The lotus is a Buddhist symbol, revered because, although it roots from the mud at the bottom of the pond, it climbs from there to the surface of the water and then opens its blossoms to the sun and sky. The idea is similar to beginning any creative project with no ambitions or expectations, just following your heart and thereby moving effortlessly toward a light of discovery and spontaneous inspiration. There is a well-known Buddhist teaching about humility also that says — "No mud, no lotus." Humility is the source of all spiritual wisdom in Buddhism, and likewise in most faith traditions.
As regards the geometry, Nancy Cabot loves intricate patterns, which at the same time are easy to piece. This block is fairly straightforward, though drafted on an unusual 27 x 27 grid (see the ratio numbers for the illustration upper left). A similar pattern was published by Alice Brooks in the Detroit Free Press, in 1934, as listed by Jinny Beyer and drafted on a 14 x 14 grid. Cabot's LOTUS debuted in the Chicago Tribune on May 18, 1938. See also Barbara Brackman's version of the LOTUS BLOCK in her ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PIECED QUILT PATTERNS, #4126, and where it is included amidst a number of other rather unique patterns, such as CENTURY OF PROGRESS and BEACH AND BOATS. The coverlet should probably be patched with alternating plain blocks, although there is already a built-in margin in the design which insets the flower, perfectly
(see the tiling below).
More botanical-inspired blocks at this site include >