I think you might be onto something. Beading is anything but "Lazy" and I never could figure out why someone would use that term for a stitch. But I could easily imagine a European watching an Indian bead leather and comment they were too lazy to secure the strand and eliminate the hump. European needlework is quite "Prim and Proper."
I've put loomwork on leather and then had the leather stretch and mess it up. I had assumed the humps might be for that reason, providing a little give in case the leather stretched.
The only quillwork I've done is using them as beads in jewelry. I really like the natural combined with the seed beads. The quills I have, when prepared with the tips folded over would equal about 8-12 beads in length. That makes sense, switching from quills to beads, one would probably first duplicate traditional patterns with the new material. The number of beads to approximate quill length would be used and the design would be laid out as if using quills.