Thefee is usually small and added security is well worth the trouble.Vintage and antique quilts serve as handsome decorating pieces, particularly in older or historical homes.Also popular materials in that time were linsey-woolsey (linen and wool fabric) and fustian (linnen and cotton mix fabric).
It must be remembered that fabrics, especially those used for patchwork and applique, often started their lives as other things (dresses or curtains) before becoming scraps and then part of a quilt, so they may be much older then quilt itself.
Stitching in quilting will help not so much in dating as in locating the origin of the quilt or the maker.
Fabrics that were printed for special occasions were probably used within ten years of the time they were printed.
A knowledgeable quilt expert or appraiser can recognize hundreds of fabrics by their design and colour and can place them within ten or twenty years of their manufacture.
Cotton fabrics were come to Europe from India (calico was plain cotton fabric, and chintz is hand-printed cotton).
Western Europe (especially Britain and France) imported large amounts of those Indian cotton fabrics because of their popularity, but it resulted in protests of domestic weavers, and finally all import was stopped.
Running stitches were usedin northern Europe, in Provence in southern France and in Britain for wholecloth quilting. In applique the technique of working buttonhole stitch and couched cording over the raw edges was known as Persian embriodery, a method used mainly in France, Italy and Spain, and still known by the French name broderie perse.
In northern Europe, Britain, Germany and Holland,applique was made with turned-under edges, held in place with a slipstitch.
If you've found or purchased a quilt, you may want to know when or where it was made.