Crafty Grandma: Waterloo craft-fluencer sharing her skills

Crafty Grandma: Waterloo craft-fluencer sharing her skills

Sue Wright of Waterloo, center, models a dress she made at the Amana Colonies Rennaissance Faire in 2023. To her left is another handmade dress by Wright, and to her right is a miniature house she crafted. (Photos courtesy Sue Wright)

By Amie Rivers

February 15, 2024

Sue Wright and I had been chatting over coffee for a while, about her crafting projects, her tiny cardboard houses, and her YouTube presence, when I noticed the buttons of her shirt bore a striking resemblance to buttons inside of the miniature house she was showing me.

“Wait—you made this? All the clothes you’re wearing right now?”

“Well, yeah!” Wright, of Waterloo, chuckled. And, before I could marvel too much in astonishment, she demurred—in true Midwestern style—”Oh, it’s so easy.”

Easy for Wright, perhaps, who’s been honing her crafting skills by her grandmother and other family members taught her the basics as a child.

As an adult, she found out her friends hadn’t been taught the same skills—but would like to learn. That’s when she realized she had something unique to share.

But she still needed a push.

“A dear old friend had a computer she had no want or need of. She said I could have it if I used it to help with my miniatures and my sewing—and if I would use it to start a YouTube so she and our friends could watch,” Wright said.

So she started “WhichCrafting with Sue,” where she shows folks how to gather materials and craft along with her.

“It’s rough, and I’m learning and improving with each video,” Wright said. “I decided I’ll just be ‘that Grandma’ to people.”

In one recent video, she reassures viewers making a pattern along with her that it was “simple, it’s easy and one size fits everybody.” And she notes you don’t need to spend a lot on materials: In another video posted on Christmas Eve, she encourages crafters to “save all your boxes and your tissue paper” in order to craft their own miniature house.

She’s planning for more types of crafting as she gets feedback, including gardening and baking.

Her advice for those who aren’t sure where to begin crafting? Ask yourself what you’ve always been curious about or what inspires you. Try “many things in small ways” to discover what you like. Watch videos (like hers, of course).

And, finally: “Go for it!”

  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.

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