Fabulous Fabric from Finland (Via San Francisco)

What is a lunch date to San Francicso without looking at fabric? Well…What is a trip to ANYWHERE without looking at fabric, I ask you!

I went on a fun lunch date in San Francisco today (to yummy Wexler’s Tavern), and, on my companion’s advice, I visited the Crate & Barrel store where they have a wonderful collection of Marimekko fabric.

With fabric prices on the rise this store made me really appreciate a humble quilting store!  Buying cotton at $14.00 per yard hurts a bit, but Marimekko makes that seem like a VERY NICE PRICE!

Yes, I tell the truth when I tell you that I paid $16.95 PER FOOT today!

OOOOOH but just look!

Marimekko fabric and PVC vinyl
Marimekko fabric and PVC vinyl

My shopping started with these PVC vinyls. They are lightweight and flexible.  I think they will be very easy to sew into some cool things. Can you say bag?

I also got a lovely piece of Lumimarja, designed by Erja Hirvi. It’s the white with pink blossoms in the photo above. Read about the designer here.

And then I HAD to get these little bovine cuties!

Wild in the Evening & Potholders
Wild in the Evening & Potholders

On sale for only $8.95 per foot! Woohoo!

I asked to see the binder which listed all of the fabrics that Crate & Barrel carried. There was a page with interesting details listed for each design.

The lime fabric with claves cavorting across it is called Wild in the Evening (Iltavilli) and it was designed in 2008 by Miina Akkijyrkka. These playful calves romp across the fabric creating “a visual tribute to freedom and uncharted adventure.”

The circular fabric is called Lappuliisa – read this!

Read this fun description
Read this fun description - Love it

In writing this post, I just HAD to do a little research and I found that the Marimekko site was as delightful as its fabrics.  You can see the fabulous fabrics and colors (so much better than my little photos) at the site. Look!

Crate & Barrel also has a wonderful collection of Marimekko bedding, party ware, dishes, and more.


See all of the pillows in pretty colors at the Marimekko website here.


I don’t usually get excited about hard surfaces like ceramic and glass, but these were all soooo yummy to look at!

Cool cups
Cool cups

Yes, please!

Green Cups
Green Cups

Who doesn’t want one of these?

There were even designs for fun elephant paper party plates and fabric to match… check out the cowboy boots on this guy!

Elephants and partyware
Elephants and partyware - can you see the zebra?

I was thinking about Marimekko and what I knew about it before today. It made me think of large-scale florals. I know it used bold, clear colors. I could recognize its iconic design called Unikko when I saw it. But that was about it.

Unikko fabric in many colors
Unikko fabric in many colors

This fabric was designed in 1964 (just like me) by Marimekko’s star designer Maija Isola. The simplicity appeals to me very much, but I think it is really the size of the flowers on the fabric that I am most drawn to. Each flower must be more than a foot in diameter. It feels unfettered, promising, freeing.

Unikko in black/white/green
Unikko in black/white/green

I was able to get some of the Unikko in this colorway. I can’t wait to use it! What should I make?

In delving into this I see that there is very much more for me to learn from Marimekko’s designs. Please hold.

I find that one of life’s joys is curiosity and that in learning new things I feel young.

See the video “Secret story of Marimekko” and feast on the colors and designs here. Creative director of Marimekko, Minna Kemmel-Kutvonen, says, “In general, when we talk about colours, we usually say here that the color doesn’t yell at you – it glows.”


3 thoughts on “Fabulous Fabric from Finland (Via San Francisco)

  1. If you even manage to get over to the Crate and Barrel outlet in Berkeley, you can sometimes find Marrimekko scraps and remnants there for very good prices!

  2. I love the fabrics….What a fun trip to Crate and Barrel Marmieko is so wonderful and it makes you want to buy one of each. Thanks for sharing about your trip… Love Cathe Santa Barbara Quilting Retreats

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