2015 Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

Ashleigh & Amanda, the women behind The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, excel in extreme cuteness and the 2015 stitch along is no exception!

Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - 2015 Story Time Sampler

From the Designer

This years theme is Story Time! We’ll be stitching up kawaii portraits in of our favorite characters from classic literature in sweet frames. What does kawaii mean? It means cute in Japanese! Each frame will contain a character with key elements of their story. As avid readers, we thought it would be fun to pick stories with memorable characters that we felt a great impact from after reading their tales.

So who will we be stitching up?! Some examples include:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Little Women
  • Lady of Shalott
  • Sherlock Holmes…and many more!

Frosted Pumpkin - Story Time Sampler

What is it?

2015 Story time Sampler is a year-long  mystery stitch along by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery  The January instalment includes the borders and the January design, Alice in Wonderland.  Each month you will receive another design. The last design will be sent on 30 November 2015.

Sign-up closes:  30 November 2015.
SAL Duration: 15 Jan 2015 – 30 Nov 2015

Why this chart?

I love stitchalongs!  However as I haven’t yet finished the 2013 Woodland Sampler stitchalong I haven’t joined this one.  Ashleigh & Amanda were kind enough to send me the introductory file so I could write this review.

Apart from January’s segment which includes the border, each month is a small, relatively quick stitch.  Cute, impossibly adorable, but not a huge time requirement, so this is a great stitchalong for a new stitcher or someone who already has a plate full of Works in Progress (WIPs).

Every Stitchalong thrives when there is a community surrounding it.  Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery have a Facebook page, a Flickr group and an Instagram hashtag.

Frosted Pumpkin - January Sneak Peek


Joining a mystery stitch along is often an act of faith. Faith that the resultant item is worth the time and money you as a stitcher have put into it. Ashleigh & Amanda understand this, so they are allowing you to join this stitchalong at any time.  You can join now and experience the full mystery, you can wait a few months to see what the first few designs will be like and join then, or wait and see if your favourite character appears or wait until the end and buy it like any other design.  The options and potential risks are yours to choose.

To join the stitchalong you need to purchase the chart from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. Due to recent changes to European union laws, stitchers from EU/UK need to buy from a separate link.

The introductory pack includes:

How the stitchalong will work and the dates of each month’s release.

How to obtain your patterns each month, via email and web link. You will receive each new part via email each month.  However, your introductory pack also includes a web link to the chart. The web link is updated at the end of each month to show the most recent version of the chart.

For example, in July, you will receive the large one page design for the July literary character and a smaller chart of all the borders with the designs Jan – Jun filled in.

A reminder of what you can and cannot do with your charts for this stitchalong. For example you cannot share the files, but you can print out the charts for your own use at your local copy store.  It can be useful to show this permission to the copy store.

A stitch guide. This lists all the materials you will need to stitch the designs, the stitch count, finished project size, and recommended fabric.  As these designs only use whole cross stitch and a touch of back stitch, they are easily stitched on evenweave or Aida.

A getting started guide which includes basic cross stitching instructions and diagrams; from how to find the centre of your fabric through to photographs of cross stitch on linen.

The colour list.  This is very nicely done with a stylised version of each colour behind the wording.  This design uses Cosmo or DMC floss.  Both options are provided in the same list.  Cosmo is another solid dyed thread like DMC or Anchor.

The 2015 Story Time Sampler SAL also uses Weeks Dye Works hand dyed floss.  If you do not want to use hand dyed floss, alternative DMC and Cosmo numbers are given.  Remember that hand dyed floss is varied in colour, quite different from the DMC and Cosmo solid colours.

The charts.  Each chart is printed twice.  Once in black symbols on a white background, the other is black symbols in a coloured square.  I find a black and white chart easier to follow and mark off, but the colour chart is invaluable to  double-check that you are using the right floss, especially if there are similar symbols used in the pattern.

The first chart is the complete design on one page.  This is too small to stitch from and is mainly provided so you can see where the mystery stitchalong is up to and where the current month’s design fits in.

The second chart is a closeup of that month’s design.  For January this is quite large and expands over two pages because it includes the heading banner and all the borders.

There are no overlap rows between these two pages, instead Ashleigh and Amanda suggest that you print out both pages and tape them together.  This is only an issue for the January design.

Just an experienced stitching note here, you do not need to stitch all the borders ahead of time.  You can stitch each month’s border as it’s chart is released.

Finally the chart pack includes the floss key and any backstitching instructions for that month’s stitching.  The floss key includes both sets of symbols (for the black and white chart and the coloured chart) and the DMC, Cosmo and Weeks Dye Works floss options for each symbol.

 Materials Required

To stitch the chart exactly as designed, you will need:

1 skein each of 18 DMC or Cosmo threads.

1 skein each of 5 Weeks Dye Works  threads.

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ladies requested that I not list the specific floss numbers due to concerns of piracy.

Fabric is  32ct Picture This Plus “Storm” Lugana.  (stitch count 131 x 180).  This design can be stitched over 2 or over 1.

Stitched  on the recommended 16ct or 32ct (with the a 3″ border allowance) the fabric size needed is:  14¼″x 17½″ or 36 x 44cm  or a fat quarter (18″ x 27″).

Picture This Plus - Storm
Picture This Plus – Storm

For 14ct Aida or 28ct evenweave (with 3″ border allowance) fabric size is: 15½” x 19”  or  39 x 48cm  or  a medium pack of Magic Guide (30 x 39″)  or a normal fabric’s a fat quarter (18″ x 27″).

Approximate cost for Project

Approximate cost to stitch 2015 Story Time Sampler using the recommended materials (prices are in $US, at recommended retail and do  not include postage):

Chart: $ 17.95
Floss:  $ 19.10
Fabric: $11.85

Total: $48.90  ($75.65AUD or €55.25 or  £44.95)

Places to Buy

The 2015 Story Time Sampler sitchalong can only be bought from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery as a series of PDF files.  You can buy from the main link or the EU/UK link.

The Cottage Needle in the US has material packs for this stitchalong which include the recommended Picture This Plus fabric and the Cosmo threads.

The Homemakery in the UK is selling a complete DMC only pack of threads for this stitchalong.


Colours Down Under has DMC, Weeks Dye Works and a variety of plain fabrics in stock.

Colour Cascade Fabrics stocks DMC and suggests stitching this design on “Silver Springs or Blue Moon”.

Tammy also offers a 15% discount for readers of this site. Code is: CSReview. Offer ends 27 February 2015.


Casa Cenina in Italy stock a variety of fabrics and floss for your unique creation.

United Kingdom:

SewandSo has a range of floss and fabrics to make this design uniquely yours.

Crafty Kitten says “grey based ones that from the fabric the model is on will work: moondust, foggy morning and maybe evening magic.  I would probably use foggy morning for it.  Without seeing more of it I’d hesitate to suggest something away from those colours other than maybe oatmeal, vintage rose and tea rose as they’re all quite neutral.”

Polstitches “Lightning Strike might a little more airy and colourful as it has a more blueish tint.”

Chromatic Alchemy  “As this piece has a varied colour palette I would recommend a darker piece that will accentuate the many tones without swamping them. I suggest using either Nox or Al’s Darkmagic”

United States:

123Stitch has the thread in stock and offers a variety of fabrics.

Black Cat Stitchery in Illinois has floss and fabric in stock to make this a project to remember.  Erica is offering a 5% discount for readers of Cross Stitch Review.  Coupon code: CSRSPRING15. Offer ends 31 May 2015.

Stitches n Things has the recommended materials in stock to kit this up for you.

Picture This Plus sells the recommended “Storm” fabric.

Under the Sea Fabrics Leslie suggests “Marauder’s Map. It’s a literary themed fabric for a literary sampler. Brown Sugar or Burnt Bronze would be pretty too. I’m doing mine on Marauder’s Map Gold Belfast for a hint of shimmer.”


Does this Stitchalong appeal to you?  What is your favourite literary character that you hope is in this mystery design?

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Last Updated: 20 January 2015