Tu-Na Quilts: April Bee Blocks are Done and Mailed

My husband asked me, “Why do you participate in those Bees and then mail away your hard work?” So I thought I’d give you a list of the reasons why I choose to do so. Feel free to add other reasons in the comments sections why you participate, if you do so.

  • It gives me a good opportunity to try out block patterns to see which ones I’d eventually like to include in a future quilt. I can honestly say that most of the blocks I’ve sewn so far are ones that I probably would not have thought to use but now I see that many would make a beautiful quilt.

    Sherry from Tennessee received this 16 1/2″ block. Those 40 little blue squares were not so little as they started out at 2 1/2″.  She asked us to use any shade of blue including navy and turquoise but limit the use of pastels. I had to ask my mom for some of her blue fabrics to get a nice variety. Sherry’s daughter is getting married and these quilt squares will be part of her wedding quilt.

    You can read more about this quilt here and get the pattern and tutorial here. This envelope cost me 70 cents to mail because it was overweight.

  • I learn new techniques (such as improv when I made Kate’s trees and gnomes block) that I probably would not have tried on my own. Yes, it puts me out of my comfort zone.
  • These Bee blocks allow me to use colors that I’d never put together on my own.

    Lis from Nebraska asked for Tic Tac Toe using orange, pink and white.  I probably would never have chosen to use those color combinations but it did look really nice when it was done. This block was 12 1/2″ unfinished.

    If you are interested in making some of these Tic Tac Toe Blocks, you can find the pattern here. The postal attendant brought out the slot to check for its size and it didn’t go through. Thus it cost me 98 cents to mail. If you’ve read about my other blocks I’ve mailed each month, you probably agree that there appears to be no rhyme or reason behind the postal rates.

  • I get to “meet” other quilters from all over the world. I’ve shipped blocks to Canada, England, Australia as well as many states in the U.S.

    Velda from Prince Edward Island in Canada asked for 4 crows for her block. She asked that we not sew them together so she could incorporate our crows along with hers in the quilt. Each little crow block was 6.5″ and really went together well. There were some improv parts such as the beaks. It was a good thing that I had already lifted the lid on my comfort zone box or these crows might have really been a stumbling block.


    Velda’s got some crazy crows living close by that have been causing her such consternation as they create such a cacophony and conundrum around her house that she decided to embrace the chaos and celebrate them by making an incredible crow quilt. But these are not just your typical crows; they are a colorful bunch.

    You can read Velda’s post here. Free downloadable patterns for birds or crows can be found here or here (this one is paper pieced but could be easily adapted to piecing).


    Velda graciously volunteered to take my Bee month for April so I thought I’d send her some extra crows. I don’t know what happened as I cut out enough for 8 but as you can count there were 9 when I finished. But I didn’t stop there, I had some fun with these crazy crows and let their personality shine as I named each one and sent Velda a letter introducing them. I will share more about my unruly crows in my next post.

    I put 4 crows in one envelope along with the letter and 5 in the other envelope. Evidently sending mail to Canada is expensive as each envelope was too thick to go through the 1/4″ slot (yes, they were checked), each was overweight (yes they were weighed), and each was leaving the country. Thereby, costing $2.50 to mail each envelope.

  • It allows me an opportunity to improve my sewing skills. I’ve become much better at matching seams and sewing an exact scant 1/4″ seam especially when it gets sent to someone else.
  • I get to participate in something bigger than just making a quilt for myself. I look forward to seeing those blocks I sent to others made into a quilt.
  • It’s fun!

What I Learned Today

  1. I miss those crazy crows. I will have to make some for myself.
  2. I need to sew up the May Bee Blocks early this week.
  3. I will be Queen for one of the Bees next month which means I have to decide on a block pattern, sew one or two blocks, and write a post.
  4. I do have a plan.

Question: What’s got you excited today?

Linking to:

Monday Making and Main Crush Monday. Buttons are on the sidebar, too.

I’m trying a new linky party this week. Show & Tell Monday with Bambi

17 thoughts on “Tu-Na Quilts: April Bee Blocks are Done and Mailed

  1. Kathleen McCormick

    I enjoy seeing all the exchanges you are participating in. I really like the crows and do enjoy the idea of learning new skills. I’ll be quilting a mystery quilt on a longarm this week, and am excited to be doing it!


  2. Rochelle Summers

    Thank you for such an interesting post. I haven’t joined bees…no blog (but don’t know if that’s a requirement), not sure I want to commit the extra time since I’m in several groups and have “assignments” from them. But I always enjoy seeing the blocks that others make.


  3. Sharon Huse

    Hi Miss Tu-Na!!

    I am very interested in joining one of these Bees. How do I learn about them. Are they your friends’ groups?

    I love reading your posts. I wish we lived closer – we would have lunch often!!



  4. rl2b2017

    Hi Karen,
    I loved reading this post! I didn’t even know Bees existed. I have a fondness for those crows myself – they turned out cute. I’ll bet that blue wedding quilt will be gorgeous, and I love the X block. So fun – I may need to get involved in a Bee sometime. I can certainly see where that would improve your sewing skills and have to try new blocks that you may not have chosen for yourself. ~smile~


  5. Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl

    Those are definitely the reasons that I have joined in the past! I don’t have quilting friends near me, so getting to sew on a project with others is very fun for me. I especially like getting to sew up a block that I would never make a full quilt out of – scratching the itch is good enough!


  6. Quiltdivajulie

    The crows and the Block Lotto block were inspired by the original liberated birds created by Lynne Tyler (The Patchery Menagerie blog). Her excellent tutorial for her free pieced (NOT paper pieced) birds is on Etsy for only $10. WELL worth the money!


  7. Sharon

    I especially love those crow blocks! I would love to join a bee but don’t have a blog. Do you need one? It sounds like fun.


    1. Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats Post author

      No you don’t need a blog. Stash Bee grants you rights to post on their blog and includes directions on how to do so. Blossom Hearts Bee communicates thru email. Sign ups are usually in November so watch those two blogs for that. Bee Inspired is a new Bee just created by those of us who got to know each other thru the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers events and I haven’t heard if we are continuing next year as is, disbanding, or opening it up to others. There are other online Bees too if you do a search for them.


  8. Pingback: Tu-Na Quilts: Velda’s Crows | Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats

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