PLEASE note this review was written in 2005 and is now out of date.
I have had Carole Samples Dream-a-seam templates for crazy quilting in my hands now for a couple of weeks. As I promised I have been actually using them before I wrote about them. I have a block half worked and feel I can give an honest appraisal of these tools. For those who are not crazy quilters Dream-a-seam are a range of plastic templates that are used to mark seams on a crazy quilt block before embroidering and embellishing.
The Dream-a-seam templates are a collection of 99 edges for pre-marking seams and motifs in crazy quilting projects. Not only are they designed to keep your stitching even but for anyone who is stumped for inspiration when it comes to combining stitches on seam embellishments I think Carole Samples set of 33 templates will provide enough inspiration to keep you busy for years! Just think of the math in this there are 99 edges. Each edge can be duplicated, flipped and repeated in various ways. Each edge can also be combined with any other edge which as a combination can be duplicated, flipped and repeated. More than two templates can be used together which makes the number of available combinations endless. In fact if you sat down and tried to work out all the possible combinations available to you I think you would not be able to stitch them all before you die. I mean this literally. A computer could work out the combinations available but it would reveal that thousands if not millions of combinations are available to stitchers. I think I can safely say that with these templates you need never be stuck for seam embellishment ideas again.
The Dream-a-seam templates are designed to be used with Carole Samples book Treasury Of Crazyquilt Stitcheswhich is well known as being a crazy quilting classic. As a book it is definitely in my top ten must have books for serious crazy quilters. In fact I think I would rank it in the top 5. Put simply the book is a must have.
For anyone who already has the book you will be aware that Carole Samples approaches the classification of crazy quilt stitches used in hand embroidery in a clear and comprehensive way. Her book is a collection of stitch and stitch combination drawings. In other words it is not a project book. Stitches are divided into types and numerous variations are classified in a logical manner then combination techniques are fully explored and illustrated. I have described this book in a dry and some might think boring manner but it is simply a treasure trove of ideas for any crazy quilter.
Carole Samples has approached the design of her templates in the same logical manner. Each set of templates comes with detailed instructions on how to use them and workshop notes. These notes assume you already own the book and that you are interested in developing your own stitch combinations and seam embellishments. I suggest that you work through the workshop notes the templates come with to gain full understanding of how seam embellishments work in crazy quilting. I also suggest that people take Carole Samples advice and explore the possibilities of seam combinations in a visual journal.
The templates themselves are made of a plastic similar to quilters plastic so should withstand normal handling. The set comes with two small rings on to which to store the templates. These I found to be inadequate as the templates were difficult to get on the rings. But this is a small criticism as I simply put the templates on a larger metal ring that can open and close with ease. These book rings or binder rings are found in stationary stores and cheap so I do see it as a problem.
PLEASE note this product review was written in 2005 To my knowledge these templates are no longer available but too make enquiries you need to contact. (Please contact the company not me.)
The “fanCwerxAMERICA” Company LLC
4139 North 44 ST
Omaha NE 68111. 2130
Have you seen my book?
My book The Visual Guide to Crazy Quilting Design: Simple Stitches, Stunning Results shares detailed practical methods about how to design and make a crazy quilt. From fabric choice, to balancing colour, texture and pattern, in order to balance and direct the eye around the block. I cover how to stitch, build decorative seam treatments in interesting and creative ways. My book is profusely illustrated as my aim was to be practical and inspiring.
My templates aim to help you take your stitching to the next level. Designed by an embroiderer for embroiderers. With them you can create hundreds of different hand embroidery patterns to embellish your seams with flair. These templates are easy to use, made of clear plastic so you can position them easily and are compact in your sewing box.
These are simple to use. You simply position the template in place and use a quilter’s pencil to trace along the edge of the template. Stitch along this line to decorate the seam. I have a free ebook of patterns to accompany each set which illustrates how they can be used.
TO ORDER your Stitchers Templates