Fibre artist uses fabric, lint, twigs for quilts that show connection to nature
People who want art that shows a connection to nature and the land think of Gascho-Jutzi, who is a member of the Waterloo County Quilters Guild.
Her pictorial quilt, “Ribbons of Life,” was commissioned for the 20th anniversary of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System conservation program.
The quilt is embellished with bits of yarns in the grasses, lace to illustrate the rapids, furs on the canoe, as well as fabrics suggesting water, sky, foliage, trees, rocks and wood.
A recent commission for the “spiritual room” at Wilfrid Laurier University’s School of Social Work features the aboriginal medicine wheel, mountains, a waterfall.
A quilt made for the Waterloo Region Record tells a story of the paper’s history, with a typewriter, flashbulbs, a covered wagon and an airplane that once delivered newspapers in the Hanover, Ont., area.
Last year, Gascho-Jutzi was the featured artist at the St. Jacobs Quilt & Fibre Festival.
Gascho-Jutzi, who trained as an interior designer, grew up the oldest of four children in a Mennonite family. She has sewn since she was a child. But when other children were making Barbie dresses, she was designing Barbie’s home.
“I wasn’t concerned with Barbie’s dating practices, but where she lived. I’d make her homes out of cardboard boxes.”
Her interest in interior design continued. As a teen, she sketched floor plans when other girls were drawing horses. As an adult, it drives her crazy to watch television shows where the rooms don’t work, or when a good set is destroyed for the sake of the script.
“I can’t stand TV shows where they wreck the place and pull the drapes down,” she says, laughing.
Quilt artist Judy Gascho-Jutzi displays one of her colour pieces in this recent photo. In Gascho-Jutzi’s hands, the lowly lint is transformed into the most amazing skies — glorious swirls and streams of colour that figure prominently in her three-dimensional quilt art.