Founded in 1968, Mountain Artisans was organized as a cooperative quilting business, owned and operated by the women who made the patchwork creations. Based in Charleston, West Virginia, the nonprofit cooperative was formed by a group of idealistic young women, including Sharon Percy Rockefeller and Florette Angel, and their successful designer, Dorothy Weatherford.
A renewed interest in traditional crafts and the back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s provided fertile ground as Mountain Artisans helped to generate a renaissance in quiltmaking. Their marketing efforts garnered national recognition, including the prestigious Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award. In their 1972 Coty Award citation, Mountain Artisans was recognized as helping to spur the American crafts movement.
Their quilted fabrics were used by distinguished interior designers such as Parish-Hadley, the firm that had assisted Jacqueline Kennedy in redecorating the White House. Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta used Mountain Artisans fabrics in his fashions, and upscale department stores across the country sold their work, from Saks Fifth Avenue to Neiman Marcus.
The Mountain Artisans Quilting Book, published by Macmillan Publishing in 1973, documented the cooperative’s history and featured how-to instructions on making their quilts and patchwork items. Dissolved in 1978, the Mountain Artisans name has been revived under private ownership.
Written by Rebecca Stelling