Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Post Quilt Blocks Internationally For Less

This post was originally written for the BeeInspired group. I thought I’d share it here as well.

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!

2.     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.

3.     Variations occur across the various countries so check on your local postal websites. StashBee 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

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 find this helpful!


  1. What a great tip!! I am always hesitant to sign up for all these international swaps and bees, becasue postage can be such a killer! I hadn't realised the maximum thickness was 2 cm! That seems so much bigger! If Aust Post let's us get away with that then it's completely feasible ;-)
    E xx

  2. I rarely send internationally! Thanks for sharing your tips about this. Postage isn't cheap and if you are doing Bee's this info is good to be aware of!

  3. This is a fantastic reminder and tutorial post. The links to the Stash Bee are good packaging reminders, too, especially for those of us in the US where thickness is such a concern. Thank you for sharing and linking up!

  4. I asked at our local New Zealand Post shop the charges to send an envelope of fabric pieces to Canada, the heaviest was 75 gm. A Huge Total of $14 !!! So they are going with our daughter and family when they fly to Vancouver this week. They go as non-standard envelopes and are under the maximum allowed is size and weight>. Postage in Canada about $1.80... So I can so understand when competitions, swaps and bees limit those entering or winning to the country itself. This is a great post and really helpful, Thanks, I hopped here from Yvonne.

  5. Super helpful! I'm always amazed at how expensive it is to ship items. The last block I sent out cost me about $15, so I'll be keeping these tips in mind šŸ˜˜

  6. Really great post Sue! So glad the Stash Bee posts were helpful!

  7. Great article Sue - I have had blocks from the States arrive with $13.75 on them!!!! I need to do this exercise myself regarding envelope size and weight from UK.