Thornton farm girl, now crafty grandma, to appear on "Making It"

Thornton farm girl Jemma Olson, now of Texas, will appear on the new craft show “Making It” on July 31. Olson loves to craft and says that being on the show was an enormous amount of fun.

Support Local Journalism

A former Thornton farm girl turned crafty grandma, will appear on NBC’s new crafting show entitled, “Making It.”

Jemma Olson, currently living in Rockwall Texas, will display her crafting abilities on the new show, which will be aired Tuesday, July 31. There she’ll compete with other crafters.

American actors and performers Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman are hosting the competitive show.

“Eight of the most talented makers from across the country will take on a variety of handmade projects with the hopes of impressing Poehler, Offerman and our expert judges, Simon Doonan and Dayna Isom Johnson. Poehler and Offerman both share a love of, and passion for, craftsmanship, albeit from different perspectives,” said the show in a press release. “Poehler is a self-proclaimed crafting novice who has long harbored a secret appreciation for those who can imagine and execute incredible things by hand. Offerman is a New York Times best-selling author in the woodworking space and is well known for his love for making a variety of objects himself.”

Olson says she had a great time while taping the show with Poehler and Offerman earlier this year.

“Amy and Nick are the most welcoming host and hostess. We were all laughing. There was such camaraderie. The people I was competing with were delightful,” she said.

The show’s press release describes “Making It” as a “uniquely lighthearted competition . . . celebrating the creativity and craftiness in all of us,” it said.

Six episodes of the show will feature an on-going competition during which time, eight of the makers will work on their various handmade projects.

Every show revolves around a central theme, said the press release.

“Each episode of the competition will consist of two projects that allow the makers to demonstrate their specialized talent while sharing skilled insights and touching personal stories,” it reported.

A timed challenge serves as the first “faster-craft” that tests crafters’ abilities to not only work quickly but “imaginatively.” From there, makers will move on to the “master craft collection.”

“(This) is a one-of-a-kind themed challenge in which the competitors will need to use their expertise and get inventive in order to assemble a winning craft that fits the theme of that week,” said the press release.

Olson declined to say which crafts she’ll be demonstrating on the show, but she did say that she loves to knit, crochet, sew and mod podge.

“Actually, I do a little bit of everything,” she said.

Olson found out about the show after the monitor of a Facebook page she follows put a call out for a crafty grandmother to be on a new show about crafting.

“I said, ‘I’m a crafter, and I’m a grandmother. The next thing I know, I was on Skype and flown to L.A. All at once, I was on the show,” she said.

While Olson resides in Texas, she returns to Idaho occasionally. In May, visited her Thornton family farm and later her parents’ graves.

Olson learned to craft from her mother and grandmother while growing up on the farm.

“It’s where I learned my love for it. That’s where I really learned to love it. Mama had her quilting bees. Mama would have her friends come down, and everyone would sit around and quilt. It’s a bygone era,” Olson said.

Ironically, about the only craft that Olson doesn’t do is quilting.

“I don’t have the patience for it like Mama did. Needlepoint and crocheting goes faster,” she said.

Following her 15 minutes of fame, Olson plans to continue crafting. She’s looking forward to fall when she plans on making some seasonal wreaths.

Olson says that a show like “Making it” is long overdue especially at a time when Etsy and Pinterest prove so popular for those who love making homemade items.

“I think there’s a movement to create with our own hands instead of buying (from the store). I think it’s really nice to go back to making things with our hands. It’s generational as well as a part of our community. You make something, you chat, and you reconnect with one another,” she said.

Cell phones and computers have caused people to lose that personal touch, Olson said.

“With this technology, we’ve lost the art of communication. This show is regenerating all of this,” she said.

Olson says that “Making It” is something that everybody from grandparents to grandkids can watch.

“It’s the wholesomeness. It’s a very family-oriented show,” she said.

The show’s creators couldn’t agree more.

“Blending the atmosphere of a serene outdoor setting and innovative cinematography designed to showcase the beautiful craftsmanship at work, this friendly competition will focus on the character and camaraderie of the crafting community. Through it all, Amy and Nick will provide heartfelt encouragement, guidance and plenty of laughs,” they said via their press release.

For a sneak peek of Olson’s visit to the show, visit For more information on the show, visit