“Everything in my life has led to what I am doing now,” says Kerry Larkin, owner of Comma Workshop. Drawing on her early years as an architect, her more recent embrace of meditation, and the DNA influence of a Pennsylvania Dutch great-grandmother who attended quilting bees, Larkin brings a modern perspective to the tradition of quilting. “I did a lot of white boxes,” she says of the spare architectural style now reflected in her predominantly white minimalist blankets and pillows. In lieu of the pictorial images favored by her ancestors, Larkin uses a contrasting thread color to stitch poems and narratives into every design. “It seemed obvious to put words in a quilt,” she explains. “They’re the functional element that holds everything together.” Her version of the time-honored craft begins in her Lyons studio. Larkin uses her sewing machine to free-hand quilt the cursive text into a sample, which she delivers with fabrics to a network of quilters along Colorado’s Front Range to execute the designs. “My goal is to create unique modern heirlooms for the home,” she says.
LX: I became interested in quilting when:
KL: I hail from a long line of Pennsylvania Dutch quilters, and when I studied architecture in Italy, I photographed and sketched cathedral tile floors thinking they’d make beautiful quilt patterns.
LX: Dream collaborations:
KL: I’d like to work with writer Annie Proulx or architects Herzog & de Meuron, who incorporate texture into such beautifully proportioned buildings.
LX: Greatest influence:
KL: I was lucky to be part of Auburn University’s Rural Studio while co-founder/architect/ MacArthur Fellow Samuel Mockbee was still alive. He was passionate, kind, charismatic, driven and had a great sense of humor.
LX: Keep an eye on:
KL: Carve Industries. They are just around the corner from our workshop in Lyons, and they create incredibly well-crafted wooden surfboards. Yes, surfboards in Colorado.
LX: I’m reading:
KL: 1Q84. I absolutely love Haruki Murakami.