We had the pleasure of chatting with Lorna Slessor, creator of website & blog 'Cloth and Crescent', which showcases Lorna's patterns and love of quilting, as well as being Production Editor at Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine. We asked Lorna a few questions on what inspires her, her role within the popular magazine and the thought process behind 'Cloth and Crescent'.... this is what she said!
1. WHAT IS IT ABOUT PATCH & QUILTING THAT YOU LOVE THE MOST? HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTERESTED / STARTED?
My mum is a quilter and taught me basic patchwork as a child, then when I was 16 I got my first job at Creative Quilting – a patchwork and quilting shop in Surrey. I was a keen sewist and studied Textiles and Fashion at school but, honestly, kind of thought of quilting as something I’d maybe start doing properly when I hit 60… I changed my assumptions pretty quickly!
I was initially drawn in by all the amazing fabrics (naturally), and wanted to incorporate all of the craziest, most colourful prints I could find into one project (we’re talking vegetables and lobsters mixed with Kaffe Fassett and batiks…). Ironically I mostly sew with solids now, as I don’t think anything can beat the bold and graphic effects you can create with them. I love that quilt patterns are like puzzles; I’m obsessed with watching designs come together before your eyes.
2. WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL PERFECT COLOUR COMBINATION?
That’s hard! I used to be a complete rainbow girl, but as my style of patchwork has grown my tastes in colour have definitely changed. I still work with a lot of colours, but I enjoy working with a gradient – say four shades and a crisp white or a neutral, like in my coral Mirrored Mountains quilt.
If I want something simple and classic, I’m always drawn to white and blue. My nana has collected blue and white china since I was a child, so I think that combination has always stayed with me. It’s so versatile!
3. HOW DID YOU BECOME THE PRODUCTION EDITOR AT LOVE PATCHWORK & QUILTING MAGAZINE? WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB?
I’ve followed Love Patchwork & Quilting since it first launched and we sold it at the shop. I studied Fashion Promotion at university, quickly realised the fashion industry wasn’t for me and rapidly set my sights on craft magazines instead. I spent my first two years out of university working at a mostly-papercraft magazine, desperately trying to squeeze in patchwork through English Paper Piecing projects or die-cut stencils for fabric printing. When I saw the job at LP&Q advertised on Instagram I couldn’t have applied quicker!
Every part of my job is the best part! I put together our News pages and interview people for our Designer Profile each issue, and I always love how excited people are when I reach out to feature them or their work. That’s a pretty great part.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE MAGAZINE?
I think it’s a really strong showcase of all the talent out there. Each month we feature up to 20 quilt designs and they’re always so creative, innovative and inspiring – our Editor, Alice, does a great job with commissioning, and our Art Editor, Kit, styles them beautifully. There’s an amazing pool of talented designers in the quilting world, LP&Q just brings them all together in one place.
5. WHERE DOES YOUR INSPIRATION COME FROM WHEN CREATING YOUR QUILT DESIGNS AND YOUR OWN PATTERNS LIKE THE MIRRORED MOUNTAIN QUILT?
We used to get told off at university for relying on Pinterest for inspiration, but honestly, I have a massive ‘Quilt’ Pinterest board full of illustrations, architecture, prints and photography that I come across. It’s so handy for me to have everything in one place. I love the angles and bold effect of Bauhaus art (especially the contrast between sharp lines and circles… curved piecing is my true love!).
I feature curves in my designs more often than not. My next quilt pattern, Freshly Squeezed, is an abstract Drunkard’s Path/Orange Peel design that was inspired by a print of some oranges that my friend bought on a visit to Bristol. Something about those vibrant orange shapes sparked an idea in me!
6. WHEN DID YOU FIRST START CLOTH & CRESCENT, AND WHAT WAS THE KICK START BEHIND THE CREATION OF THE WEBISTE & BLOG?
I started my Cloth & Crescent Instagram account in January this year. I wanted a place that was separate from my personal account to post everything I was working on (and I didn’t want to bore all of my friends who have no interest in quilting!). Once that was up and running – and growing quicker than I’d expected – I started considering selling my own patterns alongside making designs for the magazine (there’s only so many issues of LP&Q a year, and I can’t talk myself into every one). Once that seed was planted I ran with it, launched the website, got cracking with my first pattern (Mirrored Mountains) and the rest is history.
7. WHAT IS YOUR BEST TIP FOR SEWERS & QUILTERS?
Make what you love. If I have a design that I’m really excited about, there’s nothing I want to do more than be sat at my machine watching it all come together. Don’t waste your time trying to get through a WIP that doesn’t bring you joy. Sometimes I second guess my designs and compare myself to other designers, but my theory is that if I want to make it, someone else will want to make it too. And if they don’t... that’s also ok! Because I had fun making something that makes me happy.
Feeling inspired then check out our collection of Kona cotton fabrics here: SHOP KONA COTTONS