Sunday, October 4, 2009

Learn a New Craft at Bouchercon!

This year at Bouchercon (, the world's largest mystery convention, we will be trying something new — a Craft Room! This is a chance for readers to participate with authors as we create and teach the hobbies we love so well. Below is a run-down of who will be teaching, what will be happening, and when. If you are attending Bouchercon, please sign up for your time in the Craft Room well in advance. I’d hate to see you disappointed, and I know these sessions will go fast. Killer Hobby Blog Sisters participation is denoted by an asterisk:

Thursday, October 15
10:30-11:25 am
Monica Ferris* : Crossed-stitch Bookmark

1:30-2:25 pm
Margaret Grace* : Miniature Flowers

3-3:55 pm
Betty Hechtman* : Crocheted “Molly Pink” Dishcloth

Friday, October 16
9-9:55 am
Maggie Sefton: A Simple Scarf

10:30-11:25 am
Penny Warner: Nancy Drew Sleuth Kit

Penny Warner: Party invitation/Memory Book Favor

Saturday, October 17
9-9:55 am
Sally Goldenbaum
: Knit squares for Quilts

10:30-11:25 am
Beth Groundwater
: Designer Gift Baskets

1-1:55 pm
Joanna Campbell Slan* : Scrapbook Page

2:30-3:25 pm
Cricket McRae: Fizzing bath salts

Here’s a bit more about your crafty author-hosts and their projects:


Accidental Hoosier Monica Ferris was born in Terre Haute, but only because there was the closest hospital to her parents' home in Marshall, Illinois. She now lives in Minneapolis. After publishing novels as Mary Monica Pulver and Margaret Frazer, Monica began a new series for Berkley/Prime Crime. The titles include Crewel World, Framed in Lace, A Stitch in Time, Unraveled Sleeve, A Murderous Yarn, Hanging by A Thread, Cutwork, Crewel Yule, Embroidered Truths, Sins and Needles, Knitting Bones, Thai Die and Blackwork.
In the Craft Room at Bouchercon this fall, Monica will teach a simple two-color argyle pattern for a counted cross stitch bookmark. Visit Monica at

MARGARET GRACE (Camille Minichino)*
Camille Minichino is having a great time as Margaret Grace, even though MINIchino seems more suited to MINIature Mysteries, huh? On October 6 she'll welcome the fourth in the series featuring Gerry Porter, a retired teacher who does miniatures with her precocious 10- year-old granddaughter, Maddie. In Mourning in Miniature a 30-year high school reunion turns deadly and the pair are on the case!

Camille is excited about a product from the UK that she came upon a few months
ago: FlowerSoft. Using small pieces of wire, a pot of glue and a wonderful product made of colored foam, you can create beautiful flowers in our crafts room at Bouchercon. Stick these wonderblooms in a bead and you have a fantastic miniature vase of flowers.

Camille will bring all the supplies! Visit Camille at


Betty always wanted to learn how to crochet and always wanted to write mysteries. You could say her life turned on a granny square because through learning how to make them, Betty got the idea to put the two goals together and her mystery series was born.

Hooked on Murder, Dead Men Don’t Crochet and By Hook or By Crook
are all national bestsellers. Hooked on Murder is in a fourth printing and Dead Men Don’t Crochet in a second printing. The fourth book, A Stitch in Crime, comes out in February. The series follow the sleuthing and crocheting activities of Molly Pink and the Tarzana Hookers and all include a recipe and an easy to make pattern.

Betty’s craft project is a Molly Pink Dishcloth. It’s an easy quick project and you get something useful out of it. Visit Betty at


Maggie Sefton writes the Berkley Prine Crime Knitting Mysteries. Kelly Flynn is the young 30-something sleuth, CPA, refugee from East Coast corporate firm who's returned to her Colorado childhood home to solve a murder and goes on to find new friends, a new job, and a new boyfriend. Not necessarily in that order. Knit One, Kill Two is first in series. Seventh series release out last June is Dropped Dead Stitch.

Maggie is presently working on a new wool winter scarf from a reader-designed pattern which will appear in the June 2010 release. She’ll be teaching folks at Bouchercon to make a scarf. Visit Maggie at


Penny Warner is the author of over 50 books, for kids and adults, both fiction and non-fiction. She is the author of The Official Nancy Drew Handbook (Quirk Books, Agatha nominee) and the Connor Westphal mystery series, featuring a deaf reporter in the California Gold Country (Macavity winner, Agatha nominee.) Her new series, How to Host a Killer Party, debuts in February from NAL/Penguin and features an event planner who lives and works on San Francisco's Treasure Island.
Penny is conducting two workshops: 1.) Nancy Drew’s Mysterious Sleuth Kit, filled with hidden compartments, cryptic clues, detecting tools, and Nancy Drew goodies. 2.) Killer Party Pop-Up Invitation/Memory Book/Favor. Visit Penny at


Sally Goldenbaum has written (30+ novels), worked as a teacher (philosophy & Latin), NPR public relations, and a bioethics journal editor. Her new Seaside Knitters series is set on Cape Ann, north of Boston and features four women ranging in age from 34 to 80 who meet weekly in the Seaside Knitting Studio to forge friendships, knit wonderful creations, and explore the lives of the lovely residents of Sea Harbor, Maine.

Sally will help knit squares that will then be sent off to a wonderful lady named Sandy McDonald who is head of an amazing project called knit a square ( The squares will be sent to a woman in South Africa who has organized a group that will knit them into blankets for children and families, primarily those suffering from AIDS. Visit Sally at


Beth Groundwater is a Colorado-based mystery author whose first book A Real Basket Case was an Agatha nominee for Best First Novel. The book introduces Claire Hanover, who owns a gift basket business. Beth has also recently signed with Midnight Ink to publish two books in the Mandy Tanner river ranger series.

She’ll be helping participants assemble a gift basket. Visit Beth at


Joanna is the author of Agatha-nominated Paper, Scissors, Death, the first book in the Scrap-N-Craft Mystery Series featuring a spunky widow named Kiki Lowenstein, a scrapbooker who refuses to let a murderer get away with, well, murder! The second in the series Cut, Crop & Die was released this June. Joanna is the author of 7 non-fiction books on scrapbooking, and she’s taught the craft online, in magazines, and around the globe.

Joanna grew up in Vincennes, Indiana, and graduated from Ball State University. She’ll be teaching participants to put together a custom-designed scrapbook page you can see here You’ll have plenty of fun supplies to take home as well.


Cricket McRae writes the Home Crafting Mystery Series featuring soap maker Sophie Mae Reynolds. Cricket lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she writes and practices the traditional home crafts for which the series is named. These include soap making, food preservation, spinning and cheese making.

Her class at Bouchercon will focus on how to make your own fizzing bath salts as well as information about other types of salts and milk bath formulations. Contact Cricket at .


Camille Minichino said...

Thanks for the handy schedule, Joanna!
I might just camp out in the craft room for the weekend!

Terri Thayer said...

Wow, what a year to miss Bouchercon. You guys will be having so much fun without me. BooHoo. I will have to sell a lot of books at Pacific International Quilt Fest to make up for this.

See you all at Left Coast in LA? Bouchercon in SF? Got to bring these crafters to California!

Penny said...

Nuts, Terri! I was hoping to come home with a complete mystery quilt by the end of the conference...
You'll be missed!
Maybe I'll make a miniature one...