that “your apartment is two blocks from the tower” route many times during our ten day stay. All I can say is that our travel agent has a different definition of two blocks than we do. Paris is a great city to walk around. While we bought an unlimited subway pass, we didn’t use it very much. We got lots of exercise.


I never tired of looking at the Eiffel tower. In fact, I think we walked past it at least twice daily and many days again at night.

Paris is filled with cute little pastry shops and yes we did our fair share of sampling. We often walked past the pastry shop close to our apartment and bought dessert for later.


This is a no-calorie picture but do wipe the drool from your phone or keyboard. Standing in front of this counter admiring the beauty and freshness, it would take me a long time to decide which dessert I would have. We often bought two different ones and cut them in half and shared. I think my husband suggested that as a way to decrease the time spent in front of this counter and increase the time spent elsewhere.


No trip to Paris would be complete without tasting some delicious macaroons which cost over 5 Euros a piece. I overheard a conversation between two women about where to buy the best macaroons. (Obviously, I missed something in the conversation as they also were the most expensive ones we found.) My husband and I were able to locate that place and do concur that they were good, but not as good as the ones my niece has learned to make.

What I learned today….Jeudi April 17, 2014

  1. The word dessert is spelled the same way in English and French.
  2. More things I miss about Germany…the amplemann (little man on the traffic light). When he turned red, all pedestrians stopped as fines are high to cross the street there. In France, it (walk/don’t walk lights) appears to be merely a suggestion.   Wurst (sausage). There are only four kinds here.   Bread. The baguettes here are good but the bread and rolls we had in Germany were excellent and had a nice crust.
  3. Order tickets online and in advance to go to the top of the Eiffel tower. We waited in line for over an hour and a half this afternoon and when we got to the ticket counter, all of today’s tickets to the top were gone as they only issue so many per day. (Really, we were the first people they turned away that day.) We did walk up to the next level for a spectacular view of Paris. One lady told me she ordered her upper level ticket in September. We might try again but go earlier in the morning.
  4. How to set my priorities straight when shopping for lunch at the food market across the street from our apartment. Grab a food basket and put in a bottle of French wine, then some really good and expensive cheese (because the cheese lady behind the counter didn’t speak English and thought I meant expensive rather than good tasting), and fresh strawberries. Finally, add some French pastries on top.
  5. To ask Parlez-vous anglais (do you speak English)?

Poodle Block Tips:

Previous posts:

Tu-Na Quilts: All Aboard. Fasten Your Seatbelts. We’re Taking Off for…  You will find the pattern link in this post.

Tu-Na Travels: Day One in Paris which includes Part un (1): Pattern and Fabric Selection

Now on to Part deux (2): Cutting and Anatomy Labeling

(Sorry this post was delayed due to an important delivery I needed to make Tu-Na Quilts: We Have an Elephant Parade) and Tu-Na Quilts: ___’s Arrived!!!

I am using the Right facing poodle from The Objects of Design.

Cutting Tips:

  • Use a cutting check list and labels. To help save some time, I made a cutting check list and labels for the parts of this block. I improved the one I previously  posted by adding label names (in red) onto the cutting checklist. So refer to the pdf and save yourself some time. Maybe it’s the teacher in me (ok. early childhood educator) or the quest to make things easier and simpler that keeps me coming up with new and improved ways to do things. You can download the labels and cutting checklist here Right facing poodle cutting checklist and labels
  • Strive to cut accurately. This pattern calls for quite a lot of small pieces. I’ve had to learn the hard way when working with small pieces in other projects to insure that my blocks turned out the right size and not too small. The key, I found, is in accurate cutting….and using a scant 1/4″ seam when sewing.

When I cut, I line up the ruler making sure that the edge of the fabric covers the window (look at the arrows). It doesn’t seem like much but over several pieces and many seams, it can add up. Since I’ve started doing this my blocks are coming out closer to the sizes indicated in pattern directions.

Let’s Begin. It’s easy as 1, 2, 3.

#1. Cut the strips. Following the cutting checklist or Sally’s tutorial, cut the fabric into strips using the measuerements given.


I like to check them off as I go along which is why I like to print out a checklist. Here are all the strips laid out. Since I was using some fat quarters, I had to cut several lengths to get strips that would add up to the length of the measurements that were given.


I cut some 1.5″ squares for my postage stamp quilt right away.

#2 Cut the strips into pieces.  Following Sally’s tutorial or the cutting checklist, cut the strips into pieces. The new and improved pdf cutting checklist includes the label name to attach to the piece as it is cut. I’m thinking of ways to save you some time.


Here’s all the pieces ready to label.  So I had to follow the tutorial and measure them all again in order to put the label on. It was at this point that I thought, hmmm, there’s got to be a faster and easier way to label these than having to go and remeasure. So I came up with the idea of including the label on the cutting checklist so you can cut and label as you go.  


#3. Label the pieces.  Using the labels provided in my pdf, label right after you cut the piece and then set it aside. If your sewing room is prone to visits by little whirlwinds or small wild tornadoes or if you like to keep your windows open, I highly suggest pinning or clipping them on with Clover Clips.


There looks like a lot of pieces but once you’ve got them cut and prepped, it sews together quickly. Sally says in her tutorial that once you are done cutting you’ve finished the hardest part.

Note: Not all pieces will be labeled. All the pieces without labels are extras and used for the corners or will be sewn onto other pieces. It will all become clearer.


I’ve set aside the extra pieces without labels. I’ll be using them soon enough.

These labels were a hair saver for me. The first time I made the block, I came back from lunch and had to remeasure and figure out what was what and ended up cutting more pieces only to find them later. There was lots of hair-pulling going on as I wondered if I’d gotten in way over my head with this poodle block idea. So I thought making some labels would save both of us time and hair.

That’s it for part deux. Coming soon: Part trois (3): Prepping the Furry Accent Pieces (Foot poofs, Tail, and Ear)

What I Learned Today:

  1. Reviewing the 4890 pictures of our Europe trip took much longer than I expected as my husband and I talked, laughed, and cried over the memories.
  2. We thought the French macaroons were delicious until we tasted the ones made by our niece for her high school graduation last year. I don’t think she has any French heritage in her. I need to get her recipes.
  3. We need to plan another trip to Paris; I better start saving.
  4. I have no fabric will-power. I stopped at one of my local quilt shops yesterday and bought 28 yards of fabric at $6.99 per yard. All were current designs from great manufacturers like Moda, Robert Kaufman, etc. This seriously cut into plans for  #3 above.
  5. I miss the little whirlwinds and small wild tornadoes that I used to have swirling about my house. They grew up and moved away much too fast.

Question: Have you eaten or made a macaroon? What’s your favorite dessert item? While I’ve never made a macaroon, I want to get my niece’s recipes and try. She made a strawberry macaroon that was absolutely delicious as well as several others that were almost as good. My favorite dessert is homemade Strawberry Shortcake. Yum!!! I think I will make some for dessert on Sunday. However, I don’t have whipping cream and a drive to the grocery store would mean I’d be going very close to that quilt shop again. Definitely a problem!!

Au Revoir

Karen, Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more about my journey or follow me, please visit my blog Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats. Thank you for visiting Bee Inspired.

Linking with Yvonne for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday

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”.


Crazy Coloured Crows!

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


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. 





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!


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



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

Here’s what you will need


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


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!)


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!!!!!




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!


  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.



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

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.



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!