TWIST PATCHWORK was illustrated in the Godey's Lady's Book in 1851, followed by the Ladies Art Company Catalogue in the late 19th century (#294), before it made it's way into Nancy Cabot's column in the Chicago Tribune, April 4, 1935. Another version of the same design was offered by Cabot on February 12, 1937 (with a different dark and light distribution) and titled PLAITED BLOCK. See Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM, p.411-12, or Barbara Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS, #443.
As is clear from the newspaper headline, illustrated left, Cabot seems to understand this patchwork as a sort of entwining of opposites: not only combining simple and complicated, but also mixing solids and prints in the choice of fabrics. It is fun also that the octagons in the tiling pattern (see below) are like circles, that is, squares without corners. Cabot says:
"Delightfully complicated in appearance, but really extremely simple to piece is the old "TWIST PATCHWORK." The pattern is used in quilts as an all-over design. For variety one may set the blocks together with narrow bands or insertion of white or solid colors to match the colors in the block. The completed block measures 12 inches square. [...] Combinations of print and plain materials work up as effectively as all print or all plain."
More examples like TWIST PATCHWORK at this site, with circular-like designs created by straight-edge polygons in the tiling pattern, include:
BLOCK STAR (irregular dodecagon)
BEAUTIFUL STAR (dodecagon)
GRANDMA'S SURPRISE (octagon)
JAPANESE FLOWER (irregular dodecagon)
MORNING PATCH (octagon)
PIGEON TOES (octagon)
To learn more about optical quilt motifs, see OPTICAL ILLUSIONS FOR QUILTERS, by Karen Combs (1997).