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unikko whole cloth // the start of a new project

Marimekko Mini Whole Cloth

I've decided that life is a work in progress. And I don't mean that in some deep, philosophical sense. No, I just mean that I can't seem to get all of the things I've started...finished. For now, I need to be okay with that, and you should be too. I'm going to give myself grace, and you should do the same for yourself.

Today I was going to show you a completed project with a full how-to. Yeah, that's just not going to happen. Instead, I'm making that into a positive: an ongoing series showing the the progress on a simple, but larger scale project. (You might eventually see the other not-so-simple ongoing project that I may have very foolishly started as well...it involves 25 hand-pieced quilt blocks!)

But this one starts with some fabulous fabric.

When I was a baby, much of the decor in my room included Marimekko fabric. The bold prints are excellent for baby vision, don't you think? Actually, it was more likely chosen because my parents loved Crate & Barrel, so bringing it to baby was the thing to do. Having these beautiful designs around from an early age, I've always had a fondness for the Finnish company.

I'm fairly sure that when FinnStyle contacted me, asking if I would be interested in making something with some Marimekko end cuts, they had no idea how interested I would be. Very! Because this fabric suits me so well, and always has.

Marimekko Mini Whole Cloth

Of course, I love the large-scale fabric designs, but so often I work on small projects that require smaller scale prints. What would I make with this iconic Unikko print? (For scale, in the photo above, this is draped over my front door.) One person suggested that I use a small panel of it on a skirt, combined with the solid linen you see, but I really wanted to keep it all together to show off the design.

I've decided that it will be a mini whole cloth quilt. It will be the right size for a picnic cloth or table mat, or for a lap quilt. I'm using the Unikko on the front, and the teal linen on the back, and I'll hand stitch on and around the flower shapes. So far, all I've done is make this plan, and pre-wash my fabrics.

It may be a slow process, but I look forward to sharing it with you. And maybe as I work, you'll feel inclined to try this with me! You can find the fabric that FinnStyle generously gave me on their site, or choose another large print (though none are quite the same as Marimekko!). The size is flexible. My piece is about 1 yard x 58 inches wide.

I may be crazy, but this is the kind of crazy that I love. The life-is-a-work-in-progress crazy!

Next step: layering it up!


  1. Lovely post. Enjoy the moment and the process - not just the finished product I say. Looking forward to seeing your progress over a few posts :)

    Claire xx

  2. Kelly5:16 PM

    how interesting that you would have chosen a light blue linen as the other side... I would probably have chosen a dark blue to match the little stem, although I have to say my favorite color in the fabric is the fuschia, but a fuschia back would be way too much!

    1. I might have chosen the darker blue too, but I had this on hand. It's not too light though. I am thinking of binding it in the navy...what do you think?

    2. Yes, Navy binding will be perfection!

    3. Kelly2:29 PM

      Mmmm, yes - navy binding will tie it all together really nicely!
      Can't wait to see the finished product.
      I think this pattern is one of my very favorite Marimekko patterns, love the big fat flowers, the colors. Would love to have this as a desktop wallpaper - it would make me smile everyday!
      God bless you...

  3. I absolutely love Marimekko. When I've visited Scandinavia, I've found it too be more expensive there. Nuts! Your idea is great. It would be fin to see you bedazzle some of the flowers somehow. What are you thinking about the binding? A large pom pom would be fun. As you can read, I'm all a flutter over your idea. I'll have to bust some Marimeeko out of my "never even think of using this gorgeous stuff" pile.

  4. Anonymous6:32 PM

    Your gift was a very generous gift as this fabric it dearly priced!!

  5. Anonymous6:53 PM

    That fabric is beautiful! I love the large prints and the colours and I think it will make a lovely table cloth. It's always better to slow down and enjoy projects than worry too much about finishing them on time :) xx

  6. I appreciate your words at the beginning of your post about life being a work in progress. I have so many projects that I want to do and so many projects that I just need to add the final details on. Sometimes life gets overwhelming and it gets hard to finish, but if we don't let ourselves relax through the process then it steals all the joy and we might as well give up on the projects to begin with. Thanks for reminding me about that!

  7. I am a Marimekko fan too! Part of my Finnish heritage :) I think a nave binding would be fabulous!

  8. I love Marimekko. I look forward to seeing your finished project, the poppies are one of my favourite prints. This past summer I had a chance to see a historical exhibit on the design house, it was wonderful.

  9. Anonymous8:15 AM

    This fabric looks great! I'm really looking forward to seeing the result!

  10. I LOVE it! Wish I could have hung bold fabric like your parents did but my kids turned out just fine. Not sure I did though. ;)

    I also LOVE that you are using what you had on hand. I'm trying very hard not to buy on bit of fabric/thread/yarn/patterns until I finish some of my bazillion ongoing projects!

    Thanks for sharing your inspiration.


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