Tag Archives: Mountain Mist

Meet Linda Pumphrey: Author, Quilt Designer, International Quilting Association President

For her first visit to Road to California, Linda Pumphrey kept very busy at Road 2017. If she wasn’t in her Mountain Mist vendor booth helping guests with their batting needs,

she was arranging for her mom to meet her childhood friend that she hadn’t seen in 75 years,

(l-r) Mary Pumphrey and Marion Clute

finding new members for the International Quilt Association,

or talking about her books, Mountain Mist Historical Quilts

and her upcoming publication, Red and White.

Linda was first introduced to Mountain Mist in 1989 when she did a marketing project for the company while getting her MBA. She went to Cincinnati and gave her presentation to the company leaders on using a unique cleaning product to wash and preserve quilts. They liked her presentation so much, they hired her!! Linda worked for Mountain Mist for the next 20 years, through three ownerships, and retired from the company in 2014. She recently returned to work for the company as their Senior Retail Account Executive and “loves working for Mountain Mist.” She particularly appreciates the company’s “layers of history.” After all, they have had a product line since 1846!!

Linda says she “fell into” authoring the book, Mountain Mist Historical Quilts. She appreciated the opportunity to tell the history of 132 original Mountain Mist patterns that have “endured the test of time” and show them using today’s contemporary fabrics.

Linda’s service with the International Quilt Association (IQA) came about from her desire to “give back.” IQA is the non-profit side of Quilt Market that is held the end of October in Houston each year.

They oversee three events prior to Quilt Market: Judging the quilt contest, hosting the Winner’s Circle and hosting the Winners Luncheon. IQA also offers a grant program that aids quilters with their efforts in promoting quilting and keeping quilting alive. Linda was elected president of the organization for 2016-2017 – following the term of Road’s director of judging, Stevii Graves. In this capacity, Linda gets to choose the jurors and judges for the Quilt Market contest, emcee the Winner’s Circle where the prizes are awarded, and choose the upcoming nominating committee.

Linda enjoyed the “vibe” of Road 2017 and loved being a part of the “market booths” providing education on the company side of Mountain Mist. Her favorite winning quilt was Director’s Choice.   

What does the future hold for Linda? She is looking forward to the release of her book, Red and White, in the fall of 2017. The book will feature 40 blocks of red and white patterns taken from quilts at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum located at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Instructions for the blocks will be included in the book as well as for 14 projects that each utilize 3 versions of different block combinations.

Eventually, Linda would love to move to Bali. She has been there 10 times and just loves “the spirit of the people. That is definitely on my bucket list!!”

 

 

Reunited After 75 Years

We hear all the time how Road to California is a great event for friends from near and far to meet up. But at Road 2017, it was the first time that we heard how two friends chose Road as a place to reunite after not seeing each other for over 75 years!!

(l-r) Mary Pumphrey and Marion Clute

Mary Pumphrey of Arkansas  and Marion Clute of San Marcos in San Diego county, both 86 years young, last saw each other in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1941. From 1938 until 1941, when Mary and Marion were 7-11 years old, they lived one house apart. In just 3 years, the girls became the best of friends.  As Marion said, “Mary was my first real friend.” The girls were even baptized together on the same day, March 24, 1940.

Mary and Marion pictured with Marion’s younger sister, Nadine

In 1941, Marion’s  family moved to Colorado then to California while Mary’s family remained in Nebraska. Both women later married and had children; Mary had four and Marion had two. They stayed in touch through the years by writing letters and sending Christmas and birthday cards. There were no phone calls between them because it was “too expensive.”

Over the years, Mary and Marion both got involved in quilting. Mary self-taught herself to make a bedspread for her mother in 1980. It wasn’t until 1982 that she began taking classes.  She is still an active quilter, doing machine piecing and hand quilting. Currently, she is working on putting together a 1900-era quilt given to her from a friend.

Marion started quilting in the 1970’s. She found a pattern for one of her first quilts on the back of a McCalls magazine: a drawing of Sun Bonnet SueIt brought back memories of a quilt she had as a child with the same pattern.

She got the fabric for her project from her children’s old shirts and dresses. She made 30 blocks, then put it aside, preferring to work on hand piecing work for other quilts . In the 1980’s, she found the blocks and decided to put them together but she “hated” how it turned out, so she put the quilt aside again. Then, in the late 1990’s, she attempted to work on it once more but only got as far as taking the blocks apart. Finally, in 2008, she decided to revisit the quilt. She made the blocks smaller before reassembling and began quilting it. Currently, it still needs “some quilting” before it can be completed. Marion hopes “that I get it done before I die!”

How did these lifelong friends end up meeting 75 years later at Road 2017? Mary wrote Marion in her annual Christmas letter that she was going to Road to California with her daughter, Linda Pumphrey, a quilt designer and author, former President of the International Quilt Association and vendor with Mountain Mist batting. Marion sent Mary a reply that since Mary was “going to be so close, we have to meet.” They exchanged phone numbers and final arrangements were made over the phone. Seeing each other was “fantastic,” said Mary. “A special, special time,” remarked Marion.

Their reunion also held a fun surprise that brought back a special memory involving their mothers. Both Mary and Marion’s mothers were sewers. One year, Marion and Mary both got a Dy-Dee Doll — the first doll that wet its pants. Marion said “it was the best Christmas ever” when she got that doll. The mothers made complete sets of doll clothes for their daughters’ dolls. However, when they were sewing them, each mother told their daughter that the clothes were for the other girl’s doll!! Mary and Marion were thrilled when they found out that they got to keep the doll clothes their own mother had made!! Those dolls were so important to the young Marion and Mary that they have kept those doll clothes all these years. Little did they know that unbeknownst to the other, each woman had brought along her original doll clothes to share during their meetup at Road!!

Besides their reunion, both women were also able to enjoy the show. What did they think about Road to California?  It was Mary’s first time at Road. She had been to Paducah several times and found Road to California to be “so much bigger than I expected.” Marion thought Road was just “jaw-dropping.”

Road to California is a great place for old and new friends to meet up. We just hope that it doesn’t take any other guests 75 years to reunite!!

Do you have a lifelong, quilting friend too?

Road 2017 Special Exhibit: Mountain Mist Historical Quilt Mid-Century Quilts Made New

Where would a quilter be without batting?

Cotton batting by the Stearns & Foster Company has been a staple of quilt making since the 1800’s. Long trusted by quilt makers for its strength and cleanliness, the batting needed a sales boost as the quilt revival of the 1920’s and 30’s took hold. Sales manager, Fritz Hooker, launched an ingenious marketing campaign to make Mountain Mist batting more attractive to quilt makers. His plan was to revamp the batting wrapper by adding colorful quilt designs that he developed in to the Mountain Mist pattern series. Fritz worked with professional artists as well as seasoned quilt makers to vet his choices.   After a pattern had been tested for design and work-ability, a model quilt was made. By 1950, there were about 100 Mountain Mist patterns and a model quilt for each design.mountain-mist-logo

Through the years, the company has shared these model quilts in various ways. They were loaned to state and  county fairs, fashion shows, and quilt events. On the 150th anniversary of Stearns & Foster, the complete set of quilts was displayed at the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 1996.

In 2012, the Mountain Mist sample quilts were acquired by Quilt House at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln along with other materials from the company.

fanquadfinal

This Fan Quadrille quilt pattern was first made available by Mountain Mist in 1942. The original is on the left, and an update (which requires no curved piecing) by Linda Pumphrey is on the right

 

The Special Exhibit, Mountain Mist Historical Quilt Mid-Century Quilts Made New, is curated by Linda Pumphrey. She authored the newly released book with the same title. mountain-mist-book

The book contains variations of 14 original quilts designed and released by Mountain Mist in the 1930’s and 1940’s on the back of the Mountain Mist batting wrappers, Some of the quilt designs were updated and simplified and some remained the same as the pattern using current fabric lines. The various designs speak to quilters of today just as they inspired quilters of the mid 1900’s.

This is the second time that quilts made from the Mountain Mist pattern collection have been shown at Road to California.   In 2009, quilts from the collection were shown to over-whelming response. This “new” exhibit is being shown for the very first time at Road to California 2017.zigzag1

In addition to sponsoring this Special Exhibit, Fibrix, LLC, the parent company of Mountain Mist, will be donating 800 batts to support the  Roadies Give Back Event on Saturday evening, January 21st as well another 200 batts for another Road initiative. Road to California is appreciative for all Mountain Mist is doing to support quilting at Road 2017.