UPSTAIRS AND DOWN is a puzzle of solid colors, illustrated left, and which Nancy Cabot provided only clues to solve. She says in her notes in the Chicago Tribune (October 12, 1935):|
"An interesting contrast is afforded in this quilt by the use of many colors—red, two shades of blue, yellow and white. The varied location of these color patches is so arranged as to create the illusion of stairs. The basic feature of the entire block is the square patch. The completed block measures 12 inches square and is set together, pieced block to pieced block, forming an allover design. A narrow border, one and one-half inches deep, completes the coverlet."
If Cabot had been able to print the block in color, there would be no fun to this, but she can tease a little by saying that the pattern has five colors, consisting of red, two shades of blue, yellow, and white. But which of her textures points to which color? If we follow her instructions closely we come up with the design illustrated above right, an amazingly beautiful single block, but it doesn't tile in any manner that holds together, even as an oddity. The version upper left is a revision of Cabot's idea, created by Jinny Beyer, and illustrated in her QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS, p.106-4, so that it could be worked into the tiling below, perfectly — you really do have a sense, as Cabot says, of being able both to ascend and descend the stairway.
More stair designs at this site include: