(In the textile business the first three prints are called ditsy prints and the last three are called scatter prints, just because of the way the flowers are arranged on the fabric. Just a little side note for anyone who wants to know the terminology...)
Do you remember back in the 1970s when calicos were all the rage in quilting? I think those calicos are, in large part, why so many quilting fabric trends frighten me: so often, you can date a quilt by the prints that are used in it. I find myself steering far clear of the batiks and the Japanese prints right now because they scream "quilt trend" at me. Not that all quilt trends are necessarily bad or entirely avoidable, but if you're going to make a quilt, you probably don't want someone to look at it and say, "Oh, you made that quilt in 1984," right? Chances are, you'll be really tired of that quilt in a few years. And after all that work, it would be nice if you continued to enjoy your quilt for many, many years instead.
Anyway, I've been thinking lately that it's probably about time for the calicos to come back into quilting vogue. They feel fresh and clean again, and if they're mixed with some crisp yarn-dye stripes and cheerful polka dots they could be really pretty. How about a really clear, happy pastel palette like the creamsicle orange, raspberry pink, and lawn green in the last print above, adding lots of antique white, and doing a classic patchwork pattern like stars or pinwheels? I'd love to see a quilt like that finished with tying instead of stitching. I love tied quilts; they feel so antique.
Clearly, I've got quilting on my mind these days. Purl Patchwork opened today, and I will be visiting it tomorrow because I can't wait to see what fabrics they'll be carrying. I promise to report back, hopefully with photos. And maybe with a few fabric cuttings, if I just can't help myself.