The International Quilt Study Center and Museum will showcase its Mountain Mist Collection, one of its most significant acquisitions in recent years. “Inside the Wrapper: The True Tales of the Mountain Mist Quilt Patterns,” will open July 1, with a grand opening celebration Aug. 5.
The exhibition, which will be on display through Oct. 23, will show how designers, makers, department stores and customers all played an important part in developing a brand that has stood the test of time.
Beginning in 1929, the Stearns and Foster Co. printed free quilt patterns inside the paper wrapper of each roll of batting. Some patterns were copied from old quilts. Others were original modern Mountain Mist designs or inspired by current events. The practice was hugely influential in the quilt-making revival of the 1930s.
“The collection is particularly important to us, because it reflects the quilt-making styles of the everyday quilter of that era,” said Carolyn Ducey, curator of collections. “It’s also important because of the longevity of the company and how influential it was in popular quilt designs for so many years.”
In 2012, the IQSCM acquired the Mountain Mist Collection comprised of more than 150 quilts used for pattern inspirations or made from Mountain Mist patterns. The collection also includes company records, designs and batting wrappers. Guest curator Linda Pumphrey uses these artifacts to tell the true tales of how Mountain Mist made its brand legendary and influenced American quilt styles for more than 90 years.
“Something I really love about the Mountain Mist quilts is that the designs are timeless,” Pumphrey said. “They speak to quilt-makers today, just as they did years ago. The designers had the ability to create designs that have such appeal. They hold up whether its 1930 or 2015.”
One example of the timeless design patterns is “Hollywood.” Copyrighted in 1934, the bold, tile-style pattern includes appliqué stars and was made to honor the concurrent Golden Age of Hollywood.
During the Aug. 5 celebration, Pumphrey, a senior account executive for Mountain Mist, will give a presentation to share even more stories about the company’s history. The lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
“I hope that viewers will learn about the stories behind the quilts and understand the long-term commitment Mountain Mist had for the industry,” Pumphrey said. “Viewers will see how the company realized early on the importance of the relationship with customers and with the department stores.”
For more information, including center hours, click here.