She wrote, "It's theme, the lotus, which the Egyptians and the Chinese considered a sacred flower, and its unusual treatment give today's quilt pattern a definitely oriental quality."
The Lotus Buds design combines applique with piecing. Nancy said that "since the natural lotus comes in a variety of colors, it is possible to use your favorite color scheme with no loss of suitability." Her drawing shows two buds being dark and two buds being light as I have shown in my drawing. Her pattern which can be seen here confirms that this is how she intended the pattern to be made.
I can not find any quilts made using the Lotus Buds block so here's my interpretation of Nancy Cabot's pattern-