VICTORIA — Since she was in grade school, Marie Schmidtberger, Victoria, has been creating unique, eye-catching products with her own two hands. She puts that skill to good use in her trade.

Creations by Marie, which has been up and running for approximately two years, is her home-based business. From there, she crafts a variety of masterpieces, mostly from a sewing machine.

“I learned how to sew in 4-H,” Schmidtberger said. “I continued sewing and eventually got into quilting with my cousin; everything just went from there.”

Schmidtberger’s daughter, Kayla North, is a teacher at Holy Family Elementary School, Hays, and Schmidtberger said it was because of Kayla that she transformed her hobbies and talent into a money-making business.

“She’s the one who kind of got me started,” Schmidtberger said. “She had a lot of teacher friends that needed curtains and things for their classrooms, and they all kept telling me I needed to go into business.”

So, she finally did, with the help and support of her entire family.

“I’ve been helping my mom since she started,” said Schmidtberger’s daughter, Anna, who helps at craft shows, and created a Facebook page and business website for Creations by Marie.

Anna explained she has learned everything she knows about sewing through her mother and her crafts, which she described as one-of-a-kind and rustic.

Schmidtberger’s husband, Wayne, assists in creating metal and steel works of art, mostly built out of horseshoes. Wayne welds pieces together to structure unique wall decor, wine racks and many other household items. Schmidtberger then paints the designs, putting the finishing touches on them before sale.

Caitlyn, Schmidtberger’s other daughter, helps her mother at craft shows and contributes ideas for new projects.

“She also has a daughter that inspires me,” Schmidtberger said of Caitlyn. “I sew a lot for my granddaughter.”

Many of the items Schmidtberger creates actually are designed for children.

“A lot of the things I sell at craft shows are crayon bags that hold eight crayons, paper and stickers, toy car bags that hold eight different little Matchbox cars, burp rags and cloths for babies,” she said. “I also make diaper bags, tote bags and duffel bags.”

Additionally, Schmidtberger personalizes items such as baby blankets, quilts and clothing.

“She can personalize all kinds of things because she has an embroidery machine,” Anna said of her mother.

The relaxation Schmidtberger receives from her work is enough to make her never want to stop.

“It’s how I get away, through my sewing,” she said. “When I sit down at the sewing machine, it’s like I’m in my own world and I can just relax and let my thoughts go.”

Most of what drives her, though, stitch after stitch, is the satisfaction she receives from giving meaningful creations to others.

“You don’t see a lot of homemade items anymore,” she said. “By giving something homemade, I feel it comes from the heart, because everything I make does come from my heart.”

For more information about Creations by Marie, call (785) 735-4773 or visit the Creations by Marie Facebook page.