THREE PATCH was first published by Alice Brooks in her syndicated column on May 20, 1937, in the Detroit Free Press (the clipping left is from the Hartford Courant, illustrating how four blocks would combine, see also tiling below). The banner under the illustration in the newspaper says: "Three patches, three materials, make for striking contrast."
The term "patch" in THREE PATCH can be confusing in quilt nomenclature, because it can simultaneously refer to the number of pieced squares needed to assemble the pattern or the number of different geometric shapes needed to patch the design.
Anyway the three patches here, as three different shapes, are comprised of two in the foreground (a triangle and a quarter circle) and one irregular shape, needed to fill in the background. To keep the threesome going, three different fabrics are suggested as well, one solid and two prints.
The author of the block, "Alice Brooks," is a pen name for the Old Chelsea Station Needlecraft Service, while other names used were Laura Wheeler and Carol Curtis. Barbara Brackman has a helpful entry on the publishing history of the OCS, in her ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS, p. 526. Not surprising, there are a number of patterns by this name. Nevertheless, see also Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS, p.311.1, where the design mixes itself in with other blocks combining a 2 X 2 base grid.
More patterns at this site with curved elements include:
FORE AND AFT
CAPS FOR WITCHES AND DUNCES
MERRY GO ROUND
SUNSHINE & STAINED GLASS
BUTTERFLY IN CIRCLES
PATH OF FANS
JACQUES IN THE BOAT
HANDS ALL AROUND
DRUNKARD'S PATH DESIGNS (all)