Since it was founded in 2006, Twitch has grown from a live streaming platform for gamers to a large community of streamers with varying interests. One of the thriving communities on the platform is “Maker & Crafting” with a growing audience of over 660,000 active followers. There are many skilled crafters who showcase their expertise across a range of artistic interests including crochet, woodworking, knitting, and quilting, among others.
These talented crafters use the live streaming platform to connect with people who share their passion and also teach their followers the processes involved in creating their work.
Are you new to Twitch (read more about getting started right here), or just wondering who to follow there? Checked out this list of craft-focused Twitch streamers changing the narrative about art and craft.
Mary Fons is a renowned quilter who doubles as a writer and editor. Her love for quilting can easily be seen in everything she does. Apart from running a Twitch channel, Quiltnerdshow, with 1,200 active followers, she served as editor for Quiltfolk magazine and Quilty Magazine. She prides herself as the author of Make & Love Quilts: Scrap Quilts for the 21st Century (C&T/StashBooks) and Dear Quilty (F&W Media).
Mary started live streaming on Twitch because she wanted to do things differently from other quilters out there. The choice of Twitch as the streaming platform came to her because of the platform’s superior functionality over YouTube and other streaming platforms.
“Twitch was built expressly for livestreaming, so the functionality and the improvements to the platform are geared specifically for streamers. Unlike YouTube, Twitch has fewer problems with frames dropping; long lag-times between what I’m doing and what the viewers are seeing; and various other technical hiccups I’ve observed happening on YouTube,” she says.
Getting started with live streaming as a newbie may be daunting at first because “the amount of stuff you have to learn — broadcasting with streaming software, navigating platforms, understanding the equipment, etc.,— is staggering,” according to Fons.
And, she says “everything that can go wrong, will. I have cried so, so many tears of frustration over the past couple years when things just don’t work or when I simply cannot figure out how to do a thing I want or need to do, technically speaking. But you know what? One of the things I am most proud of is that I know this stuff now. I taught myself. And it’s really complicated. But I didn’t give up. And now I can help other quilt people start their streams, which I have done!”
Sondrosa is a prolific art quilter with a big passion for the craft. She has been quilting professionally for over a decade. Like many streamers, Sondrosa started live streaming on Twitch because it allowed her to grow her audience and engage with a community with an interest in her craft.
“When I am doing a hand sewing stream and someone has a question about what I just did I can immediately go back and re-demo or explain the technique in a different way.
There’s an instant gratification for the viewer to be able to connect with the streamer, as well as instant gratification for the streamer in the act of helping.”
For new crafters having doubts about starting a livestream, Sondrosa believes that “streaming is an important tool that you have in building that connection with viewers and consumers. It will help you build that like, know, trust, that is so important to small businesses.”
Kel is passionate about knitting and sewing. Her love for art and craft started from her childhood. With a growing community of 1,700 followers on Twitch, Kel is enjoying livestreaming herself knitting and occasionally playing games on her channel.
Kel began streaming on Twitch in 2022 and uses the channel “to meet a whole community of people who love crafting.”
It wasn’t until she began using Twitch that she decided to begin turning her craft into a business.
“I didn’t have a craft business prior to starting streaming so it helped encourage me to make one. I now have some merchandise I’ve designed, take commissions, and even am working on writing patterns. None of that would have happened if I did not have an amazing community to encourage me.”
Kel recommends livestreaming for crafters but notes that it may not be everyone. “When I started streaming, I came into it expecting to actually make progress on my craft. Some days that happens and sometimes it doesn’t. To stream your craft effectively you have to be able to interact and work at the same time which can be a challenge.”
Kel says participating in the existing Twitch craft community is helpful. “Become a part of the Makers and Crafting community on Twitch before beginning your streaming journey. Make friends with people who watch and make the content. Not only are they a valuable resource for learning how to make a stream work, but when you do start you will have people who will know your name when you click that Go Live button the first time.”
Based in Northeast Texas, TexasHula (as he is known) is a talented and passionate woodworker Twitch streamer. From bowls to magic wands to boxes to everyday household items, he transforms wood into beautiful works of art. With a growing community of 10,000 followers, TexasHula is one of the most followed crafters on the Twitch platform. Surprisingly, his channel started out with gaming before he transitioned it into woodworking.
TexasHula’s woodworking creations.
Tina of TLK Knitting
Tina loves camping, playing Fortnite, and knitting. She’s a certified knitting instructor by the Craft Yarn Council, a nonprofit organization representing yarn companies, manufacturers, publishers, and consultants. She currently has 4,300 active followers on Twitch learning from her amazing knitting skills. When Tina is not knitting live on Twitch, she livestreams herself playing Fortnite.
Olawoyin is a freelance writer who loves to learn new things, impact knowledge, and make friends.