Column #72

Author: Terri Thayer

Terri Thayer
Author: Terri Thayer

“Quilters have all sorts of sharp instruments at their disposal—it just seemed natural to murder somebody with a rotary cutter,” joked Terri Thayer, author of the Quilting Mysteries. The East Coast native and California transplant has penned four books in this popular series to date: Wild Goose Chase, Old Maid’s Puzzle, Ocean Waves, and the recently-completed Monkey Wrench. She has begun writing the fifth, which has a working title of Robbing Peter to Pay Paul.

According to Thayer, sometimes a traditional quilt pattern name generates the idea for a book; other times the story comes first and she then searches for a suitable pattern name to complement the story. For example, Monkey Wrench was suggested by readers of her blog, who had read a brief synopsis of the plot.

The heroine of the series is 30-something Dewey Pellicano, who inherited a quilt shop from her mother. Dewey does not start out as a quilter, although she loves quilts. She has a somewhat edgy persona and she is not afraid to show her sexy side.

“I wanted to bust the stereotype of the traditional quilter and create a character who shows a different aspect than what is often expected,” Thayer says. “The quilters I know are funny and they have opinions. They are not all sweetness and light. They are real people who like to have fun—all types of fun.”

Thayer, who has been quilting for over 20 years, did not grow up in a quilting family. She learned to sew in her seventh-grade Home Economics class and she taught herself to quilt from a book after she decided to make a quilt for her son. Once she began quilting, her mother and aunt took it up as well, and she later learned that her grandmother had made utilitarian quilts but that they were “all used up” before Thayer ever had a chance to see them. Quilting is Thayer’s “go-to thing” when she wants to get away from writing, and she especially enjoys the social aspect of quilting with friends and family.

She had always been a reader, and after being laid off from her job, she decided to try her hand at writing. “I’ve always been a person who learned from books, so I went to the library and checked out a book on how to write a romance novel,” Thayer recalls. “My romance got rejected, but it got me started.”

Things began to gel when she heard a lecture by mystery writer Laurie King and joined the California Writers Club, attending meetings, taking classes, going to lectures, and becoming part of a critique group. “They are still my best critics,” she adds.

Thayer especially loves mysteries and she noticed that her quilting friends liked to read mysteries as well. She recognized that there might be a market for mysteries with a quilting theme. “Most quilters like to read, and a lot of them listen to audio books when they quilt,” Thayer says. “I’m not really sure why so many quilters like mysteries. Maybe it’s because they like puzzles and they like to create order out of chaos. Plus, there is something really satisfying about tying up all the loose ends and seeing justice done. At the end of a mystery, the world gets set right.”

Terri Thayer and her amateur sleuth Dewey do know how to tie up all the loose ends, and whether it pertains to making a quilt or solving a mystery, there is, as Thayer says, something really satisfying about that. 


Terri Thayer is also the author of the Stamping Sisters Mysteries and she is working on a new web-based quilting series entitled Tales of the Quilt Shop with different characters, serial episodes, and an accompanying Block-of-the-Month. More information can be found on Thayer’s website: www.territhayer.com

 

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Archived blogs:

Column 108: Quilting to Freedom
Column 107: National Quilting Day
Column 106: The Airing of the Quilts
Column 105: A Call for a National Juneteenth Commemorative Quilt
Column 104: Dominoes
Column 103: 1936 Texas Centennial Bluebonnet Quilt
Column 102: Helen Blackstone, A Texas Quilter
Column 101: Montana CattleWomen Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 100: 100th Suzy's Fancy Column!
Column 99: Montana Stockgrowers Anniversary Brand Quilt
Column 98: The Tobacco Sack Connection
Column 97: Meet the Sisters Who Are State Fair Quilting Queens
Column 96: The connection between fairs and quilts.
Column 95: Her Mother Pieced Quilts
Column 94: Rebecca Barker’s Quiltscapes
Column 93: The Thread and Thimble Club Mystery
Column 92: The Ballerina Quilter
Column 91: Grandmother's Flower Garden Comes Alive at Texas Quilt Museum
Column 90: Leitmotif for a Lifelong Love Affair
Column 89: Quilting in The Bahamas
Column 88: Joan of Arc: A Quilter's Inspiration
Column 87: Home Demonstration Clubs and Quilting
Column 86: Linzi Upton and the Quilted Yurt
Column 85: A Bounty of Quilts
Column 84: Desert Trader
Column 83: Quilts and the Women’s Liberation Movement
Column 82: Replicating the Past: Reproduction Fabrics for Today’s Quilts
Column 81: Why So Many Quilt Shops in Bozeman, Montana?
Column 80: Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum
Column 79: 54 Tons of Quilt
Column 78: Ollie Steele Burden’s Quilt Blocks
Column 77: Quilting with AMD
Column 76: Maverick Quilts and Cowgirls
Column 75: The Modern Quilt Guild—Cyberculture Quilting Ramps Up
Column 74: The Membership Quilt—Czech Quilting in Texas
Column 73: Maximum Security Quilts
Column 72: Author: Terri Thayer
Column 71: The Christmas Quilt
Column 70: New Mexico Centennial Quilt
Column 69: Scrub Quilts
Column 68: “Think Pink” Quilt Raises Funds for Rare Cancer Research
Column 67: Righting Old Wrongs.
Column 66: 100 Years, 100 Quilts - More on the Arizona Centennial.
Column 65: Arizona Centennial Quilt Project
Column 64: Capt. John Files Tom’s Family Tree
Column 63: The Fat Quarters
Column 62: Quilt Fiction Author: Clare O’Donohue
Column 61: Louisiana Bicentennial Quilt
Column 60: The Camo Quilt Project.
Column 59: Thread Wit
Column 58: Ralli Quilts
Column 57: Preschool Quilters
Column 56: The Story Quilt
Column 55: Red and Green Quilts
Column 54: On the Trail
Column 53: Quilt Trail Gathering
Column 52: True Confessions: First Quilt
Column 51: Quilted Pages
Column 50: Doll Quilts
Column 49: More Than a Quilt Shop
Column 48: Las Colchas of the Texas-Mexico Border
Column 47: Literary Gifts
Column 46: A Different Way of Seeing
Column 45: Sampling
Column 44: Hen and Chicks
Column 43: A Star Studied Event
Column 42: Shoo Fly Pattern
Column 41: Awareness Quilts
Column 40: Tivaevae
Column 39: UnOILed UnspOILed Coast Quilt Project
Column 38: Katrina Recovery Quilts
Column 37: Quilted Vermont
Column 36: The Labyrinth Quilt—A Meditative Endeavor

See other archived columns here

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