Art speaks to us. It tells a story. It evokes emotion. It can transport your mind and soul to a different place entirely.
Quilting is art too!
The texture. The color. The pattern. The depth.
You probably are looking at this (insanely) cute camper that I collaged and are wondering, “Steph, what story does this tell? What emotion is drummed up from deep inside your being?”
And I’ll respond, “This camper brings me nightmares and sheer terror. It makes me feel like I’m drowning”.
So let’s chat about where this camper began. Journey with me back to the spring of 2019, the year of the flooded basement. I will be the first to say I’m being dramatic here. If you live in Nebraska or if you paid any attention to the news last year, you know that our state and many others were hammered hard. It was a confluence of factors that included record snowfall, a rapid melt, and a helping heap of what the news labeled a “bomb cyclone”. The result was that many lost their homes and their livelihood as our state and those down stream from us suffered.
Therefore, much of my story here is mainly tongue in cheek, because I know others had it WAY worse than we did. And really, in the end, we ended up with a cleaned out and refreshed basement, even though insurance didn’t pay a dime of it (not that I’m bitter).
Laura Heine Technique Class:
I had never done a collage quilt before last year.
Correction. Let me rephrase: I had never HEARD of a collage quilt before last year.
My mom had wanted to take a class on learning the Laura Heine collaging technique so mom, sis and I signed up for a class at a local store called The Country Sampler. We had a FABULOUS time collaging and learning the ropes, which for me, felt much like scrapbooking – my first love.
Collaging is fun! It is like kindergarten art but with grown up tools like super sharp scissors and hot irons.
We left class that day around 2:00 in the afternoon. We decided to part ways for naps and meet up again for dinner. It was a beautiful spring day after a loooooong and snowy winter. You could hear birds chirping and the gentle ‘ping ping ping’ of snow melt coming off of the roof and eaves.
It was that gentle ping ping pitter pat of the snow melt that lulled me into a really good afternoon nap.
Around 4:00 I woke up and decided to go put away my sewing supplies in my basement sewing room. My arms were loaded and I went down and took one step off of the landing. My sock became immediately soaked. Took a couple more steps…Squish Squish Squish.
Houston, There Was a Problem!
From noon (which is when my husband had last been down there) until 4:00, our basement had become a pond from the melting snow. The back corner of our house was the culprit because it was a low spot and a lot of snow had gathered there over the winter and was now making its gravitational journey to the basement because the ground underneath was still frozen rock hard.
The afternoon / evening and the following day were a blur. I hired two guys off of Facebook marketplace to begin shoveling snow OUT OF OUR YARD! They chiseled a trench into the ground (have no clue how they did this) and we set a pump that is used for a landscape fountain in the puddles to start getting it away from the house.
Meanwhile, my dad, the farmer, asked for some bailing twine, a jackhammer and a chair.
As city folk, we had exactly one of those items and were scratching our heads about the other two requests.
His goal was to jackhammer a hole into our basement concrete so that water had a place to go down rather than continue to spread through our basement. We were able to convince him that a jackhammer’s fumes may kill us all, so he settled on some manpower instead and by golly, he had a hole that a 5-gallon bucket could fit into, which gathered the water which we were able to start sump pumping into drainage.
Meanwhile, my mom set out on the town, hunting and gathering any sort of supply that could fight a water war. We had Shopvacs, we had squeegies, we had mops.
We got the inflow of water under control and now the task of cleaning this place up commenced.
I will tell you, it was not pretty and it was not fun. The next few days and weeks were awful as we sucked up water, removed carpet and padding, sorted through all. of. the. stuff. We ran enough dehumidifiers to strain the power grid.
All of my quilting and scrapbooking were salvaged (thanks to ninja-quick skills), but a lot of our things found a new home at the county dump.
We went to the dump so many times that we started calling them “dump dates”. Luckily between our house and the dump there is this great local place called “The Dairy Chef” and we started stopping there for chili cheese dogs and ice cream. Yeah, I’m a cheap date and the way to my heart is with a chili cheese dog.
The blessing in all of this is that we now have a fresh and “new” basement! New carpet, paint and furniture…if you can call spending thousands of dollars because the insurance company doesn’t consider this an insured loss kind of blessing. But we made it through!!
And that, my friends, is the story I will tell when I share my Laura Heine camper collage quilt.
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