They might be talking of the fabric more than the pattern. I believe I'd sit down with one or both of them and a computer (or a couple of quilt shop catalogs). If you choose the computer, I'd search for images of vintage quilts and fabrics and get them to point out what appeals to them and what doesn't. There are so many words-- vintage, antique, retro, shabby,, old-fashioned--used in different ways by different people. If you can't meet with them, maybe they could send you some photos after searching the computer on their own.