Free rainbow motif pattern - Patchwork Seaside Meadows

I am so excited to share with you all my latest project. Grab yourself a drink, treat yourself to a snack and take some time out for yourself to read all about the inspiration behind it and how I made it.

Make sure you take advantage of my free rainbow motif that will give you a taste of Tunisian crochet.

There is also a YouTube tutorial for the motif sampler which shows you how to:

- Follow a chart whilst using the Tunisian simple stitch.

- Colour change.

- Finish your square and create a border.

There will be a further two videos to show you a join-as-you-go method and a fun way to display your square.

Back in 2017 I started to design individual Tunisian squares that would form a blanket landscape. Whilst the individual squares and designs were perfect and just how I wanted them to be, the method in which I wanted them to join up was not working. I went down elaborate methods of borders and backings, trying to make a new concept of how to finish and display the squares I had made.

Nothing worked and in my visions of grandeur I over-complicated the ideas and lost the creative drive to make it work.

I packed the designs away and pushed the idea to the back of my mind.

In 2020, I started to work on my temperature blanket and revisited the Tunisian crochet stitch. I stumbled across a join-as-you-go method for how I could join my swatch hearts as I made them for each day's temperature.

Every so often I have a clean out of my craft areas (of which there are many in various drawers and cupboards). It's a time when I feel some level of guilt when I come across projects half completed or failed ideas that I don't have the heart to discard.

My bag of Tunisian motifs was one such discovery, and that is when it hit me that I could use the join-as-you-go method I was currently using with my temperature blanket. As excitement built I wondered if I could unpick the old squares and reuse the yarn. Each design would need to be remade in order to use the join-as-you-go method.

This joining method simplified the design. The borders I had previously constructed around the squares gave a disjointed feel to the landscape I had envisioned. The simplification of the joining method made the idea work and my images sing and combine perfectly.

Below is some of the places that I am lucky to have on my doorstep and come Spring and Summer, I get to enjoy them at their best. These places are the inspiration for my blanket. I am so lucky to live in between the wonderful New forest in Hampshire and the beautiful coastline of Dorset.

I am so glad I kept my old squares as the current coronavirus situation prevents non-essential shopping. I felt that it was right that I tried my best to reuse this yarn again and not order in a new bundle of yarn.

My pattern is perfect for using what colours you have to hand. I used various blues, greens and yellows needed to make up the additional squares to complete the missing pieces I never got round to making in 2017.

These are my old squares with borders and my attempts to combine them (I'm a terrible seamstress).

I wanted to keep a patchwork feel to the piece. The fields and farms of Hampshire form a blanket of colour and I wanted to replicate this. I wanted the patchwork look to follow all the way through and therefore made the motifs form a pattern with the plain/flecked squares interspersed at regular intervals.

The rainbow and sky follows the patchwork feel by using different shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple in each square.

I am going to use my final piece as a wall hanging, however it would make a beautiful gifted blanket for a new born baby - there are no small holes for little fingers and toes and it's a great toddler bed or cot blanket sized piece.

My boys sanded and prepped the sticks that we found lying about on one of our daily exercise walks in the New Forest. I will use these on the top and bottom of my work and use it to hang against the wall. I'm so grateful that I am still able to get to walk in this beautiful landscape during our lockdown.

My final 'Patchwork Seaside Meadows' will be released on Monday 20 April 2020.

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