It's all in the angle of the light. If the light source and the camera are coming from the same direction--like if you use the flash, or the light is behind you--it will flatten the picture and all dimension will be lost. If the light source is from the side, or coming from the opposite direction, you will see shading and texture which will allow the quilting to show up. And yes, photographing the back will help if the back is a solid color. A print will always overpower the quilting to some degree.
I have a good example...
Light from window behind me. Flat, no quilting shows.
Now the window is opposite my camera. Quilting shows!