SQUARES WITHIN SQUARES, illustrated left, and tiled below, debuted in Nancy Cabot's quilt column in the Chicago Tribune on August 1, 1936, under the banner of "THIS QUILT HAS INTERESTING COLOR POSSIBILITIES." And that is certainly true for any number of possible color choices (here a
synchronicity of varying hues of blue) for this very simple yet magnificent pattern. Cabot's comments state the following:
"This simple design is easy to piece and has interesting color possibilities. It may be of solid colors, in combination with print material, or of all print material. Regardless of how it is made the block has everything it takes to make an attractive quilt. SQUARES WITHIN SQUARES is certain to be popular with the quilting novices. From the scrap bag an intriguing color arrangement may be compounded."
In the 1930's, geometric abstraction like this was all the rage in the fine arts too, especially with artists like the great Piet Mondrian or Paul Klee, etc.
Compare at this site with:
UPSTAIRS AND DOWN
SQUARES UPON SQUARES
See also Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS, pp. 424-426, where she illustrates a number of very beautiful, "one-patch" quilt blocks made up entirely of squares, including this SQUARES WITHIN SQUARES design.