Nancy Cabot was required to come up with a different patchwork design or appliqué pattern every day in the Chicago Tribune in the 1930's and early 40's. And she probably had other duties at the newspaper as well, so it is not surprising that she would repeat a pattern now and then, sometimes knowingly, other times perhaps forgetting that she had already published this or that design. DIAMONDS AND SHADOWS is one of those instances, published twice on December 22, 1933 and again on October 27, 1937, titled SHADED DIAMONDS. Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS includes no fewer than 1360 different geometric designs published by Cabot in the Chicago Tribune.
In her notes, Cabot states the following (according to the headline of the article, by "delicate" she is referring to "pastel colors"):
"This interesting design, while made in blocks, gives the appearance of being made with strips, as the pattern forms a continuous design down the length of the quilt. The diamonds should be in a plain color, the shadows either in delicate prints or a plain color of lighter shade than the diamonds."
The variations above, however, are a little more experimental than Cabot's instructions — the "wiggle" or playfulness in the design is irresistible. Notice also in Cabot's illustration how the empty space, or neutral background, repeats the exact same diamond and chevron forms as seen in the foreground. It is indeed that hidden, Escher-like repetition which creates the true genius of this very classic, modernist pattern.
For the wiggle, compare at this site with modernist Eva Zeisel's rather mischievous ceramic design called "dimpled spindles," and illustrated in connection with an amazing block, named simply LIGHT AND DARK.