Behind the Scenes

The Stripologist Is In!

Gudrun Erla, the designer and owner of GE Designs, has once again combined two fan favorites into one awesome book! Stripology Mixology 2 pairs 13 innovative quilts with cocktails to match, teaming Gudrun’s cocktail-making hobby with her love of quilting. She’s a master Stripologist, so named for the techniques she uses to craft with precut strips, charm packs, and layer cakes, The philosophy of using these precuts was so well received in her first Stripology Mixology book, she was inspired last January to write this sequel. (By the way, you can always cut your own fabric to follow her patterns if you prefer.)

Born and raised in Iceland, Gudrun began quilting at age 23 and moved to Minnesota in 2003 after designing patterns and owning and running quilt shops in her home country. Icelandic influences are sometimes intentional in her work, as in her Quilts of Iceland book, but more often it just happens and she sees the connection later. She uses strong female names for her quilts in a nod to Iceland’s decades-ahead commitment to women’s rights. As she says, “Girl power!”

Covid has certainly impacted Gudrun’s busy travel schedule, but she’s made lemons into Lemon Drops, hosting live shows every week on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram on Tipsy Tuesdays (7pm CDT) and Happy Fridays (3pm CDT.) She notes, “I tackle each obstacle in life as a challenge versus a road block and find creative ways around it or change direction to find something you never thought would be the path for you.” One exciting new path for Gudrun is as a ruler designer! Her Stripology rulers are designed as tools to help quilters in their everyday quilting life, making cutting and construction easier, faster, and more precise.

We caught up with Gudrun on the occasion of her new book to find out more about one of our favorite quilt designers. What did we learn? For one thing, she has an official quilt tester – her dog Koby!

Gudrun loves to spend time sewing and designing in her studio, and tries to get at least 4 – 6 hours during the work week, plus more on weekends. Her favorite quilt? Always the one she’s currently working on. Her favorite color palette? Too many to choose from! She enjoys the freedom to try new colorways, new combinations, and new styles. And the first quilt she ever made? A lover’s knot table runner.

Check out Gudrun’s new book and you’ll become a Stripologist, too!