Picture this: a peppy, fresh-faced Lorna but a day over sixteen, handmade bow in hair, surrounded by walls of fabrics. This quaint scene was my very first day in the world of work and, as far as working days go, it was a good one. Six whole hours were spent fondling fabrics that had returned from the Festival of Quilts and wondering what kind of wonderful past life I’d lived to deserve getting paid to do so.
Take it back a few weeks and you’ll discover I fell into this job entirely by accident. As a teen still on the road to developing my personal style, I was never seen without a bow in my hair, and Mumma Sless did nothing but encourage this cringe-worthy faux pas. So, one day in 2010, with bolts of novelty prints stacked high – all destined to be one-of-a-kind hair accessories – I trundled up to the counter of my local quilt shop, Creative Quilting, with quilty mother in tow.
I will forever be grateful to the lovely employee Margaret for what happened next, but I don’t think I’ve ever admitted until now that I didn’t actually catch a word of what she was saying, and simply smiled and said yes – enthusiastically. I’m British. It wasn’t until I found myself handing over my phone number that I realised I’d unknowingly walked into my first ever dream job.
Fast forward five years, a Fashion Promotion degree now under my belt and far less bows in my hair, and I’d finally delved beyond simple accessories to add an impressive three whole quilts to my portfolio (with far more than three-quilts-worth of fabrics in my stash). Reluctantly I had to tear myself away from the safe haven of the quilt shop to enter the wild ride that is publishing. A few years and a couple more quilts into my career (several years after those Saturdays spent flicking through copies of Love Patchwork & Quilting in the quilt store) I finally bagged myself a job at the magazine itself and here I am still - living the thread-covered dream.
If someone had given me a heads-up that first day that this crazy craft would rapidly become my whole life… I probably would have believed them. Oh, and if anyone ever stumbles across that old box of handmade hair bows – kindly burn them.
The biggest thanks in the world go to my mum, the Creative Quilting team, and Team LP&Q for making me the best version of my crazy-quilt-lady self.