I've been asked about how I wash my quilts, so I'd thought I'd share what I do. I am not as fussy about this as others might be, so the way I treat them may not be for everyone. I expect that my quilts will be used, so I want them to be durable and washable. I've gotten out of the habit of washing all my fabrics before I use them, but this might change since I've had a few run lately.
1) I put it in the washer (I have a simple, old top loader) on the gentle cycle with cold water. I sometimes use Orvis soap, but sometimes I just use a small amount of my regular clothing detergent. I usually put a couple of "color catchers" in to help in case any of the fabric is going to bleed. After the washer has filled, I let it agitate for a minute and then stop it so it can just sit for a minute or two. Then I move it ahead to the spin cycle. I do the same with the rinse cycle, letting it fill up, agitate a little and then move the machine ahead to the final spin.
2) Next I put it into the dryer on warm for a few minutes. This takes the wrinkles out.
3) Now it's ready to block on the floor. I put clean sheets down on the floor and spread the quilt out. At this point the quilt can be smoothed and stretched so that it is flat and square. It usually takes a day to dry.
4) If this is a quilt that I am using on a bed, then I might give it a little more time in the dryer and then let it finish drying right on the bed since at this point I am not so concerned with how it is going to hang.
Here is a photo of my latest drying on the floor.