Today we are introducing you to Kerry Moore who lives in a southern suburb of Perth just 15 minutes from Perth CBD. Kerry has won a few awards at Quiltwest, in the Perth Royal Show and also the Canning Show and Merredin Show. Kerry is a WAQA Accredited Teacher, Accredited Judge and is almost an Accredited Appraiser (in training). I have been a member of WAQA for 21 years and over that time I have been a committee member for probably 15 of those years. Last year as Workshop Convenor I brought the Tentmakers of Cairo to Perth. That was one amazing experience that will take a lot to surpass.
I live on my own now and since giving up work 3 years ago I have finally found all that time to pursue the interests I have had all my life. There is nothing better than being creative. Over the years it has taken many forms and I have at some stage acknowledged that my cooking for the family was as much as I could manage in the way of being creative. Over those years I have taken pottery classes, silk ribbon embroidery classes, photography classes, painting classes in folk art and more recently traditional fine art. I have always known how to knit, having knitted my first pullover at the age of 9-10 so I knitted many garments for the children and some for myself. And at one stage I had piano lessons to try and keep up with my children who all learned piano. Now at the age of 63, I have refined my range of crafts and things I want to do and have a definite interest in nature which inspires my patchwork and quilting, my painting, photography, and my love of the garden.
- Have you always been creative?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t sew. First it was traced linen doilies, later it was the hems and button holes on clothes. My great aunt was my tutor and supporter. She was the one who checked the back of my embroideries to see if it looked as good as the front. Later I learnt to crochet to finish the edges of those doilies. At school I loved to draw and still have my art folios from my Junior year as well as Leaving and Matriculation. That is all the formal training I have had though, apart from casual classes taken to learn something specific. I have devoured many art books and learnt a lot about artistic principles from them and now have my own library of the most meaningful and useful books and magazines.
- Your first foray into the quilting world was?
The late 1980’s when both my sister and I had small children and she was already quilting while I had gone with painting. She wanted me to learn to quilt. It happened that rotary cutting equipment had just come in and she expected me to rotary cut strips and piece them like a pro. 5 years later I handed her back the parcel of fabrics in the bit piece state and said “you can have them. It doesn’t make sense to me.” She spent 10 minutes putting together a block and then I saw how it worked. I finished that quilt in no time. It was a Double Irish Chain. Then I was onto another and another.
- Your first quilt or first piece of craft was?
Before my sister had a hand in things I had made a patchwork bag. I loved red and this is red and cream. I made 2 bags then and gave one away.
Have you won any quilt awards? Locally, nationally, international ?
I have won 2 first prizes in Quiltwest, both in the Two person quilt category. Both these quilts were wedding gifts for my two eldest daughters and they were very happy with that. Since then I have won 2 first prizes in the Perth Royal Show, a second and a third, as well as Best Exhibit in this show. I have also won some firsts, a second, and Champion quilt two years in a row in the Canning Show. I feel it is important to support the local area shows to help them continue the tradition of producing the show as well as to keep people aware of different crafts. My second daughter still lives in Merredin having moved there with her family when my parents were still alive. When I gave the children quilts she would exhibit them in the Merredin show and I have 2 firsts from those shows.
- In your spare time you enjoy……..?
A walk around the neighbourhood to look at nature, a visit to the hills or the ocean to collect gumnuts or shells, driving into the country at wildflower time, browsing through books and magazines on my fav crafts, drawing nature, travelling, and especially creating art with my grandchildren (which is not frequent now as they are busy with school and other activities). I have taught all my grandchildren except the youngest to sew and last week the 13 year old received a 100% mark for her sewing at school. I couldn’t be more proud of her.
A Spring garden, inspiration can be found everywhere!
One of Kerry’s watercolours, painted for the City of Melville open studio weekend, earlier this year.
- What is the best part of teaching students that you enjoy?
That light bulb moment when they suddenly get the idea or concept. Meeting new people with similar interests. And their joy at creating something that previously had them in fear. I also love to see students selection of colours and fabrics when they come to workshops. It is quite inspiring what some of them will intuitively bring along without realising just how good it is. And, seeing the quilts that turn up to show and tell some time later that were started in the class.
Making Dresdens Spin- one of Kerry’s recent classes.
I don’t watch a lot of movies but the ones I remember that I most enjoyed are: The Sound of Music (who doesn’t love this one), The Man from Snowy River (my youngest daughter is still mad about horses and we watched that so many times in her childhood that for a while we memorized some parts. She also played the music to it on the piano), and Shawshank Redemption. I don’t like violence and aggression so it is hard to watch things like this but it was so very good that I have actually watched it three times. All very different but movies but so well acted and the locations are wonderful..
For a long time it was The Secret Garden. Now I would also list the Harry Potter series, Judy Nunn’s books on Australian history linked to contemporary times, and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.
- Perth born and raised?? Or was born and raised somewhere else and came to Perth when?
I was born in Bruce Rock hospital in the central wheatbelt on a day when it was 120 degrees in the shade (according to my uncle). That is Fahrenheit of course. I grew up in the Merredin district and attended school at North Merredin primary school and then Merredin Senior High School. I came to Perth in 1972 to go to University of Western Australia and resided for those four years at St Catherine’s College which is still one of the residential colleges for the university.
I studied arts and majored in French. I became a teacher and taught French, Italian and anything else they threw at me. The funniest time was being asked to teach mathematics to year 10 students , when I had not done well in mathematics at high school. They were pretty desperate for maths teachers then. I traded that for health.
- A bit about your family ? are they supportive about what do you do?
I have 3 beautiful daughters, two lovely sons in law, 5 grandchildren (4 girls and a boy), some grand dogs, a grandcat and a few grandfoals (lost count of them). My 2 daughters who live in Perth are very supportive of my crafts and suffer being asked opinions as well as very kindly giving homes to numerous pieces to ease the burden in my place. They also pack them away reverently when not in use so I am very impressed with that.
I recently took part in the City of Melville Open Studio Art Trail. It was only the second time my local council had put this on and when I rang to apply the receptionist asked me what that was. I eventually received communication from the right person,so was inspected and accepted into this open studio weekend.
For weeks beforehand, apart from completing more art, my youngest daughter instructed me in the setting up and maintaining a facebook page about the art. (Art by Kerry Moore). This daughter was away during the event but my eldest came the day before and helped set up and then came for the Sunday morning to help with the whole proceedings. I could not have managed this without either of them. So yes, they are supportive.
Not at the moment. When the children were growing up we had cats, a dog (collie), several budgies, several weiros (cockatiel), and a number of chooks. My favorite cat who was personality plus died a few months before my mother died 7 years ago and I never cried so much in my whole life. So I haven’t been brave enough to go there again.
- Favourite place to holiday?
Holiday is my favorite place to be. Last year I went to Japan in January and experienced snow for the first time, including a blizzard, as well as the Tokyo quilt festival. That is a show of perfection. I also went on the Trans Siberian Railway last October. That was an amazing journey of chequered history, distance and varied culture. I had on my bucket list to go on the longest rail journey in the world and that was it. Awesome!! I have also been to Europe twice and loved those trips too. There is so much really old history there that we can relate to and I also enjoyed practising the languages that I had learnt.
Three years ago I drove myself from west to east and south to north in Australia and saw and learnt so much about this wonderful continent of ours that I want to go another trip like it but to different areas.
Favourite quilting/sewing tool you can’t live ?
My thimble. Because hand sewing is a natural for me I protect the top of my finger with this important piece. It is not unusual when in the middle of hand quilting or hand sewing of some sort to simply slip it off when doing other tasks and find it later in my pocket. I have several, one for each project.
A walk each day. It hurts now due to arthritis but I still love it.
- Follow patterns or like making and designing your own things?
I like to see a pattern and adjust it to suit the size I want, the shape I want, the technique I want or anything else. I rarely follow a pattern but use them as inspiration to make my own. I also prefer to see a pattern and then design the making of it myself. That way I can call it mine and don’t have to worry about copyright. A lot of the patterns I teach are in the public domain for that reason. There are others that I have learnt to make and then devised an easier or less complicated way to do them.
This was the first star I taught and it has been published in APQ magazine many years ago
- Your favourite part of the whole quilting process?
Designing, and then making the top. I have many unfinished tops but they are part of the journey that has got me so far. One day I will attempt to finish them but for now they have done their bit.
- How much has quilting changed for you over the years?
Not too much has changed for me. I still use minimal equipment, still use traditional blocks to create different things, still design my own applique, still hand quilt. I do know that there are a lot of bits and pieces out there that are new and are for the purpose of trying to make things easier (or more complicated) for quilters, and I have tried some of them, but at the end of the day, there is still no real need for most of those products. I do like some of the newer fabric colours and designs, but sitting on a sizeable stash, I cannot justify buying new things at the moment.
- Your number one tip you can pass on to another quilter is?
Have a go. There is no wrong if you like it.
- Do you have a preference for ( applique/contemporary/scrap quilts/paperpiecing/English paper piecing/modern quilts/machine quilting/hand quilting…….. ) what do you enjoy doing the most?
My absolute fave is to needleturn applique and then hand quilt. They are a marriage made in heaven. I also like the traditional blocks in different settings, and have now made a modern quilt. I quite like the modern movement too.
- Do you have a “fabric/ribbon/buttons/thread stash” ?
Yes to all of those. I have a fabric stash that is based on a large selection of rose printed fabrics. I just love roses and for a while there were plenty of them around so collected them. One of my prize winning quilts is a crazy quilt. I started it quite a while ago and finished it about 14 years later. In that time I accumulated a sizeable stash of threads, lace, ribbons, buttons, notions and all sorts of things in order to embellish the crazy quilt. I have also had to ‘collect’ a number of sets of drawers to house this collection of bits and pieces. On my trip to Japan I collected some very beautiful Japanese ones too. I now have 2 finished crazy quilts and 3 more incomplete. They are all different colours and the range of embellishments is expanding to suit.
- Are you lucky enough to have a designated space in your home, to be able to close the door behind you and leave the mess?
I am very fortunate to still be in the family home with what was a sizeable games room. That room is now my sewing room and did double duty as gallery last weekend for the open studio weekend. I have also transformed the meals area at the end of the kitchen into my painting area so it is close to water and is also a hard floor which is much easier to clean up after my spills or spatters.
- Do your prefer working on bigger quilts or pieces or smaller items?.
I prefer to make something that has a purpose. This is probably why I don’t enter many challenges. I don’t know what to do with yet another small quilt. You can only cover so many dolls. I like to think that it will at least cover a lap. I do have a couple that were made as wall hangings though and they fit this space very well.
- Do you travel all over WA to hold your classes? Or prefer to be in metro areas.
I am happy to travel anywhere to teach. I have taught in a number of country towns, Alice Springs, as well as many places in Perth. I am quite mobile in my vehicle so am happy to pack and go anywhere.