We’ve long been admirers of Gudrun Erla’s work. She has a keen eye for color, a knack for writing fabulous quilt patterns, and impeccable style;). Last year, she came out with her 20th book – – a huge achievement in and of itself, made even more grand by the inspiring and colorful content.
Quilts of Iceland isn’t just a book of quilt patterns… it is a tribute to Gudrun’s home country featuring quilts, stunning landscapes and imagery, personal anecdotes, and a slew of mouth-watering recipes. We loved reading about waterfalls & hot springs, the northern lights and rolling fields of lupine, puffins and Icelandic history. Gudrun positioned it as more of a coffee table book and it would be a smart addition to any home!
We were thrilled to partner with Gudrun on a coordinating thread collection, Colors of Iceland. Twelve large spools of 50wt threads in a range of rich colors and soft neutrals — all colors found amidst the stunning landscape in Iceland.
We had a chance to hear from Gudrun at Quilt Market in Houston, TX last Fall:
THREAD COLLECTION DETAILS
Colors of Icleland
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 12 Large Spools (1422yd/spool)
2245 – 2535 – 2545 – 2784 – 2805 – 4093
2885 – 2888 – 5011 – 4241 – 6734 – 2600
GETTING TO KNOW GUDRUN
What drew you to this wonderful world of textiles?
I started quilting in my early twenties when I decided to take a class because it fit into my busy schedule. I had no intention on diving into it, I thought to myself that I could just learn it now and then do it later…..when I got old:) But I developed a serious case of fabric addiction right away so there was no turning back.
What has been your greatest inspiration?
I find inspiration for my patterns everywhere. A lot comes from my home country of Iceland, it’s heritage, history, and amazing nature. I also love geometric anything so just playing around with shapes can spark a design idea. My favorite color changes almost weekly because I always love to explore new fabrics and color combinations. I love to find faster and easier ways to do things which is one of the reasons I designed the Stripology Rulers.
Tell us about your book, Quilts of Iceland, and what it meant to you to put it all together
This book has been a dream project for many years for me. As I said before, I have always been inspired by my country and it comes through in so many of my designs, but I always dreamed of writing a book with quilt designs that were totally inspired by Iceland. As that dream took shape, I knew that I would have to fill the book with photos and stories to really explain where that inspiration came from. Knowing that and the fact that I self publish my books, the price tag always turned me away from the project. Then in the beginning of 2017, as I contemplated on which of the few book project ideas I should pursue next, this idea resurfaced again. When I realized that it was going to be my 20th book, I knew I just had to make it happen.
The end result makes me so proud because it was truly a labor of love since I did it all, designed and pieced the quilts, took most of the photos, wrote it all and illustrated plus designed and laid the book out myself. My family didn’t see much of me for a good period of time there. I wanted the book to be different from any other quilt book, sort of a mix between a coffee table book and a quilt book…..with some recipes thrown in there for good measure:)
Do you have a favorite quilt from the book and does it coincide with or differ from your favorite place in Iceland?
That’s hard because as a designer, my newest quilt is always a favorite of mine….until I make the next one! I’d have to say my two favorites are my Lupine quilt and Glacial Ice. I guess they really do coincide with my favorite place in Iceland, which is in southern Iceland where I am from called Thorsmork. You can be surrounded by beautiful Lupines when they are in bloom with the glaciers towering above. Definitely a favorite place as I spent a lot of time there in the summers, camping, hiking and having fun with friends.
When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about working with them?
I actually owned two quilt shops in Iceland before moving to the states but I wasn’t really introduced to Aurifil until after I had lived in Minnesota for a few years. I tried my first spool and it was instant love! My first impression was just how lint free it was and the stitches just looked beautiful. I also love the fact that with the 50 weight you can both piece and quilt with it and have wonderful results.
How did you go about selecting colors for your collection, Colors of Iceland?
It was really a no brainer! You can find all those colors in the nature. From the blues of the Atlantic ocean and northern lights, violet and purples of the lupines, greens of the moss, shades of gray for the glaciers and black sand beaches and fire red for the volcanoes. I also thought of the versatility of the colors, how they work really well to blend in with many shades of fabric.
Where can we find you this year?
I travel and teach non stop nationally, year round. I am booked through the year and most of 2020. I both teach and lecture for quilt shops and guilds but I also do tours to Iceland and other places and we have 3 tours planned this year. You can find information on my tours and retreat on my website gequiltdesigns.com and my calendar is listed in my email newsletter. You can also find me on Facebook — I do live shows both from my GE Designs page called Tipsy Tuesday about twice a month and then I have a really fun group that you can join called Gudrun’s Quilt Crew. We do sew alongs, free projects and I go live every Friday at 3 pm central time where I start the show off with a cocktail:)
HUGE thanks to Gudrun — we absolutely adore this collection. Take a peek at her collection launch on her fabulous Facebook Live series, Tipsy Tuesday, for a bit more fun!
To enter-to-win Gudrun’s Quilts of Iceland + the companion Colors of Iceland Thread collection, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have! Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Sunday, March 17! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Monday, March 18. Good luck!
Gudrun Erla, the designer and owner of GE Designs is born and raised in Iceland. She started quilting at the age of 23. After owning and running quilt shops in her home country and designing patterns along side it, quilting brought her to Minnesota in 2003. Since then Gudrun has been designing full time, publishing patterns and books from her home office in Chanhassen, MN.
Gudrun loves to take traditional ideas and put a little bit of a modern spin on them. Her “quilt as you go” as well as patterns for precuts have been very popular, with easy to follow instructions and quick assembly and finishing. All her patterns are geared toward today’s quilt makers, easy and innovative with a modern touch. She has published patterns and books on strip quilts for years and designed the best selling Stripology rulers with Creative Grids.
Gudrun has written 21 books, along with her self published books, she has written for Martingale, C & T, Kansas City Star and Leisure Arts. Her patterns have been published in all the major magazines such as American Patchwork and Quilting, Quiltmaker, Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting and Quilty. She has taped educational classes with both Craftsy and Craft University.
Gudrun travels to teach and lecture both nationally and internationally, year round and escorts quilting tours to Iceland and other destinations.