Trillium Woods Resident Artists Series: Nita Whyte

Trillium Woods Resident Artists Series: Nita Whyte

From the batting to the backing and binding, the rigorous process of quilting truly results in such an outstanding piece of art. For artists like Trillium Woods resident Nita Whyte, quilting is not just a beautiful art form but a passion that helps cultivate creativity and community. As an award-winning artist, Nita’s designs have even won multiple blue ribbons at fairs and quilt shows.

Nita’s curiosity for needle arts started when she was little, with the help of her grandmother and mother. As she raised her children, Nita made sure they each had a personalized quilt when they were born and when they went off to college. It wasn’t until later in life that she began diving deep into the art of quilting.

“I took an early retirement and started ‘Block of the Month’ lessons at a fabric store near my home,” said Nita. “After that I started going to quilt shows and taking classes from nationally and internationally known quilt professionals. Then, I was smitten! Seeing all those beautiful and creative quilts really inspired me.”

Nita’s eye for design and piecing small elements together to create a work of art helped her significantly along her journey. For Nita, one of the most challenging and rewarding methods of quilt making is hand quilting, as well as hand appliqué, layering pieces of fabric on a background fabric and stitching them by hand. Nita feels like fewer and fewer quilters use the hand appliqué technique, and she can achieve more realistic looking flowers and other objects this way.

Interestingly, Nita works the opposite way that most quilters usually do. Typically, artisans can envision the final quilt as soon as they start creating it. However, Nita continuously works through the process to create a final product. This allows for new ideas to surface to the design as she goes.

One of the reasons Nita is passionate about quilting is because of the reward that comes at the end of the rigorous process. After months of hard work, making mistakes, ripping out seams and changing her mind about the fabrics, she loves to see all her creativity come together.

Among Nita’s favorite quilts that she has made are a pair with her husband’s and her family tree with appliquéd family and ancestors, and another with 13,300 half-inch squares making a picture of two girls. She’s also created many Christmas quilts for her children and grandchildren over the years, and really likes the three she made using first grade artwork from her three grandkids.

As a passionate woman who loves to share her talents with the world, Nita has created quilts for Habitat for Humanity, local libraries, behavior reform facilities and more, and displays them for community members at senior living communities, including Trillium Woods. When gifting the beautiful pieces, she loves how the recipients show great appreciation and that they often remind many people of the quilts their grandmas used to make.

Nita has found several friends at Trillium Woods who share the interest of quilting, and she still enjoys making them, but at a less frantic pace than she used to.

Artists like Nita continuously inspire us to keep pursuing our passions and see the world in a more creative light. Behind every quilt there’s a wonderful story. Learn more about all of the resident artists in this ongoing series on the Trillium Woods blog.