Early wholecloth bed quilts which may appear to be a solid piece of fabric are actually composed of strips of fabric, inasmuch as early looms could not produce expansion of cloth large enough to cover an entire bed surface.
Early quilts that feature the same fabric for the entire quilt top, whether that top is made of dyed wool or pieces of (the same) printed cotton fabric, are referred to as wholecloth quilts.
In wholecloth quilts, the quilting stitches themselves serve as the only decoration.
The earliest whole cloth quilts found in America were brought from Europe.
This type of quilting seems to be experiencing a revival today and some quilt stores sell pre-marked quilt tops ready to be layered and quilted, either by hand or by machine.
Broderie perse refers to the applique of cut out motifs from printed fabric onto a solid background.
It was created by about 30 convict women as they were transported from Woolwich to Hobart in 1841. It is a medallion quilt with Broderie perse at its centre.
That particular series includes information about the wholecloth quiltmaking tradition of some European countries and features photos provided by contributors to the articles.
In March 2014, Cummings added two new articles to Quilter's Muse Publications' website: "Wholecloth Quilts: Yesterday and Today"; and "Andrea Stracke - Wholecloth Quilts," which offers photo examples of quilts made by a wholecloth quilt artist who lives in Germany.
In Europe quilting appears to have been introduced by Crusaders in the 12th century (Colby 1971), in particular in the form of the aketon or gambeson, a quilted garment worn under armour which later developed into the doublet.
One of the earliest existing decorative works is the Tristan quilt, made around 1360.For example, stuffing placed inside the quilted outline of a feather or flower makes the design stands out.