Knitted Toys: Cameron-James Designs

We are lucky to have the designer Stephanie Cameron work with us on a Thursday and Friday.  Stephanie is very creative and has  dabbled in many crafts stamping, scrapbooking, porcelain dolls, beading, embroidery and cross-stitch but her favorites are definitely knitting, toy making and quilting. 

A little bit about Stephanie

"I seem to have a bit of a ‘thing’ about fabric and yarn."

I grew up in the small West Coast town of Greymouth, New Zealand and I feel like I’ve been crafting forever. My mother and both grandmothers influenced me greatly during my childhood, they all spent endless hours teaching me to knit and sew on rainy winter afternoons. Their patience and encouragement inspires me when I pass on these same skills to others, including my own daughter who is as accomplished quilter and knitter. I have dabbled in many crafts stamping, scrapbooking, porcelain dolls, beading, embroidery and cross-stitch but my favorites are definitely knitting, toy making and quilting. I seem to have a bit of a ‘thing’ about fabric and yarn.
I am a qualified Biology and Science teacher; however, I no longer have a passion to teach this full time and prefer to use my teaching skills in a different way. I feel that teaching and pattern making are the focus of my creativity at the moment. The whole process of developing an idea into a finished item and creating a pattern at the same time is exciting and challenging.  

I get ideas and inspiration from all kinds of places, fabrics, books, shows, and often when something catches my eye I wonder how I could teach something similar to my students. This tends to spin my mind about and I come up with a new project or doll. I also keep a sort of scrap-book/diary into which I put drawings of ideas or stick in snippets of magazines etc. so I can go back to it later when I need some extra brain storming. I have a large stash of fabrics, yarns, laces, trims and a huge collection of buttons.  I buy things when I see them, especially if I am away on holiday, a habit I picked up from my paternal grandmother, Nell, whose extensive collection of threads still remains in my somewhat congested cupboard under the stairs. & Christmas is my favourite time of the year and  I really enjoy going over the top with decorating the house.  I have a huge collection  of snowmen and a growing collection of Santas.  I usually have three trees, quilts and loads of lights and garlands which transform my usually elegant home into a Christmas wonderland.  

I am lucky to have such a supportive family who put up with my stuff all over the place.  My ‘sewing room’ also the office/computer room but more often than not the knitting and quilting spills out into the kitchen and family room as I juggle family life with making quilts, toys and Santas.


My husband, Alan, is ever patient and helps me when I need odd things built. My children are Kristie, J.J. and Andrew are very supportive too, often making useful comments like, “Cool Santa , mum but he needs glasses!” and the boys say to their mates, “ that if you could make food from fabric they would eat better!” Our dog, Toby and cat, Spike, make up our family and they is not so supportive as they both think that anything on the floor is there to walk over or curl up on which is not that helpful when pinning up a quilt or laying out a design.