Several days ago there was a cry for help on the Quiltart email list. Somebody wrote: "I'm looking for some older (1980's) calico-type fabric to complete a quilt I started back them. I have looked around now and some fabrics seem to almost fit the mark, but they are in colors more suited to the Modern Quilt movement and don't really fit into what I was working on. If you have any older calico-type fabric....."
Here's a photo of her old blocks, newly unearthed and not even ironed yet:
Perhaps a decade ago I was making what I called "good-bye quilts" to use up all those fabrics that I knew I would never use again for anything important. I sewed up all those horrible earthtones and gave the quilts away, to people who either had never moved beyond earthtones or might have been colorblind. I have segregated many of the calicos into a separate box that I offer to new quilters who want to practice their skills, and have given away a lot. But I still have plenty. So yesterday it wasn't hard to come up with a big shoebox full to send away.
I confess that I didn't send off all my old calicos. Some were so beautiful that I couldn't part with them; some were remnants from past sewing projects that I loved. Some were way older than the 80s -- think 60s -- and have achieved the status of vintage. It's surprising how some of those old-favorite fabrics have appeared in dozens of my quilts, a little bit here, a little bit there, and I'm not ready to close the door on that potential.
Here are some close-ups of the classic 80s prints. Don't they make you want to go do some tedious precision piecing and recapture the glories of your youth?