SIMPLE DESIGN / FLOWER BED
(Piecing diagram from the
Ladies Art Company Catalogue)
SIMPLE DESIGN debuted in print in the 1890s Ladies Art Company Catalogue (#321). Nancy Cabot illustrated the pattern twice in the Chicago Tribune, once by this name (July 28, 1934), and then again as FLOWER BED (June 17,1938). The LAC design differs slightly from Cabot's illustrations, however, as well as from the samples shared in most of the major compendiums. If you examine closely the facsimile of the LAC version, left, you'll notice that the small triangles are tucked into the corners of the octagons only on the upper right and lower left patches. That slight departure, from what one would anticipate, actually makes the tiling pattern (see below) far more integrated and successful.
The sense of simplicity is more evident when the block is pieced with solids, on account of all that open space in the octagons (see illustration upper left). If a print fabric is used, some sort of classic design, polka dots or pinstripes, for example, are required, to help maintain the theme of the block.
For more quilt designs at this site with a combination of simplicity and somewhat unusual shaped patterns see:
STAR AND BOX
BLACK AND WHITE QUILT