My center block arrived today - hand delivered to the door by my friendly courier. There's been a lot of talk about the expense of sending internationally, but since I have to send everything internationally, I thought I'd offer everyone some advice.
First - never go into the post office. Never, never, never.
Second - make what you are sending look like a 'letter'. This will work for everything except the final finished round. Flat is good, iron well and wrap it in Glad Press 'n' Seal because it makes a flat crisp rectangle - ziplocks are thick and the zip part creates bulk. Fold a piece of paper around it so it's really letter-like. The US typically limits letters to 1/4" thick.
Third - look up on the internet how much a letter that size costs. The one Julie sent me weighed less then 2 oz. A 'letter' up to 11-1/2" x 6-1/8" x 1/4" costs $1.98 to New Zealand by air mail. Julie paid $6.55 because the post office considered it a 'package'. The post office always wants to make everything a 'package' and you have to fill in a customs form and the price just goes up. There is no tax or duty on anything coming into this country that is valued at under $400. As beautiful as our quilts are, they are not worth that much.
Four - stick on stamps and drop into the mailbox. Be sure to write AIR MAIL on it front and back (if you're a bit fancy, you can write PAR AVION as well).
Five - smile.
I send everything this way - round robins, block lotto, block swaps. I usually pay $2.50-$3.00 for each one if it fits in a business or 1/2 letter size envelope (that's NZ dollars, so more like $1.90-$2.25 US).
If you check the USPS web site, even a big envelope from the US to NZ that weighs a whole pound is only $12 if it's less than 15" x 12" x 3/4" and is a 'letter'. If you plug the exact same information in but call it a 'package' it's more than $16.
Even at $6.55, it's 6,523 miles from Oakland to New Zealand - that's not so bad, really.