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stockings, skirts & stone paths


Today I started working on my Christmas freelance projects.  I know it’s April, but this is a pretty normal time of year for me to be working on Christmas stuff, actually.  These projects are for Christmas 2014 and are launched in July for “Christmas in July” and will then be promoted again when everyone else is ramping up for the holidays.  So, I have to get them turned in early enough, so they can be edited, formatted, etc.  It is a little strange making Christmas decorations in April, but that’s just a part of this business.

Today I made tutorials showing how to turn a cutter quilt into a tree skirt and stockings.  I love how these turned out…


It was a little sad cutting up this circa 1870 quilt with amazing hand stitching, but it was shredded in some places and wasn’t very useful as a quilt anymore.

MSI_5524 MSI_5482


I loved the stitched date, though, so I cut it off and stitched it to the corner of the tree skirt.


Tomorrow I move from heirloom quilts to simple felt and fabric glue.

The weather this evening was gorgeous, despite a slight chill in the air.  I put a sweatshirt on and went out to do a bit of work in the yard.  I’m trying to turn this…


…into something like this…


Obviously, I didn’t get very far, but my helpers and I got a little sidetracked as we found worms and had to collect them in a container and then give them soil and oatmeal and make sure they were happy.  We also got tired of digging and played some “birdie” (badminton).  I really enjoy spring evenings.

Anyway, my vision is to have a little stone path leading to the deck and then tuck some creeping plants, moss or even just grass seed in between the stones.

As I was working on Christmas stuff, Cari (aka The Machine) was prepping and painting pieces for Lucketts.  They are coming along well and I feel so inspired looking at pretty painted pieces all in a row, just waiting for me to do the distressing and finishing.  The furniture is beckoning me…hopefully I can get to it next week!

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  1. That is a great idea to give old beautiful but worn quilts a new life! Sounds like you got a lot done today but stopped to “smell the roses” with your boys ! Good for you as you already know they are grown in a blink of the eye!

  2. It’s so much better to take something that has been collecting dust in a closet, and repurpose it into something that will get lots of use and love!

  3. Jennifer Brennan says:

    What a wonderful way to repurpose unusable quilts. My mother made me a beautiful quilt when I was a newborn. I used that quilt for my first daughter when she was born. Unfortunately the washer machine decided to eat the quilt even though it was put on gentle cycle — a huge mistake on my part and I learned a valuable lesson too late. I could never bring myself to discard the quilt. It is tucked away in the attic. Next time I’m in the attic, I will search for it and turn it in a pillow to decorate my children’s rooms. Thank you, thank you for incredible idea!

  4. MaryJean says:

    excited to see what you do with the quilt. Love the colors. Are quilts re-purposed coming back? I was very into that in the 80’s. (;

  5. Mary Jean you made me laugh! I always have old cutters on hand. In fact I just reupholstered a chair with one. I loved your reference to the 80’s as all the new stuff that is popular reminds me of things we did in the 80’s! I milk painted, used blue in my house, brass was popular, found items were used to decorate. Just proves “what is old is new again”…..

  6. Susan says:

    Love, love, love your Christmas projects. What do you mean by freelance? Curious! Isn’t there something about the spring weather that makes us all want to go out and make our gardens beautiful (but here in southern California, it’s a little HOT today — will have to wait for the weekend when it cools down a little!)

    • Miss Mustard Seed says:

      I’m a freelance tutorial writer (meaning hired on a per-job contract basis) for and sometimes magazines.

  7. I’ve been loving the warmer (and sunnier) days! Finally they’re here! Does wonders for motivation and has been so nice to finally get outdoors with the kiddos.

  8. Marion, lovely work. Would you consider selling the quilted skirt?

    Also, you might want to spray the stones with a mixture with buttermilk. I understand moss will then grow on them, under the right conditions. Love walking paths

  9. Pieces of old never get left behind when look at as a thing of beauty.
    I love best in creating is to look at the piece and letting it tell you want it wants to become. For someone to love all over again.
    In creating I will take a simple empty cereal box and turn it into the shape and mold in which I will build upon I turn creating a crown of wonderment unique to itself never a copy of something, or an old Mattelasse will become some of my stockings allowing the tatter to stay weaved in its place of honor, respecting the piece as what it was and what it became.

    Love all you inspire, nurturing, and growing creative business for like women who long to create soulfully with grace and beauty.

    Inspiring visit.
    Off to create.


  10. You are well on the way to having a cute lil path! It’s that time of year, I just want to go work in my yard and gardens!

  11. Everything is very open with a very clear explanation of the challenges.

    It was really informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
    Thank you for sharing!

  12. Christy Keyton says:

    I would suggest Creeping Jenny for the path. I have it between the stones of my backyard path and it is so pretty and comes back every year with little to no care. Can’t ask for more than that!

  13. Janie says:

    Always enjoy you posts, but tonight there is some really strange music (?) playing that is depressing. Hope you will consider removing it from your site. Or did someone else attach it somehow?


  14. Janie says:

    Marian-found the source of the music (which I have now turned off) A video popped up with an interview between two girls about fashions, and now there are young people like at a fashion show or something. Doesn’t really seem to go with your style.


  15. Many thanks! Wonderful information!

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