Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thursday Ramblings & a Free Kindle Book!

First off, if you are looking for the new book preview and pre-order post, click HERE!

What a day – I feel like I’ve been chained to the computer most of the day ---and I have been. I still haven’t updated the Quiltville.com website with the new book info – maybe it can wait til tomorrow?

I have to tell you, I have some pretty great friends. Last night I was pulling fabrics for a quilt, and low and behold, I did NOT have enough variety of lime greens – and I wanted batik.

When Lisa was over the other day she said she was willing to weed out her batik collection so I Facebooked her with a plea for green. ((Yeah, just did the “add to dictionary” thing with the word Facebooked….come on, folks, it is SO a verb!! LOL!))

If you ever want to belly laugh until the tears roll, just try speaking or writing to your friend in a medieval Olde English Shakespeare type drone!

It went something like this:

((And the girls involved will have to forgive me but this was just hilarious!))

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It was even funnier when Karen joined in – poor thing, her basement got flooded and it’s been a HUGE mess and she can’t even get to her sewing stuff ---so when she said “I shall returneth now to my moat” I bust out laughing right there on the table at the chiropractor’s office where I was having electric stim therapy…LOL!

So what was that saying about “Getting old isn’t an option, but growing up is?!” I like life on the silly side!

I bring this up about great friends because after the chiropractor appoinment, I just pointed Shamu in the direction of Lisa’s abode ((minus the moat!)) and there on the front step was a zip lock baggie of green, just for me! Thank you Lisa --- I’m just wondering what your mail man thought of the very green bundle sitting there on the front door mat!

I swung by the sew & vac place to pick up Sophia --- who also had her foot pedal worked on. The guy loves vintage machines and even took time to tune up the foot pedal ---and I left him my Janome 6500 to tune up since it hasn’t been in the shop in 3 years. It’s time. I wonder if they would ever consider giving me the revolving machine plan? You know, I pick one up and drop off another and pick that one up and drop off another --- we can keep this going for quite a while with the machines I have!

On my way back I stopped at a local thrift store. You just NEVER know what you will find there, and I did find some old machines --- some cool ones, but I left them. They were far too broken to be used for much more than parts.

I still took pictures, they were cool to look at!

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How about a very sleek white Kenmore with purple accents? No bobbin case, no spool pins, they were both broken or missing. The light makes it look yellow, but it was white white…..and the poor bobbin winder is broken beyond recognition. Too bad…because I really liked that purple!

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It was a pretty paint job!

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This heavy beast wasn’t workable either. The levers and knobs did not turn…but it is a very cool robin’s egg blue. It’s about the same age as my Marilyn –this one’s zig zag puts the needle in permanent left position too even for straight stitch – that was if we COULD get it working. I left it there. Someone somewhere might pick this up and get it going, but I’m not skilled that way --- I just want them to run when I get them.

Oh yeah, and the free Kindle book --- this one was a heads up by Leah who commented back on yesterday’s saying this author had another title for free:

Deep Voodoo by Stephanie Bond is free in the Amazon Kindle store:

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Book Description:

When Deke Black is stabbed through the heart with a lawn stake, the secrets of Mojo, La., start bursting to the fore in this lively first of a new romantic mystery trilogy from Rita Award–winner Bond (Whole Lotta Trouble). Deke's ex, health-food store owner Penny Francisco, is the primary suspect.

Not only was she found at the scene of the crime holding the murder weapon but, at her divorce celebration, she stabbed a voodoo doll bearing Deke's likeness. The police are keen to pin the crime on Penny, and only sexy, junk-food-loving PI B.J. Beaumont may be able to keep her out of jail.

It's hard to sympathize with Penny, whose troubles often stem from her own stupidity, and harder still to believe that she could fall in love with B.J. while suspecting him of murder. Despite these flaws, Mojo and its zany, likable inhabitants—from a slutty, lawsuit-happy tanning-salon owner to a randy, 109-year-old woman into voodoo magic—form a solid foundation for future books in the series.

Enjoy! It’s supposed to be free just through May 31st so get it while you still can and double check before clicking that it’s still free for you!

Have a great evening!

Presenting: STRING FLING!

Guess what?! We’ve got a cover! Which means ---- It’s time for a preview and pre-orders!

And take a look above --- a new header! I’ve been a busy girl!

This book has been underway for over 2 1/2 years ---long before we ventured forth into string-land with “Roll Roll Cotton Boll” ---I had ideas for this book just running through my mind, using strings in a “not-so-ordinary” way, and pushing the boundaries and opening up the possibilities of making our traditional patchwork much more exciting through the use of string piecing.

The title has sat in my brain for over 2 years too --- and I’d catch my breath when I’d see someone else on the same thought-train and name their quilt “String Fling” --- because that IS what we are doing, aren’t we? Flinging these strings into a beautiful place to land --- just yesterday my copy of “American Patchwork & Quilting” showed up, with a string quilt in it – called, of course “String Fling” also! My big concern was that someone might think I stole their quilt title, or that there might be another book coming out with this name around the same time as mine because strings are so popular right now ---to my knowledge there isn’t. But even if there was, we’d just all join in the String Fling party – because the more strings, the merrier! As the saying goes, “Great minds quilt alike!”

And HERE is our COVER!

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OH! I love this cover! My desire was that the color on the front would make this book jump into people’s hands right off the shelf, that they wouldn’t be able to resist --- Did we succeed?

And for a few of you --- I hope this makes you happy to see your comments and testimonials on the back cover:

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Thank you for all the wonderful things you’ve said, I’m so happy to have you along on this journey with me!

Without further ado, I’d love to share with you just what you will find within the pages of String Fling—Happy, Scrappy & Loving It!

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Blue Skies! 84” X 84”

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Charlotte’s Baskets! 53” X 53”

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Daylilies! 90” X 90”

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Jamestown Landing! 84” X 96”

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Orca Bay! 74” X 84”

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Pfeffernuesse! 84” X 84”

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Pineapple Crazy! 80” X 90”

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Roll Roll, Cotton Boll! 85” X 100”

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Santa Fe String Star! 72” X 72”

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Talkin’ Turkey! 84” X 97”

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Tulip Fields! 76” X 84”

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Wild Child! 77” X 93”

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Zuckerwatte! (Cotton Candy) 60” X 72”

Holy Moly, that’s a lot of string piecing!! And I’m STILL loving it! The book is full of helps, hints, and thoughts from me about how I work and what inspires my quilts. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I honestly think this is the best book I’ve ever had the pleasure to put together with a group of people that I’ve grown quite fond of. It’s pretty rare that an editorial team will stick together the way mine has over the past 4 books --- I’ve had largely the same team throughout and it’s been seamless, continuous, and a real joy to work with them!

I’m not planning a blog tour. I spend enough time on the internet as it is, and it is just one more thing I don’t want to add into the frenzied juggling routine. I will be hosting a giveaway when String Fling is actually IN my hands --- but for now, who wants to simply pre-order? I don’t have a definite date of when this is going to land on my doorstep, we are shooting for “SOMETIME” in July. And I’ll get them out in the order that they were received, working around my schedule.

Click HERE to place your pre-order on-line with a credit card through our secure server!

To order via snail mail with a check as payment, print your order form HERE.

I am asking your help in getting the pre-order word out. Could you link to this blog post on your email lists, your facebook pages, news groups, message boards, twitter, and anywhere else that quilters gather to let them know IT’S TIME?!? I’d so appreciate it!

Late On the Sleep In Train!

This staying up past 1am is killing my morning routine --- it’s become a vicious circle and I’m not happy with it!

A couple days with nap indulgences ---because I LOVE naps, and I was home to be able to enjoy them in the middle of the afternoon ---has left me up and awake way beyond my usual bed time habit.

And now that is encroaching upon my usual early morning routine. It must stop! There will be NO NAP today ---and tonight I WILL be to bed at a decent hour.

Getting up at 8:45 am means the morning is nearly half over by the time my feet hit the floor. And then I feel like my day got all short-sheeted some how!

But I did get busy in my late night time last night---I’m all caught up on my Jubilee blocks from Randy's Sow-a-Long!

And I got to use this yellow/orange plaid that didn’t have a place before because it always got lost against the cheddar background.

This one was named “Peace & Plenty” in the Farm Journal. I used the easy angle ruler and put my blue and yellow plaid 2” strips right sides together and cut matched pairs. 4 of the pairs are sewn into half square tris, and 4 of the pairs are sewn as quarter square triangles. Then I used 2” strips ((Yes, same size of strip!)) of cheddar background and blue plaid and used the companion angle to cut 4 matched pairs of quarter square triangles for the corners.

It went together so slick, all from one width of strip. Just gotta be careful with the inner corners, they have bias on the outside that is stabilized when the large pieced corners are added.

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LeMoyne Star, Aunt Sukey and Peace & Plenty

((And one more bow-tie under the presser foot!))

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And here is how we stand at the design wall, which is getting VERY crowded and almost out of space! I’m really liking the freedom of no sashings. I think this is a quilt that doesn’t need any --- don’t you? And for those wondering, YES – there are a few different shades of “cheddar” going on in here – I’m using up scraps of all the different dye lots of got, just letting them play where they will. I think it makes it look more interesting that way, rather than having everything the exact same shade. ;c)

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Evening Edition! Free Kindle Summer Reading!

I almost don’t know what to do with myself!

I’ve had such a nice easy day today --- one run to the post office that afterwards had me driving down the road to Thomasville to do some antique browsing at a place I hadn’t been to in eons….

I didn’t really find anything! I took TWO pictures of a vintage quilt, not because it was a great one, but because – I finally saw hexies quilted with baptist fans, which is what I’m planning on doing ---

I’ve sewn a bit, my backlog of blocks for Randy’s Sow-a-long are just about caught up! And just in time too, her next installment comes out on Wednesday ----are you ready?

I’ve made plans for future quilts, I’m amping up production for the quilts in the NEXT book in the pipeline – yes, there is no down time really, if a book comes out every 18 months, and you need 12 to 13 quilts for the book, is there really time to rest? Nope. Not when they are big quilts with many pieces, there isn’t!

So I’ve been busy and productive behind the scenes, but it doesn’t leave me much to show you, does it?

Here’s what I’ve found for some good summer reading:

Got Your Number by Stephanie Bond is free in the kindle store.

Book Description:

Roxann Beadleman just received an ominous message that resurrects old secrets, and her debutante cousin Angora Ryder was just jilted at the alter. A road trip to accomplish thing on a life list they made in college leads them back to their alma mater for Homecoming, and to the professor they were both in love with…

But Angora doesn’t know that Roxann is wanted for questioning in a police matter, or that a dangerous criminal could be following them. Detective Joe Capistrano is on their heels, too, determined to charm information out of Roxann and to protect her, whether she wants it or not…

Once Roxann and Angora hit campus, their lives are turned on end. Professor Irresistible is majoring in Seduction, old skeletons are leaping from closets, and Detective Capistrano is closing in. Roxann and Angora soon find themselves thrust into a chilling lesson of murder, and if either of them gets out of this mess alive, could true love be at the end of their chase?

Sounds good to me! Still free for me this afternoon, so check before clicking that it still is for you because prices can change without notice.

Oh yeah, the antique quilt:

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Thomasville NC is about 9 miles down the road from me. And the Antique Emporium is quite large, but I didn’t find a single sewing machine, and only one quilt worth photographing and it wasn’t all that old I don’t think….it’s pretty worn, but I love the quilting on it.

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I tried to get the light so I could get decent quilting detail – this is hand pieced, and then hand quilted in fairly large stitches. I love the gingham rosettes the best! The fans were large, and of course mine would be a lot smaller when I finally get around to quilting my hexie, but I do like the idea of fans simply because the quilting crosses the piecing lines --- it will anchor those seams, where as a quilt that is simply quilted 1/4” inside each shape leaves the seam lines exposed and unanchored – that’s where the quilt will come apart because there is only one thread holding those hexies together. Crossing seam lines will just make it stronger, and hopefully last longer.

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And if you didn’t know it --- Thomasville is known as “Chair City.” And indeed there is a huge chair right across the railroad tracks that has become a tourist destination --- probably the only one that Thomasville is famous for! LOL!

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The Big Chair gained national attention in 1960 when then Presidential Candidate Lyndon B. Johnson greeted supporters on the monument during a campaign whistle stop. Hey, if you are going to be known for something, maybe a chair isn’t so bad? I can think of worse things!

And with that I’ll get back to working on these blocks. I am SO loving that it is light so much later now, and I don’t feel the need for pajamas at 7:30pm!

HYSTERICAL!!!!

There are times when my former life comes screeching in and I just find it SO FUNNY!!

This came in the form of a Facebook message, and I hope the writer doesn’t mind me quoting just PART of her message, but it has me giggling!

She writes:

“Hi Bonnie,

I hope you don't mind me contacting you, but I'm hoping to get you to help me out....I'm running a siggy block swap in [identity withdrawn] and one of the swappers mentioned she'd bought about 200 siggy blocks from a garage sale she went to, that belonged to a deceased woman....one of them was signed by yourself, which then led us to all exclaim how lucky she was….”

I’m not laughing that the woman was now deceased. I wonder if I have HER siggie somewhere – I never got around to making anything with those, those were right around 1999 I think.

I am laughing that someone bought 200 siggie blocks at a YARD SALE and recognized my name amongst them! What a weird feeling that is!

I always knew my stuff would eventually end up at a yard sale!

And --- it makes me think about how quickly this life goes, and if that was signed in 1999, and now it is 13 years later, where will my life be 13 years from now?

And the giddiness turns to pondering, and I get back to quilting ---

How much can change in 13 years? And 13 years more?

Off to Meet The Wizard!!

As in Joe Cool, The Wizard!

I was burning the midnight oil last night ---after the house had gone quiet I was still awake and wanted to sew, so I tip-toed down to the basement studio, put on a cute movie and cut and sewed and cut and sewed!

The movie? The Third Wish with Jenna Mattison and Betty White --- Oh, I love Betty White! It’s a darling movie, I recommend!

Joe Cool and I are getting to know each other.

He’s got sleek lines, a gentle purr as he stitches, lots of power ---and he does what he is supposed to --- STRAIGHT STITCH!

I’m not sure what it is about these 1950’s import machines that steal my heart and make me adopt them. Some people love classic cars. I just love classic machines and their crazy paint jobs and body shapes. I like the heavy weight of them and how they don’t go bouncing off the table.

And I know it's crazy, but I even like the way they SMELL ---kind of old, full of memories.

He did an awesome job getting the binding on Florabunda ((Which is waiting for hand stitching at some point –)) and I wanted to try my hand at piecing with him! You’ll notice, I’ve taken up Mary’s idea of using the Scotch mounting strips as a seam guide! LOVE IT! They stick and stay, much better than that purple strip stuff. I also like having the strip extend BEHIND the presser foot. It helps guide me straighter at the beginning and ending of a seam.

I love Joe’s chrome trim and his “precision” badge:

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Look at the levers, knobs, and the sparkle of his grey/green paint job! He is, definitely – Joe Cool!

And so I cut:

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And then I sewed!

THREE BLOCKS DOWN!

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Yankee Puzzle, Gray Goose, Battle Ground

And I’m still behind by about 4 blocks – but I’ll tackle those. I don’t leave home again until June 10th ----I’m loving my 2 weeks at home!

Last night about 1:30am I was shutting things down and I checked my inbox one more time --- and there was a proposed cover for the new book! It needs a bit of tweaking, but I’m liking it! So just hang on a bit longer, and we will have a COVER CELEBRATION!!

FRIDAY is JUNE. Is that crazy or what? And you know what else is crazy? The month of June is my 7 year blog anniversary. SEVEN YEARS I’ve been typing my soul out to the blogosphere –and many of you have been here for the whole journey! So I think a giveaway will be in order. Yep. I do! So stay tuned for that too!

What’s up for your Wednesday? Whatever it is, I hope you get time to dream of quilts, pet some fabric, and maybe get some time to take a few stitches ----

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As for me – I’ve got another date with Joe Cool!

And in case you think I’ve forgotten about Sophia --- She’s in getting a tune up and a going over since she started having some slipping issues the last time I sewed on her. Could be as simple as needing a new belt –who knows how long it had been since she had a tune up. I should be able to pick her up by the end of the week. I wish it were that easy to tune ME up! LOL!

There has only been 2 responses to keep Yard Sale Saturday going for June. I’ve decided to take the summer off, clean out more stuff as I can and do it big time the first Saturday in September. So check back then!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

-----We Interrupt Your Programming -----

Do you know that it just hit me that Thursday is the last day of MAY?!

TIME DOES FLY!

This means that the first Saturday of June is THIS SATURDAY!?

I have not had a chance to get anything ready for Yard Sale Saturday. I might be able to round up a few things, but I need a show of hands for those who are counting on it.

If I don’t get enough response I’m voting that we call it OFF for the summer months, and resume again in September.

Please leave your thoughts below!

Let me know if you were planning on doing it --- or if you think waiting to September is a good idea so we can tend to other stuff for a few months!

Afternoon Edition: Free Kindle Book!

I know, I should be sewing --- but I had some computer time to deal with, and TADA!! We have FINISHED all the edits for the next book!

DONE! DONE! DONE!

It’s been a huge long process since I started writing the manuscript last year, got it mostly written during the month of December and have been working on it back and forth for MONTHS. Now we are just waiting on a cover, and I hope to have that in the next couple of weeks. When we have that, I’ll start pre-orders!

It was that approving of the final edition of the resources page, the very last thing in the book that had me sitting at the computer.

I’m late for things that revolved around Memorial Day – I had a busy weekend with family and friends and that is right where I needed to be.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t keep the reason for this holiday at the forefront of my heart. My grandfather on my dad’s side spent WWII shipboard as a navy man. I have an uncle that served in Viet Nam, and two brothers who were also Navy.

So as I browsed and came upon this freebie – It drew me right in:

Why Aren't You Sweet Like Me?, by Carrie Nyman, is free in the Kindle store, courtesy of publisher Sunbury Press.

Book Description
A young couple, Camille "Honey" Shaughnessy and Don Shepard fall in love on the eve of World War II. As America enters the war, and Don is pressured into the service by his father, the two newlyweds struggle to maintain contact. Don becomes a hero, saving the lives of his comrades, but will he make it home alive?

"Why Aren't You Sweet Like Me?" is a novel based on the actual love letters exchanged between the author's grandparents.

It was still free when I downloaded it, but double check before clicking that it still is for you as prices can change without notice.

Now --- off to those sampler blocks that have been waiting!

Aurifil in the Inbox!

I came home to a whole pile of mail after being gone 10 days.

Some of it good, some of it bad ((BILLS!)) and some of it -----I had no clue what it was until I opened the box!

A couple of weeks ago my friend Pat Sloan had asked me to send her the number of the color of Aurifil thread that I’ve been using on my hexi quilt. I guess she saw that the volume was WAY DOWN on my spool – in fact I was close to running out!

Imagine my surprise when I opened up the box this MORNING ((Yes, I was double bad and left all mail for AFTER the long holiday weekend!)) and found a 6 pack of my favorite thread!

((It's # 2902 -- a grey/green))

Thank you Pat! And thanks too to Alex Vironelli and Aurifil for making this quilter very happy on a random Tuesday after a long holiday weekend!

How’s your Tuesday going?

I’ve got a chiropractor appt in about an hour – I’ve got to run to the post office yet again, and then I hope to sew this afternoon. There are oodles of blocks to catch up on from Randy’s Sow Along!


A Day With Friends!

What a full Monday! First a friend over for a quilting session, and then a hike through historic Bethabara before heading over to Muriel’s for our monthly bee meeting. It was non stop, go –go –go all day!

I had a blast with Lisa and Shelby over yesterday ----

Even with the often “out-picking” of stitches when we just could not get placement right. The first time it was because I had enlarged a pattern to a scale we “thought” we wanted, but the pattern already had really tall rows, and it extended beyond the capacity of the machine to stitch it in the allowable area given…so all that had to be picked out – and then…well…

Operator error all the way around! we decided that the left side of the quilt was cursed..LOL

But we beat it into submission and this is the quilt as it came off the machine!

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It turned out so nice, in spite of my bad spacing and stopping and starting and oops, that end of the border got folded over -----and we had a great time!

I’ve lived Near Winston Salem for almost 4.5 years now. And you would think that being the history loving kind of girl that I am that I would have searched out every nook and cranny of old Salem kind of history that there is around here, and it’s just not been so. There are still secrets left to be discovered and uncovered. When Lisa said that she and Nane were going hiking before our bee meeting, and did I want to come too – my first thought was “5:30pm?! How HOT is it going to be?!” But I can sweat like the best of them in good company, and I decided it would be worth it ----after all it was only 86 degrees and about 86% humidity to go with it!

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The trail starts out fully paved…we crossed under the highway and began our way down the green belt.

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There had been a lot of flooding due to recent heavy rains and that was still evident ---

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crossed a creek on a rickety bridge that looked like it had floated away in the flood and found itself lodged against a tree --- and we began to climb to higher ground ---This is called, “Who needs a stair master, baby?!”

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We found ourselves at the back side entrance to a very special cemetery.

You can read more about Bethabara park HERE.

Bethabara is the 1753 site of the First Moravian settlement in North Carolina.

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When I first visited old Salem and learned a bit about the Moravian tradition, it was interesting to me that men and women are not buried side by side, but men in one section, and women in another.

A bit about “God’s Acre” with the help of Wikipedia:

Moravians believe strongly in equality, even in death; therefore, every stone in a God's Acre is a recumbent stone with the same proportions and made of the same material so that no one person stands out among the stones. The Communion of Saints is continued even on the graveyard as it reflects the continuity of the congregation. In addition, the deceased are buried by choir; to the Moravians, these were the living groups into which the Congregation was originally divided to meet the needs of the members according to their age and station in life. Originally men and women sat in their choir groups in church at worship. The burial by choir in God's Acre also reflects the way the members of the congregation sat as a worshipping community so that visually and symbolically the Congregation continues in the graveyard.

Along with being separated by gender, there are also sections for people of different age and marital status. The typical configuration has sections for infant girls and infant boys, girls and boys, single men and single women, and married men and married women. The deceased are buried in their section in the order they have died. Smaller God's Acres may combine the infant and children sections. Some larger God's Acres, such as the one for the Salem Congregation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, may also have separate sections for those who are cremated, as their remains take up less space than those who are buried with their bodies intact. This section is also organized by choir.

We walked the rows, of men, of women of children –and pondered their lives – what it must have been like to be among the first settlers in North Carolina in the 1700s.

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Annaros Schmidt, denat 1759

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Anna Maria Opizan –died the same year she was born.

((As a mother who buried her own infant daughter –this really tugs at my soul.))

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H Martin Kalberlan was born in Norway in 1722

When the Moravians settled the area, they called the place Wachovia --

More Wiki:

The name "Wachovia" is the Latin form of the German "die Wachau." "Die Wachau" was chosen as the name of the North Carolina Moravian tract, to honor Count Zinzendorf, Moravian patron and bishop whose family estate was located in the Wachau region northwest of Vienna, along the Danube River between the towns of Melk and Krems. The Moravians most likely felt that the landscape in the back country of North Carolina, with its nearby mountains, local waterways including the Dan River, the Yadkin River, Town Fork Creek and three forks of Muddy Creek, and its fertile land with abundant forest, resembled the Wachau region in central Europe.

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At some point, the born and died descriptions were in English, instead of German.

Sara G. Fogle

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This stone belongs to the first Moravian Missionary to Greenland in the 1700s.

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This large pillar marker is next to his headstone.

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The style of the letters on Gottlieb Strehle’s marker caught my eye.

Born 1756 in Pennsylvania, Departed in 1818 in Bethabara.

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Anna Catherine

It’s the aged 54 y’rs, 8 mo’s & 16 da’s that has me a bit pondersome.

That is awful close to my own age. What was her life like? Was she happy? It says “in Memory of Our Dear Mother” She is listed with two last names, is the first one her maiden name, or – was she twice married in her life time? Don’t you wish you knew?

It was just a very humbling walk through a very sacred space ---and I was glad for the time out to wander freely this historic spot.

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On our way back to our cars so we could make it to our Bee meeting ((Albeit all sweaty and panting!)) we came across this little traveler trying to get from one side of the path to the other ----Hello, little turtle! Thank you for sharing your beautiful walk with us!

The three day weekend is now over, life gets back to normal and errands and to-do list are to be resumed as soon as I hit send on this!

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!