Traditionally patchwork quilts were made from recycled fabrics such as old shirts and dresses that could no longer be worn. When we go back to the turn of the 20th Century this showed a very different picture from today. When we throw off our "rags" it is more likely because they do not fit or we have got bored with them, so there is generally a lot more wear in them. Most of my no longer required items go to charity and I wouldn't dream of cutting them up.
Fabrics have become so much more expensive hence so have quilts. I have always admired quilts whilst visiting family in USA but what I had noticed about the quilts today is the amount of colour. I must say I still prefer the muted tones and although we have many more varied dyes than were available in the past they are still my preference. I love to admire the antique quilts in the quilt shop in Greyabbey ( The Collectible Quilt Company), https://www.facebook.com/Collectable-Quilt-Company-241530416039490/ ,which by the way does not fit my budget, but you really need to visit.The one thing that stood out for me was the amount of white. This was due to the amount of flour bags that were readily accessible in those days. I bet they grabbed them up as quick as we would a bargain on eBay now.