Laughing, I admitted calling them "sweet little calicoes" as well. Of course, it is not the endorsed, academic nomenclature. It's just what Carolyn and I call the fabrics, and we were in complete agreement. I think it's because they are sweet; and you could call the mostly-small-scale prints little.
I have blogged about Janis Pearson's Star Quilt in the past, but earlier this week I saw Janis at the Northwest Quilters meeting, and got another nugget of information. She thought she'd found the fabrics at the Singer shop in Portland, one of the few shops carrying cottons you could use for quilting at the time.
Using so many colors throughout a design could easily be disharmonious, but not with the sweet little calicoes of the 1970s. Rather than assaulting you with color, these fabrics dance. In today's lingo, they play well together.
Janis Pearson's Star Quilt is part of an eye-opening group of barely-vintage quilts, currently on display in "Modern Materials, Quilts of the 1970s" at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon. For more information about the exhibition, location, hours, and other venues showing quilts during Quilt County 2015, click here.