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.

The Cana­dian Press

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.

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