LL: Hi tnitnetny! For those who don’t grace our forums, can you tell us a little about what you do?
T: I create works of art that keep you warm at night. I take classic video games and sprites and turn them into quilts. I do most of my work by commission, so I am willing to make almost anything into a quilt. If it is geeky, or if it is video game related, I can probably turn it into a quilt. I work under the name of Quiltoni.
LL: Looking back over your works, you’ve always had video game inspiration, but recently you’ve done a lot more, why? Do you find video games more challenging or does it just conjure up more inspiration?
T: Like I said, I do most of my work by commission. The non video game quilts are ones that someone has asked me to make specifically for them. I am always willing to work with someone and design a quilt just for them, but I enjoy the video game and geeky quilts the best. I donâ€™t know if video game quilts are more challenging or give me more inspiration, but I really enjoy making them. It is a passion that I have developed.
LL: What else inspires you, you have a little bit of everything from a baby princess peach to a charity quilt?
T: When I create quilts, I try to put myself in the shoes of the person that is commissioning it, or the person that may buy it one day. I try to think about what they would want in a quilt. I think the part I love best is designing and arranging the quilts. I can see the smiles that quilt will create and that is what I think of when I design them. The charity quilts that Sprite Stitch is being involved in is something I really look forward to. I canâ€™t wait until everyone starts sending me their stitching this year. I am looking forward to arranging and designing them into a larger work of art.
LL: Are you a big gamer then? What games are you currently playing?
T: I love video games. I actually met my fiancÃ© playing video games. My favourite games are RPGs. I am not playing a lot of games now because of the number of quilts I am making, but I try to make time here and there for a few games. I am currently playing Bastion in spurts and looking forward to picking up Final Fantasy XIII-2.
LL: How many more quilts do you currently have in the works? Are there any you are particularly excited by?
T: I am working on four at the moment. I am finishing up a Bowser quilt then I will start two commissions that are not video game related. When I finish those, I am excited about starting my Tardis quilt I just made a design for. I am doing that in all Batiks which are what I made the Tetris quilt out of. I am hoping I can get it finished before my next Convention in April. I also hope to make a Batman, a Superman, and a Spiderman quilt before the convention in April since it is a Comic Book convention.
LL: How long does it take to go from initial idea to finished product?
T: This is probably the question I get asked the most. It honestly depends on the quilt. My Alliance quilt took me three months to make. My simple lap Mario and Kirby quilts take me about a week to make. When I get approached about a commission I always want to design the pattern before I give a time frame or a price.
LL: I see you’ve sold quite a few quilts in the past, why do you think people are getting more and more interested in video game craft?
T: People are always passionate about what they love. As long as there have been video games, there has been fan art. We are just learning and creating new ways to make fan art. Sites like Sprite Stitch show people that they are not alone in their love of video games, and it is ok to show that love. There are so many crafts out there and I am seeing new ones every day. I hope that even more people show their love and express it through crafts in the future.
LL: Your quilts go anywhere from $50 to $500+ depending on size, has quilting proven profitable to you in the past? Do you intend to grow this, start an online store?
T: Quilting is definitely not profitable. If I didnâ€™t have a â€œrealâ€ job, there is no way I would be able to afford it. When I first started quilting, the owner of the local quilt store pulled me aside, looked at me and said â€œAre you sure this is what you want to do? This is a very expensive hobbyâ€. She was right. I am told by people that sew or quilt that I charge way too little for my quilts and I know they are right. For example, the Tetris quilt took me two months to make and $175 in materials. I sold it for $225. I quilt because I love doing it. I may never be able to do this full time, but I love every minute that I do it. I create quilts and charge a low price because I want others to enjoy my works of art as much as I do. I have websites, but I will never be able to produce the quantity of quilts an online store would demand. I concentrate on commissions, and it is what I love doing.
LL: Anything else you want to add?
T: We craft because we love it. Just because I choose not to make money doing what I do, doesnâ€™t mean you canâ€™t make money with your craft. If you have a passion, then go for it. Try out that crochet class, stained glass art, or jewellery class. Crafting is not only producing works of art, it is rewarding spiritually. Finishing a piece and then seeing the smile of someone that appreciates that work of art, is reward enough.
You can look at the quilts I have made here or here. I also have an Etsy shop that I put the quilts that havenâ€™t sold at conventions.
I have one of Toni’s really early quilts! Its a lovely Disney princess rag quilt that she made for me a few years ago, and I adore it. Still use it in winter!
Congrats on the spotlight Toni!
I LOVE her quilts! It’s definitely high on my list of things to buy when I’m not broke as a joke.