Dream a Seam templates by Carole Samples

Dream a Seam templates by Carole Samples

templatesPLEASE note this review was written in 2005 and is now out of date.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?

holding my book in front of quilt

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.

Stitchers templates

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.

using my stitchers Templates set 2These 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

Crazy Quilt Templates set 1 you will find here 
Crazy Quilt Templates set 2 you will find here 


  1. Hello everyone – I’ve just discovered these – does anyone know if they are still available? I would love to get some best wishes to you all from the uk

    Chris maxwell
  2. I need some assistance. Carole Samples was on the Simply Quilt show “recently” and mentioned a stamped embroidery stitch kit that was designed by someone in Canada. I have searched the internet and can’t find any stamped embroidery stitch kits. Any idea where I could find one?

  3. Oh, Miss Sharon! How grateful I am to you for your glowing endorsement of my DREAM-A-SEAMS! I’m a bit misty now and want to respond while the Baby Dell is working fairly well. It’s so wonderful that you have instantly seen the possibilities for these little tools, and I hope you will let them inspire your own original designs, whether or not you ever use them to actually pre-mark your seams & patches with stitchery guidelines. * May I use this opportunity to answer the question posed by Miss Sarah E.? A more astute obser-vation I haven’t read in a long time! My belief is that there really is nothing new or totally original under the Sun; thus, I’m absolutely certain that someone in the 1870s invented, or at least produced for her own use, some sort of guide tool to use in her attempts to “regularize” her CQ stitches. (My first templates were cut from freezer paper!) Women haven’t changed in 125 years. Perfectionism is real. And many of us are not spontaneously creative or particularly adept at adding needlework to cloth (which, of course, accounts for the invention of hot-iron transfers so long ago, yes?).
    * I “invented” the Templates because I needed them so badly! I wasn’t willing, thirteen years ago, to spend the hours and months it would have taken to practice the first twenty-one primary stitches I taught myself, until I could do them really well. Those of you who have read the Introduction to my book know that my first project was a sampler on EVENWEAVE CLOTH! How timid can one be?! And those stitches were not all perfect. I would like to think that using tools to pre-mark one’s CQ seams (or one’s lines for hand quilting) is just one way to remove a huge obstacle to GETTING STARTED — something I know only too well as the Fear Of Uneven Stitches and Of Not Getting Things Right The First Time. * Most of us basically care about creating something of beauty. I can’t imagine NOT devising and using any item or not taking any class or not reading any article or book that might help me to do THAT more easily and more quickly. For me, at 63-plus, time is a dwindling commodity. Thus, I will humbly acknowledge my reliance on such untraditional techniques — all the while saving up so I can one day bring Collection Two of the DREAM-A-SEAMS to market. OK! * Those of you who don’t need tools to make beautiful stitches are truly blessed! I’m so much in awe of you. It’s true that crazyquilting must be done from the heart. Mathematics should have nothing to do with such artistry, I my opinion. If the truth be told, the only math connection my Templates have is to the cross-section paper that I used when designing them. Otherwise, my hope is that everyone who tries the Templates is able to create “in the spirit of Crazyquilting in the past,” as Miss Sarah so beautifully put it in her e-message. Many, many thank-yous, Miss Sharon, especially for taking the time to let your blogsters actually view the Toys along with pages from your Stitch Journal. WOW!
    Very sincerely, miss carole, who is enthusiastically working on creating more designs for you while there’s still time. . .

    carole samples
  4. Thanks Sharon! I’ve been patiently awaiting your post on these.

    Can I ask you what you used to mark your seams? The wash out blue pen won’t work on fabrics that can’t be washed and I’ve been a bit afraid to use the disappearing pen on my fancy fabrics. Any suggestions?

  5. Hi Sharon! I discovered your blog a couple of months ago, and have been checking in regularly. I do have to say that many of your recommendations are “on time”, as my kids say! However, I do have a question/observation. I read your section on the templates. And they seem superior, to the point that I will certainly try them. However, they seem to try to elevate crazy quilting to mathematically evaluated quilting stitches…please pardon me, but it seems that, from research that I’ve done in addition to connecting w/older relatives, crazy quilting was done from the heart with ideas which were present at the time. Does this mean that we should take advantage of tools of our time in order to “properly” crazy quilt? Probably ‘yes’. However, in the spirit of ‘crazy’ quilting, does it seem that sometimeswe have too much of a hang-up about “tools”? perhaps. i recognize that we have stellar crazy-quilting artists in our current times. i also recognize that in the past, women ‘made do’ with what they have. I guess all this doesn’t make too much sense, except that in and of itself, CQing is a response to the needlework tools of our time, and I do believe that perhaps sometimes emphasis should not only be put on the beauty/’perfection’ of our current stitches, but the spirit of CQing in the past. Not everyone has access to all the tools of the times, but we all can create beautiful work with what we have. best wishes for many stitches from sarah e. in texas

    Sarah E.

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