The Colors of Iceland

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:

Colors of Icleland
100% Aurifil 50wt Cotton, 12 Large Spools (1422yd/spool)
2245 – 2535 – 2545 – 2784 – 2805 – 4093
2885 – 2888 – 5011 – 4241 – 6734 – 2600

To view this info on our website, click here. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

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 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!

Website — BlogFacebookInstagramPinterestShop

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.


  1. Beautiful quilts!

    I find inspiration at the botanical gardens here where I live. They have several different areas, so some something is always green or blooming.

  2. I feel like no actual place inspires me to create, but my imagination is the source of most inspiration.

  3. I’m not so much inspired by places, but rather by people and wanting to create something that will be meaningful to them and their interests.

  4. Thank you so much for writing about Gudrun and her new book…..a must have! She sounds so fun….

  5. What beautiful colors! Makes me want to see Iceland! I am inspired by just being in my sewing room. It is a place of peace and refuge.

  6. I’d love to see Iceland as well. Anything in nature inspires me, whether trees on a walk, or the ocean or even reading about natural places from afar.

  7. I get inspired by the colors in the world around me. I also get ideas seeing others ideas, such as flooring, tiles, wallpaper.

  8. I love her quilts and she is a great speaker. Gudrun came to speak at my guild in February.

  9. The past is the place that most inspires me to create–my memories of places I have loved, places where I have been happy, places that shaped me.

  10. I am wowed by your colors! I live in South Mississippi & home is what inspires me! Abundance of florals & greenery all year round! Thank you, Susan

  11. I find it online, quilt shows, and magazines. What a beautiful colors! I might have to rethink the colors in my next quilt.

  12. I saw this collection of quilts at QuiltCon. They were lovely.

    I’m inspired but all the colors I see in nature.

  13. Scenery! As I am finishing up a quilt from a previous Alaska trip, I noticed how much Iceland is similar to Alaska. I’m going to Alaska again soon and already trying to imagine what my next quilt might look like. I’m thinking of your Lupin or Glacier quilts. Or maybe the Northern Lights. I’d love to have this book!

  14. My own backyard is a big inspiration for me. I look around when walking outside and whenever I take a road trip, and that will stimulate my creativity.

  15. I agree, there’s so much inspiration in nature. For me it’s woodsy hikes in the mountains as well as mountains and water.

  16. The outdoors here in green Lexington Kentucky!!!
    Also, all the beautiful creations on Instagram!!!
    Thank you for yours!!!

  17. I can find inspiration anywhere I go or anything I am looking at whether it’s nature, a magazine, architecture, patterns on dishes, really anything and everywhere.

  18. I love symmetry, and so many of the traditional quilting blocks are my inspiration, as well as the fall colors found in the northeast USA, flaming maples, the bronzes of the oak trees, the gray/black of tree bark, all of it!

  19. I get inspired by mountains, the ocean, flooring, ceilings…so many different places to find inspiration for a quilt!

  20. I happen to own several of Gudrun’s 21 books! AND I love every color in the Colors of Iceland collection. It would be wonderful to win it!

  21. I’m inspired by drives through the surrounding hills….so many colors and textures to consider.

  22. I get inspired by the colors around our farm, the sky, trees, our peaches trees when they blossom, & walking in the woods round us.

  23. I take lots of pictures of birds & the outdoors but often my inspiration is from some little happening that strikes a quirky chord; then it percolates for awhile til I can see a design.

  24. amazing quilt work inspires me the most. Working off of and expanding on other’s amazing work.

  25. Gardens of all shapes and sizes, with or without flowers are a great source of inspiration. The rows and raised beds of vegetable gardens, the individual blooms in a flower bed, and the formal layout of an English garden are just some examples.

  26. I find inspiration everywhere! No matter where I am, there’s always something interesting and beautiful to captivate me if I’m paying attention.

  27. I can’t say that there’s a place that inspires me – it’s usually fabrics or colors or something that I see
    Thanks for the chance to win 🙂

  28. I find inspiration in the mountains. Would love someday to visit Iceland and see the Northern Lights. Thanks!

  29. I like The Huntington Library, Museums, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. With 12+ themed gardens….yikes… inspiration overload!

  30. Anywhere I travel: France, Italy,home. I live in the SF Bay Area and was just up in the wine county today. The hills are all green and just gorgeous. I was just thinking what a beautiful landscape quilt it would make!

  31. I have no one place that provides inspiration. I may see something on TV, in the garden, at the store, on the road. I keep my mind open to new ideas, too many new ideas. 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win a wonderful prize.

  32. I live in the country so all I have to do is look out my window and see birds, trees, animals of all kinds. Inspiration and peace everywhere.

  33. I find inspiration in talking with others about their projects and seeing them as they share. While walking my dog I look around me to enjoy the colors, shapes and textures of my neighborhood.

  34. I can’t wait to see more of this bool. I find inspiration everywhere, in nature and in books.

  35. The Highlands of Scotland: lots of shades of blue and of green and of grey with purple heather and pink of the sea pinks.

  36. Being in the mountains inspires me. I love the colors and textures in the scenery, and the abrupt changes in both of them. Thanks!

  37. Most any place in nature inspires me to create, especially beautiful flowers!
    duchick at gmail dot com

  38. My daughter vacationed in Iceland a couple of years ago and she took lots and lots of photos. She’s going to do a print of my favorite photo to hang on the wall, but I still can’t choose a favorite!

  39. those colors are fabulous. my sister and family lived in Iceland for two years; they loved it!
    My farm inspires me to create–the colors are ever changing. I take pictures of special combinations of fields and sky for inspiration.

  40. What a beautiful post! I dream of going to Iceland someday. Thanks for the chance to win this beautiful book and thread! I am inspired by anyplace with a rough wild coastline.

  41. My inspiration comes from what others are doing. I don’t have a creative bone in my body, but I can generally follow directions and do a decent job of it…. I absolutely love the aurora, which can be proven by looking at the more than 20,000 pictures of them on my Pinterest page! 🙂 Since lots of those pins are from Iceland, I have lots of pictures of Iceland!! It’s a beautiful place!!! Thanks so much for the chance to win!!

  42. Really warm places, i.e. desert. I tend to see alot of warmth in my thread choices and fabrics and a southwest project always comes out of those:)
    Thank you Gudrun, I loved reading of the cooler climates.

  43. I get inspiration when I’m out in nature. It could be anywhere – where I live or where I go on holidays.

  44. LOVE the Lupines Quilt! When we were traveling in a part of Iceland, we saw them everywhere.

  45. Daytona Beach, where my husband and I come for Winter Break and Instagram – lots of inspiration there!

  46. Looking at antique quilts inspires me.
    I do love how Iceland’s natural wonders inspired Gudrun to create such beautiful quilts!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: