Quilt Notes: ATTIC STAIRS made its debut in print in Nancy Cabot's column in the Chicago Tribune on November 13, 1937, where her notes suggest a lively, multi-colored patchwork:
"ATTIC STAIRS is one of those lovely pieced patterns which are most effective when set together as an all-over design. There always is a certain charm and fascination about these coverlets which intrigue the eye of the beholder. [...] The original pattern was designed to utilize patches in a scrap bag and the small squares were in different shades."
As a continuous scrap patch block, Brackman's ENCYCLOPEDIA illustrates the design as a rectangular pattern meant to be repeated (#1044) piece by piece, but not as a singular tiling pattern. Jinny Beyer's QUILTER'S ALBUM OF PATCHWORK PATTERNS (p. 412-11) offers a layout similar to Cabot, but with a variation of dark and light, working the largest squares with prints and all else with solids, along with black accents in the smallest squares, as here. There are a number of ways to put it together, the result straight-forward enough, but the assembly rather complex and challenging.
For similar design themes at this site, compare with
UPSTAIRS AND DOWN
The color combination for this version of ATTIC STAIRS was inspired by Paul Klee's "Stage Landscape" — see at wikipaintings.org (opens in a new window.)