I’ve been sewing since I could hold a needle, making my own clothes, soft furnishings, formal wear and my wedding dress … until I discovered patchwork and quilting about 25 years ago. Now I hardly ever make clothes!
In 2015, I had an idea for a challenge quilt for my local groups of friends. It was simple: make a quilt block every day for a year to build a sampler quilt. I thought maybe a dozen people would make the quilt. I created a Facebook page … and next thing I knew, quilters from all over the world were interested in my quilt! The 365 Challenge was born! At the end of 2019, there are over 30,000 subscribers … and the list is still growing.
The success of the 365 Challenge gave me the courage to design and send my patchwork patterns out into the world. My site kathrynkerr.com is that dream come true.
My journey as an artist has been much more stop/start. I dabbled in photography in the early ’90s, only to find my time increasingly consumed by my ‘real’ job as an analytical chemist over the next decade. My next opportunity to return to art manifested as beginning a Diploma of Visual Arts in 2003 at the local TAFE. It was such a joy to learn the basics of drawing and painting, and dip into cultural studies and art appreciation – subjects I’d never broached at school with my head in maths and science books.
It’s always about the fabric for me! Over the years I’ve explored eco-dying with Glenys Mann and India Flint, learnt art-quilting techniques from Caryl Bryer Fallert, Gloria Loughman, Caroline Sharkey, Catherine O’Leary, Jenny Bowker … but his year, 2019, I am finally giving over completely to the creative pull. I’ve enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Textiles at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK via correspondence.
I’ll be journalling my progress through my course right here, as well as all my other artistic adventures, warts and all.