By: Merikay Waldvogel
In 1928, the Stearns & Foster Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio, repackaged its cotton batting and became a potent force in promoting quilts. Through national advertising and company sponsored quilt exhibits, the firm increased sales of Mountain Mist batting and also created a demand for its wrapper patterns. Earlier attempts to research the patterns have been limited to information gleaned from wrappers, pamphlets, and advertisements, since company records had been lost. Newly discovered correspondence between the sales manager of Stearns & Foster’s batting department and a professional artist in Tennessee, dating from July 1929 through February 1930, provide insights on the design and production of Mountain Mist patterns, and on the company’s efforts to fuel the quiltmaking revival of the 1930s.